Why Queen’s “We Are The Champions” Is Actually A Lament


April 3, 2014

Psalm 35

Strive, Lord, with those who strive with me; and fight with those who fight with me.
Take up the buckler and the shield; Rise up and my Defender be.
Take up the spear and block the way, stopping the men who me pursue;
And to my soul in mercy say, “I am salvation unto you.”

Those who desire to take my life, humbled and shamed let them all be;
Let them be thwarted and turned back, those who plot evil things for me.
Let them be chaff before the wind, with the Lord’s Angel driving them.
Make their way dark and slippery, with the Lord’s Angel chasing them.

Without a cause, their net they hid to take me in the pit prepared;
Without a cause, they laid a trap in which my soul might be ensnared.
Let him the unexpected meet; Let him be caught within the snare
which he has spread for other feet, and fall to utter ruin there.

My soul shall in the Lord rejoice, and boast in His salvation, too;
My body will exult and say, “O Lord, who can there be like You?”
You give the poor deliverance from one who is for him too strong;
The needy and oppressed You spare from those who steal and do them wrong.

Now men arise to speak with lies; They ask me things I do not know;
My good with evil they requite; It fills my heart with grief and woe.
When they were sick, I sackcloth wore; I fasted with humility;
But prayers I offered up for them would keep returning back to me.

As if for brother or a friend, I went about and grieved aloud;
As with grief for my mother’s end, with deepest sorrow I was bowed.
But they were joyful when I fell – assailants all unknown to me;
Conspiring lies they love to tell; they slander me continually.

Like godless jesters, they do mock; They with their teeth have gnashed at me.
How long, O Lord, upon this look? How long look on and let this be?
Deliver me from their assault, and save my life from lions strong;
I’ll thank You in the gathering, and praise You in the mighty throng!

Let not those wrongfully my foes raise over me their joyful cries;
And those who hate me without cause, Let not with malice wink their eyes.
Of peace they will not speak at all; Toward peaceful neighbors, scheme with lies;
With brazen words accusing me; They say, “We saw this with our eyes.”

Lord, You have seen; do not be still. O Lord, be not far from my sight.
O rouse Yourself, to judgment wake! My God, my Lord, uphold my right.
With justice judge me, Lord, my God; Let not my foes gloat over me.
Let them not think, “We’ve swallowed him! At last, our soul’s desire we see!”

Let them be humbled and ashamed who gloat at my calamity;
Clothe them with shame and with disgrace who proudly rise up over me.
But let them shout aloud with joy who long to see me justified;
And let them never cease to say, “O let the Lord be magnified.

Because it brings to Him delight to see His servant prospering.”
I’ll speak about Your righteousness; throughout the day Your praise I’ll sing.


Freddy Mercury had it right. I am only now beginning to understand that his song, We Are The Champions, is actually a lament. He is claiming a victory that is already but not yet. The hope here is not so much in God, as it is in the final score, but you get the point. As  Peter Kuzmic is said to have said, “Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future.  Faith is having the courage to dance to it today.” See for yourself.

I’ve paid my dues
Time after time.
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime.
And bad mistakes ‒
I’ve made a few.
I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face
But I’ve come through.

(And I need just go on and on, and on, and on)

We are the champions, my friends,
And we’ll keep on fighting ’til the end.
We are the champions.
We are the champions.
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the world.

I’ve taken my bows
And my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it
I thank you all

But it’s been no bed of roses,
No pleasure cruise.
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race
And I ain’t gonna lose.

(And I need just go on and on, and on, and on)

We are the champions, my friends,
And we’ll keep on fighting ’til the end.
We are the champions.
We are the champions.
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the world.

Now, be honest. You couldn’t resist singing this as you read through it could you? You could hear the music couldn’t you? It would be an absurd exercise to simply read the lyrics wo/ music wouldn’t it?

The same is true of the Psalms– Songs they are. CLICK HERE.

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed’s Sower-in-Chief.