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Lyric Music

I Want to Break Free


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Story of Song

This song talks about someone who feels trapped in their relationship and wants to ‘break free’ of their lover. Although it was originally intended to be a male perspective of the women’s liberation movement, it was then taken on as somewhat of an anthem for one’s own personal freedom for person who finds his/herself in a situation where they feel repressed and want to ‘break free’ of their circumstances and show the real person that they are. The idea of dressing up in the video was suggested by Roger Taylor,featuring the band dressed up in drag-with Freddie as a housewife, Roger Taylor as a young school girl, Brain May as a housewife, and John Deacon as a grandmother. Echoing the song’s lyrics, all of them want to ‘break free’ of their lives. Roger Taylor said, “We had done some really serious, epic videos in the past, and we just thought we’d have some fun. We wanted people to know that we didn’t take ourselves too seriously, that we could still laugh at ourselves. I think we proved that”. In an interview with Q magazine March 2011, Bryan May was asked whether each band member’s character in the video was an accurate reflection of their personalities? He answered:”Of Course! Everybody thinks that was Freddie’s idea because it looks like something that he would love to do but it actually came from Roger’s girlfriend at the time, strangely enough. It was her idea to pastiche the Coronation Street women.”  But in the US, it was a different story, the British humor didn’t go over well with the Americans, and  some got offended by the band dressing as women, seeing the video as an empowerment to transvestites. Couple with Mercury’s bisexuality, the video proved too controversial and ended up being banned on MTV. Brian May said, “I think at that point we lost America, which is a shame, as it means there’s a whole chunk of Queen songs which never got played or heard there.”

Release date

It was released on April 2, 1984


John Deacon (Queen base player)


EMI, Capitol, Toshiba

Chart Rankings

US – 45

UK – 3


The single was very successful for Queen after reaching number 3 in the UK and held that position for 15 weeks. It was also within the top 10 in many European and Latin American countries. It was very popular in Germany where it was number 4 in the charts for 20 weeks .In the US, it only reached number 45 on the US charts and stayed there for 8 weeks.

Artist’s age on release date

The band Queen was formed in London in 1970 and was active for 14 years. Freddy Mercury was 38 years old then.

Cover Versions

Lisa Stansfield sang it in The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.


Added by Slate

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