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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.

Lyrics:

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?

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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.

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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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