Okay, you probably know this strange little song, even if you’re too young to have ever seen Flash Gordon on the big screen. (I’m actually too young to remember if I did or not, but this isn’t the point.)
The point is that Queen was so versatile they could create hugely memorable tracks specifically for almost any movie genre. They made an entire album for the 1986 cult Sean Connery film Highlander (genre: medieval fantasy), and the iconic theme song for a 1980 science fiction adventure set in the distant future (Flash Gordon). Not only did movie producers co-opt existing Queen songs left/right/everywhere you turn, but also convinced Queen to write ones specifically for them.
[pullquote]Flash Gordon is definitely one of the weirder songs in their oeuvre, and we are talking about a band where “weird’ is a positive feature. [/pullquote](Do you even know what a Scaramouch is?)
The Wikipedia gives this account:
There are two versions of the song. The album version (“Flash’s Theme“) is in fact the start to the movie, with all the dialogue from the first scene. The single version contains dialogue cut from various parts of the movie, most memorably, Brian Blessed’s character exclaiming “Gordon’s alive?!” This version was also included on the Greatest Hits compilation from 1981.
Flash is sung as a duet between Freddie Mercury and Brian May, with Roger Taylor adding the high harmonies. May plays all of the instruments except for the rhythm section.
It’s a fun tune, even if the only words you know are the the refrain (sing with with me: FLASH! AH-AHHHH). Here’s a video incorporating the band and the Flash Gordon movie, and the lyrics are further below in case you’d like to learn the actual stanzas.
Flash’s Theme Lyrics
(Song by Queen)
Savior of the universe
He’ll save everyone of us
He’s a miracle
King of the impossible
He’s for every one of us
Stand for every one of us
He saves with a mighty hand
Every man, every woman
Every child, it’s the mighty Flash
(What do you mean Flash Gordon approaching?
(Open fire! All weapons!)
(Dispatch war rocket Ajax to bring back his body)
He’ll save every one of us
Just a man with a man’s courage
You know he’s nothing but a man
And he can never fail
No one but the pure at heart
May find the Golden Grail
(Songwriters: Brian Harold May, 1980.
Flash’s Theme lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc)
I’d like to see the actual movie some day. Perhaps after a few beers, since I’m not sure a film like this would have aged well. Have you seen it?[pullquote position=”right”] Is Flash Gordon good, classic, goofy, campy, cringe-worthy, or what? [/pullquote]Tell us in the comments below.
BTW, here’s everything you need to know about the timeline of Flash Gordon, from comics, to live action serials, animated cartoons, and various feature films. This is a long list, but if you are a Flash super-fan, Wikipedia made this entry just for you.
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