The legendary rock band Queen produced countless hits during their tenure. The secrets of these evergreen songs are the unparalleled musical output, the lyrical prowess of each member of the band, and the vocal talents of Freddie Mercury. One of those songs that captures all of these elements very well is the band’s “Killer Queen” released in 1974. It was one of their first songs to break through, and even to reach the top of the charts in foreign countries in Europe. and outside of Europe.
“Killer Queen” is the second track from Queen’s 1974 album “Sheer Heart Attack”. This album also contains other songs such as “Brighton Rock”, “Flick of the Wrist”, “Lilly of the Valley” and “Stone Cold Crazy”.
In an interview with NME, Freddie Mercury explained what “Killer Queen” means;
“People are used to hard rock, Queen’s energetic music, but with this single you almost expect Noel Coward to sing it. It’s one of those bowler hats, black garter belt numbers – not that Coward would wear that… It’s about a high class call girl. I’m trying to say that fancy people can be whores too. That’s what the song is about, although I’d rather people put their interpretation in it – read what they like. – Freddie Mercury / NME
- 1 What makes “Killer Queen” unique?
- 2 Watch Queen’s “Killer Queen” Music Video
- 3 Lyrics review and meaning of the song “Killer Queen”
- 4 Watch Queen perform “Killer Queen” live
What makes “Killer Queen” unique?
According to Queen’s guitarist Brian May, this song is quite special for Queen.
“The whole record was made in a very traditional way. I always like to listen to it because there is a lot to listen to, but it is never crowded. There is always room for all the little ideas to come. And of course I like the solo, with that three-part section, where each part has its own voice. What can I say ? It’s vintage Queen. – Brian May / Quora
According to Genius, this song has an unusual lyric structure. The structure of the song goes from 4 bars to 5 bars and even 2 bars immediately with tempos varying from 12/8 to 6/8, and vice versa.
In addition to this, “Killer Queen” is played on a major key in Eb, which is not a popular tone in rock music. Brian May suffered from hepatitis when the song was first recorded. The other members went to record their tracks and left room for May to collect and record, which eventually happened.
On top of all of this, you might notice the different musical effects used on the track. This technology is called multi-tracking, and it is actually used in the song. Some effects used in this song are flanger (pitch bends), panning (the sound moving from the left ear to the right), portamento / glissando (sliding from one note to another), distortion ( giving a sound distortion effect), wah-wah on the guitar, bending and sliding of the strings.
The lyrics of “Killer Queen” are very fluid. You might notice how easily they roll over the tongue and the jump bar pattern gives the song a pop rather than rock feel to it.
“Killer Queen” was a big hit in several countries. In the UK, the song reached number two on the charts and made it to the top 20 in the US and Canada, and the top 30 in Australia. This song was the break Queen was looking for.
Watch Queen’s “Killer Queen” Music Video
As Freddie Mercury explained very explicitly in his interview with the NME, “Killer Queen” is about a high class escort. In other words, a prostitute who only caters to the elite. He also says that this song is about high class people who can be “bitches”. So, the song could be a reflection on how people who look classy and pure on the outside are actually dirty and sold on the inside. However, Mercury invites us to have an open mind as we go through the song and develop our own interpretation.
Download the song “Killer Queen” from iTunes and Amazon
Buy the album “Sheer Heart Attack” on iTunes and Amazon
Lyrics review and meaning of the song “Killer Queen”
A high class escort obviously has high class tastes. Throughout the song, Queen describes her choices and personality.
Moët & Chandon is a brand of luxury fresh liqueurs emblematic of high-end champagnes.
Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793) was an Archduchess of Austria and Queen of France and Navarre. She was the fifteenth child of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I. The French didn’t like her claiming to be of Austrian descent and called her “Autre-chienne” meaning “Other bitch”. These thoughts were nourished because of his promiscuity and his sympathies for the enemies of France. Marie-Antoinette is mistakenly linked to the phrase “let them eat cake” due to her lack of contact with commoners.
The expression “let them eat cake” is a translation of the French expression “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”. These words were apparently spoken by a prominent princess of France who had no contact with the French people. When this princess learned that the common people did not have bread to eat, she allegedly announced “they eat cake”, which is absurd in every sense of the word. Cake is more difficult to bake than bread and needs more ingredients. People without bread would obviously have no way of baking a cake. The phrase is often used to interpret lack of contact with practicality or common sense.
Other classic Queen tracks “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “The Show Must Go On”, “We Are The Champions”, “Radio Ga Ga”, “Under Pressure”, “Love Of My Life”.
This “killer queen” was a built-in cure, which means a cure for many men. Queen also drags the names of Nikita Khrushchev (Prime Minister of the USSR from 1958 to 1964) and John F. Kennedy (President of the United States from 1961 to 1963) who had tensions between them (and the two countries) during the Cold War. Queen suggests that the tensions of these two men could have been appeased by this escort. Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy are both accused of their sex life in real life. Kennedy for his adventures with Marylin Monroe and Khrushchev for engaging in scandalous sex, including with his wife.
In the last lines of the first verse, Freddie Mercury describes this escort behavior. She is familiar with the label (high demeanor between people), a very nice personality and her taste for caviar (wild sturgeon roe from the Caspian and Black Sea) and cigarettes.
There are arguments that “Killer Queen” could also refer to a transgender escort.
Whatever it is, she has a gunpowder and a dynamite of a personality; a body like gelatin and a laser-like focus to blow your “mind”.
The word “at any time” is used alone to enhance its effect. As an escort, regardless of the class, they should be ready to meet the wishes of their spendthrift at all times. Usually high class escorts have higher standards and demands than prostitutes.
Watch Queen perform “Killer Queen” live
These lines are a recommendation from Queen for this escort. They highly recommend it for its price. And she will take care of your insatiable appetite. And they playfully ask the listener if they want to try too?
Being an escort is not an easy job. She must engage with high level personnel as a high class escort. So there might be a minister with an unhealthy attachment to her; there might be a businessman with crooks who only want to own it for himself; there might be policemen watching his route. All of this proves difficult to resolve if it stays in one place. But on the other hand, if she moves, she can avoid unnecessary problems in her escort life. Prostitution is still illegal in most parts of the world.
A baroness is the lowest title in the royal line. However, the baronesses are still well educated and spoken than the common people. She’s an escort, so she’ll never be high royalty. But she has just what it takes to place in the elite.
Geishas are traditional dancers, often mistaken for prostitutes. KG Henshall wrote that the geisha’s purpose was “to entertain her client, whether by dancing, reciting verses, playing musical instruments, or engaging in light conversation.” Therefore, one could interpret that the role of Geisha was somewhat similar to that of an escort without the sexual activities.
Its extravagant tastes like luxury perfumes come straight from Paris. It is possible that his wealthy clients present them to him as well. She doesn’t need cars; high class escorts are usually picked up by the client’s driver and dropped off at their apartment.
“Fastidious” means “attention to detail”. This may have to do with his routine with each client. Usually high class escorts are expected to establish a relationship with their client. Usually it will not be a one-off concert. Therefore, she would be expected to know the client very personally, and she should keep track of each of them.
These lyrics to “Killer Queen” are dedicated to detailing the nature of this escort’s sex play with her clients. Playful like a kitty, stopping and starting again, teasing, and very very eager and willing to play with you. She’s a pro in this area.
“Killer Queen” is probably one of the most effective songs to describe a high class call girl’s manners and style. The tone of the song matches the playfulness of the lyrics perfectly. Freddie Mercury, still the showman, does an amazing job in the clip to show his excitement by this girl.
The song has been covered by many artists over the years. A few notable covers are featured below.
Cover of “Killer Queen” by 5 Seconds of Summer
Cover of “Killer Queen” by Panic! At the disco
Leave us your thoughts and ideas on Queen’s “Killer Queen” and let us know what this song is about! If you have any different interpretations of the song’s lyrics and meaning, let us know in the comments below. If you liked this article, be sure to rate it below and share it with your friends.
In a 2021 documentary titled “Queen: The Greatest,” more details were given on the song’s composition and background. Take a look below.
Queen’s “Killer Queen” Full Lyrics
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