I'm writing a song and I'm having trouble with the verb take away. I understand that to take something away means to remove it. But I have also seen that to take away memories can mean to take them with you.


When it's time to spread my wings
Take away the memories

I want to express "spread my wings (as in "leave and start a new chapter in my life") and take the memories with me".

Does it work, or does it mean the exact opposite?


You're right, there is some ambiguity in "Take away the memories." It could sound like a plea, or an imperative, e.g., "Please God, take away my memories; make me memoryless."

This particular interpretation might be avoided if you add an "And": "When it's time to spread my wings / And take away my memories." That makes it clearer that you are actively the one taking them.

If, however, adding a syllable isn't an option, "Take with me the memories" would be clearer.


As it's written, I would understand you to mean remove memories, so, yes, the meaning isn't very clear.

How about:

When it's time to spread my wings,
Take with me my memories...

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