Queen Elizabeth: all the songs dedicated to the Queen explained, from the Beatles to the Sex Pistols

Beatles, Sex Pistols, The Smiths, Pet Shop Boys: just some big names of musicians who wanted to dedicate a song to the queen. It ranges from dreamlike and surreal songs, linked toromantic halo that hovers over the figure of his majesty, a ferocious anti-monarchist tirades, like the – mythological – one of the Sex Pistols. We retrace the story of a queen who, in her life, had a lot to do with musicians.

All the rock masterpieces inspired by Queen Elizabeth

1) Her Majesty – The Beatles (1969). The first song that we will analyze, advancing in chronological order, is that of the Beatles. As is universally known, the Liverpool boys were considered a real one national pride; not just a band fromincredible commercial successbut also able to influence the musical thinking of an entire generationsynthesizing and making the extravagant and experimental aspects of the psychedelic rock. The Queen had therefore decided to appoint them baronets in the 1965, generating scandal and surprise. The ceremony was bizarre and surreal, as is the – very short – song that the Beatles dedicated to her four years later. Her Majesty closes the historic album Abbey Road; it is one of the first ghost track of modern music, and lasts only 25 seconds. It is a short, unpretentious fairytale ballad, the most surreal element of which perhaps lies in the fact that Queen Elizabeth appears there portrayed as an absolutely normal girl: “Her Majesty is quite a pretty girl / although she doesn’t have much to say“… Paul McCartney adds that “changes every day“, and even if he’s drunk”one day I’ll make it mine“. A curiously humble, playful, romantic tribute. The queen evidently appreciated, because many years later, in ’95, she bestowed upon him the investiture of knight.

2) God save the Queen – Sex Pistols (1977). The contrast between Her Majesty and the theanthem generational of the Sex Pistols God Save the Queen could not be more jarring, and exemplifies the change in generational mentality that goes from a fundamentally conformist band like the Beatles, to the drunken, “badass” energy of Punk Generation. Released during the 1977 Queen’s Silver Jubileeis a ferocious anti-monarchical anthem, which lays bare the hypocrisy of the institution of the monarchy English. “God save the Queen / and her fascist regime“the memorable attack: the verse” cause tourists are money“makes fun of the typical argument that the monarchy is justified because” it brings so much tourism. “John Rotten bitterly derides the” absurd parade “of English history, based on cruelty and injustice, and makes fun of the fact that”there are no sins if there is no future“. L’outroshouted, repeats “no future, no future“; the hymn of a nihilist generation that was no longer willing to believe in the fairy tale of the monarchy. The reactions to the release of the song were very harsh: Rotten suffered a stabbing attemptand the BBC banned the piecewhich still reached the first position in the standings. Many instead adored him, among them the writer William Burroughs who sent a congratulatory letter to the band.

3) The Queen is dead – The Smiths (1986). Another cynical hymn that mocks the childish fascination with the monarchyquoting old pre-war ballads and asking to Prince Charles if you don’t fantasize about taking his mother’s placeputting on her “wedding dress”. Morrisey imagine talking to the queen, who tells him “she can’t sing”, and then walks together talking “ablackberries, poverty, law and other things that kill me“. Other teasing to Charles:” it is difficult to talk about castration / when you are stuck to your mother’s apron. “Finally, the news of the queen’s death, and the gloomy awareness of loneliness:”Life is very long, when you’re lonely“. A surreal song that tells the disillusionment with British societythe end of certain ideals of which only one remains ridiculous remnant, just like (according to Morrisey) the monarchy; also recounts the band’s disappointments in show-business, Morrisey’s desire to be elsewhere. A hit gloomy that reflects everything the anemia and disillusionment of the post-punk worldwhich from the Pistols era has inherited “the scazzo” but not the energy.

4) Elizabeth my dear – The Stone Roses (1989). Another very short song, and another very violent pull against the monarchy. On the graceful notes of the ballad Scarabough Fairthe alternative-rock band recites verses: “Tear me apart and boil my bones / I won’t stop until she loses her throne / my purpose is sincere / my message clear / it’s time to close the curtains / my dear Elizabeth“. From the album The Stone Rosesa kind of parody or inversion of the Beatles’ graceful ballad.

5) Dreaming of the Queen – The Pet Shop Boys (1993). A piece with dreamlike and magical arrangements in the style of Pet Shop, in which the author imagines himself to be visited in a dream by Queen Elizabeth and Lady Diana; and with them entertains one poignant conversations about love. “I’m aghast / Love never seems to last / However hard you try“, the queen says desolate, while Lady Diana confirms that”all lovers are dead“. A metaphor of condition of homosexuals decimated by AIDS and discrimination. Before waking up sweating, Christopher Lowe imagines himself naked in the crowd signing autographs, while the Queen looks at him with disapproval.

Therefore he regulates it as a controversial target, but also as a fascinating vestige of a fabulous and lost past. We can only hope that, for better or for worse, Queen Elizabeth will continue to inspire musicians, be it for poetic ballads, dream visits or ferocious invectives.

Queen Elizabeth: all the songs dedicated to the Queen explained, from the Beatles to the Sex Pistols