My Sunday Song – “Tenement Funster” by Queen

For My Sunday Song #222, we are focusing on the song “Tenement Funster” off the Queen 1974 album, ‘Sheer Heart Attacks’. The song was written by Roger Taylor and sung by Roger Taylor. It was not a single and was actually part of a 3 song medley on the album with “Flick of the Wrist” and “Lily of the Valley”. Since the songs are only tied together somewhat musically, they are all 3 different songs lyrically and don’t really go together in any kind of story. For that reason, I want to focus only on the first track, “Tenement Funster”. What a song name. I love saying it…”Tenement Funster”, “Tenement Funster”, “Tenement Funster”…you try it now…see lots of fun and hard to say it 3 times fast.

As I said, the song was written by Roger and seems to be about youth and rebellion which is a typical rock & roll theme. Lyrically, it seems a little out there as I know idea what is so special about his “new purple shoes”, but his “rock-and-roll 45s, been enraging the folks on the lower floor” makes total sense as I can imagine if I was living in an apartment complex my music would enrage many a neighbors. I am still not sure what a “Tenement Funster” is except maybe it is as simple as a guy who lives in a tenement (apartment) and loves to have fun and not worry about what everyone else thinks. Good enough for me.

Musically, it is a solid rock track and Roger sounds really great on it. There are elements of the Beatles and yet there is still the Brian May guitar sound, the theatrical feel to it and the Queen backing vocals and if you listen close someone goes really, really high singing “Young and we’re crazy”, it is actually quite funny. You have John Deacon doing the bass and opening the track on the acoustic guitar while Brian still handles the lead. Freddie Mercury doesn’t do any vocals, but he does contribute on the piano. Roger’s drumming is great and it is an all around fantastic Roger sung song and one of my favorites of his.

If you have or haven’t heard this song before, give it a listen and let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy as much as I have. While you are at it go listen to the whole medley for full enjoyment. Thanks for stopping by and have a very Happy Sunday!

“Tenement Funster”

My new purple shoes been amazing the people next door
And my rock-and-roll 45s, been enraging the folks on the lower floor

I got a way with the girls on my block
Try my best be a real individual
And when we go down to Smokies and rock
They line up like it’s some kinda ritual

Ooh, give me a good guitar, and you can say that my hair’s a disgrace
Or just find me an open car, I’ll make the speed of light out of this place

I like the good things in life
But most of the best things ain’t free
And this same situation just cuts like a knife
When you’re young, and you’re poor, and you’re crazy

Ooh, give me a good guitar, and you can say that my hair’s a disgrace
Or just find me an open car, I’ll make the speed of light out of this place

43 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Tenement Funster” by Queen

    1. “Fight From the Inside” is a great Roger track. He wrote many great tracks overall now that I think about it. But that one is badass! My favorite Roger track is “Drowse” from ‘A Day At The Races’ album. So beautiful and melodic.

      Liked by 2 people

          1. According to Wikipedia: “”Innuendo” began as a jam session in Switzerland amongst Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon in spring 1989. Freddie Mercury was upstairs and heard them playing the beat, and turned it into a song, creating the melody and starting off the lyrics. From then on all four worked on polishing the track and Taylor took over the lyrics (which were written as a tribute to Led Zeppelin and their song “Kashmir”). The middle section, written by Mercury, was included later and it featured a synth-orchestra programmed by producer David Richards and a flamenco interlude played by Yes guitarist Steve Howe, who had come to visit them and was asked to play.[14] “Innuendo” was released as a single in January 1991, debuting at No. 1 in the UK.[15]”

            Liked by 2 people

  1. Hey John. Way to go outside the box on this one! Did not see this one coming and that right there is the charm as it doesn’t have to be the “Hits” so to speak. I always loved Taylor’s vocals.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I see Queen, I hit Like. Quick question to which I should probably know the answer – how do you choose your Sunday Songs? I know you’re 222 into the series, but is it random? Chosen specifically? Criteria?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question. Since the beginning it has always been a 10 set of songs but it started out more themed base. Inspiring songs, christian songs, favorite 80’s tracks, my wife picked 10, etc… About a year and half ago I switched it 10 song sets for specific bands. The songs in each set aren’t picked at random as I usually have a reason or a strong liking to be picked. But I have never done straight random…maybe I should hit shuffle on my apple library and let it pick 10 songs for me.


      1. Cool, thanks! I did that random thing for a while a couple of different times, one just an iTunes random, the other that Skip 5 silliness where I’d hit play on iTunes then hit Skip 5 times and talk about whatever song came up. I say silliness because that lead me to, instead, going through every damn album in the house I don’t know why I do this to myself… Anyway, however it comes to you, go for it. It seems to have been unfolding fairly naturally thus far, keep that alive!

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