This song is a tribute to Freddie Mercury from Waterson's second solo album The Very Thought of You (1999) and written by her sister Lal Waterson. She was accompanied by Danny Thompson on bass, Teddy Borrowiecki, piano, and Eliza Carthy, viola.
Norma Waterson wrote in the album's sleeve notes:
"Lal's Reply to Joe Haines (originally called An Open Letter to Joe Haines) is just that. A reply to the iniquitous article written by that man on the subject of Freddie Mercury's disclosure that he was HIV positive (indeed that he had full blown AIDS) and which the Daily Mirror saw fit to print".
In the song Mercury is mentioned only by his real surname Bulsara.
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