Queen – Radio Ga Ga (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)
When it comes to the British Rock band Queen, there is a list of immortal songs in their portfolio. From this legendary discography, we have discussed “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Love of My Life” and “We are the Champions” so far. This article will be dedicated to yet another timeless classic – “Radio Ga Ga,” which itself has a few plots.
“Radio Ga Ga” appeared in Queen’s eleventh studio album ‘The Works’ in 1984. Although much of Queen’s lyrical work is covered by lead singer Freddie Mercury himself, this specific song was penned by Queen’s drummer-Roge Taylor. Little known fact is that Taylor had to write the song twice and in two entirely different spotlights as well.
The song was and still is one of the most popular tracks in Rock music. The song reached #01 in charts in many countries around the world, including Sweden, Finland and Denmark. On Billboard Hot 100 chart, “Radio Ga Ga” peaked at #16. The song is back on forums after the release of the Queen biopic movie titled ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’
The Story of “Radio Ca Ca” and “Radio Ga Ga” by Queen
Roger Taylor, the drummer of Queen, composed the lyrics to this song initially to express his disgust towards radio. The initial lyrics to the song were targeting how commercialized the radio was becoming and how little value they gave to real music.
“Ca-ca” is a sound emitted from a toddler to reference poop. Roger Taylor has apparently picked up this word from his son-Felix Luther who was 3-years-old at the time. However, after the rest of the Queen members listened to the song, they did not want to put out a song putting down the main form of media back in the days-the radio. Hence, upon their request, Roger Taylor completely turned around the initial song lyrics to what we have today.
The completely turned around “Radio Ga Ga” is now an adoration of the radio and how the singer still loves it, although the Television is taking over the radio.
“Ga ga” is a sound used to reference adoration or love for something. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta picked her stage name ‘Lady Gaga’ inspired by this song by Queen. She has confessed her massive love for Queen and their music.
Watch “Radio Ga Ga” Official Music Video by Queen
The music video for “Radio Ga Ga,” directed by David Mallet, shows Queen members flying through space in a spaceship in a city with towering buildings. The video contains scenes from the iconic 1927 German science fiction drama film ‘Metropolis.’
Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “Radio Ga Ga”
The singer reflects on this amazing device that has created so much chaos and opportunities around the world. The radio was the most mainstream source of news, media and entertainment around the world. The radio was invented in 1895 and the Television was invented in 1927. Hence, by the time this was written in 1984, the Television was becoming a major deal. We can assume that much of the world’s population in the 1970’s and 1980’s grew up with the radio rather than the TV.
Roger Taylor reminisces that much of his youth was spent with the radio to keep him company. He also admits that whatever he knew about music and the world in general, he got to know through the radio.
The radio brought its listeners, good music from the past, and vivid stories such as ‘The War of the Worlds.’ This radio drama anthology was very popular back then and was based on a Martian invasion on Earth.
Roger Taylor writes how the radio made them feel, both happy and sad, and laugh and cry throughout their lives. It also made them feel like they could fly to different places and parallels.
Finally, the singer is hoping the radio will not just fade into history, completely replaced by the television. ‘Background noise’ is an unimportant sound that needs fixing. Glad to see that Queen’s wish has been kept alive until to-date. Radio is flourishing over the Internet today.
Watch Queen Perform “Radio Ga Ga” at Live Aid in 1985
The singer mentions that the radio had its peak and had the power to move the world. But it is diminishing now, due to the popularizing of the television. However, Queen believes that the radio is still to have its finest moment. Maybe that moment is the 21s Century.
Roger Taylor also mentions that the content on the radio has reduced in quality now. Due to the heavy commercialization and promotion of ‘hip’ music, the radio has become a constant repetition of ‘ga ga’s and ‘goo goo’s. This is not Roger’s style, so he has to let go of the radio, sadly enough.
The second verse on “Radio Ga Ga” tells us why the people are starting to trend away from the radio and toward the television back in 1984. Roger says they could not actually see the big stars-watch them on television, rather than just listen to them. The TV was filled with many more shows-dramas, news, documentaries, music videos and what not. Roger Taylor says that with the introduction of the television, they hardly need to fixate their hearing on the radio. They could use visual stimuli, which is more powerful. Even the songwriter wonders how music has changed through the years to be broadcasted on television with a music video.
The latter part of the second verse is a solemn invitation to the radio to stick around a bit more. The singer feels that people might get tired of all these visuals someday and might crawl back to the good old radio. This just might be 2018 they are referring to.
“Radio Ga Ga” single ends with a reaffirmation that the singer believes the highest time of the radio is yet to come. Until it does, he invites the radio to stick around. It is not eas giving up on an old friend.
This is our annotation of one of the classic tracks by Queen. Let us know what you think about the song, lyrics and song meaning in the comments below. If you love this article, make sure to share it with your friends.
Full Lyrics to “Radio Ga Ga” by Queen