‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ coronavirus parody goes viral

Adrian Grimes’ reimagining of the 1975 rock opera has clocked up nearly 3.5 million views

A cover of Queen‘s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ repurposed for the coronavirus pandemic has garnered millions of views on YouTube.

Musician Adrian Grimes’ reimagining of the 1975 rock opera has nearly 3.5 million views since it was uploaded on March 21. It includes new lyrics, such as “Mama, I just killed a man / I didn’t stay inside in bed / I walked past him, now he’s dead.”

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The YouTuber, however, revealed that he’s received some backlash to the lyrics. “I’ve had a few comments suggesting that this is ‘insensitive’,” he wrote. “I want to emphasise that I know where these people are coming from. My wife works in healthcare and I have two young kids; I know very well how this virus could impact my family. Every day that my wife goes to work, I hope it is another ‘bonus’ day we get together before the wave hits and I don’t have to quarantine her and stop our children from hugging her.

Brian May and Freddie Mercury in Queen, 1974

He continued: “However, I hope that even in those circumstances, should they occur, I will still be able to maintain a sense of humour, and a lot of comments from people already affected by coronavirus have told me how much they appreciate this. I thank you for your understanding in these unprecedented times.”

Other musicians have reworked classic songs – in some instances their own – such as Neil Diamond and Liam Gallagher.

Artists have also taken the downtime afforded to them by the outbreak of COVID-19 to livestream concerts, Q&As and other media from their homes. See NME’s deep-dive into some of the earliest efforts here.

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