A Song Wall What is the meaning behind "Goodbye, everybody, I've got to go"? Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen - A Song Wall

What is the meaning behind “Goodbye, everybody, I’ve got to go”? Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

  • by imrk
  • March 25, 2023

He (Freddie Mercury, as the protagonist-character of the song), is both lyrically and metaphorically saying goodbye, a decision to go to where no rock/pop song would dare go, to “face the truth", perhaps capital punishment? These lines take us closer to the surreality of a case whose jurisdiction is in opera-court drama-Hell, a musical thrill ride, whether perceived as scary, comedic or both, it’s a rhapsodic trip. “Goodbye … I’ve got to go" (to “face the truth”, possibly death!?): Back to the mundane re-statement of the lines, he must face the repercussions of his crime. After all, he “just killed a man”. Motive? Pre-meditated? In self-defense? Or … (twistedly) suicide? If “he” himself was the “man” he killed, metaphorically, then lyrically self-defense is plausible, given the (generally) accepted interpretation of the song. Suicide might land one in a Hellish after-life, according to, uh, divine laws? But re-direct: the “killing” is of a personal false “facade” and how is that murderous, if the truth sets one (and others) free? Unless it lands you in jail, like, say, Galileo, who dared to spread his sphere-theory, blasphemous to the false-divinity of flat-earth gravity. Is “Freddie” off to some sphere of a circuit court, to pull a lyrical joke on us? Objection! Irrelevant. It doesn’t matter. Because “nothing really matters”? Over-ruled; because later, did the judgy-jurists let him go? ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no!" But “goodbye everybody”, he’s got to go; i.e., the song must move, conclusively. The journey proceeds after a few more lyric-lines and past the bridge of Brian May ’s first guitar-solo to Freddie’s piano staccatos, into a silhouetted deep dip into a La-La-land of mock-opera (as ode-to opera) madness. Going there was and remains curious, musically/vocally stunning, and … risky, in conflated financial and artistic proportions. “Goodbye, everybody; I’ve got to go … to face the truth”. The truth lies in our own choice to shut up or write too much about nothing. Rhapsodically, the court of music consumers longing for Bohemia ordained Queen as the people‘s band; with this song, Freddie & Co. said “goodbye” to being “starving artists”, or rather oddly “starving rock stars” (an unfair predicament). If the wind had blown failure, then to fail BIG would’ve mattered as much to the band. Goodbye everybody, keep going as if nothing or everything really matters.