One of the most legendary songs of all time, the song that people from different nations and tongues can sing by heart, the song that will always be in people’s hearts because of its uniqueness and the “risky” way it was created. When Queen faced a difficult time financially but had the most revolutionary ideas in the music industry at that time. They had to be incredibly brave in order to put these ideas into tape and produce those masterpieces.Freddie Mercury

But one of the most unforgettable ballad Queen created, probably during their whole music making period is Bohemian Rhapsody. Its meaning I will be discussing below, and there’s a lot I have to say…

A Brief Overview

As for me, I have been a Queen fan for many years because of my parents. I started by watching the Live Aid performances with them, not really understanding what was going on but I loved the vibe. I remember asking my parents if we could go to that concert, even though we live far away from the UK and they revealed to me that Freddie Mercury had sadly passed away from AIDS, which I later learned what was.

I was really sad about it, but I soon forgot, since my parents stopped listening to Queen so passionately. Then, after about 10 years, I came back to them, willing to explore their music once again. I was moved by every single album in a unique way. Listening to Queen is always an amazing experience, I sometimes wonder how these songs are offered to the public for free.

I love the solos of each member too (I think Deacon doesn’t have a solo career but I haven’t thoroughly searched for songs of his so I can’t speak with certainty). Every member have their own unique way to express themselves and, all combined together give the world the fascinating result that is Queen.

The Actual Meaning Of BoRhap

Although I’ve known Queen and their music for too long (almost all my life), I struggle when it comes to telling the meaning behind the lyrics of their songs. So, imagine how difficult it must have been when looking for the meaning behind Bohemian Rhapsody, the song that has puzzled and will be puzzling all music experts, since its one of the most well – known yet mysterious songs out there.Queen's Albums

Looking myself, I didn’t find anything worth mentioning about the song’s meaning. Everything I found on the Internet was too perplexing as well. So, after jotting down some facts while performing my research, this is the result:

Bohemian Rhapsody is about the life of the singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury, who wrote and composed the song by himself.

If you have seen the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, you will recognize some facts I will mention below, but if not, you will still be able to follow my train of thought. I highly recommend that you watch the movie though, especially if you like Queen’s music.

“Mama, just killed a man” to “I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all”

I’ll get straight into it. With “Mama, just killed a man”, Mercury is starting a conversation with his mother, telling her that he has killed her son. I think this is his way of coming out as a homosexual to the world and, especially his mother. When Mercury wrote this song he had a fiancee, Mary Austin, however he might have started being into males at the time.Freddie Mercury

“Mama, oh, didn’t mean to make you cry” refers to how traditional Mercury’s family was. Coming from Zanzibar, they were a religious family, respecting the principles of their ancestors. Therefore, the idea of a homosexual son must have been unusual and, maybe, painful for his mother back then.

“Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth”. Mercury didn’t really care what people thought of him and he showed that with his way of living life to the fullest most times at least. He decided to not be miserable and reveal to the world his true self.

“I see a little silhouetto of a man” to “Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me”

This is my favorite part and the one I love the meaning of most. This is the part where Mercury meets his band mates and they start making music together. Mercury had been writing lyrics all his life, so getting the chance to actually perform them was a dream come true.

That’s why I believe that part is more upbeat and ends with May’s solo (one of the few parts of the song that Mercury didn’t write, but strictly supervised). The meanings of the names are:

  • Scaramouche: Freddie Mercury (singer)
  • Galileo: Brian May (guitarist)
  • Figaro: John Deacon (bassist)
  • Beelzebub: Roger Taylor (drummer)

Basically, Mercury named all his band mates, giving each and every one a nickname he wanted. This nickname probably reminded him of their character. All of this information was found out by a journalist, who later told Mercury and he didn’t respond. I suppose she was pretty close to the actual meaning of the song.

The beginning and the endingQueen's albums

The intro of Bohemian Rhapsody (“Is this the real life?…Any way the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me, to me”) probably refers to mysteries and questions about life that have puzzled Mercury. The lyrics bring surreal sceneries to the listener’s mind and the capture them from the very beginning.

The ending of the song comes after a long guitar solo, which separates the lyrical “meeting” of the band mates of Queen and their music creations together. The song ends quite dramatically though, with the lyrics “Nothing really matters, anyone can see, nothing really matters, nothing really matters to me”.

Mercury is aware that the life of a homosexual is difficult but he has made his choice to abandon his family’s beliefs and stop hiding. His was of dealing with the hate and doubt from others in his life is simply ignoring it. It doesn’t matter to him anymore.

What’s your opinion?

I hope you liked this article. What do you think? Do you like Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody? Do you have or have you read a theory?

If you agree, disagree or simply want to add anything on what I previously mentioned please leave a comment down below and I will get back at you as fast as I can.

Please follow my Instagram account for music content every day: @allmusicandsound.

Thank you!

70 Replies to “The Meaning Behind Bohemian Rhapsody By Queen”

  1. This is too funny — I have been wondering about this song since Wayne’s World brought it back into the charts a couple of decades ago. I hadn’t thought that all of the name call-outs might be nicknames for all of the band members. That’s a fun touch. I think that you could definitely be on to an understanding of this iconic song. Without Freddie here to confirm, we may never know the full truth and have to settle for finding our own meaning in the song.

    1. Hi Aly!

      That’s true, the meaning of the song hasn’t been confirmed by Freddie and we will never knwo for sure. I hope my article helped you. Thanks for the comment!

      Dominique

  2. We all know that Bohemian Rhapsody is composed of six sections: introduction, ballad, guitar solo, opera, rock and coda. I have been reading that for Bohemian Rhapsody members of Queen sang continuously for about 12 hours per day, resulting in 180 separate recordings, a milestone in rock history with 1970s technology.

    1. Hi Paolo! That’s true, it took the band a lot time to produce this song. And it turned out to be one of the best ballads of all time, so it was worth waiting. Thank you for your comment!

      Dominique

  3. I agree with you that listening to Queen is always an amazing experience and I don’t think I will ever tire of listening to them. Bohemian Rhapsody is indeed an all-time classic. I did see the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, and absolutely loved it, so will highly recommend it to anybody that hasn’t seen it yet. 

    I learnt so much about Freddie Mercury’s background and life. Amazing how through this song, and the lyrics, he revealed his feelings to the world.

    1. Hi LineCowley!

      Thank you for your comment. I agree with what you said about Bohemian Rhapsody and the movie. Freddie was an artist indeed!

      Dominique

  4. Good day, I’m pleased to meet you. Well, even though you outlined how most well known it is, I have never come across or heard of Bohemian Rhapsody, either a song or movie, before. But it seems quite interesting as you outlined that Bohemian Rhapsody is about the life of the singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury, who wrote and composed the song by himself. This is fascinating.

    1. Hi Kokontala! I’m happy you found my article interesting! If you want you can check out the film and the movie, they are both masterpieces. I’m sure you will love them, especially if you are into classic rock. Thanks for your comment!

      Dominique

  5. Hello Dominique,

    What a brave challenge you took on to clarify the meaning of Bohemian Rhapsody, and you did it with class! Very nice. yes, I have seen the movie, and it brought me to tears and many twists and turns during his story. I agree with your conclusions, as they sound logical and align well with the facts. I wish we could interview Freddie. Maybe someday in the near future we’ll develop a graviton radio device that can traverse time-space and we can give him a call. Until then, we will never know.

    Best regards, Rupert.

    1. Hi Rupert4U. Thank you for your kind words, I tried my best to express what Bohemian Rhapsody means to me, I’m glad you liked it. Both the movie and the song are masterpieces and they mean a lot to me. I would love it if we had a more clear picture of the meaning of the song, maybe in the future… who knows? Thank you for your comment!

      Dominique

  6. Bohemian Rhapsody is one of my all-time favorite songs by Queen, in fact, all-time favorite songs overall. I never get tired of listening to it.

    I had however translated it differently and never realized it was Freddy’s coming out song. Reading this version makes a lot of sense. I was under the impression it was about a man murdering another, but I think I just loved the song so much that I never tried to decipher the words and what their meaning was.

    I gathered the next part you talk about was mentioning his bandmates, although I wasn’t sure who Beezabub was.

    1. Hi Michel. Thank you for your comment. BoRhap is of one my all time favorites too! It is amazing how a six minute song can tell so much about its artist. 

      Dominique

  7. I do love this song. and you’re right when you learn about his life and the up and downs he went through the song does start to make a little bit more since. It’s also troubling to realize how hard he was on himself and how strong those insecurities must have been even though he was one of the most successful musicians in history. 

    1. Hi DashDNations. It’s heartbreaking how such a talented person had these thoughts on himself. Of course Freddie was a dominant personality but he had his dark side too. Thank you for your comment!

      Dominique

  8. HI Dominique. Very interesting article. Im fan of Queen for years and I heard Bohemian Rhapsody hundreds of times., but I was never thinking to much about deeper sense of its text. I guess music was enough for me, but now I see that I missed a lot. Song is not only a music, but also lyrics which is often based on artist life and experience. Thank you for making meaning of this song clear to me, and looking forward for insight for more Queen songs.

    1. Hi Cogito. Thank you for your comment. I always wondered about the meaning of this song so I thought I should do a little research on it. I’m glad you liked it, and there will definitely be more meanings behind Queen songs in this website in the future.

      Dominique

  9. Freddie Mercury is a versatile artist who is the embodiment of that era. Freddy is not just an artist, Freddy is a lifestyle. Communicating something like this to the world through a song that is sung long after his death and that will be sung even longer is more than a mere act of courage. The text of the song shows the desire for the world to accept it as it is. And that is, above all, the legend of the Queen. 

    1. Hi, Mike! Thank you for your comment! That’s right, I absolutely agree with you.

  10. Funny I came across your site because I’m always searching song title + meanings, especially rock songs in the 60s – 70s because their lyrics make my chest feel heavy with some type of sentimentality. But as a kid born in the 90s, I was not around when they were at their peak. Very nice to have a website like yours to explain the back story of them all. 

    1. Hi Sunquan! Thanks for your comment and fo rthe kind words. I thought it your be nice to share my reseaarch results with the world!

  11. It’s crazy that Bohemian Rhapsody is STILL among the most mysterious and puzzling songs created ever. People are still trying to figure out the meaning of several lyrics and the reasoning behind such choices that don’t sound quite like anything today.

    While no one can truly know, I still think Freddie & the crew had an idea behind the meaning but left some room for people’s imagination & interpretation. That’s why it’s so heavily discussed still today. I think it’s a brilliant way to captivate your audience and spark conversations.

    Seen the movie too – never thought I’d like it as much as I did!

    1. Hi Julius! Thank you for your comment and I absolutely agree with you. Both the movie and the song where captivating!

  12. Hey thanks for this interesting and fact filled post!

    I learnt quite a lot of facts which I wasn’t aware of. Although I haven’t listened to much of queen or Mercury’s songs I have heard of them and how they were famous back in their days. 

    My grandparents definitely would love to view this post, probably will understand it a lot better too!

    1. Hi Sariyah. Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it. You should definitely try listening to Queen and Mercury! Give them a chance an dhey won’t let you down!

  13. Hi Dominque,  I love the design of your website.   I grew up listening to Bohemian Rhapsody not by design, but I do recall  events as well as the lyrics which brought back tons of memories. You definitely given me information that I was not aware of.  in fact, I believe Bohemian Rhapsody was Freddie self prophecy about his state of mind due to his homosexual lifestyle and the transformation that would take place.  Although, Freddie wrote the song in 1975 his aids diagnose wasn’t revealed until 16 years later 1987 and he died in 1991. Perhaps, Freddie shared his feeling -“Nothing really matters, anyone can see, nothing really matters, nothing really matters to me” because he wanted to live his life, his way unto death.

  14. I am frequently hearing the song and is being sung by my brother’s group of friends over a small party and singing session. 

    To be honest, I myself is not a real fan of Queen nor Bohemian Rhapsody. But it is not that I lock up inside my room not hear hear the song. The melody is fine and I get to sublime the lyrics to my mind but did not really think of the meaning.

    It is only now, that I have learned about its meaning and about the life of Mercury as well.

    Like Mercury, people really find to express their self through their passion. 

    Expressing through music and writing can be an open channel which can be depicted by supporting with research and factual basis like you did. I see your deep love for music through your articles. Keep it up for it sooths your spirit!

    1. Hi Rose. Thanks for your comment! You’re right, I do love music a lot! Your kinds words mean so much to me!

  15. Wow that is fascinating.  I have heard that song so many times but never had any clue as to what it was about.

    Your explanation therefore adds a whole new level to my appreciation of the song, as it is about a very personal and difficult journey that Freddie had to take.

    Thanks for bringing us this insight.

    1. Hi Geoff. Thanks for your comment and your kind words! I’m glad you liked my article. 

  16. I was an avid consumer of Queen’s wonderful music when I was young. They were the first band whose albums I bought unheard. I always knew they would deliver! I hadn’t thought about their music for a long time, so first of all, thank you for bringing up the great memories!

    Second, I saw the movie and loved it and highly recommend it! Besides bringing us their music, the movie deals directly with the controversial aspects of Freddie’s story like his homosexuality with class and restraint.

    Finally, I had always been oblivious to any subtext for Bohemian Rhapsody. But you make a very convincing case and it only makes me love the melodic masterpiece and the masterful lyrics even more!

    1. Hi Lisa. Thanks for your comment! I totally agree with you, the movie and the song are both amazing and legendary. These assumptions only make the listener love BoRhap even more!

  17. I love Queen and the Bohemian Rhapsody, so I had to pause and read this article. I too am a musician and able to take in all the musical flavours they express. I find the story behind the music very interesting and note that many songs over the years that have made big hits tend to have some deep meaning and is usually about the journey of the creators. I enjoyed reading this and will now find new meaning the next time I listen . Thanks

    1. Hi. Thanks for your comment!  I’m glad you liked my article and you found it helpful. I’m always happy to encounter fellow musicians!

  18. What a great song.  What an artist.  My dad had one of their CD’s and I would steal it and listen to it growing up.   I love the part when he’s saying the names like Scaramouche and that’s so cool to now know that those are his band mates.  As far as the rest of the song, I also believe that it’s a commentary on his life and life in general.  It’s a way that he is both making peace with it and explaining it to others.  

    1. Hi Molly. Thanks for your comment! Me too, my father got me into Queen. I’m glad you liked my article

  19. Thank you for this lovely article about the legendary song Bohemian Rapsody and its composer Freddie Mercury.  I have seen the movie about his life and performance and can tell that the Bohemian Rapsody certainly is Freddie’s life in one song. Bohemian Rapsody is a poem. And everyone will find something to feel about in this beautiful song. 

    1. Hi Sunny. Thanks for your comment! BoRhap is one of the most legendary songs. I agree with what you said, it’s a poem. 

  20. Just stumbled upon your website here and read these articles. well done! as a music lover and musician myself, it’s great to see anything music online. But it’s even better when you see a breakdown of a particular song like you’ve done here. I cant say they were ever my favourite band but i didnt dislike them either. But it was stiull an interesting read

    1. Hi Kwidzin. Thanks for your comment! It’s always great to meet other musicians online. I’m glad you took the time to read my articles and thank you again for your kind words!

  21. I love the song Bohemian Rhapsody and have been listening to it for decades. Until today, I never knew the meaning behind the words. You have done excellent research.
    I look forward to hearing this song many more times and knowing what the words represent. I am putting the movie on my watch list.

    1. Hi Sharon. Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you liked my article and you should definitely watch Bohemian Rhapsody too!

  22. Hi there

    Reading your blog really made me think!

    I have listened to all Queen’s music and it is obviously very well known. 

     I know the tunes and the chorus of most of the songs but to be honest have never really thought about the lyrics.

    I enjoyed reading about the origins of the “Bohemian Rhapsody”.  I took some time to look up Freddie Mercury’s mother!

    That is also awesome to find out the meanings of the names like “Galileo: Brian May (guitarist)”! So I then had to re listen to the song.

    Thank you I really enjoyed your article.

    Best wishes 

    Sheen

    1. Hi Sheen. I appreciate your kind words about my article. 

      I’m glad that I helped you understand the meaning behind Bohemian Rhapsody. I love the meaning behind it, and I hope you enjoyed reading about it too.

  23. Queen were amazing and Freddie was a musical genius. I never knew anything about the nicknames he had for the band members, nor if there was an underlying meaning to the lyrics, although that is true of many songs. 

    I never got to see Freddie on stage but in just about every concert with parts I saw televised, Freddie belonged on the stage. That was his home. 

    Thanks for your interesting take on Bohemian Rhapsody. 

    1. Hi Michael. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      I agree with you, Freddie belonged to the stage and the stage belonged to him.

      Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see him live as well. 

  24. I really loved the read. I live far off in South Africa hence maybe the reason I am not exposed to the Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody. Your article however has captured my attention to want to know more about who they are and their music.I think I will start with the movie you mentioned ‘movie Bohemian Rhapsody,’ and will take it from there.

    1. Hi Bogadi. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      I definitely recommend that you listen to Queen and watch the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. 

      Queen is one of my favorite bands and the movie about their lead singer brought tears in my eyes. Queen have a logn story, I’m glad you will get to experience it.

  25. I have always loved Queen due to their incredible genius in the songs they performed.  No one song was similar to any other song.  I also love the background stories to songs and think a lot about what prompted a song but, for some reason, never considered that Bohemian Rhapsody had a story behind it!  I guess it makes sense as no songwriter ever has written a song for absolutely no reason.  Thank you for this thought-provoking post.

    1. Hi Cynthia. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      These are just assumptions from a research I carried out. 

      What I wrote might be true (to a certain level maybe) but we will never know for sure what Freddie had in his mind when he composed this masterpiece.

  26. I first saw Queen in 1971. A memorable performance even in those early days. as a gigging and recording musician myself,  when BoRhap was released in 1975 (i think) I windered how many hours had gone into creating the recording. Then the video was something else! The meaning of the lyrics were often discussed at parties back then. I think your interpretation is one of the most likely interpretations.

    1. Hi richarddgb. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Wow, watching Queen live must have been a breathtaking experience. If only I had the chance to see them too.

      It’s so great that you took us all back in time by mentioning the conversations about Bohemian Rhapsody at the parties.

      I’m also happy that my interpretation seems to be one of the most likely.

      It’s an honor, honestly!

  27. To be honest I am not a very big music guy so every time I hear people speak so much about this specific song I was always at a loss what all the fuss was about. I haven’t seen the movie either but the amount of publicity it has taken and the article you wrote now have piqued my interest. I will certainly give it a try.

    1. Hi Stratos K. Thank you for your comment.

      You should definitely try them out, they’re worth it. No wonder so many people talk about them after all. I’m glad my article helped you!

  28. Hello Dominique, I enjoy reading your arguments about Bohemian rhapsody. I don’t know too much about Queen and Fred Mercury, but reading your analysis of each verse, I think that you right. This song is about his life. Now that everyone knows this song meaning, will appreciate it much more. It is a kind of music that we can not find in our days. 

    thank you for sharing this beautiful post.

    1. Hi Alketa. Thank you for your comment.

      Bohemian Rhapsody is a great song, indeed. I’m glad my analysis helped you appreciate the song much more.

  29. You had me immersed in reading this article about Bohemian Rhapsody and I’m happy for you, you figured out the meaning behind the lyrics. I’ve watched the movie with my teenage kids, and they love it. Later, I showed them several real footage of the Live Aid performances (on YouTube) and they’re taken by them. This beautiful song and performance, no generation gap. 

    1. H Sharon. Thank you for your comment.

      Your words brought back my childhood memories.

      My parents used to show me the lIve Aid performances too. They were the reason why I am still fascinated by Queen to this day. I’m glad your kids liked the movie, both the movie and the song are breathtaking.

  30. Hello there ,

    Thank you for this amazing post here about the meaning behind bahomian rhapsody. This song is a legend and it doesnt take much for you to realize that. Its a song that will be in peoples hearts forever. I dont know why but why are most beautiful songs created from hard terrifying times? Just a question.

    1. Hi Paul. Thanks for your comment.

      I really appreciate that you shared your thoughts with me. Your question seems to be rhetorical. 

      If I had to answer though, I’d say that it takes a great emotion, either sorrow or happiness to express yourself so strongly, that others can feel the same way an dsympathise with you. At least that’s what I think.

  31. This is one of my favorite musical pieces in the world so I really enjoyed reading your take on the lyrics. How very sad that Freddy died so young, he still had so much music in him. I don’t disagree with any of your takes on the lyric lines and I was so interested in how he named his band members, I didn’t know that and had always wondered what the different words meant and why they were included in the song. This is a great interpretation of a wonderful song.

    What are the other band members doing now, are they still making music?

    So insightful, thanks.

    1. Hi Lily. Thanks for your comment.

      That’s true, Freddie was really talented and that’s why he created so much great music. 

      Yes, the bandmates are still making music and they have been touring with a new singer, Adam Lambert for the past 2 or 3 years.

  32. yay! Loved reading your post. Queen was one of my favorite bands too. Your perspective on Bohemian Rhapsody is quite realistic I think. I would say it sounds like this is how it felt for him leaving his family behind. To be the man he felt inside, he had to kill the man everybody expected him to be. I am sure it must have been very painful to hurt people he loved. No matter what, this song is just awesome. 

    1. Hi Hilde. Thank you for your comment!

      I’m so happy you love Queen as much as I do. Freddie was an amazing artist, your words expressed perfvtly the way I think he felt back then, trying to live the life he wanted.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  33. I never really thought to look up the meaning of this song, it’s just always one of those feel good songs everyone just knows. I didn’t know it was actually about Freddie Mercury’s life and he wrote it based on things he’d experienced! Thank you for allowing me to listen to this song with whole new meaning now!

    1. Hi. Thank you for your comment!

      I’m glad you got to read my assumptions and listen to Bohemian Rhapsody from a diferent point of view now. 

      It really has a great meaning and Freddie Mercury is an incredible artist.

  34. I like Queen and I like this song Bohemian Rhapsody very much. I always liked it, because of the different transitions and combinations, but I never thought about the content of the song. Until I watched a movie that was made I think two years ago? It was presented in a really fun way how this song was created.
    Now, however, it was interesting to read your article and reflections on the text. And now it’s time for me to play that song. Big smile! Thanks!
    Nina

    1. Hi Nina. Thank you for your comment.

      I’m glad you liked my article on Bohemian Rhapsody. Even though I only wrote assumptions, I believe they make sense. Listen to it and see for yourself too!

  35. My husband loved music by Queen and that’s how I discovered it. I enjoyed quite a few of their songs but Bohemian Rhapsody is a favourite.

    I confess I hadn’t thought much about the meaning behind it. I just thought it was about his family being poor and things that happened.

    Having read your article though, it all becomes much clearer. The more I thought about it, the words he wrote your view makes complete sense. Now the song has much more meaning and makes you realise what a tortured young man he was. 

    Thank you for this interesting article, it piqued my interest and really made me think.

    1. Hi Linda. Thank you for your comment.

      I just wrote some assumptions like you, none of what I wrote is confirmed by Freddie Mercury.

      I’m glad you found my article helpful.

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