"Walk Away" as written by and Brett Gurewitz....
Shut off the TV and peel off those sunday gloves
And I'll stain the clean that you've been counting
Old Mr. Fletcher passed by here today
After 40 years of toil he just up and walked away

Fantastic the panic that showed in his eyes
He shrugged when I asked him about it
He said, 'Young man pay heed, you listen well to what I say
Now there comes a time for a man to walk away

Walk away (walk away) I'll be a parade
And I'll be determined that no one shall dissuade
On my way (dissuade) I'll sure take some time
To burn all the bridges that I'm leaving behind

He passed by again and he was shivering from the cold
I'm not sure but I think he was trying
He told me about the weather and something old to pay
'But tomorrow,' he said, 'I'm gonna surely walk away

Walk away (walk away) I'll be a parade
And I'll be determined that no one shall dissuade
On my way (dissuade) I'll take my sweet time
And burn all the bridges that I leave behind

Walk away (walk away) I'll be a parade
And I'll be determined that no one shall dissuade

Lyrics submitted by NattyDread

"Walk Away" as written by Brett Gurewitz

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Walk Away song meanings
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  • +1
    General Comment"I'll sure take some time and burn all the bridges that I'm leaving behind" means he's going to cut off all contact from those who were involved with his years of toil.

    Get up, walk away from it all and sever all ties. "Burn all the bridges" so there would be no way to go back.

    I see it as he has a job that he hates and gets worse and worse, to the point where he gets fed up. I quit--I'm never coming back. But he still showed up the next day, and says that he'll quit tomorrow . . .
    Rain Hatchetton December 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnother thing that makes me feel that it's about a man trying to quit his job, when he comes back the next day and "I'm not sure but I think that he was trying," and maybe he can't afford to leave it just yet because he told him about "something old to pay". Plus, shivering from the cold and talking about the weather, maybe he didn't have enough money to pay for heat.
    Rain Hatchetton December 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI watched "Death of A Salesman" yesterday, and I think Brett got some inspiration from this movie. The movie is about a salesman (Willy) who gets fired "after 34 years of toil".

    He desperately tries to hang on to his job, working for commission. The reason he does this, is because he is obsessed with this idea of being rich and liked by everyone, just like his brother and father was. He wants to live up to them and their impression of successful.
    He also has a mortgage and bills to pay. I will come back to this later.

    He tells himself and his family all these little lies everyday, like how everybody knows his name/likes him and how rich and successful he and his sons is/will be. Even though he knows deep inside that he's not liked or successful, and maybe that he wasn't meant to be a salesman. He's afraid to face reality, so he clings onto this idea/false hope and job of being a salesman. Everything else is out of the question.

    His wife and one of his sons plays along with this "dream" of his, because they're too afraid to tell him the actual truth. Afraid of his reactions, because he's been contemplating suicide, so that his family will get the insurance money. So they keep on telling him that everything's gonna be alright and that he's one hell of a salesman. In one scene, Willy says: "It's so strange, your worth more to your family dead, than alive", or something like that.

    I'm finally getting to the point...In one scene Willy is visiting his only friend at his office. He's there to borrow money. Even though his friend has offered him a job, Willy's to proud to "work under him", so he declines. In the same scene, the son to Willy's friend says to Willy: "Sometimes, it's better to just walk away". Willy replies: "Walk away? But what if you can't walk away?".

    Willy knows that he has "something old to pay", that being mortgage and bills. And on top of that, this absurd obsession of being a successful businessman and the pressure he's put upon himself of living up to his father and brother. Which makes it too hard for him to walk away.

    In the movie Willy shows his skills as a handyman. Building a stair outside of the house. His family says that he put more of his soul into that stair, than anything else in his life. Implying that Willy wasn't really meant to be a business man. That wasn't he's real dream. But "after 34/40 years of toil", it's too late to turn back and start living/chasing your real dream...

    That's what I think this song is about. Sometimes people get stuck in jobs they don't really like or something else that is far from their dreams. But because of factors from outside (mortgage, kids, wife etc.), they have to keep going back to this job/situation.

    And when Brett writes that "he'll sure take some time to burn all the bridges that I'm leaving behind",
    I believe that he's implying that people who find themselves in those jobs/situations, are a bit too afraid to burn all the bridges because they might have to come back again.

    Sorry for the long post. I think everybody who likes this song, should see this movie. You'll definitely see the parallels.
    Cormegaon November 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthat after time, the human mind can no longer take hold of what it has to put up wiht, like they say in the song "after 40 years of toil he just up and walked away." which says that a human cant take a stress of routine through most of their life. andwe should all walk away from what we do every once in a while and get away from things that will continually pound at your mind
    bebop-cola goodon June 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with whats been said and i also what to add that when he says "burn all the bridges" part he must be saying how he does not what anyone to follow and spread the disaster of the human race
    Rattfink(misfits)on June 06, 2006   Link
  • -1
    General Commentthis is one of my favorite songs and i agree with you bebop
    tomgreen3on April 14, 2003   Link
  • -1
    General Commentit shows how in this vastly networked modern society it is almost impossible to just 'walk away' the last verse and in particular the last line is very poignant.. humans are so tied down that they can't just leave things and also pursue their dreams because they are being held back
    bluetearson October 05, 2004   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI have nothing to add as far as the song's meaning goes... I'd just like to say this is my favorite song of all time.
    punkpirateon January 27, 2006   Link
  • -1
    General Commenti think its about drug addiction and someone trying 2 give it up after all of these years and trying 2 clean up his life and he keeps putting it off till 2morrow "but tomorrow", he said, "I'm gonna surely walk away" because he is addicted
    leftovercrapon February 02, 2006   Link
  • -1
    General Comment"and Il stain the clean that youv been counting" clean can be slang for being free of drugs and/or concealed weapons.

    most of it points twords what the above posts are talking about but that more or less could be a drug reference to me.

    and sunday gloves? that actually would be a species of white flowers. But I cant see the significance.
    this song is indeed poignant and puzzling.
    pinkfadeon February 27, 2009   Link

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