A Stomping Good Time at the Tournament – Video and Lyrics to We Will Rock You from A Knight’s Tale

Health ledger in a knights tale with Queen - We will rock you
He will rock you.

When Brian May told his group members in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody he wanted the audience to be the instrument for one of their rock songs, I realized just how brilliant the rest of the band was: it’s not all about the immortal Freddie Mercury. All these men had something special, and the glorious anthem We Will Rock You is one absolutely genius result.

Even in high school, my drama club used to play We Will Rock You in the green room while we all stomped and sang to get psyched and ready, pre-performance. It was perfect to get us in the mood. And we see this same trick used to the same effect in A Knight’s Tale, pre-tournament, to get the audience excited for a great day of games. [pullquote]This is one of the more creative uses of a diegetic (ie – heard within the context of a story) song in any movie ever.[/pullquote]

Stomp along with the brilliant Knight’s Tale opening scene below until you make the Earth shake! (Lyrics are below if you want to bellow along too.)

Lyrics to We Will Rock You

(Music by Queen — 1977)

Buddy, you’re a boy, make a big noise
Playing in the street, gonna be a big man someday
You got mud on your face, you big disgrace
Kicking your can all over the place, singin’
We will, we will rock you
We will, we will rock you

Buddy, you’re a young man, hard man
Shouting in the street, gonna take on the world someday
You got blood on your face, you big disgrace
Waving your banner all over the place
We will, we will rock you, sing it!
We will, we will rock you, yeah

Buddy, you’re an old man, poor man
Pleading with your eyes, gonna get you some peace someday
You got mud on your face, big disgrace
Somebody better put you back into your place, do it!

We will, we will rock you, yeah, yeah, come on
We will, we will rock you, alright, louder!
We will, we will rock you, one more time
We will, we will rock you
Yeah…

(Songwriters: Brian Harold May
We Will Rock You lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC)


One of the most unique things in A Knight’s Tale is the wonderfully weird use of modern rock tunes in a story facilitated by Geoffrey Chaucer (Paul Bettany, on top of his game) himself.  I can’t see this fun film enough times. What do you think?

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You

What is a Scaramouch? The Meaning Behind Bohemian Rhapsody from Queen

Don’t Stop Me Now – Video and Lyrics by Queen in Shaun of the Dead

 

What is a Scaramouch? The Meaning Behind Bohemian Rhapsody from Queen

Or is it just fantasy?
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

I love the song Bohemian Rhapsody, and sing it out loud with glee every time I go backpacking (in the woods, no one can hear you sing). But, I have to admit: I don’t understand a lot of the bizarre words in the song. With the new film about Queen, fittingly titled Bohemian Rhapsody, I decided to use the interwebz for a long look at the meaning of this iconic song.

According to the Wikipedia, Bohemian Rhapsody was written by Freddie Mercury for the band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera. It’s a six-minute suite, consisting of several sections without a chorus: an intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part, and a reflective coda.

Somehow, this random assortment of music genres works brilliantly. But what’s the story about?

Let’s start with the obvious aspects: a young man killed someone, and he’s apparently about to pay for it with death. That’s plain. He’s telling his mother goodbye, and feeling like the devil is waiting for him. (Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me…for me…FOR MEEEEEE!!!)

  • Right then. We’ll start here. Who exactly is Beelzebub? It’s something to do with the devil, sure, but what’s the exact story?

Here’s what Dictionary.com has to say:

Old English Belzebub, Philistine god worshipped at Ekron (2 Kings i:2), from Latin, used in Vulgate for New Testament Greek beelzeboub, from Hebrew ba’al-z’bub “lord of the flies,” from ba’al “lord” + z’bhubh “fly.”

Apparently Freddy Mercury is using this name to signify Lucifer himself, or his demonic equivalent.

  • How about Scaramouch? (Scaramouch, scaramouch, will you do the fandango?)

SongFacts says the word “Scaramouch” means “A stock character that appears as a boastful coward.”

The Wikipedia goes on to say a bit more: Scaramouche (from Italian scaramuccia, literally “little skirmisher”), also known as scaramouch, is a stock clown character of the commedia dell’arte (comic theatrical arts of Italian literature).

  • The Fandango is not just an online movie ticket outlet. The meaning here is that Fandango is a fast Spanish dance. In the song, it’s probably referring to “the hemp fandango,” a delightfully ghastly euphemism for being hanged.

 

  • Next, what’s with Galileo? Does this refer the the early astronomer?  Or is a Galileo Figaro Magnifico something else entirely?

The best explanation I’ve seen is in this music forum, by a poster called, fittingly, Galileo:

“I’ve read somewhere that the line “Gallileo figaro magnifico” in the middle of the “operatic” section of the song, actually, is a slightly corrupted Latin phrase, “Galileo figuro magnifico”, translated as “Magnify the Galilean’s image“.

“It’s a key phrase, which reveals the entire meaning of the song, and usually it isn’t translated by the researchers.

“In fact, “Galileo” was the name of Jesus Christ in the ancient Rome. In other words, the only way to get out of the demonic nightmare of the song is to magnify Jesus Christ and ask Him for help. But the boy can’t believe that God is concerned about him, and refuses the salvation (“Nobody loves me”).”

“But why “Galileo” is repeated five times? In The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini the crowd calls to the town barber five times: Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro! So it’s not difficult to see the analogy.

“Plus, as everybody knows, Galileo is the name of the an Italian physicist and astronomer, who made in the early 17th century the first telescopic observations of the planet Mercury... [emphasis ours]

“If this is true, what kind of GENIUS Freddie was?”

  • Bismillah….okay: the Wikipedia reports that this is a phrase in Arabic meaning “In the name of God”, and is the first word in the Qur’an,  referring to the Qur’an’s opening phrase (named the basmala).

Let’s back up a little bit and see the entire picture Mercury was trying to evoke.

Quora says this about the song’s title:

It is called “Bohemian Rhapsody” because it depicts the life of a ‘bohemian‘, whose original meaning is ‘artist’ while ‘Rhapsody‘ is a fantasy (literally, it could play in his head) or a vision; within this song Freddie Mercury foresees his life in a symbolic way.

Below are the lyrics for the operatic section of the song — the part that trips everyone up. You can look at it now and understand a little better what Mercury was going for. I think he used macabre themes from old plays and operas to cast an image that was delightfully off-kilter and evocative. He’s talking about death, mostly. Isn’t it strange that so…well…FUN a song is so wrapped up in death and killing? Perhaps in a weird way, Mercury is singing about himself and his own life through this narrative metaphor.

It’s possible that Mercury’s songs Somebody to Love and Under Pressure are also about his inner demons. I’m not the only one thinking along these lines.

Tim Rice, co-creator of Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, as well as a collaborator of Mercury’s, once said, “It’s fairly obvious to me that [‘Bohemian Rhapsody’] was Freddie’s coming-out song.” (From Into.)

Making a bit more sense, now? 

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch, will you do the fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening me
Galileo, Galileo,
Galileo, Galileo,
Galileo Figaro – magnifico
But 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 (never)
Never let you go – let me go
Never let me go ooo
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…

Entire Lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody

Queen at Live Aid

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You

How to Dress Like Queen – Freddie Mercury and Classic Rock Bands

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury
Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury

With the biopic movie Bohemian Rhapsody splashing across theaters, you might want to have a little fun dressing up like the members of the iconic rock band Queen, led by Freddie Mercury.

It’s a simple matter to dress like you’re a male band member from the 80s era. [pullquote]As with many costumes, the key is the hair. You’ll be most recognizable if you find a wig featuring long, big hair.[/pullquote] You can wear it straight like Roger Taylor (blonde), or curly like Brian May (dark). An afro works too, like John Deacon’s wild do. Tease the hair up and out, and spray the heck out if it for full effect. Add mutton chops for the fun of it.

Alternatively, find a wig with a mullet: short in the front, long in the back. Or cut up any long wig into that style. (If you’re too young to remember mullets, you’re better off.)

If you’re lucky enough to have three fun friends, you can form the entire band. Divvy up the roles to achieve the right quartet of looks from Queen.

Here’s the kind of clothes you need to dress like a band from the 80s: (Pick these things up cheaply at your local Goodwill or thrift store.)

  • A red or blue bandana around the head, or on your ankle (and over the boots).
  • A rock band teeshirt (worn tucked in) and artfully ripped.
  • Tight, slim cut blue jeans, or tight shiny vinyl pants.
  • Any leather, spiked, or studded accessories.
  • Black boots.
  • Bring a guitar, drum sticks, or tambourine.
  • Maybe stick some old Queen sheet music in your back pocket. [pullquote position=”right”]Bring a small  notebook to scrawl down off-the-cuff lyrics as they come to you. ANYTHING can be a song lyric. Remember, this is Queen we’re talking about. (Scaramouch, scaramouch, will you do the fandango?)[/pullquote]
  • A cigarette for one hand and a glass of beer in the other. (You don’t have to actually smoke or drink.)
  • Bonus Points: If you want to find one of the more flamboyant 80s looks, just do a quick search for Band Members Of Queen. You’ll find loads of looks the fashion police would fine you for. Go nuts and wear a silk or velour bathrobe over your outrageous attire.

If you want to dress specifically as Freddie Mercury, the short-hair-and-porno-mustache look will be most recognizable. For the full ensemble, add the following: 

  • Slick your hair back with gel. (Use a wash-out dye to color it black.)
  • Wear some big front teeth.
  • Wear mirrored, metal-rimmed sunglasses all day and night.
  • Slap on a big fake mustache that curves down the sides of your mouth. Possibly grow out your own, if you have the time and feel adventurous.
  • Find a leather arm-band with studs. (Look on Amazon or eBay.)
  • Wear a white, tight tank top and slim-cut blue jeans.
  • Find a black leather belt.
  • Finish the look off with black boots.
  • Dangle a cigarette from your lips.
  • Consider putting a silky Asian robe over it all.

If you want to really be recognized, bring along a microphone and a section of  mic stand, like Freddie did. [pullquote]Remember that Freddie had a larger than life persona! Call everybody darling; flounce around and give out hugs. Pass out Tic-Tacs and tell people they are Quaaludes. Sing some of your favorite Queen — or at least do the stomp and clap anthem We Will Rock You [/pullquote](if you can’t sing). Make everyone around you stomp right along. You’ll probably get the whole room chanting the lyrics with you, so memorize the words. Here are the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody, if you have the stamina for the world’s most outrageous six-minute song.

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You

Entire Lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody

 

Queen at Live Aid

If you saw the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, you got to see a remake of Queen at Live Aid. Here’s a video of the real event.

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You

Movie Review - Bohemian RhapsodyTears — check.  Racing heart — check. Goose pimples — check. Foot stomping good fun — check. A deeper appreciation for a beloved musician and band — double check.

I love Queen’s music; always have, but I’ll be honest: I knew nothing about the band members and their story, and I’m glad I didn’t, because it made this movie so much more enjoyable not knowing. (And I won’t ruin that for you in this review.)

Any discussion of this film must begin with Rami Malek’s outstanding performance as Freddie Mercury. For a role that relied so deeply on voice, it was his expressions — especially his eyes — that told the story. I could go on with platitudes and adjectives, but let’s just say, “He rocked it,” and move on.

The pacing was spot on. There was just enough of each dramatic scene to get the impact without dragging.

The director Bryan Singer (the guy who did the good X-Men movies) showed he can direct a movie to an emotional crescendo just as well — perhaps even better — than he can end with climatic action.

This is a movie with no room for improvement. I see a lot of movies and that’s not something I can often say.

Grade: A+

About The Peetimes: RunPee Vera and I worked together on these Peetimes. I think we came up with four good options, nicely spaced out in the movie. And we worked extra hard to avoid the music montage scenes.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Bohemian Rhapsody. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

What is a Scaramouch? The Meaning Behind Bohemian Rhapsody from Queen

Did Rami Malek Sing In Bohemian Rhapsody?

A Stomping Good Time at the Tournament – Video and Lyrics to We Will Rock You from A Knight’s Tale

Did Rami Malek Sing In Bohemian Rhapsody?

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury
Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury

If you’ve seen Bohemian Rhapsody, you may be wondering if you’re hearing Rami Malek’s voice during the musical numbers. The answer is a little bit “yes” and a little bit “no.” As amazing as Malek’s voice is, we’re talking about duplicating Freddie Mercury here. No small feat. There’s no shame in being one of a chorus of voices needed to recreate the masterful range of Mercury.

In an interview with Metro USA, Malek confirmed he did sing some of the songs. Malek said, “It is an amalgamation of a few voices. But predominantly, it is my hope and the hope of everyone that we will hear as much Freddie as possible.”

The mixed vocal doesn’t feature on the film’s soundtrack, which is solely of original Queen recordings.

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You

Entire Lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody

Before you go see the Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody, you might want to brush up on the lyrics to their most iconic song.

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
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me, to me
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, ooo
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
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooo (anyway the wind blows)
I don’t want to die
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all
I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch, will you do the fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening me
Galileo, Galileo,
Galileo, Galileo,
Galileo Figaro – magnifico
But 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 (never)
Never let you go – let me go
Never let me go ooo
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
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 gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here
Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters, nothing really matters to me
Anyway the wind blows…

Songwriters: Freddie Mercury
Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You

One Hard Quiz – Can you match the Queen lyrics with the song?

In this quiz I’ll give you a lyric from some of Queen’s most popular songs. If you’re a die-hard fan, most of these won’t stump you, but there may be a few that’ll make you scratch your head. Good Luck!

Queen Quiz – match the lyrics with the song

I’ll admit that, without my research, I wouldn’t have gotten any questions correct — so be proud of any right answer.

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You

A most excellent cameo, eh?

There are perfect cameos and then there’s Mike Myers’ cameo as Ray Foster in Bohemian Rhapsody.

I honestly didn’t recognize Myers during the movie. It wasn’t until after I saw it — when I was adding Peetimes — that I noticed his credit listing on the IMDb.

If you don’t know why this is such an excellent cameo, then maybe you forgot this:

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You