Kelly Clarkson tells off her insensitive boyfriend in the vehement “Walk Away.”
Tense guitars open the song, setting a cross tone. While over at her boyfriend’s house for a family function, she had a conversation with one his cousins. As they talked, she repeated a phrase that he told her last week. It struck her as odd. She brushed it off until she went back and thought of past talks she had with his other family members. The “advice” they gave was repeated at verbatim by him. Then, she realized his family was feeding him the lies and excuses. Her boyfriend says that he just talks like everyone else in the family. However, Clarkson is not buying it. She responds that she loved him so much that she was blind to his actions. She says that before he blames any of his family members, he needs to shut up. She’s ready to explode. She’s fed up with his neglect. She has a lot she wants to say to him.
“You’ve got your mother and your brother/Every other undercover/Tellin’ you what to say/You think I’m stupid/But the truth is/That it’s cupid, baby/Lovin’ you has made me this way/So before you point your finger/Get your hands off of my trigger/Oh yeah/You need to know this situation’s getting old/And now the more you talk/The less I can say, oh.”
In the chorus, he asks her whether or not they should continue dating. She says she wants her turn to have a say in the relationship, not an ultimatum. She retorts if he even wants to stay. He’s silent. She wonders why he wasted her time and tells him to leave.
“I’m looking for attention/Not another question/Should you stay or should you go?/Well, if you don’t have the answer/Why you still standin’ here?/Hey, hey, hey, hey/Just walk away/Just walk away/Just walk away.”
In the second verse, she says the he stood up her plenty of evenings. However, each time she believed he would be there. She inquires as to what his real reasons were for breaking their dates and not letting her know. She explains that she was loyal and trusted him. She didn’t question what he told her. However, she says never felt as lonely as she does now. She tells him to not even bother justifying his deceptions and drop the nice guy act. She is wise to his games. She tells him to stop acting dumb and just hash it out.
“I waited here for you/Like a kid waiting after school/So tell me how come you never showed?/I gave you everything/And never asked for anything/And look at me/I’m all alone/So, before you start defendin’/Baby, stop all your pretendin’/I know you know I know/So what’s the point in being slow/Let’s get the show on the road today/Hey.”
After the chorus is the heated bridge. Clarkson says she wants a relationship where the guy loves her as passionately as she does him. She wants a guy who will support her, not disappear when she needs him the most. She asks if he thinks the relationship is worth fighting for. She inquires if he’s willing to give up his life for hers? Does he think her all the time? Is she someone he loves? She tells him if any of his answers to the questions are no, he can go.
“I wanna love/I want a fire/To feel the burn/
My desires/I wanna man by my side/Not a boy who runs and hides/Are you gonna fight for me?/Die for me?/Live and breathe for me?/Do you care for me?/’Cause if you don’t then just leave.”
The chorus is sung twice. The second time, however, is the last half of the chorus.
“I’m looking for attention…if you don’t have the answer/Walk away/Just walk away/Then just leave/
Yeah yeah/Walk away/Walk away/Walk away.”
In “Walk Away,” Clarkson’s relationship with her boyfriend seemed to be sunk at the start. With his family conspiring against them and aiding in his deceptions, there was no way it was going to work.
Clarkson’s hurt not only stems from his indifference to her, but his family’s animosity towards her. Not many pop singles address the subtleties of a breakup. However, “Walk Away” is explicit that his family played a role in it.
Clarkson vocals fiery and smoldering. She’s come a long way from American Idol where she had the sing songs technically perfect with the emotion optional. However, in the single, she unleashes whatever anger she felt from a past breakup and puts it in the song.