Freddie Mercury’s Notes Suggest ‘Mongolian Rhapsody’ as a Working Title

Freddie Mercury’s Notes Suggest ‘Mongolian Rhapsody’ as a Working Title | Society Of Rock Videos

According to handwritten notes by Freddie Mercury, the iconic lead singer of Queen, it appears that he considered naming the band’s timeless hit “Mongolian Rhapsody” instead of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The disclosure emerges as a significant number of belongings previously owned by Mercury are scheduled to be auctioned. Mary Austin, a close friend, and partner of Mercury, has made the decision to sell a collection of items she received as an inheritance from the rocker. One notable item among those being sold is an early version of the lyrics to the iconic song “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The lyrics were hastily written on a notepad intended for British Midland Airways, an airline that operated from 1964 until its acquisition by British Airways in 2012. Mercury was experimenting with different words and phrases for his song concept. Among the various phrases on one page are “fandango,” “Figaro,” “thunderbolts and lightning,” and “belladonna.”

However, what has really caught people’s attention is the replacement of the word “Mongolian” with “Bohemian.” The New York Times interviewed several experts on Queen’s history who had never come across this alternative title before. Nevertheless, they were not taken aback by it.

According to Mark Blake, the writer of Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen, the band frequently “had joke titles for things.” Jim Jenkins, an official biographer of Queen, acknowledged that he was unfamiliar with the term “Mongolian Rhapsody.” He also said that Mercury often avoided explaining his lyrics or song titles.

Debuted in 1975, “Bohemian Rhapsody” became one of Queen’s most iconic songs, known for its grand and dramatic style, making it a rock music legend. It’s no surprise that the early drafts of the song, created by Mercury, are expected to be sold for a high price at an auction in September. Experts estimate that these notes could be worth around $1.5 million.

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