Tear Jerker: Queen
No one can ever accuse this classic rock band of not being able to perform sad songs:
- Ultimately, the greatest tear jerker moment for Queen was November 24, 1991, when one of the greatest voices in the history of music faded away for ever. Freddie Mercury was only 45 years old when he died, leaving the rest of the world poorer for the music it never got to hear.
- "The Show Must Go On". All the more heartrending is the fact that this is the closing track of Innuendo. What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?
- From the other wiki: "Demo versions featured May singing, having to sing some parts in falsetto because they were too high. When Brian May presented the final demo to Mercury, he had doubts that Mercury would be physically capable of singing the song's highly demanding vocal line, due to the extent of his illness at the time. To May's surprise, when the time came to record the vocals, Mercury consumed a measure of vodka and said "I'll fuckin do it, darling!" then proceeded to nail the vocal line in one take without problems."
- Even the version used in Moulin Rouge! is tear-jerking. The combination of the old seamstresses doing their coloratura, the stark lighting and funereal imagery on Satine, Nicole Kidman's very effective emotional performance, and how the song segues into a very melancholy version of "Nature Boy" at the end (itself already something of a Tear Jerker) can really get to one.
- The Show Must Go On will make you cry in three ways: The sad lyrics, the Reality Subtext with Freddie dying of AIDS while singing it, and the sheer, overwhelming awesomeness.
- Want a Queen tearjerker? Listen to Made in Heaven, Queen's last album, released 4 years after Mercury's death. Mercury recorded the lead vocals for many of the tracks during his final days. Numbers such as "Made in Heaven" and "Winter's Tale" (the last song Mercury wrote — reportedly, two weeks before he died) can be hard to listen through.
- By the same token, for Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor to pull themselves together emotionally and creatively to finish the record from what was left over (and it didn't appear that Freddie's death was easy to cope with for any of them) and produce such a quality effort was a Crowning Moment of Awesome for the surviving members of Queen, too.
- "Who Wants To Live Forever?" That song—the lyrics are a perfect tearjerker, considering it comes on when Connor McLeod's wife grows old and dies, since McLeod, being Immortal, never will. Sheer emotion in the last line always gets the waterworks started.
- As well as "Who Wants to Live Forever," a funeral dirge that gives way to a powerful middle eight that ends abruptly, replaced by an otherwordly outro.
- Made even worse at the 1986 Wembley concert. Freddie responds to rumours that the band are going to split up by triumphantly announcing "We're going to stay together until we fucking well die!", before introducing the next song - Who Wants To Live Forever.
- The Reality Subtext of this song isn't much better: it was written by Brian May while he was dealing with the death of his father and his first marriage.
- "These Are The Days of Our Lives" and its video runs a close second. Especially the ending with Freddie Mercury visibly thin and weak speaking the final line 'I still love you'.
- And then after the last album, after his death, the Made In Heaven album was released... and it's like Freddie came back from heaven to tell you "It's a beautiful day."
- And perhaps the only worthwhile effort after Freddie's death, "No One But You (Only the Good Die Young)"
- "Bohemian Rhapsody" alternates depressing with happy ("I see a little silhouetto of a man...") and ends with depressing. One of the interpretations of the song is that it's about a young man convicted of murder, probably wrongly accused, and it ends with the man accepting his fate as he heads to the gallows. The upbeat part? He's fighting it out in court. And he lost in the end. And if he wasn't wrongly accused (as seems evident from the lyrics) then it's possibly the only song that makes you feel genuine, tear-jerking sympathy with a murderer. "Life has just begun... and now I've gone and thrown it all away..."
- The final verse of "Under Pressure".
- "Dear Friends" from Sheer Heart Attack. A Brian May-penned lullaby that lasts for just over a minute, but it's enough to get you to break down. Once again, Freddie's passing makes the song even sadder.
- "'39". Though it's a bit more "aww" tears than sad tears.
- This video for the song gives it a new meaning. The pictures of Brian in 2008 singing "Don't you hear my call, though I'm many years away, don't you hear me calling you?" alternated with Queen performing in 1977 can really give certain people sad tears.
- There are also "All Dead, All Dead" and "Jealousy".
- "Mother Love", especially when you find out that it was the last song Freddie recorded, and that the reason Brian May sings the last verse is because Freddie didn't get to finish it in time...
- One thing is hearing Freddie singing with everything he's got at the very tail end of his life, which is heartwrenching enough on its own, but then, in that last verse, Brian sounds like he just came straight from the funeral and into the vocal booth, because the show had to go on...
- "Love Of My Life". It's even better live, when sometimes Freddie didn't even have to sing it at all because the whole audience was singing it for him.
- "Sail Away Sweet Sister" My God.
- "Bijou". That heatbreaking guitar, it sounds like it's crying. And the lyrics...
You and me we are destined you'll agree
To spend the rest of our lives with each other
The rest of our days like two lovers
- "Save Me".
Each night I cry
I still believe the lie
I love you 'til I die
Save me, save me, save me
I can't face this life alone
Oh, save me, save me, save me
I'm naked and I'm far from home
- "Too Much Love Will Kill You". Brian's solo version in particular, it's heartbreaking to hear him belt out "And it seems like there's no way out of this for me..."
- Steer clear of "Nevermore" if you've just gone through a breakup.
- "Jealousy" is certainly a Tear Jerker. Also a Mood Whiplash as it is placed in between "Fat Bottomed Girls" and "Bicycle Race" on the Jazz album.
- "I Want It All" when you know what it's about.
- Freddie's status as a Determinator is well-deserved, and it's incredibly sad (and awesome) to think about how hard he pushed himself, even in his final days as he was dying. The man is a legend, and for damn good reason.
- "Somebody To Love" is painfully resonant for many people who've struggled with depression and/or loneliness and/or doubting their faith. Just listen to the lyrics:
I work hard, every day of my life
I work 'til I ache in my bones.
At the end of the day I take home
My hard-earned pay, all on my own.
I get down on my knees and I start to pray
'Til the tears run down from my eyes, Lord!
Somebody, oooh, somebody!
Can anybody find me somebody to love?
I work hard, every day,
I try, and I try, and I try,
But everybody wants to put me down
They say I've gone crazy...
- Much of Brian's solo material is unbearably saddening. His own rendition of Lennon's "God", which he performed live, is a prime example.
I don't believe in being Queen any more
I just believe in me
- Life Is Real, their tribute to John Lennon, is basically the soundtrack to seeing your life flash before your eyes.
- "Long Away" by Brian May is an underrated song that, while it sounds happy, is actually really depressing lyrically.
- The ending to "In My Defence" which, technically, is a Freddie Mercury song and not Queen, but the way Freddie sounds at the end of it really makes it sound like he's reaching out for help. It really hits deep.
- Finally, the long untitled track on ''Made In Heaven", given the Fan Nickname of "Ascension". Wonder, etherealness, laughing, memory, "Ascension" is an appropriate appellation.