Walking with Strangers is about the unwillingness to start fresh with anyone, give anyone new the benefit of the doubt. It’s about not trusting friends or acquaintances, to living forever lost in a crowd, and to decide this is the easy answer to a problem seemingly figured out.
I wanted the song to have a simple feel that would imply everything is fine, but also capture the stubbornness of a person set in their ways, or their decision. It explains a state of mind, at first with the attitude that “this is what I don’t want from you, and why if you ask anything of me, you won’t get what you want.” That message becomes a more honest reflection, “this is all I’ve ever gotten from people like you.”
By the bridge, the song opens up and all the tension is released. Whether this signifies anger, the true longing for companionship, a desire to change, etc, is really up to the listener. It’s a glimpse into what is truly felt behind the mask of calm. Rather than using words to explain it, the release is in the music.
When the energy begins to subside, you get the sense that nothing is going to change how this person feels, and the song comes full circle back into the facade of calm and solitude.
I wrote this about personal experience of finding it hard to let people in after metaphorically burning my hand on the stove too many times. It’s not meant to support the idea that people should be alone, but rather understand that nothing is really as simple as it seems. No one does anything for simple reasons, but are always led by fears and desires they can somewhat express, but not necessarily fully understand, and below the facade of what we tell ourselves, there is a very deep well of raw emotion. Walking With Strangers is about how some of us keep it all under a tight lid.