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The Show Must Go On - Queen

The Show Must Go On

Greatest Hits II
classic rock rock Queen 80s hard rock


"The Show Must Go On", written primarily by guitarist Brian May, is a song by English rock band Queen and is featured as the twelfth and final track on their 1991 album Innuendo. As on the previous album, The Miracle, all songs on Innuendo were credited to the band as a whole. The initial idea for the song came from a chord sequence Roger Taylor and John Deacon were working on. May then decided to use the sequence, and both he and Freddie Mercury decided the theme of the lyrics and wrote the first verse together. From then on May finished the lyrics, did the vocal melody and wrote the bridge. The song chronicles the effort of Freddie Mercury continuing to perform despite approaching the end of his life. The title is derived from the phrase "the show must go on", and may be in reaction to the numerous press speculations about lead singer Mercury's critically declining health since the late 1980s. Much of the lyrics and imagery of the song can also be construed to be a reflection on life and imminent death. It is regarded as one of Queen's most emotive, powerful songs by many fans. Brian May remembers that Freddie could hardly walk when the band recorded the song in 1990. "I said, 'Fred, I don't know if this is going to be possible to sing,' " May says. "And he went, 'I'll fucking do it, darling' — vodka down — and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal." It was released as a single in the United Kingdom on October 14, 1991 in promotion for the Greatest Hits 2 Album, just six weeks before Mercury died. Following Mercury's death in November 1991, the song re-entered the British charts and spent longer in the top 75 than it did on its original release, eventually reaching a peak of 16. A live version with Elton John on vocals appeared on Queen's Greatest Hits III album. The song was chosen as the favorite funeral song in a survey conducted in Europe. Interviews with Queen: May discussed how the song came to be, in a 1994 interview. "'The Show Must Go On' came from Roger and John playing the sequence, and I started to put things down. At the beginning, it was just this chord sequence, but I had this strange feeling that it could be somehow important, and I got very impassioned and went and beavered away at it. I sat down with Freddie, and we decided what the theme should be and wrote the first verse. It's a long story, that song, but I always felt it would be important because we were dealing with things that were hard to talk about at the time, but in the world of music, you could do it."


Queen were an English rock band originally consisting of four members: vocalist Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May, bass guitarist John Deacon, and drummer Roger Taylor. The band formed in London in 1970 after May and Taylor's former band Smile split after having released an album and single. Freddie replaced lead vocalist Tim Staffell, after the latter's departure from the original trio. There was much deliberation as to what the band's name would be. Show more ...

The Show Must Go On - Queen

Empty spaces - what are we living for?
Abandoned places - I guess we know the score...
On and on!
Does anybody know what we are looking for?

Another hero - another mindless crime.
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime.
Hold the line!
Does anybody want to take it anymore?

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

Whatever happens, I'll leave it all to chance.
Another heartache - another failed romance.
On and on!
Does anybody know what we are living for?

I guess I'm learning
I must be warmer now..
I'll soon be turning round the corner now.
Outside the dawn is breaking,
But inside in the dark I'm aching to be free!

The Show must go on!
The Show must go on! Yeah!
Ooh! Inside my heart is breaking!
My make-up may be flaking!
But my smile, still, stays on!
Yeah! Oh oh oh

My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies,
Fairy tales of yesterday, will grow but never die,
I can fly, my friends!

The Show must go on! Yeah!
The Show must go on!
I'll face it with a grin!
I'm never giving in!
On with the show!

I'll top the bill!
I'll overkill!
I have to find the will to carry on!
On with the,
On with the show!

The Show must go on.



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