Queen’s highly acclaimed album ‘A Night at the Opera’ showed signs of a new genre of music opening up for the British rock band. They were venturing into pop-rock and progressive rock, as opposed to their initial hard rock sound. The album that followed was the fifth in Queen’s arsenal and titled ‘A Day at the Races’ and took on a step further in their new cross-genre musical path. “Somebody to Love” takes the form of gospel and according to Roger Taylor “it’s the loosest track we’ve ever done.”
‘A Day at the Races’ was another highly successful album for Queen, reaching #5 on Billboard 200 albums chart, and it reached #1 in the UK, Japan and several other countries. The album also spawned some successful songs such as “Long Away” and “Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy.” However, “Somebody to Love” was the crowning success of the album reaching #2 in the UK and #13 on Billboard Hot 100.
“Somebody to Love” used the experimental multitracking feature to combine vocals of Freddie Mercury, Brian May and Roger Taylor to produce the choir effect. The music has been inspired by the works of Aretha Franklin, whom Freddie was a big fan of. Freddie himself composed the lyrics to this
Watch Queen Perform “Somebody to Love”
“Somebody to Love” does not contain a hidden meaning underneath the lyrics, but it is interesting to see the perspective of the singer/songwriter when he penned these lyrics down.
Freddie Mercury, who composed these lyrics, was bisexual. Hence, the repetitive question of ‘can anybody find me
On the other spectrum, Freddie Mercury was one of the biggest entertainment icons by the time of the release of this song. Pretty much everybody knew him courtesy of his songs such as “Killer Queen,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “God Save the Queen,” “Seven Seas of Rhye,” “Love of My Life,” “Keep Yourself Alive” and many more. Hence, it would be very difficult to find anybody who will love him for the real person and not the celebrity.
Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “Somebody to Love”
This gospel by Queen is a question for God himself. Freddie Mercury asks God why he has not been able to find love even though he has spent his entire life in the belief of God’s mighty power. Freddy Mercury is Zoroastrianism by birth. This religion has a strong foundation on the belief of a higher power. At this time and age of his life, Freddie is now lonely and feeling down without a partner to fill the void. This has him waking up to hate mornings, as he realizes that no one is there on his bed for warmth.
In the second verse, Freddie explains how he is a man of good deeds. He works hard at his job and brings home the hard-earned money. But he brings millions of dollars to an empty house. Only option he has left is to pray more for God. But day by day he is beginning to wonder if God is listening to his prayers.
In these lyrics of “Somebody to Love,” Freddie opens up about the pressure he faces from society. It feels as if the entire world is against him. Being such a multi-talented star he is, the media only wanted to question
‘Water in the brain’ is a serious medical condition requiring surgery. Often this disease leads to memory loss. Also this phrase is a spin on the popular quote ‘love on the brain’ referring to someone desperate for love. ‘Water on the brain’ could be referring to his ‘uncommon’ sexuality from the societal norms.
As per the society back then, the ‘common sense’ for a guy would have been to marry a girl and settle down. So Freddie says that everybody thinks he has no common sense.
The third verse starts off in the same pattern as a downtrodden Freddie sings about his frustrations. He could be talking about his attraction for girls as he has “no feel” or “rhythm” towards them. His beat would be to find a love that he can ‘feel’ and ‘vibe’ with.
However, the third verse also sees the resurrection of the frustrated singer. He assures himself that he is “okay” and “alright” despite the society trying to brand him as ‘weird’ or ‘crazy.’ He accepts his sexual orientation and that it is an okay thing. In the last two lines of this verse, Freddie vows himself that he would be free of this prison cell named ‘society.’ Often all of us live for the wishes of the masses and not for ourselves. Only a few have
Maybe God did hear the prayer quite later as Freddie connected with his lifelong partner Jim Hutton in 1984 at a gay club in London.
What do you think about “Somebody to Love” by Queen? Drop a comment below.
Full Lyrics to “Somebody to Love” by Queen