Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Galileo, Galileo

Bohemian Rhapsody is one of those classic songs out of the 70s that everyone knows but no one has a clue as to what the words really are or mean. It was written by Freddie Mercury and performed by the rock group Queen. It’s the kind of song that comes on the radio and you can’t help but sing along. But be honest now, do any of you know the words (without looking them up on the Internet)?

The introduction is simple:

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy
I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go
Little high, little low
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me
To me

And so is the ballad portion:

Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and
thrown it all away
Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on
As if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
Goodbye, everybody
I've got to go
Got to leave you all behind and face the truth
I don't want to die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

But then the opera breaks out:

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche
Will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning
Very, very frightening me
(Galileo) Galileo
(Galileo) Galileo
Galileo, figaro
Until I looked up the lyrics, I thought they were singing, “Gotta moose, gotta moose will you do the Fandango?” But apparently the real lyric, Scaramouche refers to a boastful character from an opera.

Now the next stanza:

I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go
No, we will not let you go
(Let him go!)
We will not let you go
(Let him go!)
We will not let you go
(Let me go!)
Will not let you go
(Let me go!)
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Oh, mama mia, mama mia
Mama mia let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me
For me
For me
I always thought they were singing, “Miss Miller, No, we will not let you go.” The actual lyric, "Bismillah" is an Arabic word recited by Muslims as part of their daily prayers. That makes much more sense than, "Miss Miller."

The rest of the song is pretty clear cut.

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?
So you think
you can love me and leave me to die?
Oh, baby
Can't do this to me, baby
Just got to get out
Just got to get right out of here

really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really
matters to me
Any way the wind blows

So what does it all mean? Some think it is a Faustian battle for a man's soul. Still other's think it is about AIDS (though the virus wasn't known when the song was written). I have my own theory. I think it means absolutely nothing. But it is pretty catchy.
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