Breaking Down
Florence + the Machine Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

All alone, it was always there you see
And even on my own
It was always standing next to me

I can see it coming from the edge of the room
Creeping in the streetlight
Holding my hand in the pale gloom
Can you see it coming now?

Oh, oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, oh, I think I'm breaking down

All alone, even when I was a child
I've always known
There was something to be frightened of

I can see it coming from the edge of the room
Creeping in the streetlight
Holding my hand in the pale gloom
Can you see it coming now?

Oh, oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, oh, I think I'm breaking down

All alone, on the edge of sleep
My old familiar friend
Comes and lies down next to me
And I can see it coming from the edge of the room
Smiling in the streetlight
Even with my eyes shut tight
I still see him coming now

Oh, oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, oh, I think I'm breaking down again




Oh, oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, oh, I think I'm breaking down

Overall Meaning

"Breaking Down" is a song by Florence + the Machine, and it speaks about the singer's struggle with mental illness, specifically anxiety and depression, which seems to haunt her no matter where she goes. The song starts with the lyrics "All alone, it was always there, you see. And even on my own, it was always standing next to me." These lines suggest that the singer is never truly alone since the anxiety is always present, following her around like a shadow.


The song also hints at the fact that the singer has been dealing with anxiety since she was a child. The lyrics "All alone, even when I was a child, I've always known there was something to be frightened of" suggest that the singer has been haunted by this feeling of dread for her entire life. The second verse further emphasizes this idea, as Florence sings about her "old familiar friend" who comes to lie down next to her on the edge of sleep.


As the song progresses, the singer talks about how she can see the anxiety coming from the edge of the room, creeping in the streetlight, and even smiling in the streetlight. These images create a sense of impending doom that is hard to shake off. The song's chorus "Oh, oh, I think I'm breaking down again" is a poignant reminder of the singer's state of mind, and leaves the listener feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness and despair.


Overall, "Breaking Down" is a beautiful and haunting song about mental illness, and Florence + the Machine's raw and emotional vocal delivery perfectly captures the essence of the song.


Line by Line Meaning

All alone, it was always there you see
Despite being alone, there has always been a presence that has accompanied and haunted the singer.


And even on my own
Even in solitude, the presence lingers.


It was always standing next to me
The presence has always been physically close to the singer.


I can see it coming from the edge of the room
The presence can be sensed approaching from afar.


Creeping in the streetlight
The presence arrives subtly, like a shadow in the night.


Holding my hand in the pale gloom
The presence provides comfort but can also be associated with fear.


Can you see it coming now?
The singer questions whether the listener can feel the presence approaching as well.


All alone, even when I was a child
The artist has experienced the presence since childhood and has always felt isolated in its company.


I've always known
The presence has been constant and unchanging throughout the artist's life.


There was something to be frightened of
The presence evokes fear in the artist.


All alone, on the edge of sleep
The singer is alone in a vulnerable state and the presence still persists.


My old familiar friend
The presence is familiar to the artist despite their fear of it.


Comes and lies down next to me
The presence physically joins the singer in bed.


Smiling in the streetlight
The presence takes on a sinister, mocking appearance.


Even with my eyes shut tight
The singer tries to escape but can still sense the presence.


I still see him coming now
The artist can feel the presence approaching despite their attempts to block it out.


Oh, oh, I think I'm breaking down again
The artist is overwhelmed by the presence and feels on the verge of a mental breakdown.


Oh, oh, I think I'm breaking down
The repeated line emphasizes the singer's distress and feelings of helplessness.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: James Ellis Ford, Florence Leontine Mary Welch

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@Pen_paper_soul

"Breaking Down"

All alone
It was always there you see
And even on my own
It was always standing next to me

I can see it coming from the edge of the room
Creeping in the streetlight
Holding my hand in the pale gloom
Can you see it coming now?

Oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, I think I'm breaking down

All alone
Even when I was a child
I've always known
There was something to be frightened of

You know that I can see you coming from the edge of the room
Creeping in the streetlight
Holding my hand in the pale gloom
Can you see it coming now?

Oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, I think I'm breaking down

All alone
On the edge of sleep
My old familiar friend
Comes and lies down next to me

And I can see you coming from the edge of the room
Smiling in the streetlight
Even with my eyes shut tight
I still see you coming now

Oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, I think I'm breaking down



@davidquijadafernandez5468

I just write down the lyrics because I like the whole experience of listening to this masterpiece and looking at the lyrics:

All alone
It was always there you see
And even on my own
It was always standing next to me

I can see it coming from the edge of the room
Creeping in the streetlight
Holding my hand in the pale gloom
Can you see it coming now?

Oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, I think I'm breaking down

All alone
Even when I was a child
I've always known
There was something to be frightened of

You know that I can see you coming from the edge of the room
Creeping in the streetlight
Holding my hand in the pale gloom
Can you see it coming now?

Oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, I think I'm breaking down

All alone
On the edge of sleep
My old familiar friend
Comes and lies down next to me

And I can see you coming from the edge of the room
Smiling in the streetlight
Even with my eyes shut tight
I still see you coming now

Oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, I think I'm breaking down again
Oh, I think I'm breaking down



@matteofaggi5930

All alone it was always there you see
And even on my own
It was always standing next to me
I can see it coming from the edge of the room
Creeping in the streetlight holding my hand in the pale gloom
Can you see it coming now?

Ah-ah, ah-ah I think I'm breaking down again
Ah-ah, ah-ah I think I'm breaking down

All alone even when I was a child
I've always known there was something to be frightened of
I can see it coming from the edge of the room
Creeping in the streetlight holding my hand in the pale gloom
Can you see it coming now?

Ah-ah, ah-ah I think I'm breaking down again
Ah-ah, ah-ah I think I'm breaking down

All alone on the edge of sleep
My old familiar friend
Comes and lies down next to me
And I can see it coming from the edge of the room
Smiling in the streetlight even with my eyes shut tight
I still see it coming now

Ah-ah, ah-ah I think I'm breaking down again
Ah-ah, ah-ah I think I'm breaking down again
Ah-ah, ah-ah I think I'm breaking down again
Ah-ah, ah-ah I think I'm breaking down



All comments from YouTube:

@P-Bass_Pete

Lying here in a hospital room bed dying, tears streaming down my cheeks and somehow Florence brings a smile to my face. (Update) Kidneys failed, got a transplant, still here. I literally just saw this now, one year after the OP. I totally forgot I even posted this. I was on alot of pain medication that day. So yes, I survived! Thank you so much to everybody who wished me well!

@froggiiceing8972

dying? i hope you dont mean literally, i dont know you but ily dude and i hope you're doing better now :( remember that theres always gonna be someone out there who cares about you even if it doesn't seem like it, you've made it this far and you can keep going buddy 💗

@talcharlotte8502

I'm sorry friend, good luck❤

@jebushwplainview9453

You still with us fam?
It sucks that I’m so depressed while people are out here dying right now...
I really hope you prevail.
I wish you nothing but health, peace and happiness.

@cactuwus._.

Sad for you

@bella6843

I hope you're happy and at peace wherever you are, still here or not.

39 More Replies...

@guyhenry8680

My God it's so depressing that this song is underappreciated.

@shivanimakode9997

so true

@hollypark172

Guy Henry probably has to do with music industry politics, flo seems too genuine and probably doesn’t wanna abandon her band mates to sign a contract and make shitty music lol or am I over analyzing

@ison7834

🙄

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