Bohemian Rhapsody Essay

1368 Words6 Pages
It is often assumed that Freddie Mercury, the frontman for the hugely popular rock group, Queen, lived a life of hedonistic exuberance. There are countless pictures of Mercury out at clubs in his flamboyant costumes, drinking and having fun. This reputation as a party animal led journalist Matthew Horton to state that, “The Fredster lived his 45 years like a man possessed – a man possessed by the spirit of reckless, balls-out excess” (Horton). So to claim that this same man was actually immensely influenced by religion and had deep concerns about society may seem like a stretch. However, despite his ostentatious image, Freddie Mercury deliberately composed his songs to highlight his early childhood experiences with Zoroastrianism and strong…show more content…
The enigmatic classic, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is one that features this connection. Speaking about the song, Mercury stated, "People still ask me what Bohemian Rhapsody is all about, and I say I don't know. I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then decide for themselves what it means to them" (Bulsara). Ostensibly, the lyrics seem to be about Mercury’s bisexuality; Mercury was known to date both males and females. However, a deeper examination of the lyrics reveals Mercury’s inner strife with religion. When Mercury sings, “Is this the real life. Is this just fantasy. Caught in landslide. No escape from reality,” he is referring to his loneliness and melancholy, the disappointment with reality that he cannot elude (Mercury). Then, Mercury urges the listeners to, “Open your eyes, look up to skies and see” (Mercury) Here, Mercury seems to be referring to God. For him, the confusion of reality can be cleared up by looking to God for answers. The song also features Mercury’s repentance for his past deeds. At one point, Mercury sings, “Mama, ooh, Didn't mean to make you cry,” clearly highlighting his remorse for losing touch with the religion of his youth (Mercury). Mary Austin, Mercury’s former partner, remarked that, after his coming-out, Mercury was satisfied; however, his body ached all the time due to the guilt he felt…show more content…
Mercury spent his youth during the tumultuous 60s and 70s, surrounded by social and political rumblings. It was difficult to ignore the protests and riots that filled the news broadcasts. A war was raging in Vietnam and presidents were being assassinated. In the midst of all this, a counter-culture movement was gaining momentum that would begin to demand more tolerance towards human sexuality, women’s rights, gay liberation, and diverse subcultures. When Queen began to gain widespread popularity in the 70s, the band’s ornate style and vivacious music often hid the concerns of Mercury. Being bisexual, Mercury was forced to live in the shadows, unable to freely live his life. This secret life led many to doubt Mercury’s concerns about society. When Mercury died of complications due to AIDS, the autoimmune disease, many people criticized Mercury for not donating to AIDS charities before dying (Sky, 183-185). However, according to Mary Austin, Mercury donated millions to AIDS charities before his death, and was very involved with AIDS activism (Sky, 183-185). People close to Mercury describe him as a generous man who preached kindness to
Get Access