I remember belting this song out with a friend at a small mountain in Iceland, sometime last century. Spread Your Wings. Possibly the best of the obscure Queen songs. Two teenage boys who got the primal energy that Queen always had.

But it wasn’t until last year, stuck scrubbing floors in a hellish nightshift job in the North of Iceland, that I properly understood the song. Understood the fact this is the best song ever about scrubbing and cleaning floors.

Sammy has escaped, at least temporarily. He’s at a hotel, heading out into the world, and there are two voices in his head, competing for his attention. The boss that insists he keep sweeping the floors, reprimanding him for the hubris of daring to dream. This all starts there, where he is a spectator of his own life, that is nevertheless not really his, since he’s determined to escape even if his boss considers all such talk flights of fancy. You know the type.

Freddie continues to encourage him. But he’s still in this hotel room. Will he get any further? Is there possibly an equally terrible boss in the next village, the next city? Is there anyway to fly far enough?

Queen themselves recorded the video on a freezing day in the seventies. It’s cold out there but at least you’re free. You shiver but at least you’re free.

Text: Ásgeir H Ingólfsson

 

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