I was never a lover of the pop group Queen, their dress style, their hair, their choreography on stage, well that is apart from some of their music.
Their music was very popular, with their records reaching number one in the charts on many occasions, and being played continually on the radio, they grew on me.
I hardly ever listen to the lyrics of songs, never search out the hidden meaning, the messages other people seem to hear, perhaps I am more interested in the musical arrangement, the interplay of the individual instruments, but, after a few plays the lyrics get into my subconscious, and I often find that I am singing along with the song, or that the words pop-up into my thoughts, my inner mind.
So it was with Queen’s song Bohemian Rhapsody, a masterpiece of a song, an operatic piece in its’ own right, giving a story which flows with the music,
I had never really understood the lyrics, only that it was about a young man who had killed a man, singing to his mother and using strange words that I had no idea how they fitted into the song, well that’s the way I understood the song.
“Scaramouche“, who or what is that? I now know, just found out that it is a character in an early film referring to a comic character, “Scaramouche” also refers to a Greek translator of the Old Testament, and why does it ask “Scaramouche“, “will you do the Fandango?“.
Why “Galileo Figaro“? Still do not understand that.
Then there is this person called “Miss Miller“. Who is this “Miss Miller“? Where did “Miss Miller” come from?
As usual, miss interpretation, it is not “Miss Miller“, but “Bismillah“, an Arabic word used to mean “in the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate“, or “in the name of Allah (God)“, as used in the Islamic faith.
Looking at the lyrics now after all these years I see the word “Beelzebub“. What does that mean? I had heard the word over the years, just the word without knowing the meaning, it was just the sound. I now find that a “Beelzebub” refers to a once worshiped Philistine deity, “Beelzebub” meaning “Lord of the Flies“. Later it was used in the Christian faith to refer to one of the seven princes of Hell.
All the above came as a Thunderbolt to me. All these years I had been happy in my (miss) understanding and ignorance of the song, yes I was a little bewildered, but who isn’t with lyrics of songs.
I had put my interpretation, my understanding or lack of, on the words, “Miss Miller” – “Bismillah“, “Scaramouche“, “Beelzebub“.
I had put my “Cat on the Mat“, my understanding, and I was wrong. How many times a day do we do the same thing in understanding the world about us, and how many times a day do others misinterpret our meanings?
Another question arose from one of my Turkish translators and friend, Asu Yildirim, asking, did I take the saying I often use in my courses, “nobody loves me” from this song Bohemian Rhapsody? No I did not, at least not consciously. But Asu, I know that you are mentioned in the song, “thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening“, the translation of you family name Yildirim as in the display of Antep in Gaziantep Castle Museummeaning, “thunderbolt“.
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 Littl
e 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 Magnifico-o-o-o-o 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
[Guitar Solo] (Oooh yeah, Oooh yeah)
Nothing really matters Anyone can see Nothing really matters Nothing really matters to me
Garibaldi Biscuits in packet sold by ASDA in the UK
Going back in my far and distant past, I remember one of the treats my mother would serve, it was a biscuit called Garibaldi. It was not a treat for me as I was not found of them, but to mother and I suspect other British people, they were from an exotic world, a far off country, a touch of something un-British.
The biscuit was a thin sandwich of biscuit with the dried chewy fruit of currents at the center. A current is similar to a dried red grape.
I would mention this memory to the participants of my courses in Italy, and they would look at me as if I was a visiting Martian, they had no idea of what I was talking about, no clue from the description or name of biscuit.
I was really confused.
Here was an Italian product, and the Italians had no knowledge of it. Was it my pronunciation of the word? Was it called something different in Italy?
Then, just before I was leaving for Bologna, I went into my local supermarket, and after years of not seeing the product, there was the biscuit on the shelves. I had to buy it.
During the NLP Master Practitioner course I reviewed Anchors, and brought out the packet of Garibaldi biscuits as an example of the memories it gave me. The participants looked at me with a blank face, they had never heard of the biscuit or seen them.
At the break, I offer each of them a sample, and their reaction was in the negative, they did not like the taste, texture, and most of the biscuits went untouched.
That evening as Elena and myself walked back to my hotel after a splendid pizza meal, in a small square or piazza bordering the main street running from the railway station to the Piazza Maggiore is a statue of a man on a horse, and in bold letter at its’ base or plinth, is “A GARIBILDI”.
Garibaldi Statue in Bologna
So I was not wrong. The name is Italian. Perhaps I had the wrong “cat on the mat“, the wrong understanding.