The Connection Between The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ tt

The Beatles‘ “Hey Jude” is arguably the Fab Four’s signature song and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is undeniably Queen’s signature song. While the two hits sound so different from each other, they have a major similarity. The tunes also have something in common with David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?”

The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ feature the same piano

Bohemian Rhapsody" Shares an Unexpected Connection with "Hey Jude" | The Vintage News
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According to Rolling Stone, Paul McCartney played the Bechstein piano at London’s Trident Studios on “Hey Jude.” That piano has had quite a history! It was also used on Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Bowie’s “Life on Mars?,” and Elton John’s “Levon.”

The two bands used that piano in wildly different ways. In “Hey Jude,” it sounds warm and inviting, like the tune as a whole. In contrast, the piano riffs in “Bohemian Rhapsody” sound nervous, desperate, and sad. They fit with the song’s theme of murder.

How The Beatles and Queen used the same piano but in remarkably divergent ways
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The distinctions between the two songs go beyond their instrumentals. The Beatles knew how to write fantasy songs (e.g. “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “Octopus’s Garden”), but “Hey Jude” takes place in reality. That’s part of why so many people relate to it.

On the other hand, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is fanciful. It mentions the demon Beelzebub multiple times. It even includes some oddball lyrics such as “Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?” At times, it feels like its lyrics could have been written by the likes of literary nonsense pioneers Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll. How fascinating that it was brought to life by the piano used on “Hey Jude,” which was much more down-to-earth.

John Lennon felt Paul McCartney wrote ‘Hey Jude’ about him
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The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono features an interview from 1980. In it, John said “Hey Jude” originated in reality. “I don’t think I had anything to do with it,” he said. “[Paul] said it was written about Julian, my child. He knew I was splitting with Cyn and leaving Julian. He was driving over to say ‘Hi’ to Julian. He’d been like an uncle to him. You know, Paul was always good with kids. And so he came up with ‘Hey Jude.’”

John felt the tune had a lot of subtext. “I always heard it as a song to me,” he said, “If you think about it .. Yoko’s just come into the picture. He’s saying, ‘Hey, Jude — hey, John.’ I know I’m sounding like one of those fans who reads things into it, but you can hear it as a song to me. The words ‘go out and get her’ — subconsciously, he was saying, ‘Go ahead, leave me.’ On a conscious level, he didn’t want me to go ahead. The angel in him was saying, ‘Bless you.’ The devil in him didn’t like it at all, because he didn’t want to lose his partner.”

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