There are a lot of songs which, by the time you heard two lines of it, you already know what the song is about. Bohemian Rhapsody is not one of them. There is more than one theory on the story Mercury tried to tell in this song. Here is mine.
Bohemian Rhapsody is about someone almost dying from a suicide attempt or a drug overdose:
“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?”
Is this really a hallucination, or is this really happening? See my explanation of “I see a little silhouette … let me go … Beelzebub has a devil …” further into this article – it is either a Near Death Experience (NDE) or a (drug-induced?) hallucination. He is not sure which.
“Mama, I just killed a man …”
He believes he killed himself.
“If I’m not back this time tomorrow carry on”
He can perceive his mother crying over him.
“Life has just begun, and now I go and throw it all away… Too late, my time has come… goodbye everybody”
He believes he is dying.
“I see a little silhouette… Scaramouche… thunderbolts and lightning…”
He is having either a Near Death Experience of hell or is hallucinating about hell.
“He’s just a poor boy, from a poor family” “let him go”
Angels in the NDE/hallucination are pleading for his life.
“We will not let you go”
Demons are dragging him down.
“Let me go”
He is pleading to the demons in his hallucination/ NDE.
Beelzebub has a devil … for me”
He sees demons in this hallucination/ NDE.
“So you think you can stomp me and spit in my eye? So you think you can love me and leave me to die? … Just let me right out of here”
He is fighting to stay alive. (The sentence “So you think you can love me and leave me to die?” also reminds me that Freddy Mercury died of AIDS.)
In the end, he makes it out, alive, but the depressed/ reckless state of mind that caused him to use drugs/ attempt suicide continues: “Nothing really matters. Anyone can see. Nothing really matters. To me.”