"Princes of the Universe" is a song written by Freddie Mercury and performed by Queen. The song was written for the soundtrack of the movie Highlander and released on the A Kind of Magic album in 1986.
"Princes of the Universe", written for Highlander, is the only song on the album for which Mercury receives sole credit. Later, it was also used as thetheme song for Highlander: The Series. The song was never released as a single in the United Kingdom; and, while it never truly charted, it is considered a cult favourite because of its relation to the film. In the movie, the guitar solo in the beginning is deleted.
The lyrics are from the perspective of the immortals, about the state of being immortal, the superiority it gives them to normal humans, and the test that they all always have to face because of this. The lyrics can also be interpreted as regarding Queen themselves: "People talk about you, people say you've had your day / I'm a man that will go far, find the moon and reach for the stars." The song "Who Wants to Live Forever" is the foil of this song, and features in the film.
The music video was directed by Russell Mulcahy and was shot on the Silvercup rooftop stage used for the film, featuring a sword fight betweenConnor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) and Freddie Mercury (Freddie wielding his trademark bottomless mic stand instead of a sword) intercut with scenes from the movie. During the video, guitarist Brian May appears without his Red Special, but instead with a white Washburn RR11V. The video was actually played quite a bit on music video stations (in the US) when this single came out, despite not charting. Up until its eventual release onGreatest Flix III (VHS, 1999) and Greatest Video Hits 2 (DVD, 2003), it was rarely seen by fans outside North America, elevating its possession to collector's item status.