Alright, but | Reviewer: Tom | 8/5/09
Jack, as I don't know any better, I'll take your and Dazz's words for it, but either said scifi story was inspired by Chopin's last years, or that's the weirdest set of coincidences I've ever heard of. And I'm usually the first person in the room to call bullshit on coincidences like that.
here's the deal. | Reviewer: jackflash | 5/16/09
as Dazza pointed out, it's actually a sci-fi story. brian may pointed this out himself. it actually does all fit. i believe the reason that it's called '39 and that the year is '39 is because the song is, in fact, Queen's 39th song in their studio album chronology.
Chopin | Reviewer: Tom | 12/5/08
In response to cerulans' notes about Chopin, one other thing about that: Chopin died of TB at the age of...39.
I think cerulans may have hit this on the head. In any case, one of my favorite songs.
Response to Keren | Reviewer: Tricky
"And the story tellers say that the score brave souls inside"
Score is an old term for the number 20. Entonces, dice "Los narradores dicen que los veinte almas valientes dentro". Dentro referriendo al astronave.
yes i like Que, though I'm only 18 and peolep do not understand how I can listen to "that" music | Reviewer: Keren Amaya
Due to the fact that I happen to live in a non-speaking country (Colombia), in a city where Rock, metal, and others are not quiet popular; yes I live in Barranquilla, Colombia, and considered an outcast by many that do not like music that cannot be danced at a disco, I like it, and still waiting for the preview message I wrote to be responded.
Here it goes again:
"I have a question, I hope someone can help me, I am a student here in Colombia and i do not understand the part of this song where it says "And the story tellers say that the score brave souls inside". I do not know what it means, as i do not find the logic, I just need a literal explanation of the text,not rhetorical, let me infer that on my own,as English is not my mother tongue but I try to improve it as much as possible and love English..and Queen of course.
Oh yes, then I am Queen Mary | Reviewer: Keren Amaya
Please, if this guy is Brian May, I am Queen Mary; the age is not the most significant fact to assure Brian May would use capitals or not, but I do not particularly think a person with that fame would write in this page, or even make comments like that, or call his band partner Roger "Roger Taylor" having worked for such a long time together...
Better luck next time, I have a question, I hope someone can help me, I am a student here in Colombia and i do not understand the part of this song where it says "And the story tellers say that the score brave souls inside". I do not know what it means, as i do not find the logic, I just need a literal explanation of the text,not rhetorical, let me infer that on my own,as English is not my mother tongue but I try to improve it as much as possible and love English..and Queen of course.
i thought it was about the war, but its SCI-FI ! | Reviewer: Dazza | 6/26/08
All, this song is a sci fi story. I always had images of WWII evoked when hearing it but found out today it was sci-fi from a mate who watched the Classic Albums DVD regarding Night at the Opera. Wikipedia confirms it here:
Solange Sand---possibly a Muse for '39' ? | Reviewer: cerulans
These lyrics puzzled me for sometime in the summer of 1976, just before I went up to college. While there, I discovered some interesting facts which may or may not add up to an interpretation. (That was almost three decades ago, so I cannot remember sources to cite specifically; I am only recounting my experience.) During my four years at college, I was quite interested in the fiction and in the biography of the French novelist, George Sand, who was the mistress of Frederic Chopin. Due to his health, they embarked to the Spanish island of Majorca in 1838-39 (hmmm, 39?), but returned again when his health deteriorated further. Chopin spent several summers at George Sand's rural estate, Nohant, and became very close (in the chaste and honorable way) to her daugher, Solange. Some scholars have suggested that, coming from broken marriage in early childhood, Solange may have found in Chopin the only semi-permanent father-figure she had ever had. Ultimately, the proximate (but not the only) cause of the final rupture between Sand and Chopin was his compassion toward Solange, who had made a bad marriage and who had been banished by her mother from Nohant. Chopin lived for a couple of years or so after this, and was said to have had contact---both directly and by letter---with Solange, and it is rumored that she was present at his death from tuberculosis. Ok, given all that background, in doing research for a paper on the Sand/Chopin relationship and its effect on his music, I found two interesting items. First, for some time after the rupture, Solange had written several letters to Chopin, with no reply. She visited Paris, and rebuked him for this, to which he replied that he had not received the letters. Chopin refused to read fan letters, and his secretary had not recognized Solange's legal surname, Dudevant, and pitched her letters with the others. Chopin told her to sign her letters with 'Sand' and they would be delivered, by his secretary, to him. The literal translation of this, as I had read it, was 'sign your letters as La Sand.' Sound familiar? And then the second, and most telling clue I found, was that, at some point, Chopin had told Solange (again, this is after the rupture, when he was never again to see George Sand), "Your mother's eyes speak to me from your eyes."
Granted, my argument is weak, at this point, because I cannot now cite those old sources. And I am too worn out, at the time, to go back and try to find them. I can only say that, in the early months of 1980, as I finished my paper, I was convinced that the actual 'tale' retold in '39' was the Majorca experience, its failure, and the effect of Solange's presence upon Chopin. Although he died childless, he apparently consider Solange to have been as much of a daughter as he would ever have, and it was is paternally motivated defense of her, after her bad marriage, that brought his affair with her mother to its sad, but possibly expected, conclusion. Everytime I hear '39,' and I have been listening to it much of late, I hear, between the lines, those words to Solange: how to sign her letters, and how her mothers eyes, in her eyes, spoke to Chopin.
A title | Reviewer: Andrei Iosifovich | 3/17/08
Given that the '39 clearly doesn't fit with 1939, i think the reason they chose that number is because this is Queen's 39th song in album order (of studio albums). Or maybe that's just a coincidence; May may have been alluding to WWII insome way; there's really only one thing that comes to mind for most of us when we think of the year '39.
Who's telling the story? | Reviewer: mystified | 2/17/08
What I don't get is that the story seems to be narrated by someone NOT on the "ship" - hence "the sweetest sight ever seen" . I assume anyone inside would not be making this comment. Also "the volunteers came home that day" suggests someone on earth writing the story, as does "and THEY bring good news". But then it moves to "Though I'm older but a year your mother's eyes from your eyes cry to me" which suggests the author is the one who was Time Dilated. Can anyone help?
Probably their saddest song | Reviewer: Mark | 2/9/08
At first I thought it was a story about a historic voyage, but when I found out it was about space travel, I couldn't get over how brilliant it was. It's like, because the time went by quickly on earth, the traveler eventually came back only to meet the daughter of the woman he was once in love with. Such a great song. Queen really is one of the most creative bands of our time.
What? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/9/08
Didn't those people realise this would happen, they must have known what they were getting into studying physics must be an entry requirement for traveling at relativistic speeds. In a Joe Hadelman novel two lovers use this effect to catch each other up in age, my lover is 8 years older than me, I wish she could go on a journey like this so I could catch her up.
I am really Brian May. I gave Freddie most of the ideas for Bohemian Rhapsody remember that part "Galileo". but i do like '39 especially live, especially live at earls court. the song just came out of me, just strummed the guitar and it came out.
Anyway ive got to go,gotta leave you all behind and face the truth, roger taylor wants to get some lunch at Mc Donalds see yaa BRIAN MAY
I am really Brian May. I gave Freddie most of the ideas for Bohemian Rhapsody remember that part "Galileo". but i do like '39 especially live, especially l
Err... | Reviewer: Lauren | 12/27/07
I'm guessing that 'brian' is supposed to be Brian May, the guitarist (and vocalist of this song). I highly, highly doubt that he really made that comment. Thanks for the good laugh, 'brian'. Next time you pose as someone else, at least use correct capitalization! You'd think that a guy as old as Brian is would have correct English. I love the song, though. Brian M. does have a good voice. :D I also thought that this had to do with WW2... Oh well...