The song was re-popularized in 1987 by Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock band, ‘Queen’. Mercury's version reached Number 4 on the ’UK Singles Chart’. In one of his last videotaped interviews in spring of 1987, Mercury explained that the song was particularly fitting for the way he saw his career and being on stage. Mercury's music video for the song featured him parodying himself in many of his Queen guises through video medium over the years, including visual re-takes of his other hit songs.
I dedicate my song today to the third eldest in our family of seven sisters and brothers; my sister Eileen. I have always considered our Eileen (known as Eile to all other family members except me), who tends to sit back and listen while the rest of her siblings are disputing this or that, as ‘The Great Pretender’. She is the bright one who pretends to know little but knows much more than she ever lets on. She is the one who sits back quietly at family gatherings, allowing her six siblings to shout down each other, dispute facts and wage verbal war, while she just smiles wryly and carries on drinking one glass of wine…then another….and then another; pretending to be as sober as when she entered the pub three hours earlier, until her husband John quietly neck-pecks her with the instructions that ‘it’s time to go home’.
When husband John quietly whispers in her ear that she has had enough wine for that day, Eileen smiles at her husband endearingly. She likes to pretend to the rest of her siblings that she, and not John, is the boss and that her amorous husband is, in fact, neck-pecking as he kisses the nape of her neck affectionately instead of instructing her to lay off any more booze.
All her life, my dear sister, Eileen has pretended ‘this’ in order to disguise ‘that’. Even her Christian name of ‘Eile’ that she likes to be known by, is itself a pretence to be someone she isn’t and never has been. When all is said and done though, I must admit that whenever a family member wants the most independent advice that can be obtained from another family member, it is usually towards ‘The Great Pretender’ herself that they turn.
As regards to my beautiful niece, Susan, she too is prone to pretend like her mother. Susan is one of three sisters, and if I am to remain perfectly truthful, I’d have to admit that she is my favourite of the three sisters (but whatever you do, don’t let on to the other two, Susan). Susan unfortunately ‘pretends’ she is just another average person, but she, like her mother Eileen, is pretending and bending the truth. The cold reality is that she’s a lovely person, a beautiful woman and the best of wives and mothers and she makes me an extremely proud uncle that she has turned out so well.
Happy birthday, Eileen and Susan. May your special day be filled with lots of happiness, peace, love… and…in your case, lots of cake and wine. Living in houses that are immediately next door to each other on the same road, you’ll be able to crack open the same bottle of celebratory wine and eat the same cake. Love Big Brother and Uncle Billy x
Love and peace Bill xxx