The Clearing Track By Track: All On Me

Carrying right along with track 5 today, let’s talk about “All On Me”.

If you haven’t heard it yet, stream it on YouTube!

About the Track

All On Me is another straight-forward pop-punk inspired track, keeping things relatively simple across the board and just letting the rhythm guitars drive the track.

There are breakup songs and then there’s All On Me – the pre-breakup song.

The lyrics start off firmly in the middle of a conversation – rather, it’s probably best to consider it more of an argument or a little bit of bickering.

If you’ve ever been in a heated exchange with someone you’re probably well familiar with the feelings I talk about throughout this one.

The line missing ahead of the first verse comes from whoever you’re arguing with, impatiently waiting for your response they bark, “Did you hear me?”. Yeah, I did, dude, but I’m trying to sort out the best way to respond without completely losing it on you right now.

In that exact moment there’s a moment of realization with, “it’s never been so clear as it is tonight,” and here, that bit of clarity really means, “this isn’t working, this is going nowhere, you’re a literal man child and I’m kind of over it.”

Which is where we find ourselves firmly footed in verse 2. Go ahead, have your tantrum, call your names, throw what you’ve gotta throw, go cool off however that is you normally do that because this is definitely the last time I’m going to put up with this/you/us.

In the chorus I get into how this type of exchange has reached a point of familiarity, like “oh boy, here we go again,” when I say “I don’t mind if you want to throw it all on me again, one more time”.

It’s a positive realization from the viewpoint of our lyricist here who’s decided at this point to end the relationship. In fact she’s so ready to be done with the entire relationship that all the things that were previously hurtful don’t even matter anymore, they just roll right off her shoulders as she’s found some newfound sense of empowerment and can handle it better, knowing full well that what’s being said or accused isn’t who she is. People say all sorts of things when they’re hurt or trying to hang on to something, like a partner or even friends and family but that doesn’t mean it’s in any way true or that you should let it get you down.

The last line, “and I can’t wait to feel the sun again across my face,” refers to feeling like you’re walking around with a raincloud pouring down on you every time you find yourself in a relationship that isn’t doing anything for you – there are better days ahead and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Verse 2 pulls us back into an exchange, which you could consider a different altercation all together or part of the same. At this point, it doesn’t matter; When your partner is making it clear they’re not interested in communicating with you in any sort of respectful way, it’s time to move on.

There’s mistakes and slips of the tongue and then there are ingrained patterns and habits. Here we’re talking more about the latter.

In the bridge I get into the crux of the issue: a partner who is unwilling to take personal accountability for their part in the deterioration of the relationship, unwilling to work on their own issues and instead continually chooses to deflect them onto their partner.

If it feels like nothing you’re doing or saying is good enough for your partner, my completely unwarranted unprofessional advice is that you should maybe tell them to hit the road because you deserve better.

All in, All On Me is just about your run of the mill unhealthy relationships.

I think it’s really easy to get sucked back into these types of exchanges and relationships if you’re not paying careful attention to the patterns or if you’re just not feeling strong enough emotionally to think rationally about it and what you’re really getting out of it, so if you’ve ever found yourself in these shoes (they’re mine, by the way, women’s size 9), I hope you don’t consider yourself “less than” for falling victim to them; it happens a lot, people just don’t like to talk about it.

More than that, I hope you know you’re worthy of someone who truly loves and respects you, and when you find them you’ll know.

And on a more serious token, if you find your relationship escalating negatively in this type of way, it really is in your best interest to part ways before things get out of control. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to leave, and legitimately dangerous particularly if you’re a woman, so don’t be ashamed to put yourself first and trust your instincts if you feel like something isn’t quite right.

Official Lyrics

No it’s not that
I heard you fine
It’s never been so clear as it is tonight

Go stomp your feet
Like the child you have been
Whatever makes it better, baby
Go do your thing

Cause I don’t mind
If you wanna throw it all on me, you can, one more time
I can take the weight, I’ve been training for this day
And I can’t wait to feel the sun again across my face

You held your gaze
Clenched through all your teeth
Muttered something under your breath about me

I expected that
See, nothing’s changed
Whatever makes it better, baby
Say what you gotta say

You complain it’s not your fault
You always say I expect too much
And it’s never enough
No, it’s never enough

But I don’t mind
If you wanna throw it all on me, you can, one last time
I can take the weight, I’ve been training for this day
and I can’t wait to feel the sun again across my face

A Little More

On a production level, a song like All On Me reminds me that often times, less is more. This song has some of the fewest tracks/instrumentation of all the songs on The Clearing and for a while I kept going back and fourth about whether or not it needed more. With most of the other songs on the record I had a 4-band arrangement in mind to allow me a bit more flexibility with guitar parts, but with All On Me I kept it simple with a 3-band arrangement in mind instead and I think it’s better for it.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I made the title change from “Throw It All On Me” to “All On Me” … I just find 3-word song titles roll off the tongue better, too.

Might save the next blog breakdowns for next week to give anyone who’s might’ve missed any this week time to catch up! Thanks for reading and be sure to come back for “Little Fish”!

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