Music Monday – Who Wants To Live Forever?

22 years ago yesterday, the world lost an amazing rock vocalist.  Freddie Mercury was just forty-five when he died in 1991.  This Music Monday features songs by Freddie and Queen.  Here’s a post I made a couple years ago about Freddie, one of my favorite songs, and persevering: The Show Must Go On.  This collection features a number of songs that weren’t huge hits for Queen, but are well done and fit well in this post.  The last video is interview footage of Brian May and Roger Taylor talking about Freddie’s last days.

Who Wants To Live ForeverQueen
(released 1986; peaked #5 France, #6 Netherlands, #15 Ireland, #24 UK)

But touch my tears with your lips
Touch my world with your fingertips
And we can have forever
And we can love forever
Forever is our today

From one of my favorite movies, Highlander, about immortals.
Living on my OwnFreddie Mercury
(released 1985; peaked #50 UK)
(re-released, remixed 1993; peaked #1 UK, France, Ireland, Sweden; #2 Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland)

Sometimes I feel I’m gonna break down and cry
Nowhere to go nothing to do with my time
I get lonely so lonely living on my own

Sometimes I feel I’m always walking too fast
And everything is coming down on me down on me
I go crazy, oh so crazy, living on my own

I catchy tune with more of that crazy be bop, improv stuff Freddie liked to throw into his songs to fill space.
Under Pressure by Queen
(released 1981; peaked #1 UK & Netherlands, #2 Ireland, #5 France, #6 New Zealand & Australia, #10 Austria & Switzerland, #29 US Hot 100 )

Keep coming up with love
but it’s so slashed and torn
Why – why – why ?
Love love love love love
Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance
Why can’t we give love that one more chance
Why can’t we give love give love give love give love
give love give love give love give love give love
‘Cause love’s such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the Night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure

 Their first collaboration with another artist, Under Pressure was recorded with David Bowie.  This video is from the first time Queen performed it live, exactly ten years before Freddie died.  To see a performance of this song at Webley in England where Freddie works the crowd before the song starts, check out this video.
The Great PretenderFreddie Mercury
(released 1987; peaked #2 Ireland, #4 UK, #5 New Zealand, #11 Netherlands )
(released 1993; peaked #13 France, #15 Switzerland, #21 Netherlands )

Oh yes I’m the great pretender (ooh ooh)
Pretending I’m doing well (ooh ooh)
My need is such I pretend too much
I’m lonely but no one can tell

Oh yes I’m the great pretender (ooh ooh)
Adrift in a world of my own (ooh ooh)
I play the game but to my real shame
You’ve left me to dream all alone

I wonder if it’s just coincidence that so many of the songs I’ve picked for this post talk about loneliness or if it’s just really difficult to find songs of theirs that don’t talk about it.  The showman does a great job with this remake.
Don’t Stop Me NowQueen
(released 1979; peaked #9 UK, #10 Ireland, #16 Netherlands, #35 Germany, #86 US Hot 100)</span

I’m a rocket ship on my way to Mars
On a collision course
I am a satellite
I’m out of control
I’m a sex machine ready to reload
Like an atom bomb about to oh oh oh oh oh explode!
I’m burning through the sky, yeah
Two hundred degrees that’s why they call me Mr. Fahrenheit
I’m travelling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic woman of you

A fast-paced tune about being out of control.
Mother Love by Queen
(not released as a single )

Out in the city, in the cold world outside
I don’t want pity, just a safe place to hide
Mama please, let me back inside

I don’t want to make no waves
But you can give me all the love that I crave
I can’t take it if you see me cry
I long for peace before I die
All I want is to know that you’re there
You’re gonna give me all your sweet –
Mother Love, uh huh

Mother love

My body’s aching, but I can’t sleep
My dreams are all the company I keep
Got such a feeling as the sun goes down
I’m coming home to my sweet –
Mother Love

The last song recorded by Freddie…about a month or so before he died.
Interview snippets of Brian May and Roger Taylor on Freddie Mercury’s last days.
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Musical Meanderings with My Girls

Tonight after dinner, I was driving around with my daughters, listening to a mixed CD I made.  Taylor Swift’s “You Belong to Me” came on…and I turned the volume up to close to the level I listen to it.  They sang along with it.  Usually, I get complaints from the younger one about the music being too loud…but not tonight, not for that song.  When it finished, I switched back to an earlier track and blared “Firework” by Katy Perry.  Again, no complaints, and the sing-a-long continued.  I skipped to Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” with Freddie Mercury’s haunting vocals, then to “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato.  I changed discs and we sang along to “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus, then the acoustic version of Bon Jovi’s “Keep The Faith” from their This Left Feels Right album, followed by Demi Lovato’s “Don’t Forget“, Zac Efron’s “Bet On It“, and brought it, and us, home with Taylor Swift’s “Love Story“.

The girls knew the words to almost all of the songs from their generation.  I knew those, and the others.  The more important things, though, were that we all had a good time driving around singing along with the songs, that they are getting exposure to  good music, theirs and mine (and liking it all), and they are listening to songs with positive messages.

Here are a couple videos from the list of tunes we sang along with tonight:

The one that kicked it off…Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me”

My favorite band, Bon Jovi’s “Keep The Faith”  (this actually ends then follows into “Always”)

and Katy Perry’s “Firework”

“Never make me boring!” -a quote by Freddie Mercury

In his last days, Freddie is reported to have said to his manager, Jim Beach:

“Do anything you want with my music dear, but never make me boring!” – Freddie Mercury

While you may have been rather subdued in some of your interviews, Freddie, you will never be boring.  You live on as one of the most flamboyant, incredible rock vocalists ever!

“The Show Must Go On”

My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies
Fairytales of yesterday will grow but never die
I can fly – my friends

Great lyrics from an awesome band.  Queen released the album Innuendo in 1991, the year their vocalist and songwriter died of a bronchial infection due to AIDS.  This album included one of my favorite songs, The Show Must Go On, from which the lyrics above are taken.  Rather prophetic, don’t you think?  Or, maybe, simply a farewell message to his legions of fans.

People die every day.  (I know…duh!)  My point is that, regardless of the circumstances, those of us who know and/or love the newly passed must find a way to deal with the grief and continue on.  Taken from Freddie’s perspective, though, the lyrics take on a different meaning.  Hiding behind the make-up, pretending there’s nothing wrong, putting on the brave face for others while knowing they’re dying, maybe even wishing it would just end.

Inside my heart is breaking,
My make-up may be flaking,
But my smile, still, stays on!

It’s this aspect of the song that holds real meaning for me.  My mom died last year after almost a year battling lung cancer so I understand “the show” …acting like it’s easy to deal with the pain and advancing weakness so that everyone doesn’t know how bad off they are and so that they aren’t the center of depression when others are around.  It sucks!

I have great respect for those who find themselves in situations like Freddie’s or my mom’s and are able to continually put on “the show,” and while I wouldn’t prefer the other extreme …the woe is me, lying around bemoaning their situation, I would like to offer up that it’s okay to show the “cracks in the makeup.”  We don’t expect you to be rocks.

Here’s The Show Must Go On by Queen:

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