“These Are the Days of Our Lives” by Queen
Freddie Mercury is an artist who knowingly faced his impending death a lot more bravely than most musicians do. Indeed most human beings, if they knew they were set to leave the mortal plane, would not dedicate as much of their remaining strength as possible to their profession.
Most people, if they were terminally ill, probably wouldn’t waste “hours and hours and hours” putting on makeup before making public appearances. So Freddie Mercury was a man who took his artistry seriously.
And unfortunately or fortunately, depending on one’s perspective, in his dying days he was tasked with some of the most shall we say life-centered songs in his career. For instance, we have tracks like “These Are the Days of Our Lives”.
Lyrics of “These Are the Days of Our Lives”
The lyrics have a very-nostalgic tone – so much so that many listeners are under the impression that it was written specifically with Mercury’s ailment in mind.
However, such is not the case. Rather Queen’s Roger Taylor is reflecting on his own childhood, or perhaps we can say childhood in general. And what inspired him to do so was actually observing his children.
So it’s like watching his kids gave him sentimental flashbacks, which are reflected in the lyrics.
Throughout he may be addressing one of his contemporaries or perhaps someone else, like his child. But either way, in the first verse especially he is, once again, reflecting back on his childhood.
And the thing he remembers the most isn’t specific experiences but rather what it felt like to be “crazy” and “young”. Those were the carefree days. Everything “seemed so perfect”, as if “the sun was always shining”.
That is because as children, it was as if they just lived on Earth for nothing but fun. But of course that type of outlook doesn’t last forever.
Second Verse written for Freddie Mercury?
The second verse is where the song comes off as if it were written specifically for Mercury. But again, such apparently was not the case. Either way it is based on the same overall conclusion, i.e. the singer coming to the realization that the carefreeness of his youth is forever lost.
In the midst of doing so, he wishes he had taken a little bit more time to enjoy himself when the opportunity was ripe. But the vocalist doesn’t come off as if he is about to die or anything like that. Rather it’s like he’s a responsible parent now and as such just isn’t afforded the luxury of blind cheerfulness.
However, he can derive such a feeling from watching his own children revel in their youth.
And that can be considered further proof that this verse wasn’t written with Mercury’s illness in mind, as Freddie didn’t actually have any children.
Meanwhile the chorus buttresses the thesis sentiment at hand, that the old “days are all gone”. But even though the vocalist may feel a bit discontent that he can’t reclaim innocence so to speak, he can still celebrate his love for the addressee.
And all things considered, that would most likely be one of his offspring.
At the end of the day, it can also be said that this is a general love kind of track. In other words, it isn’t so much about whom the singer is expressing his love to. That’s why for instance this song can be interpreted as alluding to Freddie Mercury’s death without the lyrics even being altered.
And why? Because generally speaking it serves as a reflection of the singer’s life and as an expression of love towards an unidentified person(s) he is singing to.
So yes, the adopted meaning of this song, as in how it had been interpreted by the masses around the time it was dropped, features a soon-to-be-departed Freddie relaying such emotions towards the fans of Queen.
The standard version of the music video to this track was put together by DoRo Productions, a duo consisting of Hannes Rossacher and Rudi Dolezal. It holds a special place in Queen’s history as being the last video of any type that Mercury ever appeared live in.
In fact it is distributed in black and white for the specific purpose of concealing just how sick he was at the moment.
When did Queen release “These Are the Days of Our Lives”?
Fans of Queen would recognize this song as being from the band’s album “Innuendo”, the last one released while Freddie Mercury was still alive.
And it also acted as the fourth single form that project (in the US), first being released in that regard by Hollywood Records in the US on 5 September 1991.
That same date, 5 September 1991, was Freddie Mercury’s 45th birthday. And as fate would have it, it was the last birthday he ever experienced.
Freddie would in fact go on to die on 24 November 1991. Thus by the time Parlophone got around to releasing “These Are the Days of Our Lives” as a single in December of 1991, he had already departed.
Facts about “These Are the Days of Our Lives”
Mercury didn’t live to ever perform this song live. The first time such actually occurred was in mid-1994, at an event called the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.
And on that occasion, with the remaining members of Queen (Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon) serving as instrumentalists, the song was rather rendered by George Michael (1963-2016) and Lisa Ronstadt.
And that particular effort can be found on a Queen and George Michael collaborative EP called “Five Live” (1993).
More Facts about “These Are the Days of Our Lives”
Concerning the Hollywood Records release of this track, it actually came with an animated music video constructed by Walt Disney Studios. This is partly because Hollywood Records is part of the Walt Disney Music Group.
Then finally there is a third official video, featuring combined footage of Queen from the early 1970s to the early 1990s.
This track was able to score a number one on the UK Singles Chart, as well as in Ireland. That was the UK version of the song, i.e. being released as a double A side along with a with a certified Queen classic, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975).
And the proceeds from that particular version of the single were donated to AIDS research.
This song was written by Roger Taylor. And the entire Queen crew are given production credit for the track, accomplishing such alongside regular collaborator David Richards (1956-2013).
Singles from Queen’s “Innuendo” Project
Overall, Queen released 6 singles to support and promote their “Innuendo” album. Among the notable ones include this particular track, the title track and “The Show Must Go On“.