Queen - is there a Catholic link?

  • Ellen Teague
  • (Updated )

Is there much of a link to the Catholic world in the Queen story?

Well, in the early 1970s, when boys from London's Imperial College - including Brian May - attended discos at Maria Assumpta Teacher Training College in Kensington, the college, which later became Heythrop College, played a big part in the Queen story. In fact, Maria Assumpta is where the John Deacon first met Brian May and Roger Taylor, and where John and Brian met their wives. When John and a Catholic student of Maria Assumpta, Veronica Tetzlaff, married in January 1975, it was at the nearby Carmelite church in Church Street. Freddie Mercury is said to have made a grand entrance to the church wearing a feather boa and with a woman on either arm. Yet, there were Catholic links earlier - his final two years of schooling had been spent at St. Joseph's Catholic Convent School in Zanzibar.

Many find spiritual depth in the words of many Queen songs. Part of the reason that 'Highlander' is a cult fantasy film about the challenge of being immortal, is the haunting Queen soundtrack, especially 'Who wants to live forever'. Incidentally, the word in the song Bohemian Rhapsody 'Bismillah' is "In the name of God" in Arabic. The film touches on Mercury's respect for his parents' Parsi Zoroastrian beliefs by lifting a signature line - "good thoughts, good words, good deeds" - directly from the faith's "Three Good Things" ethos, as stressed in the Avesta, the religion's sacred text.

But perhaps it's the concluding 20 minutes of the film 'Bohemian Rhapsody' that highlights the theme of the common good, recognised in the social teaching of the great faiths. Hope is brought alive in the Live Aid concert of 1985, showing that affluent rock bands, music fans and ordinary people of all ages can unite in the common cause of helping the vulnerable.

Many CAFOD and aid agency staff were in Wembley that day and there was a feeling that after the concert there would be more money for their work, but, more than that, there could be a transformed world where the vulnerable would not be simply left to die at the peripheries. Rock stars like Bob Geldof and the Queen band were champions of the poor that day.

See also: ICN 28 February 2019 Bohemian Rhapsody - www.indcatholicnews.com/news/36606


Tags: Oscars, Film, Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddy Mercury, Live Aid, Rami Malek, Queen, #RamiMalek

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