"Who Wants to Live Forever" is a song by the English rock band Queen. It is the sixth track on the album A Kind of Magic, released in June 1986, and was written by lead guitarist Brian May for the soundtrack to the film Highlander.[1] The song peaked at No. 24 in the UK charts.[2]

The song is used to frame the scenes in the film where Connor MacLeod must endure his beloved wife Heather MacLeod growing old and dying while he, as an Immortal, remains forever young. (It was later used in the episodes "The Gathering", "Revenge is Sweet", "The Hunters", "Line of Fire", and "Leader of the Pack" of the Highlander television series). The song's title is taken from a line in another movie scored by Brian May and Queen, Flash Gordon (the line can be heard on "Battle Theme" from the Flash Gordon soundtrack album) and is based on May's personal troubles[3] (the death of May's father and failing first marriage).

In the film, Freddie Mercury provides all the main vocals, while May sings lead vocals on the first verse on the album version, before Mercury takes over for most of the rest of the song, with May singing "But touch my tears with your lips" during Mercury's verse and then the final line of the song, "Who waits forever anyway?". An instrumental version of the song, titled "Forever", was included as a bonus track on the CD version of the album. This instrumental featured only a piano, with keyboard accompaniment during the chorus sections. The piano track was recorded solely by May. Queen was backed up by an orchestra, with orchestrations by the co-composer of the film's score, Michael Kamen.[1] Since its release, the song has been covered by a number of artists.

The song was played in the series finale of Eastbound & Down.


 [hide*1 Personnel


Music video[edit]Edit

The video was directed by David Mallet and filmed in a (now demolished) warehouse at Tobacco Wharf at London's East End in September 1986.[4] It featured the National Philharmonic Orchestrawith forty choirboys and hundreds and hundreds of candles which remain lit throughout filming as well as Mercury wearing a tuxedo suit.[4] It is the only Queen video to feature bassist John Deaconplaying an upright bass. According to Roger Taylor in an interview for Queen's Greatest Video Hits II, he was drunk during the filming.

An alternate version with clips from the film Highlander (which the song appears in) appears on the video single with "A Kind of Magic" in October 1986 and later as a hidden music video on theQueen Greatest Video Hits II DVD in November 2003.[4]

Cover versions[edit]Edit

Dune version[edit]Edit

"Who Wants to Live Forever"
Single by Dune
from the album Forever
Released 23 October 1996
Format CD
Genre Classical music
Dune singles chronology
"Million Miles From Home"


"Who Wants to Live Forever"


"Nothing Compares 2 U"


German band Dune released their cover of "Who Wants to Live Forever", from their album Forever, as a single in October 1996.

Dune's version of "Who Wants to Live Forever" sold more than 500,000 copies in Germany. The single peaked at No. 3 in the Austrian singles charts, No. 9 in the Swiss Charts, No. 12 in the Dutch Charts and No. 59 in the Swedish charts.

Track listing[edit]Edit

  1. Who Wants to Live Forever (Sixtysix Radio Mix) (3:54)
  2. Who Wants to Live Forever (South Bound Mix) (3:58)
  3. Highland Trilogy: One Day in Glencoe (4:49)
  4. Highland Trilogy: Valley of Tears (4:58)
  5. Highland Trilogy: In the Air, Part 2 (10:29)


Released: 4 December 1996

  1. Who Wants to Live Forever (Komakino Remix) (5:32)
  2. Who Wants to Live Forever (Future Breeze Remix) (7:03)
  3. In the Air, Part 1 (5:13)

Music video[edit]Edit

The music video was shot in the Scottish Highlands.

Sarah Brightman version[edit]Edit

"Who Wants to Live Forever"
Single by Sarah Brightman
from the album Timeless
Released 1997
Format CD
Genre Operatic pop
Producer(s) Frank Peterson
Sarah Brightman singles chronology
"Just Show Me How to Love You"


"Who Wants to Live Forever"


"Tu Quieres Volver"


Soprano Sarah Brightman released her cover of "Who Wants to Live Forever", from her album Timeless/Time to Say Goodbye, as a single in 1997 (See 1997 in music). The single peaked at No. 45 in the UK singles chart.

Track listing[edit]Edit

CD single[edit]Edit

  1. "Who Wants to Live Forever" (Album version)
  2. "Who Wants to Live Forever" (Xenomania club mix)

Maxi CD single[edit]Edit

  1. "Who Wants to Live Forever"
  2. "A Question of Honour"
  3. "Heaven Is Here"
  4. "I Loved You"

12" vinyl[edit]Edit

  1. "Who Wants to Live Forever (Trouser Enthusiasts 'Cybernetic Odalisque' Mix)"
  2. "Who Wants to Live Forever (Xenomania Club Mix)"
  3. "Who Wants to Live Forever (Xenomania Dub Mix)"
  4. "Who Wants to Live Forever (X-Citing Mix)

Edyta Górniak version[edit]Edit

Single by Edyta Górniak
Released 2003
Format CD
Genre R&B
Label Pomaton EMI
Writer(s) Ryszard Kunce
Producer(s) Edyta Górniak
Edyta Górniak singles chronology




"The Story So Far"


Polish singer Edyta Górniak released a cover of the song in 2003 called "Nieśmiertelni(Immortals). She recorded the cover with Polish lyrics for the cover compilation album RMF FM – Moja i Twoja muzyka by Polish radio station RMF FM. It was released as a promo radio single by Pomaton EMI. The image on the cover was shot by photographer Robert Wolański.

Track listing[edit]Edit

  1. Nieśmiertelni (3:26)

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