Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' healing powers unlikely - didn't help Freddie Mecury, apparently

Intelek Int'l By Intelek Int'l, 28th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2dbuqgl4/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Media

Challenging BBC-ComRes claims about Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' as music therapy

How scientific was the ComRes survey? How objective is the BBC article?

Below is a copy of a letter I have sent to the BBC and Andrew Hawkins and Katharine Peacock, the senior managers of research and polling agency ComRes expressing my concern over their claims about deceased rocker Freddie Mercury and the group Queen's song "Bohemian Rhapsody's" top rating as a form of music therapy.

I have also copied the letter to my local MP Simon Wright and other interested parties.

Dear Ms Peacock and Mr HawkinsI'm surprised to learn of the finding of your ComRes poll which identifies Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody (BR) as the best of ten songs to listen to when unwell, as reported by the BBC (I've included a copy of the BBC online report below).

While recognizing the upbeat character of that song, this poll result seems counter-intuitive to me because of the song's Satanic associations - the Beelzebub reference etc.I believe your finding also contradicts the implications of a number of scientific experiments (done on plants) which indicate that Rock and similar styles of music can have harmful effects on humans.
I understand from the BBC story that ComRes suggested the ten songs in the poll.

How were the ten songs selected? Was it a ComRes member of staff or someone from the BBC that selected them? And what criteria was used? Was any consideration given to the lyrical content of the songs or just the rhythm?

And if attention was given to the lyrics, how much, relative to other factors - like tempo, instruments heard/featured and so on?

BR is not the kind of song I would have suggested if I were carrying out a poll into songs resorted to for improved mood or health by citizens/residents of an ostensibly or "officially" Christian country. I find it difficult to see how anyone could find its "overall" arrhythmic composition either "cheering or soothing".Now, I am prepared to allow some personal and cultural bias on my part.

But I'm not a national resource of ComRes' or the BBC's reputation. Nor do I bear their corresponding social responsibility.

The main issue I am concerned with is to what extent ComRes, the BBC and/or other persons associated with the poll may have been biased.The BBC's simplistic focus on BR, reflected in the title of its article "Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody 'good song if unwell or down'" certainly seems questionable to me.

Does it not matter that BR was chosen by a higher percentage of males (30%) than females (23%), as the article itself informs?

What about the data provided by the over-65s, the sub-group registering the highest preference percentage (39%)?

Shouldn't more attention have been given to that sub-group, specially in light of their numerical representation among UK citizens and residents.And now that I've mentioned the citizen-resident distinction I'm wondering how much attention, if any, was given to nationality and related cultural factors?

I think it very unlikely that as a sub-group, persons of Arab or sub-Saharan African heritage - whether male or female, young or old - would have identified BR or any other Queen song as their "healing song" of first choice, if they were given the opportunity to choose freely.

I can see how minimization of that and other Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME)sub-groups' musical preferences or predilections might be justified by ComRes, the BBC and such special interests as it might serve.

But is it appropriate for those behind the study to have not mentioned or noted the relevant interests of such BAME sub-groups at all?

How does the new Chairman, Rona Fairhead and others associated with the BBC Trust reconcile such an omission to that organization's current rhetoric about improving its representation of BAME persons?

There are other questions I want to put to ComRes, the BBC and others but information I have been receiving from BBC Norfolk's Mike Liggins, Wendy Witham, Gary Standley, Clive Lewis and other sources (directly and indirectly)has made it clear to me that the BBC, at least, is already experiencing something like an "information overload".

I do not want to add to that problem.

My heartfelt goal is to help "Auntie" BBC - an organization which as I have previously indicated in a number of now suspiciously inaccessible Allvoices.com articles (sadly) has been something approximating a "parent" to me, almost from the time of my birth.

I certainly credit the BBC's broadcasts that my twin brother Wayne and I were exposed to as infants with a role in our childhood acquisition of spoken Standard English language skills.

My goal is a synergistic, mutually respectful and beneficial relationship with the BBC, as I have indicated to Mr Liggins, in an email where I sought to empathise with him on the basis of my own experience of the political and wider social pressures that can affect one's journalism.

Having regard to the BBC's social responsibilities, especially its duty to be objective and transparent in its operations and dealings with myself and other members of the public it serves, my fundamental concern here is that the ComRes poll and the BBC article it spawned may be less scientific than the average reasonable person might expect of such media products.

My concern is that what should have been an open-ended, investigative research exercise was in fact made into an ill-conceived, vested-interest-serving marketing ploy - possibly in the service of some kind of "Queen franchise".

And the possibility that such a ploy should not only be perpetrated against the British public under the guise of a health study but also as part of a commemoration of Faith Week is of profound concern.

Indeed, I would not be surprised if some observers interpret this ComRes-BBC effort as the work of Satanists, intended to challenge Britain's Christian hegemony and recklessly expose vulnerable persons to demonic influences.

The article also informs that BR is about someone confessing to a murder they have committed. Is that message clearly communicated or is it subliminal?

Is the killer penitent or triumphalist?

I worry that Ms Fairhead and those supporting her are not learning crucial lessons, despite the clear implication that there are important lessons to be learned about ill-founded, 'obese optimism' or "fatty faith" from the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal, the excessive "personality puffing and payment" issue, the license fee criminalization factor and other evidence that the BBC, like West Indies cricket is in some kind of coma.

I worry that persons who would make the BBC a platform for predatory paedophile publishing are still operating with impunity in the organization.

Any assurance that you and or your colleagues can offer that that is not the case will be greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely
J Campbell
Intelek International

The BBC article

Queen hit song 'has healing powers'

Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody is a good song for people to listen to if they feel unwell or down, a poll suggests.

A ComRes survey for BBC local radio for Faith in the World Week, which is exploring the healing power of music, offered 1,000 people 10 choices.

Dancing Queen by Abba came second, with Happy by Pharrell Williams in joint third with "classical music" generally.

More than two-thirds of those polled said they like listening to music when they do not feel well.

And nearly nine-out-of-ten of respondents agreed that listening to music can make people feel better when they are sick or facing difficult times.

Faith in the World Week, which runs until 2 November, is examining how music can change and shape people's lives. It will be supported by special programming on local radio, on Radio 2 and online.

Overall, 81% of Britons say that they have been made to feel better by listening to music. Just 36% said that they prefer to listen to speech than music when they are not feeling well, the poll found.

Asked to select specific music, almost 30% of men choose Bohemian Rhapsody from the list provided. Fewer women - 23% - put it first, with 28% naming Dancing Queen. Only 16% of men opted for the Abba track.

Among the over-65s, classical music made more of an impression, with 39% saying they wanted to listen to it when they're ill or down.

Among younger adults, Happy was the most popular song. Songs by Bob Marley, Robbie Williams and Michael Jackson were also on the list presented in the survey.

Bohemian Rhapsody is taken from Queen's A Night at the Opera album. Nearly six minutes long, the track went to number one in the UK singles charts on two occasions - on its initial release in November 1975, and in 1991 following the death of the band's frontman Freddie Mercury.

Queen said they regarded the track as a showcase of their technical skill and the song encompasses several musical styles. But although Bohemian Rhapsody topped the poll for its apparent cheering and soothing effects, its subject matter is a man's confession to a murder.







Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen

Meet the author

author avatar Intelek Int'l
"I think therefore I jam"
I'm a holistic communication and education specialist, trading as Intelek International (www.intelek.net).
I write about spirituality, science, philosophy, politics, love.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar WOGIAM
28th Oct 2014 (#)

You are passionate about this topic and i admire that, i hope you get a suitable response from the parties you wrote to.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Intelek Int'l
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Thanks for reading and commenting WOGIAM. Much appreciated.

Reply to this comment

author avatar tafmona
29th Oct 2014 (#)

I like this post, sounds so unique and written with a lot of dedication

Reply to this comment

author avatar Intelek Int'l
29th Oct 2014 (#)

Thank you Tafmona. If only I were as prolific a writer as you!

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?