Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody ‘Good song if unwell or down’


What’s YOUR best ‘pick-me-up’ song?

26 October 2014

Queen in 1977
Queen in 1977 – Bohemian Rhapsody reached number one in the UK charts on two occasions

What is a Bohemian Rhapsody?

Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is a good song for people to listen to if they feel unwell or down, a poll suggests.

A ComRes survey for BBC local radio for Faith in the World Week, which is exploring the healing power of music, offered 1,000 people 10 choices.

Dancing Queen by Abba came second, with Happy by Pharrell Williams in joint third with “classical music” generally.

More than two-thirds of those polled said they like listening to music when they do not feel well. And nearly nine-out-of-ten of respondents agreed that listening to music can make people feel better when they are sick or facing difficult times.

Faith in the World Week, which runs until 2 November, is examining how music can change and shape people’s lives. It will be supported by special programming on local radio, on Radio 2 and online.

Overall, 81% of Britons say that they have been made to feel better by listening to music. Just 36% said that they prefer to listen to speech than music when they are not feeling well, the poll found.

Asked to select specific music, almost 30% of men choose Bohemian Rhapsody from the list provided. Fewer women – 23% – put it first, with 28% naming Dancing Queen. Only 16% of men opted for the Abba track.

Among the over-65s, classical music made more of an impression, with 39% saying they wanted to listen to it when they’re ill or down.

Among younger adults, Happy was the most popular song. Songs by Bob Marley, Robbie Williams and Michael Jackson were also on the list presented in the survey.

Bohemian Rhapsody is taken from Queen’s A Night at the Opera album. Nearly six minutes long, the track went to number one in the UK singles charts on two occasions – on its initial release in November 1975, and in 1991 following the death of the band’s frontman Freddie Mercury.

Queen said they regarded the track as a showcase of their technical skill and the song encompasses several musical styles. But although Bohemian Rhapsody topped the poll for its apparent cheering and soothing effects, its subject matter is a man’s confession to a murder.