Friday, July 2, 2010

Queen Song of the Week: White Queen (As It Began)

White Queen (As It Began) was written by Dr. May and appeared on the band's 1974 album Queen II.

This is one of those Queen songs that some fans are just absolutely crazy about. Ask them to name their top five Queen songs and this song is in that list. They like it that much. Me? It's a good song. I don't dislike it as much as I dislike Tie Your Mother Down, for example, but it's not one of my favorites. However, we're going through the set list from Queen's 1975 Christmas Eve show at the Hammersmith Odeon and this song was on the set list so here ya go!

Here's a quote from Dr. May himself, from his official website back in 2004: I wrote this at College, where I led a relatively sheltered life, even though the University on the whole was a pretty rampant pace! I had been reading The White Goddess by Robert Graves, which explored the role of the idealised Virgin/Mother/Queen/ figure in art through history, and the name for our group, decided just around that time, fitted in with this perfectly - which was one of the reasons I was convinced to go with the name. The personal side is bound up with a girl (of course!) whom I saw every day at College, and was to me the ultimate goddess. It's incredible in retrospect, but because I held her in such awe, in three years I never had the courage to speak to tell her, or even speak to her. The song found its way on to tape much later, on our second album.

In another quote, Dr. May lists White Queen as one of four or five songs he'd most like to be remembered by.  The song does include rather lovely harmonies and some of the drums are pretty spectacular. It is a rather slow tempo compared to most other Queen songs so perhaps that throws me a bit. I'm used to Freddie et al rocking out whereas this is a bit more sentimental. The volume does increase significantly at the end and I really do like that part. Hm perhaps I like this song more than I originally thought!

Happy Listening!

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