Within the unparalleled career of the British rock band, Queen and its lead singer Freddie Mercury comes many great songs that have defined resonance of music through time. We have already decrypted Queen’s such greatest hits such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Love of My Life,” “Killer Queen,” “Under Pressure,” “We Will Rock You” and many more. However, today’s article on “These Are the Days of Our Lives” is a bit more special. It is the last music video appearance of Freddie Mercury before his death on November 24, 1991.
Released on Freddie’s 45th Birthday
“These Are the Days of Our Lives” was released as a single on Freddie Mercury’s 45th birthday on September 5, 1991. It appears in the “Innuendo” album, fourteenth in Queen’s discography and the last with Freddie Mercury. The music video was shot in May of 1991. By this time, Freddie Mercury has become extremely weak, physically due to his prolonged suffering with AIDS.
In the music video, producers tried their level best to hide Freddie’s frail looks. A lot of makeup was used to cover-up his weakening appearance. The music video was shot in black and white as an extra precaution to contain the extent of Freddie’s health outlook.
The final “I still love you” ending in the video, with Freddie Mercury in the shot and looking straight at the camera, giving out a faint smile, will forever be remembered as his final ‘goodbye’ to the world!
Recording of “These Are the Days of Our Lives”
The published facts are that Freddie Mercury nailed the studio recording of the song in one sitting, despite his worsening health. The mellow ballad would have been a comfortable attempt for Freddie Mercury, considering he also recorded songs such as “The Show Must Go On” for ‘Innuendo’ album, which is a far cry from “easy.”
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Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “These Are the Days of Our Lives”
Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor penned the lyrics to this song as a message for his kids. The song encourages ‘life’ in general and to enjoy it while you can. Given the deteriorating health of Freddie Mercury at the time of releasing this song, it very well related to his conditions as well. Hence, the song comes out as if though Freddie is leaving us with his final words of wisdom to enjoy life, as he did, now that he is on the verge of ending his journey.
In the first verse, Roger Taylor reflects back to a carefree and young time of them. He is possibly referring to a time when Queen was blowing up and was touring all over the place. Throwback memories are almost entirely positive and happy. “The sun was always shining” is a remark towards how positive and energetic things were back then–when they were a little younger and Freddie was in the height of his health.
Looking at their lives now, Roger thinks to himself that their past seemed like a “show” or a highlight of a movie reel. And now the show is drawing its curtains, which also has a literal meaning since ‘Innuendo’ is Queen’s final album with Freddie Mercury who is pretty much irreplaceable.
Roger tells us that “those were the days of our lives,” a statement contradicting the title of the song. In these lyrics, he thinks of his past ‘golden’ days as the best days of their lives. However, the only good thing about “these days” is when he looks into the eyes of his children, and he is still able to find beauty and meaning in life.
As long as there are things and people that we love in our lives, it is a life worth living.
Freddie Mercury was defeated in love with his one true love Mary Austin as he discovered himself to be bisexual. However, towards the latter part of his life, Freddie found his life partner Jim Hutton, who stayed with him until his last breath. Even Mary Austin, married to Piers Cameron, did not abandon Freddie Mercury until his passing in 1991.
In these lyrics, it is as if Roger Taylor wrote the lyrics with Freddie in his head. Nonetheless, the lyrics apply to anybody.
The second verse says that there is no point sitting back and wallowing about the past or previous mistakes of life. What happened has happened. You have to live with their consequences. But anybody would like to go on one more rollercoaster ride before they leave forever. Life of Queen members has definitely been a rollercoaster ride. The legend they created in rock music will live on forever.
Fighting the feeling of returning for one more rollercoaster ride, Roger suggests that it is equally or even more fruitful to sit back and watch your children take the rollercoaster ride. This way you can recollect some fond memories for the end of the journey.
In the second chorus of the song , Roger Taylor changes the tune of the song by saying “These are the days of our lives” rather than “those are the days of our lives.” This suggests that the singers are happy with their current life, having lived the highest of the highs of their lives.
Roger says that time moves swiftly beneath their feet. But as long as you have your loved ones surrounding you to the end of time, your time both was and is well spent. True friendship and love are timeless!
The single line of “I still love you” by Freddie Mercury, directly looking at the camera and with a faint smile, is a definitive “goodbye” to his fans and his life.
“These Are the Days of Our Lives” is truly a humbling masterpiece by Queen and its protagonist Freddie Mercury. Its tribute to life is further enhanced by the soon-to-end life of Freddie himself.
What is your take on this beautiful track and its meaning? Drop a comment below.