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Freddie Mercury - The Great Pretender

Identifier

022311

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

The symbolism is in the video.  The lyrics are quite telling.

The song

"The Great Pretender" is a song originally recorded by The Platters, released as a single on November 3, 1955. The words and music were created by Buck Ram, the Platters' manager and producer who was a successful songwriter before moving into producing and management.

The song was made popular again in 1987 by Freddie Mercury, 4 years before he died of AIDs.  Freddie’s version reached number four on the UK Singles Chart.

Music video

Mercury's music video for the song became one of the most well-known of his career. It featured Mercury in many of his Queen guises through video medium over the years, including visual re-takes of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "It's a Hard Life", "I Want to Break Free" and "Bohemian Rhapsody". It was directed by David Mallet in February 1987, and also featured fellow Queen member Roger Taylor and Peter Straker (a friend of Freddie's) in drag.

Freddie had shaved off his moustache, which had been his trademark feature since 1980. An extended video version appears on the video single on VHS, Freddie Mercury The Video Collection on VHS and DVD and Lover of Life, Singer of Songs on DVD.

In one of his last videotaped interviews in spring of 1987, Mercury explained that the song was particularly fitting for the way he saw his career and being on stage.

Musicians

  • Freddie Mercury - lead and backing vocals
  • Mike Moran - piano, keyboards
  • Harold Fisher - drums
  • Alan Jones - bass guitar

A description of the experience

Freddie Mercury - The Great Pretender (Official Video)

"The Great Pretender"
(originally by The Platters)
 

Oh yes I'm the great pretender (ooh ooh)
Pretending I'm doing well (ooh ooh)
My need is such I pretend too much
I'm lonely but no one can tell

Oh yes I'm the great pretender (ooh ooh)
Adrift in a world of my own (ooh ooh)
I play the game but to my real shame
You've left me to dream all alone

Too real is this feeling of make believe
Too real when I feel what my heart can't conceal

Ooh Ooh yes I'm the great pretender (ooh ooh)
Just laughing and gay like a clown (ooh ooh)
I seem to be what I'm not (you see)
I'm wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you're still around

Yeah ooh hoo
Too real when I feel what my heart can't conceal

Oh yes I'm the great pretender
Just laughing and gay like a clown (ooh ooh)
I seem to be what I'm not you see
I'm wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you're
Pretending that you're still around

The source of the experience

Freddie Mercury and Queen

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Androgyny

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

HIV
Loneliness and isolation

Commonsteps

References