The first time I’ve ever cosplayed (that’s me as Freddie Mercury) and I forget to take a pic of myself. Rookie error apparently. Luckily lots of other people took pics. Thanks to mostlymoviemadness for this one :)
“The Show Must Go On” is a song by Englishrock bandQueen, featured as the twelfth and final track on their 1991 album Innuendo. It is credited to Queen, but written primarily by Brian May. The song chronicles the effort of Freddie Mercury continuing to perform despite approaching the end of his life; he was dying of AIDS, although his illness had not yet been made public in spite of ongoing media speculation claiming that he was seriously ill. Mercury was so ill and could barely walk when the band recorded the song in 1990, that May had concerns as to whether he was physically capable of singing it. Recalling Mercury’s performance, May states; “he went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal”
Songwriting and recording process
After listening to John Deacon and Roger Taylor playing the chord sequence that later on would be the basis for almost the entire song, Brian May sat down with Freddie Mercury and the two of them decided the theme of the song and wrote some lyrics. May wrote down the rest of the words as well as the melody, and added a bridge with a chord sequence inspired by Pachelbel’s Canon.
Demo versions featured May singing, having to sing some parts in falsetto because they were too high. When Brian May presented the final demo to Mercury, he had doubts that Mercury would be physically capable of singing the song’s highly demanding vocal line, due to the extent of his illness at the time. To May’s surprise, when the time came to record the vocals, Mercury consumed a measure of vodka and said “I’ll fuckin do it, darling!” then proceeded to nail the vocal line in one take without problems.
The lyrics are full of allusions, metaphors and other figures of speech, making it somewhat difficult to understand. Thinly disguised tragedy ahead is announced. In the end, the text refers to the determination, the furious desire to live (“I Have to Find the Will to carry it on with the show …”) in spite of vanishing strength (“inside my heart is breaking”).From the perspective of harmony, the song begins in B minor; then there is a modulation to C # Minor as if the song implied a hope (an increase of tone); but eventually it falls back to B minor.
Due to Mercury’s deteriorating health at the time, no new footage of the lead singer was shot. The music video instead consisted of a montage of clips spanning Queen’s music videos from 1981 to ‘91 as a precursor to the imminent release of the band’s Greatest Hits II album spanning that period. Footage from all promo videos from the 1980s are shown in the montage, apart from “Under Pressure” and “Hammer To Fall”.
Empty spaces - what are we living for? Abandoned places - I guess we know the score.. On and on! Does anybody know what we are looking for?
Another hero - another mindless crime. Behind the curtain, in the pantomime. Hold the line! Does anybody want to take it anymore? The Show must go on! The Show must go on!Yeah! Inside my heart is breaking, My make-up may be flaking, But my smile, still, stays on!
Whatever happens, I’ll leave it all to chance. Another heartache - another failed romance. On and on… Does anybody know what we are living for? I guess i’m learning I must be warmer now.. I’ll soon be turning, round the corner now. Outside the dawn is breaking, But inside in the dark I’m aching to be free!
The Show must go on! The Show must go on! Yeah,yeah! Ooh! Inside my heart is breaking! My make-up may be flaking… But my smile, still, stays on! Yeah! oh oh oh
My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies, Fairy tales of yesterday, will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends!
The Show must go on! Yeah! The Show must go on! I’ll face it with a grin! I’m never giving in! On with the show!
I’ll top the bill! I’ll overkill! I have to find the will to carry on! On with the show! On with the show!
Some very good news: Roger Taylor has confirmed he and Brian May are working on the unreleased Freddie Mercury-Michael Jackson duets and that they DO plan to release them at some point. Probably some time next year. Huzzah!