Read all 5 events for 16 December at diary.QueenSongs.info
Composer: Freddie Mercury
Key: d-minor, D-Major > E-Major
Intro | Verse I-II || Chorus I-II | Intro'| Verse I-II || Chorus I-II | | Solo (Chorus) | | Verse II || Chorus I-II'| Outro (Intro')
This song is late and distant shade of Mercury's musichall influented songwriting.
The songform shows cyclic design, with an intevening instrumental solo section and some double-phrases. The harmony on paper is built upon two parallel keysm but lacks that special change of mood that characterizes the parallel key modulations. The last chorus is shifted up one key without the "lifting" effect of the usual keyshifts executed between consecutive choruses. The harmony is full of various types of diminished chords, while normal diatonic chords beside the tonics are hardly used.
The main instrument is an odd toned synth which played often in arpeggio style. Piano and guitar are just overdubbed.
The bassline is full of "sligthly mad" extravagancas, but it's buried most of the time. Mercury's lead vocal line is probably averagely the lowest in the Queen songbook.
The six bar intro exposes the tonic chord arpeggiated in three different inversions. Bass and (guitar?) chimes enter for the third phrase.
| Dm | - | | i | - | | Dm/F | - | | i6/3 | - | | Dm/A | - | | i6/4 | - |
The second cycle is also introduced with a two bar shortened variant of the intro with more chimes.
The outro is a closer variant of the intro. Plus ingredients: drumtrack, off-beat lead guitar fill (m.2-3), syncopated piano fill (m5-6). The whole thing is closed by a solo ascending scalar bass run.
The verses are a square 16 measure long followed by a two bar instrumental connector. The phrase structure is ABABCDCD-i harmony wise, melody wise it is more variant, also between the cycles.
The rhythm track carries throughout a constant 8/8 pulsing while the lead vocal is flexibly rhythmized often using triplets (eg m7, m11).
| Dm | - | | i | - | | Ehalfdim | Edim7 | | ii* | - | | Dm | - | | i | - | | Ehalfdim | Edim | | ii* | - |
From here on the key is ambigous. The F# and G chords weakly suggest a b-minor key which is the relative minor key of the D-Major key where we eventually arrive.
/---------------- 2x----------------\\ | F#7 | - | | G(6) | - | | A7(9>8)| - | | V-of-D | - |
The second verse adds tigth backing vocal harmonies during the second subsection.
The third Verse that follows the solo omits the first eight measures. The instrumental closing phrase shits the key up by one whole step. The arpeggios here are doubled with sampled vocal synths.
| A7(9>8)| B7(9>8) |
The first subsection of the chorus is the doubled-up title phrase, second time extended with an extra measure that provides place for the upbeat of the second subsection.
/---------- 2x ---------\\ | D | Ddim Ehalfdim7 | (Ehalfdim7) | | I | idim iidim | - |
During the second subsection the harmony has no established center. The F chord doesn't sound like either of a bIII-of-D, IV-of-C (the latter suggested by the neighbour Em chord) or the new tonic chord.
| F | - | | Em | - | | F | - | | Abdim7 | Gm6 | | ... | iv |
The first chorus followed by a short re-intro. The second chorus closes with a one measure Dm chord whcih is followed by the opening D chord of the instrumental solo-chorus. This solo-chorus is also closed by a one measure Dm chord and its followed by a one measure mini break ("uh-uh-ah-ah").
| Dm | | i |
The last chorus doubles up the last vocal phrase before the outro. Guitar tremolo picked glissando in m.5 and sampled voice echos in m.6.
The buttleneck slide guitar solo is an instrumental chorus. The first few notes even qoute the original lead vocal melody. The solo track consists of four fragments (m1-5, m6-7 m8-9, m10- ) varying in terms of tone, range-position and stereo panning