When we think of an operatic masterpiece by the legendary band Queen, we naturally think of Bohemian Rhapsody, it’s easily their most popular song by a long shot. But there’s another breathtaking and frankly underrated song by them that has always inspired me. One of the last songs Queen would ever write before the unfortunate death of Freddie Mercury, Innuendo. Like Bohemian Rhapsody, Innuendo is also a six minute operatic symphony filled with many different movements and musical styles. But what I like about it the most is the lyrics and message conveyed by the song, and the story behind that makes it all the more heartbreaking.
While the sun hangs in the sky and the desert has sand
While the waves crash in the sea and meet the land
While there's a wind and the stars and the rainbow
Till the mountains crumble into the plain
This song, and this album was the final swan song of Freddie Mercury, it is the culmination and final goodbye from a rock legend. During his four year long battle with AIDS, Freddie had to come to terms with the fact that he is going to die soon. This urgency stirred him into action, and he felt like he needed to use the time he had left to make meaningful and powerful music.
While we live according to race, colour or creed
While we rule by blind madness and pure greed
Our lives dictated by tradition, superstition, false religion
Through the aeons, and on and on
Oh yes we'll keep on tryin'
It is a disheartening world we live in. Everywhere we look there always seems to be hatred, war, greed, devastation and apathy. It is easy to lose hope and withdraw yourself from everything, turn your back on the world. But even as the darkness of mortality descended around Freddie, he stood tall and pressed on with his soul afire. We as a society can learn from his courage, we need to push through the dark times, and never lose hope that there is a better future waiting out there for us. This struggle for a better world has been fought for millenia, and it will still surely continue long after we die. We just need to do our part to make sure that this dream will eventually become a reality.
You can be anything you want to be
Just turn yourself into anything you think that you could ever be
Be free with your tempo be free be free
Surrender your ego be free be free to yourself
Another strong message of this song is; You are free, the only thing you need to do is to be true to yourself. Follow your passions, and choose your own path in life. Queen was one of the most unconventional bands of all time, and yet the path they chose led them into the golden halls of rock history.
Even in the twilight of Queen, with the soon approaching end of the band and Freddie’s life; they won’t just go quietly into the night. With this song they have asserted that even with all the dark things that lie ahead, they won’t stop trying to find beauty, love and happiness. They will find meaning in this struggle, and create timeless music right until the end.
Despite all the heavy and dark themes of the song, Innuendo’s message is an optimistic one; no matter what happens, no matter what we are faced with, we all need to keep trying our best and do good things with the time that we have.
Yeah we'll keep on smiling yeah
And whatever will be will be
We'll keep on trying
We'll just keep on trying
Till the end of time
Till the end of time
Till the end of time.