The Queen Song In Which Freddie Mercury Described Himself
Queen’s unforgettable frontman Freddie Mercury is widely famous for various reasons but has been primarily praised for his incredible talent. He became one of the most prominent figures in rock music with his four-octave vocal range and defied the conventions of the rock frontman with his flamboyant and theatrical style. His approach to music and stage performances definitely inspired and contributed to Queen’s artistic direction.
The English band built a worldwide reputation with their powerful lyrics and bold stage presence. However, Queen’s wish to explore uncharted territories sometimes resulted in drama and offensive incidents. For instance, the music video of ‘I Want to Break Free’ in which all members are dressed in drag created so much controversy that MTV banned it, and fans threw stones at Freddie Mercury while performing it in Rio de Janeiro in 1985.
It would be safe to say that Queen has had an eventful career, and Freddie Mercury attracted a lot of attention both with his musical talents and private life. One of the most discussed topics was his sexual orientation, which people tried to determine based on Queen’s songs and the frontman’s life. Today we’re going to analyze the song that many believe Freddie wrote to express himself and his approach to life.
How Was Freddie Mercury In Real Life?
While most musicians are rumored to be arrogant behind the stage but kind to their fans, dozens had said that Mercury was the exact opposite, as he preferred to act on stage. Many, including his bandmates and closest friends, have said that Freddie was a shy person who was self-conscious and not as confident as we saw on stage. Hence, it seems like his only outlet was music, and adopting a new character probably made him feel more in control and powerful.
Aside from going on stage, songwriting also created a space where Mercury could explore his feelings. It is known that the rocker would initially write the melody and music before the lyrics, but this wasn’t always the case. For instance, he wrote the lyrics of ‘Killer Queen’ before coming up with the melody. Another interesting aspect of the song was that many speculated it described Freddie Mercury’s alter ego and eventful personal life.
Was Freddie Mercury The ‘Killer Queen’?
‘Killer Queen’ was released as a single in 1974 and featured in Queen’s third album ‘Sheer Heart Attack.’ It became Queen’s first US and international hit, and it ranked No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also marked a shift from the band’s earlier hard rock sound. The song’s meaning has been long debated, and while some say it tells the tale of a fancy sex worker, others have proposed that it was Freddie Mercury’s self-description.
Here’s what Freddie said about ‘Killer Queen’s meaning:
“It’s about a high-class call girl. I’m trying to say that classy people can be whores as well. That’s what the song is about, though I’d prefer people to put their interpretation upon it – to read into it what they like.”
Those who argued that Freddie Mercury described his behind-the-stage life in ‘Killer Queen’ offered intriguing clues. Probably the most apparent one is the song’s title, ‘Killer Queen,’ as it might be a reference to the band’s name, which was also Mercury’s idea. The rock icon took the stage wearing a crown several times, and the negative connotations of the word queen, concerning homosexuality, might be another reason Freddie chose this title since he was tired of responding to questions regarding his sexual orientation.
On the other hand, it was known that he enjoyed Moet-Chandon champagne and luxury, which is what Killer Queen is also described to keep in her pretty cabinet. On that note, it should be noted that Freddie loved furniture and decorations and was known to have a massive collection of rare luxurious items. Hence it seems like he shared another common point with the queen of the song.
In the song, the Killer Queen is said to tell people to ‘eat cake’ just like Marie Antoinette. This is interesting since it was reported that when asked about which historical figure Freddie Mercury would want to be, he had responded with Antoinette because ‘she had all those jewels.’ Just like the song’s queen, Freddie also never cared about the cars but was ‘fastidious and precise.’ As if those clues are not good enough, Freddie was also known to enjoy wearing ‘perfume from Paris‘, just like the Killer Queen.
Although we will never know for sure whether Freddie Mercury indeed explored his alter ego in the ‘Killer Queen,’ it sure left a mark in rock history. It also earned Mercury his first Ivor Novello Award, given to outstanding songwriters and composers. Bearing in mind that Freddie had described himself as an artist by saying, ‘I’m a musical prostitute,’ it doesn’t seem unlikely that Killer Queen has always been Freddie Mercury.
You can check out ‘Killer Queen’ below.