To bear it down to be in flight, to bear it down to be in flight
It wasn't about me it was only a stone in my shoe
Then worries came to perch on us
Impatience and a painted bust
I kept you close to me close to my ear

We set out once with folded shirts, with hairy chest and well rehearsed
I want it all, I want it all for myself
I'll set it right between your eyes
Your shoulder blades, your running knife
I want it all, I want it all for myself

Improving all the time, I am
Improving as I kiss the hem
I promise I won't be a trouble at all
For I'm okay, I'm in the red
Impressions of the unmade bed
You cradled close to me, close to my ear

We set out once forget our shirts with hairy chests and well rehearsed
I want it all I want it all for myself
Out in the earth I smell of you
Of bathing boy, amazing you
I want it all, I want it all for myself


Lyrics submitted by strykerchick

All for Myself song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentIt seems like a song about understanding his own homosexuality to me. Just look at the entire last phrase.

    "We set out once forget our shirts with hairy chests and well rehearsed
    I want it all I want it all for myself
    Out in the earth I smell of you
    Of bathing boy, amazing you
    I want it all, I want it all for myself "
    amartescanaon November 14, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree with adonnellyr. A glaring difference between this album and his past works is the straightforwardness of it all. Yes there's the whole Royal Roberston inspiration sprinkled throughout but there's also certainly more "Sufjan" infused into all of these songs.

    Excuse me from looking into this song through a slight homosexual lens (as I've excused those who look at his songs from heteronormative or exclusively Christian lenses) but this song is incredibly homoerotic. There are undeniably two men present within this song. Two men. Not one man and God or Jesus or what have you. Two men. It is a love song and "I want it all for myself" is simply a statement of that love, longing, and acceptance.
    foamhandson November 23, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of the best songs on the album!
    DrakelikesNachoson September 28, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI may be way off with this one, but I think the lyrics, "We set out once with folded shirts, with hairy chests, and well-rehearsed," might reference the time when Illinois took off and Sufjan was suddenly famous, a reluctant indie "it-boy". He went from playing tiny clubs during the first leg of the tour, to selling out large seated theaters and playing with a 15-piece band. The "hairy chests" reference (which always makes me laugh) might refer to a strange feeling of power. The line "I want it all for myself" made me think of the inevitable ego-trip that would come with fame. He seems to be apologizing to someone ("Improving as I kiss the hem") that got hurt along the way.
    sushisouschefon October 13, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song seems to break away from all the failed attempts at expression through language and incommunicative, ineffectual dialogue that recur earlier in the album. Instead, this song is incredibly sensual: the stone in the shoe, the cradling of a loved one, the smell of each other lingering... I think this marks a transition in Sufjan, from his hyper-metaphorical earlier albums to his recent, sparse lyrics.
    adonnellyron November 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThis is my favorite on The Age of Adz.
    and Carolyn Stern can suck it.
    andrew813on September 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThis is my favorite on The Age of Adz.
    and Carolyn Stern can suck it.
    andrew813on September 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSlight and epic at the same time. beautiful.
    rentboyon September 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionJust a couple changes, I think it's the wrong bare, I think he's talking about bear, to endure. And the other tiny change in shoulder blade, not shoulder blades.

    To bear it down to be in flight, to bear it down to be in flight
    It wasn't about me it was only a stone in my shoe
    Then worries came to perch on us
    Impatience and a painted bust
    I kept you close to me close to my ear

    We set out once with folded shirts, with hairy chests and well rehearsed
    I want it all, I want it all for myself
    I'll set it right between your eyes
    Your shoulder blade, your running knife
    I want it all, I want it all for myself

    Improving all the time, I am
    Improving as I kiss the hem
    I promise I won't be a trouble at all
    For I'm okay, I'm in the red
    Impressions of the unmade bed
    You cradled close to me, close to my ear

    We set out once forget our shirts with hairy chests and well rehearsed
    I want it all I want it all for myself
    Out in the earth I smell of you
    Of bathing boy, amazing you
    I want it all, I want it all for myself
    wyliecainon October 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have a somewhat off the mark thought on this song considering Sufjan's recent penchant for referencing popular music (as opposed to state histories, or religious allegory)as seen in "All Delighted People", which has more than enough matching imagery to S&G's "The Sound of Silence"... This song may be a parallel song (or parallel universe) to Queen's "I want it all". The line about hairy chests instantly makes me think Freddie Mercury. Any opinions on this?
    Badroommusicon October 13, 2010   Link

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