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Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen: Song Analysis

Musical Elements in Don’t Stop Me Now

One might say that Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen is the perfect example of the rock band’s overall musical style. Here one can hear the combined melodic sound of a set of musical instruments that is both unique and traditional in this legendary group. These include classic duos of electric and bass guitars, as well as percussion and piano (“Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (Official Video)”). His bandmates’ upbeat backing vocals periodically support Freddie Mercury’s aggressive and flamboyant main vocals (“Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (Official Video)”). The tempo in Don’t Stop Me Now picks up quickly, the tension’s highest point reaches itself in the mid, and then the song’s pacing gradually slackens.

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The Content of Don’t Stop Me Now

The lecture showed that Freddie Mercury had included a variety of personal and societal topics in the lyrics of Don’t Stop Me Now. This song is a channel through which he shares the happiness and joyfulness that he is experiencing due to his creative blossoming and incredible popularity. As many have noted, the song discusses and further explores his bisexuality (NotEleven et al.). It is also a message to people of his generation, especially those of similar sexual preferences, that they should feel and live every moment and keep pushing even beyond the peak of their success. Interestingly, Don’t Stop Me Now may also be Mercury’s interpretation of the Icarus myth, where the one dies due to entrancement (Ancarola). The singer uses metaphors and idioms associated with flying, high temperatures, fire, and space bodies (NotEleven et al.). Many believe that this myth is an admonition for youth. Mercury interprets this as the emotional and physical ecstasy and satisfaction of enjoying being on the top are worth the possible fatal consequences.

Changes and Similarities in the Content and Sounding of Rock and Roll Songs of the 50s and 70s

The lyrics of Don’t Stop Me Now show a significant shift in moral priorities due to the sexual revolution in the Western hemisphere. Mercury boldly and daringly reveals his sex drive and life, bisexuality, and narcissistic character (NotEleven et al.). The turns of phrases are not used to hide the sexual message of the song but to show off his lyricist skills and tease conservative listeners. Conversely, 50s rock and roll songs mainly focused on broad and light themes such as happiness, first love, and fun; they were full of lightheartedness and naivety. Sexual topics were rarely touched upon; if the singers did, they used more sophisticated and intricate metaphors and idioms to disguise these. From a technical and sound perspective, Don’t Stop Me Now is a natural progression of the styles of rock and roll giants of the 50s, such as Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. The structures of pacing, rhythm, tempo and melodies remained the same; they just got faster and more complex.

Mercury’s Race and Openness of Sex in Lyrics

Thanks to documentaries and feature movies, it is now a well-known fact to the public that the name Freddie Mercury bore was not his real one. Simply put, “Freddie’s real name was Farrokh Bulsara,” and “his family identified as Indian Parsi” (Lee). Although Mercury did not include this element of his personality in the lyrics, the song itself is an example of self-exploration from the perspective of an ethnic minority at a time when sexual and racial prejudice was only beginning to fade. Moreover, Don’t Stop Me Now was one of the first songs to bring genuine intimacy and open sex to rock and roll lyrics.

Works Cited

Ancarola, Gabi. “The Tragic Story of the Fall of Icarus.” Greek Reporter, 2021, Web.

Lee, Ashley. “‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ glosses over Freddie Mercury’s roots and religion — just like he did.” Los Angeles Times, 2018, Web.

NotEleven et al. “Don’t Stop Me Now.” Genius, Web.

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“Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (Official Video).” YouTube, uploaded by Queen Official, 2008, Web.

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