Wednesday, April 5, 2017

“Good Company” by Queen

"Good Company" is a song by British rock band Queen, which was written by Brian May.

One of the main features of the song is that it contains a recreation of a jazz band in Dixieland style which was provided by the May's Red Special guitar played through the Deacy Amp. This is one of the few Queen songs without Freddie Mercury participating at all.

The song tells a story about a man who was advised in young age by his father to "take care of those you call your own, and keep good company". The young man accepts the advice, marrying a girl named Sally and also keeping his friends. However, he began losing interest in his friends after the marriage and they gradually disappear. As he is older, he is becoming more skilled and dedicated to his occupation by working long nights and neglecting his family.

In the end, all his efforts are rewarded and he begins his own Limited company (it also serves as a pun; the word "company" mainly serves as a meaning of friends, companions). Dedicated more to his business, he hardly noticed that his wife left him.

The song ends with a speaker as an elderly man, puffing on his pipe and pondering the lessons of his life, which he has no one left to share with.

Good Company

Composer: Brian May
Album: A Night At The Opera (1975), 10th track

Take good core of what you've got
My father said to me
As he puffed his pipe and Baby B.
He dandled on his knee
Don't fool with fools who'll turn away
Keep all Good Company

Oo Ooo Oo Ooo
Take care of those you call your own
And keep Good Company

Soon I grew and happy too
My very good friends and me
We'd play all day with Sally J.
The girl from number four
And very soon I begged her won't you
Keep me Company

Oo Ooo Oo Ooo
Now marry me forevermore
We'll be Good Company

Now marriage is an institution sure
My wife and I our needs and nothing more
All my friends by a year
By and by disappear
But we're safe enough behind our door.

I flourished in my humble trade
My reputation grew
The work devoured my waking hours
But when my time was through
Reward of all my efforts my own
Limited Company

I hardly noticed Sally as we
Parted Company
All through the years in the end it appears
There was never really anyone but me

Now I'm old I puff my pipe
But no one's there to see

I ponder on the lesson of
My life's insanity
Take care of those you call your own
And Keep Good Company

About Queen

Formed in 1971, Queen's lineup included guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, both former members of the band Smile, bass player John Deacon, and Mercury. After a short time spent in rehearsal, the group began their search for a record company in 1973 and signed almost immediately with EMI. Their self-titled first album sold extremely well in both Britain and the United States, and their second album, Queen II, yielded the British top-ten single "Seven Seas of Rhye." Queen's big breakthrough in the United States came in late 1974 with Sheer Heart Attack —a best-selling album containing the top-ten single "Killer Queen." Their successful tour season met with mixed criticism. One writer for the New York Times introduced them as "a British quartet still subscribing to the principles of blitzkrieg rock," referring to the group's lavish production values, and commented that though their music was "scarcely superoriginal," the band evidently "touched a responsive chord that should allow Queen to reign quite happily in this area."

The following year the group hit number one in the United States with the remarkable A Night at the Opera album featuring Taylor's amusing "I'm in Love with My Car," Deacon's catchy "You're My Best Friend," and two of May's sensitive and often overlooked tunes, the time-travel-inspired ballad "'39" and the more delightful fantasy fare of "The Prophet's Song." The album also spawned a major worldwide hit in "Bohemian Rhapsody"—an unprecedented six-minute cut that mingled "introspection with Gilbert and Sullivan operatics," as a Time critic described it. The group followed their masterwork with another in the same vein. A Day at the Races contained Mercury's falsetto-laced "Somebody to Love," another catchy Deacon cut, "You and I," and still more gentle departures from the "blitzkrieg" rock they had been known for in May's lovely Japanese/English anthem "Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)."

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