Bohemian Parody

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I see a little silhouetto of a...whatever!

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen is quite an Ear Worm. Pretty much everyone can recognize the distinctive and complex melody, most people know the lyrics (at least approximately), it's a melding of numerous musical genres from rock to opera (thus lending itself nicely to being played with using other genres as well), and it also has a rather famous and recognisable music video. As a result, thanks to its distinctive nature and Small Reference Pools, it's become quite a common subject for Parody.

There are several common approaches. The first is to keep the melody more or less intact but change the lyrics to suit a new, comic purpose. The second is to keep the song more or less the same, but have it sung by unlikely or inappropriate stand-ins for Queen (such as the crew of the U.S.S Enterprise) or in much sillier or inappropriate voices, and a third is to keep the lyrics the same but change the melody from a dramatic fusion of rock and opera that something a bit less... bombastic. Then, once you're done, all you need to do is replace the 'Bohemian' part of the title with something more appropriate to your current purposes so that the title becomes "[X] Rhapsody", and bingo! Instant hilarity!

Since any of these options allow for endless fun to be had with the song, it's a popular target for fandom parodies. Of the different sections of the song to parody, popular ones include the 'ballad' section ("Mama, just killed a man...") and especially the 'opera' section ("I see a little silhouetto of a man" to "Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me for me, for me!").

While the song is subject to numerous parodies, the music video for the song is itself quite well-recognised and thus also subject to frequent parodies and visual homage. The stock visual parody in this case is the instantly recognisable image of four people arranged in a 'diamond' formation against a dark background, with the lighting arranged to suggest that their heads are disembodied (an image frequently used through the video, taken from the cover of the band's second album).


Examples:

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  • Done with the British Royal Family in the Spitting Image sketch song "We Are The Royal Family", which is musically a parody of "We Are the Champions", but shows the Royals' heads with the same positions and lighting as Queen's at the start of their music video.
  • An episode of Father Ted features the hyperactively annoying Father Noel Furlong subjecting everyone he's stuck in a cave with to an impromptu solo rendition of the song in which he does all the parts himself.

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