Analyze the song “The Show Must Go On” by Queen, particularly as it relates to loneliness.

To analyze how Queen’s song “The Show Must Go On” relates to loneliness, consider the song’s mournful opening, the dramatic rhythm, and the desolate lyrics.

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One way to analyze Queen’s song “The Show Must Go On” in terms of loneliness would be to talk about the start of the song. Think about how the first 20 or so seconds don’t feature lyrics. What one hears is a rather mournful keyboard. The rueful sound might link to loneliness. It alludes to elements that are commonly associated with loneliness, like melancholy and sadness.

Loneliness can also be dramatic. When one is by themselves, their sense of perspective could falter. If someone is isolated and has no one around to bring them back to reality, things can sometimes take on grandiose proportions. The theatricality of loneliness links to the pulsating rhythm of “The Show Must Go On.”

As for the lyrics themselves, these suggest loneliness right off the bat. Freddie Mercury, Queen’s lead singer, sings about empty spaces and abandoned places. Loneliness can often produce empty, abandoned feelings. A person who’s lonely could feel desolate or deserted.

An additional way to analyze this Queen song is via the chorus. The refrain—“the show must go on”—hints that someone or something is being left behind. This person can’t carry on, but the show must continue.

It’s possible to argue that, in the song, the person—the “I” that Mercury sings about—is lonely not in a literal sense but in a figurative way. The person’s obligation to keep performing has alienated them from their true self, and that true self is now lonely.

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