Spread Your Wings

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"Spread Your Wings"
Queen Spread Your Wings.png
Single by Queen
from the album News of the World
B-side "Sheer Heart Attack" (Europe)
Released 10 February 1978
Format 7"
Recorded 1977 at Sarm West and Wessex Studios
Genre Hard rock
Length 4:32
Label EMI Records (UK) Elektra (US)
Songwriter(s) John Deacon
Producer(s) Queen, assisted by Mike Stone
Queen singles chronology
"We Are the Champions" / "We Will Rock You"
"Spread Your Wings"
"It's Late"

"We Are the Champions" /
"We Will Rock You"
"Spread Your Wings"
"It's Late"

"Spread Your Wings" is a ballad by the rock band Queen, from their 1977 album News of the World.[1] Written by bassist John Deacon, it was released as the A side of the single Spread Your Wings/Sheer Heart Attack in 1978.


The track features Freddie Mercury on the piano and vocals, Brian May on the electric guitar, Roger Taylor on the drums, and John Deacon on the bass guitar and acoustic guitar. A live version of the song appears in the band's 1979 album Live Killers.[1] The song peaked at number 34 in the UK. A live BBC radio session recording features a unique speeded-up final section of the song.

The song is in 4/4 meter, and begins with a simple piano motif in D major, modulating down to D's relative key B minor in the bridge, and returning to D in the chorus.

The lyrics of the song describe a troubled young man named Sammy who works at The Emerald Bar, sweeping the floor.[2] The narrator (Freddie Mercury) of the song encourages Sammy to pursue his dreams, telling him to "spread your wings and fly away".[2]

Many critics have speculated whether Deacon derived his inspiration for the song from John Updike's short story "A & P" which contains a similar theme and a hero named "Sammy." Deacon has yet to respond to this query.

"Spread Your Wings" was not released as a single in North America. It was, however, featured as a B-side to Queen's 1980 hit, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (#1 U.S.).



Chart (1978) Peak
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[3] 20
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[4] 26
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[5] 34

Cover versions[edit]

This song was covered by German power metal band Blind Guardian on their 1992 album Somewhere Far Beyond. The same recording reappeared on their 1996 album The Forgotten Tales.


  1. ^ a b Your Wings News of the World: Spread Your Wings (Track 5) Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 11 July 2011
  2. ^ a b Spread Your Wings Allmusic. Retrieved 11 July 2011
  3. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Queen" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Queen – Spread Your Wings" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 October 2013.

External links[edit]