Meaning of “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

This iconic 1980 track isn’t just about a catchy bassline; it delves into themes of resilience and struggle, maybe even taking on an undertone of warfare and survival. At first glance, the song might seem like it’s about defeat, as people “bite the dust.” But flip the coin, and you’ll see it’s also about the survivor, the one who keeps going despite all odds.

Written by Queen’s bass guitarist John Deacon, this hit was reportedly inspired by the chaotic times during the late ’70s and early ’80s. It captures the essence of survival in a world that feels like a battlefield.

Ready to dig deeper into this rock anthem? We’ll unpack the lyrics, explore the mindset behind its creation, and look at why this tune keeps pulling us back. Stick around; you won’t be disappointed.

“Another One Bites The Dust” Lyrics Meaning

Let’s dive in, shall we? The song kicks off with “Steve walks warily down the street, with the brim pulled way down low.” Right from the get-go, we see someone cautious, almost like a soldier in a war zone. The lyrics set the stage for a gritty, dog-eat-dog world.

“Ain’t no sound but the sound of his feet, machine guns ready to go.” The environment is tense. It’s a kill-or-be-killed situation. Are you seeing the parallels with survival and battle yet? “Out of the doorway, the bullets rip, to the sound of the beat.” It’s like life’s challenges are the bullets, and we’re all dodging them one way or another.

The famous chorus, “Another one bites the dust,” can be seen from two angles. It could be a bleak outlook, marking every fallen comrade. But, on the flip side, every time someone “bites the dust,” someone else survives. That survivor could be you. The lyric, “Hey, I’m gonna get you too,” reveals a defiant stance, highlighting the aggressor’s relentless spirit. This could be life itself telling you it’s not gonna ease up; you’ve gotta fight back.

But what about the part that goes, “How do you think I’m gonna get along without you, when you’re gone?” This could refer to lost friends, failed relationships, or even ideals and dreams that have been left behind. The song calls out the emotional impact but then returns to the theme of toughening up and facing the music.

“Are you happy, are you satisfied? How long can you stand the heat?” These lines encapsulate the idea that survival isn’t easy. Whether you’re the one left standing or the one who’s gone, life’s adversities take a toll. The song rounds off with “I’m standing on my own two feet.” It reiterates the theme of resilience, of facing life’s battles head-on.

Why Was “Another One Bites The Dust” Written?

If you’re thinking this song is all gloom and doom, hold on a second. John Deacon, who penned the tune, was influenced by the musical atmosphere and societal unrest of the late ’70s and early ’80s. But remember, this was also a time when genres were mixing, and musical boundaries were being pushed. The track borrows from funk and disco, giving the message of survival and resilience an infectious groove. So, even though the song captures the difficulties of life, it also compels you to dance through them.

The state of mind Deacon was in while writing this song was one of creative exploration but also a reflection of the world around him. The Vietnam War had ended just a few years prior, and tensions were high. This song encapsulates that zeitgeist of struggle but also resilience. So, the next time you listen to “Another One Bites The Dust,” remember that it’s not just about those who fall; it’s a tribute to those who keep on fighting.