Freddie Mercury’s draft lyrics for Queen hits unveiled

LONDON: A trove of Freddie Mercury’s previously unseen handwritten draft lyrics for some of Queen’s biggest hits goes on show Thursday in New York, ahead of their sale in London later this year.

The manuscripts include working drafts for “Bohemian Rhapsody” – which Mercury initially planned to call “Mongolian Rhapsody” – “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “Somebody to Love.”

“In scope, quality and exceptional provenance, the collection of lyrics together afford an unprecedented glimpse into the creative mind of one of the 20th-century’s most influential songwriters,” said Sotheby’s, which is staging the auctions in September.

More than 1,500 items from Mercury’s private collection, including costumes and unique objects as well as the draft lyrics, will feature in the eventual auctions in London and online.

Left largely untouched at his former west London home in the three decades since his death, they will be sold at live events in the British capital on September 6-8 and online August 4-September 11.

The vast array of items – being auctioned by Mary Austin, one of the icon’s closest friends who has cared for them at his former home Garden Lodge – are expected to fetch at least £6 million (US$7.5 million).

A highlight of the trove unveiled Thursday is 15 pages of lyrics and melodies that led to “Bohemian Rhapsody”, one of Queen’s most globally beloved and streamed songs and the third best-selling UK single ever.

Written in black and blue ink and pencil, on stationery from the now-defunct British Midland Airways, they reveal Mercury originally planned to call it “Mongolian Rhapsody.”

Source: New Straits Times


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