Thatcham Rhapsody and the best versions of Bohemian Rhapsody ever

Thatcham Rhapsody

On this day in 1975, one of the greatest pop songs of all time was released. At one stage it went under the inauspicious name The Cowboy Song and the band’s record company initially didn’t want to release it because at nearly six minutes they considered it too long.

40 years on, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is universally hailed as a classic. It is the third-best selling single of all time in the UK (only Candle in the Wind and Do They Know It’s Christmas? have outsold it), having topped the charts and sold over a million copies on both its original 1975 release and in 1991 following Freddie Mercury’s death.

Thatcham Rhapsody

I had a moment of madness a few weeks ago.

I decided to write a parenting version of Bohemian Rhapsody, which I christened Thatcham Rhapsody.

That wasn’t my moment of madness, though.

Recording it and committing it to an episode of my podcast – paired with Wry Mummy’s brilliant version of Kipling’s If – with my already dodgy singing voice further hampered by a stinking cold, now that was a moment of madness.

If you would like to listen to Jess’s poem or my (in)glorious singing debut, it’s on the podcast here:

Or, if you can’t bear to hear off-key singing that would shame even the most inept X Factor contestant, here are the lyrics:

Is this my real life?
A desperate dad of three
A living nightmare
No escape from the poo and wee

Go get the wipes
Clean mess up perpetually
I’m just a parent
I need some sympathy
We’re at Paultons Park, CBeebies World
Legoland pirate show
Anywhere but theme parks
Let’s go for a day by the sea, the sea

Mummy just lost her rag
Put dinner on a plate
Kids refused it out of hate
Mummy made it just for you
But now she’s gone and thrown it all away

Mummy ooh
Didn’t mean to make you cry
If I’m not back from work in time for bedtime
Carry on, carry on, we can always order take-out

Date night comes once a month
Sneaking out so kids don’t know
Spend an evening on our own
Goodbye, everybody, we’ve got to go
Babysitter charges extra after 12

Mummy, ooh (anywhere but theme parks)
I don’t wanna cry
I sometimes wish they’d never been born at all

I see a little pig called Peppa on the screen
Scooby Doo, Scooby Doo, anything but the Tweenies
Tombliboos and Justin
Really not my kind of thing

Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese
Bardolino and Chianti
Chardonnay and Lambrusco
And Zinfandel

I’m just a parent, kids they don’t love me
I’m just a parent, head of the family
Give me a break from my dear children three

Going up, going down, make me smile or frown
Tots ranking, will I go up this month?
Tots ranking, will I go up this month?
Tots ranking, will I go up this month?
Won’t go up this month
Will go up this month

No, no, no, no, no, no, no

Oh, Isaac, Toby, little Kara (little Kara, let me go)
My lovely wife has a cold beer put aside for me, for me, for me.

So you think I exist at your beck and call?
So you think you can cry and I’ll just do it all?
Oh, children, can’t do this to me, children
Just gotta grow up, just gotta do things for yourself

Let’s go for a day out
Somewhere you and me
Let’s go for a day out
Let’s go for a day by the sea
(Anywhere but theme parks)

The best versions of Bohemian Rhapsody

I wouldn’t pretend for a minute that my version of Bo Rap is the best ever, either lyrically or vocally. But here are my three favourites.

Let’s start with the version that anyone over a certain age will be familiar with, from the opening of the movie Wayne’s World.

Then there’s this Star Wars-themed version – because, of course, everything of any note has a Star Wars parody of it somewhere on the internet.

And finally, it would be remiss of me not to include the original – and, for me, still the best.

Happy 40th birthday, Bohemian Rhapsody. I look forward to celebrating your 50th in 2025.

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