Song Interpretation

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Song Interpretation

Postby Montavilla » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:37 pm

Oh, I feel fearful doing this...

Okay. Now that the concerts are done and the videos posted, I wonder if we could possibly have a discussion comparing/contrasting various interpretations of Queen songs. I was going to say between Freddie and Adam, but I don't see why we couldn't include other performers in the mix.

I would like to request, as a courtesy, that we try to stay away from concepts like "so-and-so (okay, Adam) is utter shit" or "so-and-so (Okay, Adam) delivers the most incredible, amazing, stunning, original, soul-piercing... etc." You get the idea. Can we try this without superlatives, please?

To begin:

I get a little puzzled about the story of "I Want to Break Free." When Adam sings it, my sense is that he's in a relationship, but fallen in love with someone else. While it's scary to think of leaving the person he's with, he needs to break free for clarity and figure out what's going on.

Watching Freddie sing it, I get the sense that it's more directed to one person. That maybe the person he wants to break free from is the person he's fallen in love with. That he wants to break free because he wants independence from any longterm relationship. Like a guy who refuses to get married because he doesn't want to limit his options.

What do you think?
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Re: Song Interpretation

Postby The Sixpence » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:16 pm

I think you're reading far too much into things!
 
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Re: Song Interpretation

Postby Montavilla » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:25 pm

The Sixpence wrote:I think you're reading far too much into things!


Fair enough. But presumably songs are about things. What do you think that song is about?
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Re: Song Interpretation

Postby AdamMethos » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:40 pm

Montavilla wrote:I get a little puzzled about the story of "I Want to Break Free." When Adam sings it, my sense is that he's in a relationship, but fallen in love with someone else. While it's scary to think of leaving the person he's with, he needs to break free for clarity and figure out what's going on.

Watching Freddie sing it, I get the sense that it's more directed to one person. That maybe the person he wants to break free from is the person he's fallen in love with. That he wants to break free because he wants independence from any longterm relationship. Like a guy who refuses to get married because he doesn't want to limit his options.


When Freddie sings it, my interpretation is that someone who's in a dysfunctional relationship is realizing that they have to get away even though they are in love the person they're leaving.

I've only seen the Adam's Kiev performance of the song, so I don't have any thoughts on how he interprets the song. Perhaps you can post the video of Adam singing IWTBF that gives you that impression? (I think Adam is fine singing Queen songs for the most part, but I don't love him enough to trawl through every video on YouTube of him performing with Q+AL! :lol: )
 
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Re: Song Interpretation

Postby voodoogirl » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:59 pm

I just love that video.. that's all. Damn shame it was banned, I remember that from my MTV generation days.
 
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Re: Song Interpretation

Postby Montavilla » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:42 pm

AdamMethos wrote:
Montavilla wrote:I get a little puzzled about the story of "I Want to Break Free." When Adam sings it, my sense is that he's in a relationship, but fallen in love with someone else. While it's scary to think of leaving the person he's with, he needs to break free for clarity and figure out what's going on.

Watching Freddie sing it, I get the sense that it's more directed to one person. That maybe the person he wants to break free from is the person he's fallen in love with. That he wants to break free because he wants independence from any longterm relationship. Like a guy who refuses to get married because he doesn't want to limit his options.


When Freddie sings it, my interpretation is that someone who's in a dysfunctional relationship is realizing that they have to get away even though they are in love the person they're leaving.

I've only seen the Adam's Kiev performance of the song, so I don't have any thoughts on how he interprets the song. Perhaps you can post the video of Adam singing IWTBF that gives you that impression? (I think Adam is fine singing Queen songs for the most part, but I don't love him enough to trawl through every video on YouTube of him performing with Q+AL! :lol: )


It's the Kiev performance that I'm thinking of. Here it is for easy reference:



When he sings, "I've fallen in love for the first time," I believe that. But I find it hard to believe it's the same person he's trying to get away from. Also, it seems like Adam is talking to a third person (Brian or the audience), and talking himself through the decision.

Here's Freddie live:


Freddie seems to be talking more directly at the "you" in the song. And he seems angrier about the situation (which seems dysfunctional in both versions).

And just to round things out, here is Paul Rodgers:

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Re: Song Interpretation

Postby lizg » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:57 pm

This is an interesting thread, Montavilla.

I Want to Break Free was written By John Deacon.

When Adam sings the song, there's a lot of hope in it for him. I do agree it seems he switches to talk to a third person or just thinking it through for himself. It seems he's driven more to leave by focusing on the love someone else has for him. You just know he's going to leave..soon.

When Freddie sings it, I feel he's more driven to break free by the one who's treating him wrong than by the new guy he's fallen for. It seems his spirit is telling him to leave, but something seems a little more stuck.

What stands out for me when Paul sings is his last line he sings. He's looking at the human condition that sometimes we all just have to break free from something for the sake of our spirit.
 
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Re: Song Interpretation

Postby Montavilla » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:39 pm

lizg wrote:What stands out for me when Paul sings is his last line he sings. He's looking at the human condition that sometimes we all just have to break free from something for the sake of our spirit.


Yes! I didn't know how to put it, but you're right. With Paul it does seem to be about humanity, while with Freddie and Adam, it seems more a specific relationship (or two).

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Re: Song Interpretation

Postby Rhapsody Blue » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:39 am

The Sixpence wrote:I think you're reading far too much into things!


Freddie agrees with Sixpence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCWYqxCp2lc
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