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
Mama
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
Mama
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
Magnifico
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
Bismillah!
No, we will not let you go
(Let him go!)
Bismillah!
We will not let you go
(Let him go!)
Bismillah!
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

Nothing
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.

10 comments:

Shandi said...

I'll come back later and try to give you my interpretation of the song but....

This totally freaked me out. I don't get freaked out easily... okay I DO... but

Right when I finished reading this post I ran into the resource room to tell Lights about it. Okay, I laughed first then ran to tell Lights. When I got back to my desk I pulled up the comment section to post a comment and this exact song came on the radio. I SWEAR!!! I stood up, jaw hanging open, in complete shock! Now, my coworkers think I'm nuts. They think I should play the lotto on my way home from work, but they think I'm nuts.

I know I was just babbling there, but it doesn't really matter. Nothing really matters... to me.

Isabella said...

I'll probably get a gun put against my head for this remark but... I have always hated that song, it gives me a chronic headache.

Go ahead, stone me and spit in my eye, I still hate it even though I now know the lyrics. And NOW big fella, I'm gonna have that bloody thing in my head all day.

If I'm not back again this time tomorrow.. well you know the rest....

Sigh....NOTHING really matters.

Footpad said...

Funny, now I've got Wayne and Garth running through my head.

Excellent!

-- f

Tim ID said...

Shandi, It's a miracle! It's a sign! Or it's a coincidence. But it's still freaky.

Isabella,
How can anyone hate Bohemian Rhapsody? David Hasslehoff maybe, but Queen? It's time to reevaluate your life.

FP,
Party on, dude!

Isabella said...

I don't hate Queen Tim, just that God awful song, which btw has been torturing me all day.

Miss Bliss said...

Freddie Mercury was Persian(real name: Farrokh Bulsara) and this song makes references to words from his culture (he was born in Zanzibar) and religion (Zoroastrian). My husband is a lifelong Queen fan, so I actually not only knew all the lyrics, but have heard this song far too much.....still like it though.

Tim ID said...

Isabella,
We are the champions, my friend. We keep on fighting til the end...

Miss Bliss,
I didn't know "spit in my eye" was a Persian phrase. You learn something new ever day.

Blazngfyre said...

Everything Miss Bliss said, and the fact that he was a Drama major makes him quite possibly, the Queen of ALL Queens!

Such a diva!

Lights in the wake said...

I've always made it a point not to examine too closely the lyrics of 70's rock anthems. It's better not knowing the truth and usually the lyrics you thought you heard are better than the actual lyrics. Gotta moose is way better than Scaramouche and makes about as much sense.

Tim ID said...

Blaznfyre,
Pity Freddie wasn't from Queens.

Lights,
I know what you mean. I used to think that Walter Egan song "Magnet and Steel" was saying, "You are a maggot and I am veal." Now that would be romantic.