How Freddie Mercury Contradicted Himself In A Queen Song
Writing a song’s lyrics can quickly become very challenging, especially if you are a worldwide-known singer and songwriter. The fans, critics, and music journalists go over every word an artist writes down, similar to performing a detailed autopsy, to find some unknown facts about the icon’s life and perspective on ongoing social, political, and cultural issues in the world.
There’s no doubt that some musicians choose to reveal more about themselves by answering questions about their personal life and tastes directly. However, those who are more reclusive share their stories through their songs. Of course, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury went through the same situation following his lyrics on ‘Bicycle Race,’ in which his fans found many details to speculate about.
What Do The Lyrics Of Queen’s ‘Bicycle Race’ Mean?
Queen released their seventh studio album entitled ‘Jazz’ on November 10, 1978. The record achieved critical acclaim with its well-crafted sounds and lyrics thanks to the band members’ talents as songwriters and instrumentalists. Its tracks, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now,’ ‘Mustapha,’ ‘Fat Bottomed Girls,’ and ‘Bicycle Race’ hit the charts and became among the most famous Queen songs. However, there was something special about one of them.
In ‘Bicycle Race,’ Mercury touched upon several topics such as religion, the Vietnam War, Watergate, fictional characters such as Peter Pan, Frankenstein, and Superman, and the movies like ‘Jaws’ and ‘Star Wars.’ Its lyrics ‘And I don’t like Star Wars,’ and Mercury’s appearances on the stage on top of a man in Darth Vader costume made people think that the singer didn’t like the movies. His bandmate Brian May ultimately wanted to clarify whether Mercury loved the blockbuster movie series.
What Did Brian May Say About ‘Bicycle Race’?
In response to one of the questions about ‘Bicycle Race’ and Freddie Mercury’s thoughts on ‘Star Wars,’ Queen lead guitarist Brian May shared his ideas. The musician highlighted that it wasn’t an autobiographical work in which the late frontman reflected his experiences and feelings about specific issues. May emphasized that Mercury created a fictional character who wants to ride his bike without thinking about what is happening in the world.
The guitarist said Mercury preferred to be in a Rolls Royce instead of a bike and unveiled that the Queen vocalist liked the epic space opera. It’s known that Brian May is one of the few people who had a chance to be close to the late singer, and thus, he can be regarded as a reliable source. Thus, the lead singer’s character in ‘Bicycle Race’ contradicted his authentic self, who was into ‘Star Wars’ and disliked riding motorcycles.
In May’s words, he said:
“As I remember, Freddie liked ‘Star Wars’ a lot, and he wasn’t very keen on riding his bicycle (if he even had one!) – he preferred being driven in a Rolls Royce! But he created a character in the song, and this character can say what he wants and ride his bicycle where he likes!”
You can listen to the song below.