Who Wants To Live Forever

From Queenpedia.com

Jump to: navigation, search


Freddie Mercury - lead and backing vocals
Brian May - synthesizer, guitars, backing vocals, drum programming, orchestral arrangements
Roger Taylor - backing vocals
Michael Kamen - orchestral arrangements, conductor
National Philharmonic Orchestra - strings
  • Length: 5:13



A Kind Of Magic, 1986
Greatest Hits II, 1991
Classic Queen, 1992 USA
Live At Wembley '86, 1992


Who Wants To Live Forever, 1986

Alternate Versions:

  • 1985 CD Bonus Track (Forever) - A Kind Of Magic: EMI CDP 7 46267 2
  • Greatest Hits II (4:57 Edited Outro) - Greatest Hits II: Parlophone CDP 79 7971 2
  • 7" (4:00) Remix/Video - EMI Queen 9
  • Karaoke Instrumental - Japan Toshiba EMI TOLW - 3249.50
  • Hardcore Remix
  • 1998 eYe 3:19 Edit - Electronic Arts DDE05501 101S
  • Original Skip Demo No 1
  • Original Skip Demo No 2
  • Original Skip Demo No 3
  • Original Skip Demo No 4


  • Highlander, although no official soundtrack exists

Queen Talks

"The hero of [Highlander] discovers in his first battle that he can't die, and unfortunately he finds that he falls in love with this girl, and everybody tells him that it's a bad idea if they stay together because eventually she must grow old and die, and he won't. But nevertheless he does, he stays with her and she does grow old and she dies in his arms and she says, 'I never understood why you stayed with me,' and he says, 'I see you just the same as I saw you when I first met you', and she's old and she's dying. I was very moved by that and I wrote this song called 'Who Wants To Live Forever (When Love Must Die)'."

Brian May - 1986

"This is a very different era, of course. The song was written – I've documented this very well, I know – but what happened was we went to see the Highlander rushes with Russell Mulcahy, and that was our first experience in any way with Highlander – I hadn't read the script; I don't think any of us had – and it was very moving. [The film is] about a man who becomes conscious that he's immortal, and he's reluctant to accept that fact, but he's told that if he falls in love he's in big trouble, but of course he falls in love anyway. And the girl that he falls in love with eventually grows old and dies in his arms, and that kind of opened up a floodgate in me – I was dealing with a lot of tragedies in my life: the death of my father, the death of my marriage, and so forth. I could immediately hear this 'Who Wants To Live Forever' in my head, and it was almost complete in the car going home – I remember singing it to my manager as he drove me home, and he was pretty surprised. He said, 'Where did that come from?' and I said, 'I don't even know.'"

Brian May - 2003, Greatest Video Hits 2 DVD commentary

"Yeah, I got quite drunk doing this [video]. I couldn't remember my bits. I must've been drunk, because I'm dressed appallingly in some denim outfit. I must've fallen into a vat of bleach! This was a long, boring shoot, and it's all terribly serious. It looks a bit religious, so I can't say I'm very keen on that... I really love the song in the context of the Highlander film, with all the moving shots of the highlander and his wife, and she's getting old and it's all shots in the Highlands, and I thought that was very beautiful and very moving."

Roger Taylor - 2003, Greatest Video Hits 2 DVD commentary

"To my mind, I don't think the video does that much for the song, but it's nice to see Freddie very formal."

Brian May - 2003, Greatest Video Hits 2 DVD commentary


Cover Versions

Chords & Tabs

  • chords


There's no time for us
There's no place for us
What is this thing that builds our dreams yet slips away from us

Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever....?

There's no chance for us
It's all decided for us
This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us

Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever?

Who dares to love forever?
When love must die

But touch my tears with your lips
Touch my world with your fingertips
And we can have forever
And we can love forever
Forever is our today
Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever?
Forever is our today

Who waits forever anyway?