Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landside,
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
Just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger,
Now he’s dead
Mamaaa, 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
Sends shivers down my spine, body’s aching all
Goodbye, everybody, I’ve got to go,
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
I don’t want to die,
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all.
Scaramouch, Scaramouch, will you do the Fandango!
Galileo, Figaro – magnificoo
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)(Never) Never let you go
(Let me go) (Never) let you go (Let me go) Ah
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,
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
Oh, baby, can’t do this to me, baby,
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here
Nothing really matters,
Nothing really matters to me
Any way the wind blows…
Does Queen really say “Bismillah” in their song Bohemian Rhapsody?
Yes. It’s Arabic, and translates as “In the name of God”.
It’s taken from “b-ismi-llāh r-raḥmān r-raḥīm” – “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful” ; The phrase is known as the Bismillah.
Regarding some of the comments, and other things I’ve read on other questions regarding this:
The song is ‘not’ about devil worship, or witchcraft as some people have said, and Freddie did NOT worship the devil. Yes, I have seen the lengthy youTube video that claims he did, and its built around a highly flawed understanding of his lyrics, his life, and the fact that he once said in interview as a joke: –
“I’d rather go to hell, think of all the interesting people you’d meet..”
Bohemian Rhapsody is, according to Freddie’s manager, as well as many of his gay, and close friends a song about him coming out. Although personally I think its more a case of being about his inner struggle with his sexuality at that time, and how it was affecting his life, as well as him trying to deny, but then come to terms with it.
(So yes, kind of a coming out song.. I guess..)
Bohemian means ‘unconventional’ – and he lived an ‘unconventional’ life – he wasn’t a straight man living with his wife and kids working a 9–5 office /factory job etc.
This answer is going to be somewhat long, much longer than is required for what could be answered with a simple: “Yes.” But I’ve read so many nasty things about Freddie because of the fact he uses Arabic, and Parsi words in some of the songs he wrote; and because of some of the jokes he made in interviews etc So I figured I would use this as a chance to try and give some insight into the mind, and life of Freddie Mercury at this critical time in his life; and hopefully dispel these stupid notions of him being a devil worshiper etc
While the answer is long, it IS all regarding the song Bohemian Rhapsody and the lyrics of the song, including ‘Bismillah’.
A bit of info on his religious background.
He was raised in a religious family, a Parsi family who were of the Zoroastrian faith, and lived in a part of the world that was very diverse in terms of religion. He attended a “Church of England” boarding school – so was exposed to Christian history, beliefs, prayer, and influence every day while he was at school.
There were a lot of Muslims, Hindus, Christians, as well as other people from minor religions living in the area, and he was exposed to all of these religions and what they taught about life – (The family unit, man, woman, and child(ren) ), as well as what they taught about having feelings for people of the same sex, and same-sex encounters, etc
All of the religions seemed to say the same thing regarding people who engaged in these ‘Bohemian’ (Meaning unconventional) lifestyles, as well as where they were headed – Hell.
The song, and its lyrics
The song Bohemian Rhapsody makes more sense when the lyrics are read after listening to the song – “Love of my Life” -Written for Mary, released in 1975, “Bohemian Rhapsody”- Released in 1975, and “Mustapha” -released in 78, and then “Don’t stop me now” – Released in 1978 after he’d come to terms with his sexuality, and was more at ease with it and comfortable in his ‘skin’(so to speak).
These songs give an insight into Freddie’s mind at that time, and how he was feeling about life etc. You should also read about what was happening in his life at home, and work, during that time. (1974 -1976, and then 76 onward)
Mary and he were going through a rough patch towards the end of their relationship, which ended in 1976 when he told her he was bisexual. By Mary, and Freddie’s own admission he’d been thinking about his sexuality A LOT from 1974 onward. 1974 was the year he had his first same-sex encounter while away on tour in the US, and as a result of that Mary and he had grown distant because of his guilt at cheating on her, as well as the guilt and shame of the fact it was with a man, and that he was attracted to certain men.
Mary herself ‘knew’ something was wrong and thought that he’d fallen in love with another woman while away on tour, as she’d seen footage, and been at concerts where women threw themselves at him. Plus Freddie had started to try and avoid Mary to try and lessen the guilt, and remorse he was feeling. He was trying to make sure she was asleep when he got in, and got up and left before she woke up, and was spending more time out at the studio, etc because he wanted, and needed ‘space’ and time alone to think things through, work things out and discover things about himself; and as such their relationship became strained.
He loved Mary, deeply and more than anything, or anyone; as is evident as even years later he said that none of his lovers could ever replace Mary, and that she was -in his mind – his common-law wife, not to mention he left her almost ‘everything’ he owned and royalties for his music.
He even said (When she refused to accept it all) “Well, we were engaged to be married, and if things had turned out differently it would have all been yours anyway. So please, take it.”
So on the one hand he loved Mary, as said above, and on the other hand, he had a ‘need’ that Mary couldn’t help him with, a role that she couldn’t fill – his attraction to men.
When things got bad between them, and they almost split he didn’t want to lose her, and he wrote: “Love of my life” for her to try and show her that he ‘did’ love her and that he wanted to mend what was broken between them.
(Listen to the song and its lyrics)
He spent two years agonizing over his desire for a life with Mary and trying to deny his feelings for men, but it made him miserable and full of guilt, while also making Mary miserable as well..something he hadn’t intended, and certainly didn’t want.
He was also struggling deeply with the fact that all religions seemed to say that he was going to hell for even thinking the things he thought, let alone actually acting on them. So he spent from 74–76 soul searching, and trying to find out why God would think/how God could think that love was so wrong, regardless of who it was felt for.
Then he finished putting Bohemian Rhapsody together and released it in 1975
The start of the song can be seen as him asking himself: “Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?” – as in, is his life with Mary the real life, or just a fantasy as he’s bi/gay – or vice versa – as he’s currently confused about it and not sure which is which, as he’s literally (in real life) just released the song “Love of my life” because he knows he loves Mary.
“Caught in a landslide” – he’s being dragged along, directionless, no control over his feelings no matter how hard he tries to deny certain feelings, and he’s just going with the flow.
“No escape from reality” – The reality that he likes men as well as women, no matter how much he tries to deny it.
“Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see” – Open your(his) eyes to the truth, look up to the skies can be taken to mean either pray to God and ask what will happen to him, if he’ll be condemned for his feelings and thoughts.
“Because I’m easy come, easy go” – Bisexual reference that was common back then.
“A little high, little low” – The ups and downs of his mood/depression/struggle.
“Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me” – another old reference for being bisexual. Meaning, again, he didn’t mind men or women.
Then it moves on to “Mama, just killed a man” – killing his old ‘conventional’, straight, self, as he’s slept with a man by this point, and he knows it will likely be the end of his relationship with Mary. Knowing its the beginning of the end for his conventional relationship with Mary – the relationship his family, and he himself wanted for him badly (A wife and kids etc), and instead finally starting to admit to himself, and come to terms with the fact that he also likes men and can no longer deny it because it was making him miserable, as well as making Mary miserable – the one person he loved more than anything. He knew he couldn’t expect Mary to be okay with him sleeping with men while he was engaged to be married to her, and/or while living with her, and he knew it would hurt her immensely if he married her, and then had sex with men behind her back.
So he’s “killed a man” – his old self.
“Life had just begun” – His life with Mary was finally going somewhere, they were engaged to be married, they had their own home, his career had taken off, they were both young. He had it all.
“but now I’ve gone and thrown it all away” – he cheated on her with a man while on tour in the US and spent the next 2 years feeling guilty and avoiding Mary as well as the truth.
“Mama, oh oh Didn’t mean to make you cry” – because he knows of the stigma attached to the same relationship, and was ‘very worried about what his family thought – he never came out as bi or gay to them. They wanted him to marry Mary(or any nice girl) and have kids.
“If I’m not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters” – This can be taken to mean that either he hasn’t decided 100% yet which way he’s going to go – after all he’s still with Mary at this time, and his song “Love of my Life” released the same year as Bohemian Rhapsody was meant to try and ‘fix’ his relationship. The song is about his struggle. But if he doesn’t come back, carry on, because he’ll still be her son.Just ‘not’ quite the same as before, as he will have admitted and come to terms with being attracted to men as well as women.
“Too late, my time has come” – He has now had more than one encounter with a man behind Mary’s back, and has started to accept that these feelings are not going to go away, and he knows that he has to make a choice, and deep down he knows what that choice is. (Accepting he isn’t straight -which means leaving Mary).
After all, at this time that is what was causing him so much guilt – the fact he’d cheated on Mary, he’d had feelings for a man – which every religion he’d grown up around and knew about said was a sin and resulted in going to hell.. Plus he knew if he couldn’t deny, and fight his attraction to the same sex it would really hurt those he loved the most – his parents, and Mary – the woman he was about to marry. But he’d spent 2 years trying to deny it, and all it had done was made both he and Mary miserable, and he was no nearer ridding himself of his attraction to men.
“Body’s aching all the time” – aching from guilt, remorse, and feelings he can’t deny.
“Goodbye everybody I’ve got to go” – The old him has to go, so the new can be born and be happy, as well as setting Mary free.
“Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth” – Face the truth that he is attracted to men as well as women, and that no matter how hard he tries, no matter how long he tries to run away from it and deny it – its still there. He needs to just face it head on and admit it – at least to himself and Mary.
“I don’t want to die” – He doesn’t want to lose Mary, and he’s conflicted, but he cannot help it.
“Sometimes wish I’d never been born at all” – It’s all too much for him, he’s full of guilt, and he’s depressed and he’s worried about hurting those he loves, as well as the religious aspect of it all.
So he knew he had to make a choice, and one that was fair and best for both of them, so he told her he was bisexual, Mary said she thought he was gay, and they ended their relationship, but remained fiercely loyal to each other, and very close right up until the end.
Freddie when asked about the lyrics by one of his gay friends said:- “If you know, you know. If you don’t, you don’t.”.
After the start of the song mentioned above, which talks about ending his life/relationship, it moves on to a courtroom style ‘trial’, or could be seen as one in the afterlife with the heavenly beings deciding where he was to be sent..down, or up. etc
This is where “Bismillah” comes in..
“Spare him his life from this monstrosity” – He wishes he didn’t have this inner struggle, and that his life was simple.
“Easy come easy go will you let me go” – He’s Bi, can God forgive him?
“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 is not let you go) let me go (never, never let you go) let me go (never let me go) Oh oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no”
Its literally saying “In the name of god NO, we will not let you go” –
because of the fact that in his vast experience with religions, none of them accepted homosexuality, and ‘hell’ was the destination for people that had ‘impure thoughts’, and engaged in such activities.
“Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me for me for me” – Because in ALL of his religious readings, and upbringing, as well as hearing from all the people in the areas he lived – which as mentioned was religiously diverse – ALL those religions said the same thing – He’d be going to hell for his impure thoughts and feelings towards men.
It is NOT him bragging that he worships the devil or evil. It’s his ‘fears’ from a religious upbringing.
TLDNR: Yes! The song uses the word Bismillah.
Regarding the fact, people use the word Bismillah and the fact the word is Arabic to suggest Freddie was a devil worshiper: It doesn’t make him a devil worshiper, as that youTube video and many people in the comments suggest. To say such things is equal to saying that someone who says “God”, or “In the name of God” in French, German – or anything other than English is a devil worshiper. It’s stupid.
What does Bismillah mean in the Queen song Bohemian Rhapsody?
The Bismillah in the song is one of the most famous lyrics in music history. It’s basically an Islamic phrase that means “In the name of Allah”. The line was originally sung by Queen guitarist Brian May. He wrote it to honor Freddie Mercury, who was born as Farrokh Bulsara and converted to Islam after moving to London from India.
Why do we say Bismillah?
In the Quran, Bismillah is used as a statement of blessing and thanksgiving to God. It means: “In the name of Allah”. This phrase is commonly used before the beginning of every prayer in Islam.
Bismillah is also a common opening to Muslim prayers. As we pray we say bismillah which means ‘in the name of Allah’. It’s an expression that conveys our gratitude for everything that has been given to us by God and it is also a reminder that we are now praying with all humility and submission to Him.
We should always start off any conversation or communication with God because He knows what we need and wants to give us what we deserve and this will help us do our best in life whether at work or play.
What is the hidden message in Bohemian Rhapsody?
The hidden message in Bohemian Rhapsody is that, when you are born, your life has no meaning. You only live once and when you die, it means nothing.
As the movie progresses, we see Freddie (Rami Malek) trying to find meaning in his life. He tries to find something meaningful like helping other people or doing charity work but he fails to do so because he cannot fulfill what is expected of him. At one point, he goes back home and sees his father sitting on a chair looking at the sky. His father asks him “What is out there?” Freddie says “I don’t know.” But his father tells him “It’s up to you.” And then Freddie realizes that it’s up to him whether he can do something with his life or not.
After this scene, we see Freddie performing with Queen at their concert where they sing “We will rock you” and later at their hotel room where they start singing Bohemian Rhapsody which ends with the lyric “…one last time…” referring back to when Freddy was born…that one last time…his whole life was meaningless until now…when all of a sudden everything changes….because even though our lives have no meaning right now..it doesn’t mean that it won’t have any in future! 🙂