"Breakdown" as written by and Tom Petty....
It's alright if you love me
It's alright if you don't
I'm not afraid of you runnin' away honey
I've got this feeling you won't

There is no sense in pretending
Your eyes give you away
Something inside you is feeling like I do
We said all there is to say

Baby, breakdown, go ahead and give it to me
Breakdown, honey take me through the night
Breakdown now I standin' here can't you see
Breakdown, it's all right
It's all right
It's all right

Breakdown, go ahead and give it to me
Breakdown, honey take me through the night
Breakdown now I standin' here can't you see
Breakdown, it's all right
It's all right
It's all right


Lyrics submitted by oofus, edited by Silkeyjoe

"Breakdown" as written by Tom Petty

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Breakdown song meanings
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25 Comments

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  • +4
    My InterpretationI think most people have hit the meaning.

    It seems to be about just letting loose and giving into the feelings that you have. In this context, it's about a romantic encounter.

    It is pretty simple but very relatable. I think we've all been in a situation where you know the vibes are there but you know the other person has put up a wall of some sort because they're almost afraid to open up to it. It's always so strange, and you just know that if the wall ever got broken down, it would be complete passion.
    owaon February 14, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationMy reading seems to counter the other interpretations, so I will offer it. First, there is a conflict implied:

    It's alright if you love me
    It's alright if you don't

    But they've been through a lot together so the speaker doubts this is the end:

    I'm not afraid of you runnin' away honey
    I've got this feeling you won't

    They've 'said all there is to say' and yet the rest of the song is begging the lover to 'break down and give it to me'. What's that about?

    I don't think this is about getting a girl to break down her wall, or is a prelude to sex. I think the speaker has endured some emotional onslaught or hostility from the lover that the speaker doesn't understand. 'We've said all there is to say' because the speaker doesn't understand where the lover is coming from. They're at a stand still. But rather than say, 'work it out yourself' or 'come back when you're ready to speak more calmly', the speaker shouts 'Break down and give it to me' over and over. The speaker wants the the lover to express him or herself in any way they can, to 'break down' and let it all out. This is not a conversation. 'Break down and give it to me'. I have a feeling you won't' leave, but I need you to tell me what is going on. I have all night. 'Break down and give it to me'.
    hearsongon February 14, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe ultimate seduction... crank this song and break down, go ahead and give it to me! I just love how slow it is at the beginning, all deliberate. Just as the first time with a new lover ought to be.
    jalchemooron March 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about a girl playing hard to get and the guy just telling her to let down her gaurd and give in to him
    shed27on June 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah i would put it that way to shed27
    nowshisrockon May 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentiam an idot i just noticed that i spelled my s/n wrong my bad Tome Petty rocks!!!!!
    Knowshisrockon May 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthaha
    ffour4on December 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthaha
    ffour4on December 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthaha
    ffour4on December 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about a guy wanting to have sex with a woman who is reluctant. He says "Breakdown honey take me through the night" - to have sex with him throughout the entire night. He also says he doesn't care if she loves him or not because it doesn't matter -- its just sex to him. I don't think its about a desire to be emotionally connected with someone at all.
    Mea845on March 19, 2005   Link

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