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Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody has not been seen in 45 Phish shows.
It was last played: 2022-12-31.
It was played at 0.1% of live shows.
It has been performed live 2 time(s).

Music/Lyrics: Freddie Mercury

Original Artist: Queen

Original Album: A Night At the Opera (1975)

Vocals: Phish, Boston Community Choir

Debut: 1996-12-31

Historian: Craig DeLucia; Mockingbird Staff

On New Year's Eve 1996, fans witnessed the dropping of thousands of balloons at the stroke of midnight while the band launched into a raucous “Down with Disease.” Many thought that this event alone was the New Year’s treat; many were surely wrong. In the third set, Phish brought out “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a complex Queen song made popular in the 1970’s by its intricacy and operatic story and again in the 1990s by its appearance in the hit movie Wayne’s World. Interestingly, this song was one of the longest to become an FM radio staple. This is a fun comparison to Phish, whose songs have been criticized by mainstream radio because of their length.

Watch Bohemian Rhapsody on YouTube Phish, "Bohemian Rhapsody" – 12/31/96, Boston, MA

For “Bohemian Rhapsody” Phish was aided by the Boston Community Choir, who provided assistance with the song’s complex harmonies. Page noted in The Phish Book that he was a bit nervous about singing the song, as he was losing his voice and contemplating the difficulty of the lead vocals. Not surprisingly, given the vocal difficulties of playing the number, “Bohemian Rhapsody” remains a concert one-timer (though the possibility of a "Rhapsody" reprise existed for short while when A Night At the Opera was among the 99 musical costume possibilities for Festival 8 before being killed off). 

For another amusing take on the song, may we offer the following from The Muppets:

Watch Bohemian Rhapsody on YouTube The Muppets, "Bohemian Rhapsody" – © 2009 The Muppets Studio, LLC


© Queen Music LTD (EMI)

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality

Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy (poor boy)
I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go
Little high, little low

Any way the wind blows
Doesn't really matter to me, to me

Mama just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life has just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away

Mama, ooh
Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
Goodbye, everybody
I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth

Mama, oooooooh (Anyway the wind blows)
I don't want to die
Sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, Scaramouch, will you do the Fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me
(Galileo) Galileo (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo Figaro

I'm just a poor boy nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity

Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go
(Let him go)
Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let him go)
Bismillah! We will not let you go
Let me go (Will not let you go)
Let me go (Will not let you go) (Never, never, never, never)
Let me go, o, o, o, o
No, no, no, no, no, no, no!
(Oh mama mia, mama mia)
Mama Mia, let me go
Beelzebub has the devil put aside
for me, for me, for me!

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here

(Oooh yeah, Oooh yeah)

Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me

Any way the wind blows...

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