An Introduction to Queen


Credit: Terry O'Neill for Getty Images

In a sequel to her Top 5 popular article about rock bands, staff writer Keira Hyatt goes in depth on her favorite band.

I’m sure some of you have heard of the British rock band called Queen. A few months ago, I wrote an article about three British rock bands: The Beatles, Herman’s Hermits, and Queen. In this article I’m going to go more in depth about the history behind Queen, some of their most famous songs, and a few of my favorite songs.

To start the story of how Queen became a band, we actually need to talk about a totally different band that some of the members were in. This band was called Smile and consisted of three members: Tim Staffell, the lead singer and bassist, Brian May, the guitarist, and Roger Taylor, the drummer. They all had a friend named Freddie Bulsara, soon to change his name to Freddie Mercury once Queen was started. After only two years of the band being together, Tim Staffell quit the band. Smile was out of luck until Freddie auditioned for the role of lead singer. On March 1, 1971, after going through multiple bassists, Queen chose John Deacon to be the band’s bass player. John Deacon wrote several hits for the band like “You’re My Best Friend,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “I Want to Break Free,” and “Under Pressure,” but those are for another story. 

In 1975, Freddie Mercury wrote the masterpiece of a song called “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This six-minute-long song contains the names of different people from history, a world famous piano solo, and two epic electric guitar solos. Many people have described this song as the best song ever written. In the song, Freddie Mercury chose different famous people from history to represent the different band members. Scaramouche, a stock character from the Italian theater who was always getting himself into trouble, represents Freddie. Galileo, a famous astronomer, represents Brian May, who loved science and astronomy. Figaro represents John Deacon, who was the quietest one of the band. Beelzebub, the ancient Hebrew word for Satan, represents Roger Taylor, who was the crazy party animal of the band. 

It took Freddie just three weeks to write the song, and by Christmas of that same year, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was the number one song for nine straight weeks.  It was the first song to get number one in the UK twice with the same version. It’s also a pretty cool song in general. 

It’s split up into four very different parts which makes it even better! The first 15 seconds is just all the band members harmonizing, and then the piano comes in, which leads to Freddie performing his epic piano and vocal solo (If some of you don’t know what that part is, it’s the “Mamaaa oooohh” part). 

The next part, in my opinion, is the best and most well known part of the song: the operatic section. The reason why I think it’s the most well known is because one of my friends literally thought the name of the song was “The Galileo Song.”  It does obviously make sense why she thought that, because Freddie and Roger sing: “Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Figaro,” with Roger singing really high and Freddie singing really low. (Also, random fact: Roger has a four octave vocal range which is INSANE. Okay, I’m done now, back to what I was saying.) At the end of that part of the song, Roger has another really high note, even higher than the Galileo one. All it is is him just singing: “for MEEEEEE” really high. 

The next part of the song is basically just Brian playing a really upbeat guitar solo, Freddie singing an upbeat solo, and Roger playing the drums really well to make that part of the song even more upbeat. Then the last part is Freddie playing the piano, but much slower and more calmly, like the first part of the song, and singing: “Nothing really matters, anyone can see. Nothing really matters…nothing really matters to me,” and the rest of the band singing after him: “any way the wind blows…” Then, Roger hits a gong. Believe me, the song is much better when you listen to it instead of just hearing me rant about how good it is, but I’m just here to sum it all up for you.

Another famous Queen song is “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” This song was actually written as a tribute to the singing star from the 50s, Elvis Presley. Freddie really looked up to Elvis as a songwriter and performer, so one day, when he was enjoying a bath, he wrote the song…in only ten minutes. All of the parts of the song in TEN MINUTES. The fact that he wrote that song that good in that short amount of time blows my mind. The song has a cool 50s vibe to it, so much so that when I was little, I thought that Elvis was the one who actually wrote the song! That just goes to show how talented Freddie Mercury was.

Moving on to my favorite song of all time: “Don’t Stop Me Now.” I can’t even form words about how much I love this song!!! It’s just so good, catchy, and upbeat, and it puts me in such a good mood! The whole song is literally just Freddie saying how no one can stop him from having a good time. It starts off like most of Queen’s songs – really slowly- but then it gets faster and really catchy. I don’t really know how to describe it other than just the fact it’s just so catchy, and I 100% recommend that right now you put in some earbuds, go to whatever music app you use, and just look it up and listen to it!

Since you’ve heard my opinions about Queen, now it’s time to let other people share theirs!

The first quote is my personal favorite, and it also just so happens to come from my fellow member of the class of 2026, Rachael Botelho! She said:

I personally love this band. When you just sit down and focus on the music’s rhythm, beat, the instruments, vocals, etc., you see the amount of musical talent and detail put into the songs. They each have a story behind the songs. Some are just catchy like ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Another One Bites The Dust,’ and others are not repetitive at all and have an extreme amount of detail like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’” 

NOW CAN I GET A LOVELY ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR RACHAEL? I MEAN THAT WAS JUST BEAUTIFUL (and no, I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend). The next quote comes from another one of my friends, Maria Silveyra Dodds ’26. When asked about Queen, she said: “I know who they are. I know the songs ‘We Will Rock You,’ ‘We Are The Champions,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ and ‘Another One Bites The Dust.’ I know the songs, but to be honest, I don’t know anything about them.” 

CAN I GET ANOTHER LOVELY ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR MARIA FOR AT LEAST KNOWING THE CLASSIC QUEEN SONGS! Ok, I need to calm down, but it just makes me so happy when other people enjoy Queen too.

I thought I would end my article with my favorite Freddie Mercury quote, so here it is!

Someone will always be prettier. Someone will always be smarter. Someone will always be younger. But they will never be you.

              ~Freddie Mercury


Keira Hyatt, Staff Writer