I heard it last night, and broke down, thinking about Freddie and his struggles as a gay man in a world even more hostile to homosexuals than, sadly, it is today, thinking how he tragically died at the age of 45, thinking of all the amazing music he might have continued to make if he had lived.
There have been some great Rock & Roll vocalists over the years, but Freddie Mercury was in a league WAY above the rest and all his own. He had a self-trained, 4-octive range that could growl with intensity, soar like an eagle, or sing the sweetest falsetto, and you can hear it all in Somebody to Love.
The song, heavily influenced by gospel music, is a pleading prayer, a desperate expression of desire for the healing power of love. There are aching lines about how hard he works, how he wants to break out of what feels like a prison cell, and I can’t help interpret this as representing his years of attempting to come to grips with his sexuality. After all, when it was released, he was still married to a woman, but had begun an affair with a man that led to the end of his marriage.
It’s a truly virtuosic piece of music, and I’m gonna shut up now and let you enjoy it.
Happy Weekend, everyone!