The Fairy Feller's Masterstroke


'The Fairy Feller's Masterstroke' is a painting by Richard Dadd, a Victorian English artist. It is the inspiration behind Freddie's song of the same name which appears on the 'Queen II' album, and is based on lines from 'A Mid Summer Night's Dream' by William Shakespeare. The Fairy Feller is about to crack open a nut to make a new carriage for the Fairy Queen, Mab, and the Fairy Folk are gathered around watching, as the lyrics explain:

The fairy folk have gathered round
The new moon shine
To see the feller crack a nut
At night's noon-time
To swing his axe he swears
As it climbs he dares
To deliver the master stroke

Ploughman, 'Waggoner Will' and types
Politician with senatorial pipe
He's a dilly-dally-o
Pedagogue squinting wears a frown
And a satyr peers under a lady's gown
Dirty fellow
What a dirty laddio

Tatterdemalion and then a junketer
There's a thief and a dragonfly trumpeter
He's my hero (aaaah)
Fairy dandy tickling the fancy
Of his lady friend
The nymph in yellow
'Can we see the master stroke'
What a quaere fellow

Soldier, sailor, tinker, tailor, ploughboy
Waiting to hear the sound
And the arch-magician presides
He is the leader
Oberon and Titania watched by a harridan
Mab is the queen
And there's a good apothecary man
Come to say hello
Fairy dandy tickling the fancy
Of his lady friend
The nymph in yellow
What a quaere fellow

The ostler stares with hands on his knees
Come on Mr Feller
Crack it open if you please


'The Fairy Feller's Masterstroke' painting by Richard Dadd

The majority of the information on this page, and the photograph of the painting, is from Andy's Queen Page, where more detailed information can be found.