Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own | On Stage

Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own | On Stage

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 260. Freddie Mercury | Lyrics and music relating to Barcelona, c.1987-88.

Freddie Mercury | Lyrics and music relating to Barcelona, c.1987-88

Auction Closed

September 7, 04:38 PM GMT


3,000 - 5,000 GBP

Lot Details


Freddie Mercury

Lyrics and music relating to the album Barcelona, recording in collaboration with Montserrat Caballé, comprising:

i) Music notebook with manuscript music drafts for 'La Japonaise', 'Zarzuela', 'Golden Boy', and 'Guide Me Home', in pencil, mostly notated on two-stave systems, 28 pages, plus blanks, oblong 4to (220 x 250mm)

ii) 'Barcelona', handwritten lyrics to the song in block capitals, in English and Spanish, 2 pages, on headed stationery of Town House Studios; group of 24 typescript copies of the song in English and Spanish, four copies with handwritten translations in pencil, one copy with timings of lines, two copies with minor pencil corrections, and 17 copies of a version of the song with alternative lyrics (beginning "Far away I saw a light"/"De lejos vi una luz"); in an envelope addressed with Joe Fannelli with compliments slip noting these were requested by Freddie Mercury

iii) 'La Japonaise', handwritten lyrics, partly in Freddie Mercury's autograph, with indications of harmonies and related notes in Mercury's autograph, 6 pages, in a pad of Ryman A4 lined writing paper; with photocopies of the lyrics and musical score

iv) 'The Golden Boy', file of multiple typescript copies of lyrics including several with revisions and corrections, 30 pages, text on rectos only

v) 'Guide Me Home', file of three typescript copies of lyrics revisions and corrections, 3 pages, text on rectos only

vi) 'How Can I go On', file of three typescript copies of lyrics with revisions and corrections, 3 pages, text on rectos only

vii) 'The Fallen Priest (We Are Mortal)', file of four sets of typescript lyrics, each two pages, with revisions and corrections, 8 pages, text on rectos only

viii) File of clean typescript copies of lyrics for various songs for the album, 30 pages, text on rectos only

ix) Loose fragments of music, various sizes, 11 leaves

"...I think Montserrat has a marvellous voice, and on Spanish television I happened to mention it one day [...] Next thing I knew, she called me up and said. 'Let's do something together'. I was completely flabbergasted..." (Freddie Mercury: A Life, In His Own Words, p.96)

An initial meeting between Freddie Mercury and soprano Montserrat Caballé in Barcelona in March 1987 soon developed into a friendship between "my Super Diva" and "my Number One", and during an evening of wine and song at Garden Lodge Caballé suggested to Mercury that he write some songs for a collaboration. The first fruits of the collaboration was the song 'Barcelona', a triumphant celebration of the singers' friendship and the Catalan capital. Mercury developed the album with Michael Moran (who had the necessary classical training) in 1987-88, with recording sessions fitted in around Caballé's performing schedule. Lyrics to 'The Golden Boy' were written by Tim Rice. Freddie Mercury took great pride in his collaboration with the great operatic diva: "I didn't think I was capable of writing operatic pieces that would suit a world renowned prima donna. I really didn't know I was capable of things such as that. I thought, 'What else is there left for me to do?'" (Freddie Mercury, p.100).


No right to reproduce or commercially exploit the copyright or other intellectual property

or image rights in any lot is included with the sale of the lot (including but not limited to

song lyrics, sketches, drawings and garment designs). Queen Productions Limited, Queen

Music Limited and other rights holders reserve all their rights.


No right to exhibit in public or reproduce this lot is included with the sale of this lot

without the prior written consent of Queen Productions Limited, who shall act in good faith

to consider any such requests.

This catalogue entry was amended on 24 August 2023, providing additional detail on the content of the lot and correcting the total number of pages.