For most Queen fans, the above hand gesture is not something new. This animated gif shows two hands banging twice on a surface followed by a clap, and this continues at a 4×4 beat. For veteran Queen fans, this animation would automatically resonate those iconic drum beats in their heads.
Welcome to “We Will Rock You.”
Brian May of Queen wrote these lyrics–seemingly simple and overused. But the vocal prowess of lead singer Freddie Mercury and the engagement that the beat received from the fans propelled this song to be one of the greatest Rock tracks of all time. “We Will Rock You” was released on October 7, 1977, along with its equally reputed counterpart “We Are The Champions.” Both songs have become trademarks in sports music, as they manage to energize the crowds.
“We Will Rock You” appears in Queen’s 1977 album ‘News of the World,’ which also contains other hits such as “Sheer Heart Attack,” “Spread Your Wings,” “We Are The Champions” and more. This album is considered Queen’s best-selling album to-date, selling over 10 million copies.
What Inspired Brian May to Write “We Will Rock You”?
According to interviews and as shown in the 2018 Queen biopic movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ Brian May wanted to create a song that would encourage the audience participation more. He wanted to create a simple song, with simple lyrics that would make it easy for the fans to sing along and participate in the music of the song. The “stomp, stomp, clap” beat is something May made out of thin air.
However, simple lyrics don’t necessarily mean that they don’t contain a deeper meaning. According to an ESPN interview with Brian May, Queen called these song lyrics “depressing.” Why? Because the song talks about the three stages of the life cycle of a man, and to add to it, the man’s got mud and blood on his face and is called a disgrace!
Watch Queen Perform “We Will Rock You” During ‘News of the World’ Tour, 1977
Now we will explain why these lyrics are quite depressing on a deeper level.
Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “We Will Rock You”
Queen starts off with an elaboration on the life of this ‘boy’ in picture. The truth of the fact is that this ‘boy’ could be any of us-boy or girl, stuck in this circular society.
In the initial phase of life, this boy is full of life and hope. He dreams of becoming a big man someday and he like to express his energy with loud words and fast actions. As a
The infamous chorus of the song is there to attract the audience. The crowd can stomp their feet twice on the ground and clap to keep up with the song and participate with the band. Below clip from the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ movie shows what Queen had in mind for “We Will Rock You” live performances.
In the second verse, the boy has grown to be a young man. He is hard working, tough, and now he is ready to take on the world. Instead of playing in the streets with cans, like he did as a boy, now he shouts in the streets, probably indicating a protest. This young man seems to be a real rebel as he has blood in his face. May be, this goes in line with his beahviour in the streets and from the fact that he has a banner to wave to the public.
Now his biggest disgrace is the blood on his face due to the rebellious nature–possibly trying to go against the downstream flow of the society. Anyone who doesn’t conform to society’s norms would be considered a disgrace. Homosexuals back in the 80’s would have faced a similar situation in the public eye.
In the third verse of “We Will Rock You,” we discover that this young man grown old. He is old and to make matters worse, poor as well. His aims of conquering the world seems to have faded away. He has defeat in his eyes and now he awaits his eternal peace. The goals from his childhood and youth have now changed to the obvious ending we all are destined for.
Buddy has mud on his face again–this time, probably not intentional. He is poor and cannot afford better living conditions! Circumstances may have changed, but this person has come a full circle, back to his ‘mud on face’ times.
As we explain these lyrics, one could understand how un-exciting or energizing these lyrics are. However, Queen made this song into one of the biggest songs of celebration and hype. That is why Queen is revered to-date.
Let us hear what you think about “We Will Rock You” and what kind of impact this song has on you. What do these lyrics mean to you? Leave a comment below and share this article with your friends.
Complete Lyrics to “We Will Rock You” by Queen