The film’s soundtrack included several Queen songs, such as “A Kind of Magic”, “Hammer to Fall”, and “Who Wants to Live Forever”. The latter was written by Brian May, the lead guitarist of Queen, after he watched a scene from the film where the protagonist, Connor MacLeod, witnesses the death of his wife while he remains young and immortal. The song is a poignant ballad that questions the meaning of life and love in the face of eternity. It features an orchestra arranged by Michael Kamen, who also composed the score for the film. The orchestra was conducted by May himself.
The official music video for the song shows scenes from the film intercut with the band performing in a dark and smoky warehouse. The video also pays tribute to Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, who died in 1991 from AIDS-related complications. The video begins with the lyrics “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”, expressing the sorrow and futility of the immortals’ existence.
Another Queen song from the Highlander soundtrack is “Princes of the Universe”, which was used as the theme song for the Highlander TV series, which ran from 1992 to 1998. The song is a rock anthem that celebrates the power and glory of the immortals. The chorus goes “Here we are, born to be kings / We’re the princes of the universe / Here we belong, fighting to survive / In a world with the darkest powers”. The song also boasts the immortals’ supremacy and ambition in the bridge, where Mercury sings “I am immortal, I have inside me blood of kings / I have no rival, no man can be my equal / Take me to the future of your world”.
Now, more than three decades after the original film, a remake of Highlander is in development, with Chad Stahelski as the director. Stahelski is best known for his work on the John Wick franchise, which also features stylish action and a rich mythology. Stahelski has confirmed that he will use Queen songs from the original film, including “Who Wants to Live Forever”, in the remake. He said, “I think that’s the fun part of being a filmmaker, is to take something that you loved and then try to make it your own and pay homage to what it was”.
The remake of Highlander is expected to be a modern and gritty reboot of the classic story, with a new cast and a new vision. However, the immortal songs of Queen will still be there to accompany the immortals on their journey. As the lyrics of “Who Wants to Live Forever” say, “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”.
– Queen – Who Wants To Live Forever (Official Video) – YouTube, Queen Official, 8/2/2008
– ‘Highlander’ Remake Will Use Queen Songs From the Original Movie, Director Chad Stahelski Says, The Wrap, 10/31/2023
– Queen Princes of the Universe (Highlander Tribute) – YouTube, Rollo Production, 9/19/2015
– ‘A Kind Of Magic’: The Story Behind The Queen Song, uDiscoverMusic, 5/24/2022