It's a Hard Life (4:08)

Cover of Greatest Hits II

From Greatest Hits II and 32 other releases

“It’s a Hard Life” is a song by English rock band Queen, written by lead singer Freddie Mercury. It was featured on their 1984 album The Works, and it was the third single from that album. It reached number 6 in the UK Singles Chart and was their third consecutive Top 10 single from the album.

The opening lyric of “It’s a Hard Life” is based on the line “Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto!” (Laugh, Pagliaccio, at your broken love!) from “Vesti la giubba”, an aria from Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s opera Pagliacci. Mercury was well-known for his love of opera, which influenced many Queen songs, such as “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Musically, the song strongly features Mercury’s piano playing and a controlled guitar solo by Brian May.

Tim Pope’s video which accompanies the song (which is full of visual jokes) has been created in an operatic “style,” with the band and extras appearing in period “operatic-style” costume. The video also featured an unusual “skull and bones”-themed guitar that cost more than £1,000 [1] played by May, which can be seen on the single cover.

The band found the costumes hot and uncomfortable, and the “eyes” on Mercury’s outfit were ridiculed by the others, saying he looked “like a giant prawn”]. Both Roger Taylor and Brian May groaned out loud when shown this video during their commentary for the Greatest Video Hits 2 collection. Taylor said it was “the worst music video ever.” May pointed out more positively that the video was a thematic joke, as it portrayed Mercury as a wealthy man singing about how hard life and love are, and at that point Mercury in real life possessed great wealth but was still searching for love.


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  • Hartmann183

    NICE !

    29 Nov 12:12pm Reply
  • agataa11

    I did it for love...

    14 Nov 10:30am Reply
  • rockandrolljoe

    You win- You lose

    2 Nov 4:11pm Reply
  • AmirBlack

    R.I.P. Freddy, one of, if not, the all time best [3]

    26 Aug 6:54pm Reply
  • Glen15Queen

    It's hard without you Freddie

    16 Mar 6:51pm Reply
  • Heropsychodream

    Sounds a little like "play the game" at parts.

    11 Mar 6:46am Reply
  • Glen15Queen

    I feel joy and delight when I watch and listen to this song. That will never change. Freddie was an amazing person ❤ ❤ ❤

    19 Dec 2013 Reply
  • valplayer


    23 Aug 2013 Reply
  • raffraffraff

    One of the most enduring love songs ever made. I had this on an old vinyl compilation when I was 8 years old. It was a compilation from 1984 called "Now 4", which I borrowed from a friend's older brother and never returned. The vinyl wore out but the song never did. Amazing. It perfectly demonstrates Queen's best qualities. What's the best way to put this? "I fucking love this song, and if I live until I'm 98 I'll still love it."

    13 Mar 2013 Reply
  • EriF_JR

    It's a Hard Life

    17 Feb 2013 Reply
  • iwanrudiawan


    16 Feb 2013 Reply
  • Ezekiel22


    26 Dec 2012 Reply
  • Powerstars

    R.I.P. Freddy, one of, if not, the all time best [2]

    15 Dec 2012 Reply
  • renatolpb9

    So beautiful.

    14 Sep 2012 Reply
  • Peters91

    Love it!

    11 May 2012 Reply
  • mtshaggy

    R.I.P. Freddy, one of, if not, the all time best

    9 May 2012 Reply
  • pjbird

    Top Class

    30 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Rockonroller

    Freddy will always be respected as an absolutely amazing & talented person. Live Aid 85 at Wembley Stadium is a great example of his ability to connect with a 'crowd'...

    11 Mar 2012 Reply
  • RatherSilly

    Such a rich intro! :3

    6 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Greenplant

    лучшее сочетание текста и музыки ,вышедшего из под пера Фредди - не знаю согласиться ли полностью, но однозначно одно из лучших сочетаний, это да!

    6 Mar 2012 Reply
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