What a powerhouse of a song. I’ve long loved its oomph, its emotion, and I love how interpretable it is to so many people. For me it is full of perseverance, verve, and possibility, the choice to take what’s so and to continually strive forward with peace, passion and gusto. Freddie Mercury had an amazing vocal range and it’s used here to great effect, especially in the tail end as he begins singing in mildly low tones about the butterfly and continuing to build and build, flying ever upward to reach into the stratosphere in the final chorus. Love it.
What’s even more amazing is the story behind the recording – Freddie was quite ill by that point and could barely walk, and Brian May was unsure if Freddie would be able to sing such a dynamic and difficult piece. But Freddie just stood up, said “I’ll fucking do it darling” and proceeded to nail (nay, totally kill) it in one take. Absolutely extraordinary.