“Who waits forever anyway?”
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?
Lyrics courtesy of AZLyrics.
Forever and always, Queen’s power ballad speaks to the tragic heart of Connor MacLeod’s relationship with his wife Heather in the original Highlander movie. When men believe that immortality is the key to happiness, they forget that they’ll watch their loved ones grow old and die nonetheless. Yet even then, Connor remained by her side, comforting her as she died in his arms of old age.
Hearing Freddie Mercury softly sing the line “who waits forever anyway?” at the end of this song always tugs at my heartstrings. When this song is played in Highlander, the audience can see plain as day that despite knowing that her husband would outlive her as an immortal, Heather refused to abandon him. To her last breath, she was by his side, and they never stopped loving each other. Time had no effect on their love.
The legacy of Queen’s emotional masterpiece lives on. “Who Wants to Live Forever?” has been covered by a number of groups across the ages.
Here is a more romantic cover of the song by the German electronic band Dune, in collaboration with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Check out this epic rendition by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, led by Tuva Semmingsen as their powerhouse vocalist.
The Tenors, a popular vocal group, did a beautifully poetic version of this song that combines their lush vocals with powerful instrumentals.
Interestingly enough, Adam Lambert collaborated with Queen for this song, and a number of others. I read in this interview that for this performance at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2016, they sang this song the night after the Pulse Club Massacre in Orlando. As you can see here, Adam’s performance was jam-packed with emotion for their collaboration of this song.
I’m glad that I rediscovered this beautiful song by Queen. Connor MacLeod inspired my parents to give me my name, and Highlander contains a poignant message about love that endures beyond death. It’s always touching, watching Connor continue to light a candle on Heather’s birthday, honoring her last request to him.
There’s also the recent dream I had involving this song. “Who Wants to Live Forever?” played in the background of an uncomfortably vivid dream I had last week. As a starkly somber foil to a vision-like dream I had two years ago, I saw what looked like my funeral service through a third-person view. Like the dream I had two years ago, I saw a glimpse of the same handsome older gentleman who’s repeatedly appeared in my dreams (and in the rarest of occasions, momentary visions) ever since that moment. Given how frequently he’s appeared, I have a feeling that I’ve been seeing my future husband.
But instead of smiling tenderly like I’d first seen him, he was seated in the front pew, sobbing his heart out in bitter grief at losing me. I could hear this song playing as he wept, which needless to say is an absolutely tactless choice of funeral music. But all sardonic quipping aside, I know that the deeper meaning of this sad scene is that I shouldn’t give up on finding this love one day. Even though the present is bleak with COVID-19 still ravaging the world, love continues to endure.
And when I finally meet him, forever will be our today, as Freddie Mercury sang so powerfully.