2nd Chance to Hear: Brian Ruckley’s SFF Song of the Week

I’m on holiday this week but I’ve cunningly programmed this machine to publish this lovely song choice in my absence.

Here’s a Queen song chosen by Brian Ruckley, which is by way of an intro to NEXT week’s choice by my buddy Jeff Somers, which you will also love.

Take it away, for a second time, Brian:

Brian Ruckley writes:

Here’s some musical fantasy from a creator who was himself a unique, larger than life, vaguely numinous presence in the last quarter of the 20th century: Freddie Mercury. Lots of Queen’s songs have a slightly science fictional or fantastical vibe – elaborate concoctions fuelled by a shifting, vivid, sometimes surreal imagination – but The Seven Seas of Rhye is a rather different beast.

This is explicitly epic, secondary world fantasy fiction done as a brief, grandiose rock song. Rhye and its seas existed, but only in the minds of Freddie Mercury and his sister, who dreamed it up together when they were children. Others might settle for imaginary friends; they invented a whole world, and stories to inhabit it. Rhye is the setting for several early Queen songs (including the brilliantly titled Ogre Battle, which sounds like it ought to be a D&D soundtrack), but The Seven Seas of Rhye is the (modest) hit that immortalized it. And with lyrics like these:

Be gone with you, you shod and shady senators
Give out the good, leave out the bad evil cries
I challenge the mighty titan and his troubadours
And with a smile I’ll take you to the seven seas of Rhye

Doesn’t it sound as though there’s a hell of a book in there somewhere?

Fear me you lords and lady preachers
I descend upon your Earth from the skies
I command your very souls you unbelievers
Bring before me what is mine, the seven seas of Rhye

Can you hear me you peers and privy counsellors
I stand before you naked to the eyes
I will destroy any man who dares abuse my trust
I swear that you’ll be mine, the seven seas of Rhye

Sister, I live and lie for you
Mister, do and I’ll die
You are mine, I possess you, I belong to you forever

Storm the master-marathon, I’ll fly through
By flash and thunder-fire I’ll survive, I’ll survive, I’ll survive I’ll survive, I’ll survive
Then I’ll defy the laws of nature and come out alive
Then I’ll get you

Be gone with you, you shod and shady senators
Give out the good, leave out the bad evil cries
I challenge the mighty titan and his troubadours
And with a smile I’ll take you to the seven seas of Rhye

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