Mother Love

Composer: Brian May & Freddie Mercury
Album: Made In Heaven
Meter: 4/4
Key: g minor, Bb Major

      Intro I - II (Verse) | Verse I-II | Bridge I - II |
                          || Verse'| Solo |
                           | Verse"| Outro |

"Mother Love" was the very last Queen song Freddie Mercury recorded and co-written (mainly the lyrics). The dramatic of the situation is present in the mood of the song.
The key (g-minor - two flats) is a rare choice for May more common for Mercury. On the otrher hand the relative key modulation for the Bridge is one of May's trademarks. The chord set is based on the six diatonic chords, plus we have many inverted chords and two diminished sevenths. The


The intro consists of two parts the first of which is a one measure percussion hook (shades of "These Are The Days...") played four times then continued behind most of the song. The second part of the intro is an instrumental Verse. The third phrase adds synth chords to the guitar hook. The intro hook returns once again before the second Verse.

The Verse consists of two parts, first of which is a four times repeated phrase (2+2+2+2 AAAA). The backbone of the harmony is a pedal bass and descending parallel sixths a classic May trademark - except of the its descent and minor-key environement. John Deacon starts the second subsection with his Innuendo-era trademark 1-5-8-9-8 motif (see also in "The Show..." and "...Our Lives")

/-------- 4x --------\\
| Gm  F/G | F/G EB/G |
| i   VII | VII  VI  |

| Eb   | -    |
| VI   | -    |

| Cm7  | -    |
| iv   | -    |

| Gm   | -    | -    | -    |
| i    | -    | -    | -    |

The ending of the first Verse ends with widely oscillating speedy stereo arpeggios (arpeggiator or sequenced) and fade in distorted guitars.
Second verse adds a spacer after the first subsection prolonging the next chord (Eb). The last phrase lasts only two measures transiting to the solo section. It adds a nice glissando up (guitar?) chord.
Third verse is sung by Brian May as Freddie Mercury could not complete the lead vocal tracks. One of the most dramatic moments of rock music...
This last Verse shortens the first subsection to two phrase.

The 14 measure bridge can be divided into two subsection the first of which has four-squared phrasing (2+2+2+2). In contrast with those other Brian ballads with relative key modulations this bridge does begins on the tonic. The new key establishes with a strong ii > V > I cadence softened by inverted chords. The lead melody is higher then in the Verse, it reaches its top in the climactic second subsection.

| Eb   | Cm7  /Bb |
| IV   | ii       |

| Fsus2>1/A  | Bb(sus2>1) |
| V          | I          |

| Dm   | Gm   |
| iii  | vi   |

| Cm   | D7   |
| ii   | V/vi |

| Eb   | -    |
| IV   | -    |

| Ebm  | -    |
| iv   | -    |

| D*   | - Gbdim7 |
|      |   bvidim |

D*: D(1-7-8-11) = Gsus4/D

The 6th phrase is a minor-mode variant of the 5th including the bass counter-melody.

The solo grows out from the second Verse. The arrangement of the hook-progression drops the guitar parallel sixths.
To make things less predictable the first phrase is repeated only three times. The following two phrase transposes the main hook to the iv chord (Cm) suggesting it was the tonic. The original tonic returns only for the ending. Note the stepwise descending bassline (D to G) balanced out by the ascending tune of the guitar solo.

/-------- 3x --------\\
| Gm  F/G | F/G EB/G |
| i   VII | VII  VI  |

/-------- 2x ---------
| Cm Bb/C | Bb/C Ab/C |
| iv  ... | ...       |

| D    | Cm   |
| V    | iv   |

| D Cdim7 | Gm/Bb D/A |
| V ivdim7|  i     V  |

| Gm   | -    |
| i    | -    |

The guitar solo is echoed twice reverbed, probably fingerpicked, its rhythm is often non-quantized.

The outro grows out from the last Verse. The montage clip is familiar from "No More Of That Jazz" (1978). The conception is that we are going back in time till the born.

- audience noise
- "One Vision"
- stage improvisation from Live Aid
- "Tie Your Mother Down" live
- high speed rewind
- Going Back (Larry Lurex)
- psychadelic noises
- baby cry