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The Show Must Go On

"The Show Must Go On" is a song by the British rock band Queen, featured as the final track on their 1991 album Innuendo. The song is written by Brian May, which chronicles the effort of frontman Freddie Mercury continuing to perform despite approaching the end of his life. May asked Fred, "Fred, I don't know if this is going to be possible to sing." And he went, "I will fucking do it, darling, -vodka down- and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal".

It was released as a single in United Kingdom on 14 October 1991, just six weeks before Mercury died.

Freddie MercuryBrian May
Freddie Mercury and Brian May

Band Queen

Lyrics of this song

[Verse 1]
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?
[Chorus]
The show must go on
The show must go on, yeah
Inside my heart is breaking
My makeup may be flaking
But my smile, still, stays on
[Verse 2]
Whatever happens, I'll leave it all to chance
Another heartache, another failed romance, on and on
Does anybody know what we are living for?
I guess I'm learning
I must be warmer now
I'll soon be turning, round the corner now
Outside the dawn is breaking
But inside in the dark I'm aching to be free
[Chorus]
The show must go on
The show must go on
Inside my heart is breaking
My makeup may be flaking
But my smile, still, stays on
[Bridge]
My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies
Fairy tales of yesterday, grow but never die
I can fly, my friends
[Chorus]
The show must go on
The show must go on
I'll face it with a grin
I'm never giving in
On with the show
[Verse 3]
I'll top the bill
I'll overkill
I have to find the will to carry on
On with the show
Show must go on
Show must go on

Lyrics with annotations can be found on this website.