Disclaimer: All the tracks from "We Were Dead From The Start" are base on the book 1984 by George Orwell. "Memories being the first song, I explain why I wrote this album on that post. It'll help to read these posts in order of album appearance.
"Take It Away" is partially a follow up song to "O'Brien." Or, I should say, it's a part of the story referenced in verse two of "O'Brien." The climax of 1984 revolves around the interrogation of Winston Smith by his mentor/betrayer O'Brien. The eventual destruction of Winston's identity occurs in the final scene of the interrogation. A quick nutshell of the scene is this; Winston's deepest, most visceral fear is being in the presence of rats. Throughout his torture, Winston has betrayed not only himself, but just about anybody he could to avoid pain. But he has held on to his love of Julia, and thus retained his true self and identity. What finally breaks Winston is a contraption where he is strapped to a chair, and a mask is fixed to his face. On the other side of the mask lies two rats, both hungry. There's a catch that, once release, will let down a grill and expose Winston's face to the rats. Winstone begins to panic, and in a last ditch effort to save himself, screams for O'Brien to subject Julia to this unbearable torture instead of himself. As soon as he offers Julia in his place, there is imagery of Winston falling away from the mask, and therefore his humanity. He finally lost the fight. He betrayed the one person he loved, and in the process himself.
As I was writing this album, my dad kept pushing for me to write a song about the rats. Write a song about the rats. Sing about the rats. I found this a little difficult, because how do you sing a song about a fear of rats without being too silly? Then a thought occurred to me. Winston had this intimate worship of O'Brien. I have spent years of my life as a worship leader in various churches. What if I wrote a worship song directed towards O'Brien? So that's what I did.
The first verse starts with Winston still holding on, claiming that O'Brien still hasn't broken him. The second verse has O'Brien bringing the rats to his face, and Winston betraying Julia. Obviously, all of this is implied, as I didn't want to put that into specific words. The repeated chorus is simply, "Take it all away from me. Take it all away from me. You can put it on to anyone, take it all away from me." As with other songs, I tried to capture the emotion of the song not just in the lyrics, but in the music as well. One interesting thing I did was as I was repeating the chorus, I slowly backed away from the microphone. This was an effort to replicate the imagery of Winston falling away from the mask. You'll hear more and more space as I get farther away. This isn't a song I perform live very often, mostly because I feel it's almost uncomfortably intimate. But I do find it's a perfect studio song. It's also one of the songs most dependent on a working knowledge of the book. So If you've read 1984 since high school, perhaps you'll understand the deeper emotion in the song.