A lyric sheet containing Freddie Mercury‘s handwritten notes for Queen‘s “Bohemian Rhapsody” reveals the song was nearly titled “Mongolian Rhapsody.”
The 15 pages of lyrics, written on stationary for a defunct airline, are among the over 1,500 personal items belonging to the Queen singer that are coming up for auction this month, according to an announcement by auction house Sotheby’s.
As the handwritten lyrics reveal, the song was originally titled “Mongolian Rhapsody” before Mercury crossed it out and replaced it with the similarly syllabic “Bohemian.”
The working lyrics also feature some unused verses — “Mama/There’s a war began/I’ve got to leave tonight,” one page has jotted down — as well as several alternative words that could have been sung in lieu of “Galileo!,” “Scaramouch!” and “Fandango”: “Momento,” “Belladonna,” “Matador,” to name just a few.
Sotheby’s expects the lyric sheets for “Mongolian Bohemian Rhapsody” to fetch between £800,000 to £1.2 million at auction, making it one of the most expensive items at the Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own event.
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