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World AIDS Day: Queen's 'The Show Must Go On'



Not a day goes by when we don't miss the genius of Freddie Mercury. Despite popular theory, The Show Must Go On wasn't written by Freddie as he approached his own death from AIDS in 1991. Rather it was written by Brian May (though at this point in the band's career, they all shared writing credits). Whether Brian knew the specifics about Freddie's condition when he wrote the song is still debated, but it seems obvious he at least knew his friend was very ill.

Empty spaces - what are we living for
Abandoned places - I guess we know the score
On and on, does anybody know what we are looking for...

Another hero, another mindless crime
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime
Hold the line, does anybody want to take it anymore

The show must go on,
The show must go on
Inside my heart is breaking
My make-up may be flaking
But my smile still stays on.

"It was Freddie's decision to finally end it all. He chose the time to die," former girlfriend and longtime friend Mary Austin reportedly said afterward. "He knew it was coming. The quality of his life had changed so dramatically and he was in more pain every day. He was losing his sight. His body became weaker as he suffered mild fits. It was so distressing to see him deteriorating in this way. One day he decided enough was enough and stopped all the medical supplements that were keeping him going. The overwhelming thing for me was that he was just so incredibly brave. He looked death in the face and said, 'Fine, I'll accept it now - I'll go.' But it was peaceful and he died with a smile on his face."

Freddie died Nov. 24, 1991, at age 45.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 1, 2011 11:26am]


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