Jun 02, 2023
By Andy Johnson
It is considered one of the enduing classics from one of music’s greatest bands.
Never-before-seen draft lyrics of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” suggest that singer Freddie Mercury considered giving his mock-opera anthem a somewhat different title.
The discovery was made following the emergence of a 15-page folio of lyrics, vocal lines and harmonies handwritten by the singer as he composed the song in 1974.
Near the top of the introductory page, Mercury appears to have crossed out the word “Mongolian” before replacing it with the now-famous “Bohemian.”
Queen recorded it in 1975 as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and it went on to become the band’s defining hit.
The manuscript is among approximately 1,500 of Mercury’s personal belongings heading to auction at Sotheby’s in London.
It is expected to fetch upwards of $1.5 million when it goes under the hammer in September.
Freddy Mercury died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 45.