“All the Small Things” ​​by Blink-182

“All the Small Things” is a love song, one which, in reality, never really overtly reveals itself as such lyrically. What can be deemed the most blatantly-romantic passage is the second verse, where the vocalist puts forth that a particular female, i.e. the addressee, ‘left him roses by the stairs’. Whereas of course such a statement would imply that they’re lovers, again, such is not directly stated.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for blink-182's All the Small Things at Lyrics.org.

In other words, this piece is very metaphorical, and one may even say ambiguous. In fact if not for the aforenoted second verse and a certain line in the chorus, where the vocalist refers to the addressee as ‘his little windmill’, this piece could be taken as speaking to something other than romance.

For instance, the phrase “all the small things” is sort of a general colloquialism in and of itself, pointing to, in context, what some of us would refer to as the little things in life. Or stated otherwise, our lives tend to be edified more meaningfully through displays of genuine affection than anything material. So for instance going back to the second verse, leaving someone “roses by the stairs” after a hard day’s work, as the vocalist’s sweetheart does for him, probably isn’t going to cost a whole lot of money. But in any event, the point being made is that to the recipient, it’s the thought that counts, as such “surprises” in his mind lets him know that his lady truly cares.

Take Me Home

Outside of the above, we also find him entreating the addressee to ‘take him home’ and a whole bunch of other, shall we say poetic, existential-like musings. Furthermore there’s also a plethora of ‘na-nas’ thrown in for good measure – mutterings that don’t mean anything in and of themselves.

But going back to the “take me home” statement, in the chorus the vocalist also puts forth that he “will not go”. So perhaps in the grand scheme of the lyrics, what he’s trying to imply is that this is a troubled relationship, which wouldn’t particularly make sense in lieu of the roses and such. 

So it may be best that we end this analysis there, by recognizing that this is a love song, one in which you can tell the vocalist loves and wants the addressee, but there’s other parts of the lyrics that are not as discernible.

"All the Small Things" Lyrics

Tom DeLonge talks about “All the Small Things”

According to Tom, this is a song that he wrote for his then girlfriend. He also stated that the lyrics of the song are based on real events. For example, he actually once got home from a hard day’s work only to find a bunch of “roses by the stairs” that his girlfriend had lovingly left for him.

When was this Song Released?

“All the Small Things” was released on 1 June 1999. It is from “Enema of the State”, the group’s third LP, with the project being a product of MCA Records.

Writing of “All the Small Things”

Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Tom DeLonge hold all the writing credits to this song.  

Tom, who left Blink-182 in 2015, initiated the writing of this song, as he felt that “Enema of the State” needed at least one track that was created specifically for radio. And he is also recognized as the track’s primary author. The inspiration came from his relationship with Jennifer Jenkins, whom DeLonge (who’s also the lead vocalist) was dating at the time and did go on to marry in 2001.

The late Jerry Fine (1969-2008), who was a regular Blink-182 collaborator, produced this track.

Achievements

Blink-182, which was formed back in the early 1990s, is a band that is still considered pertinent to this day. However, “All the Small Things” still stands as the biggest hit single in their discography. For instance, it is their only track to date to have been certified double-platinum by the BPI. It also marks the only time that Blink-182 has made it onto the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, where the song peaked number 6. Additionally, it topped the US Alternative Airplay ranking. It achieved this same accomplishment on the UK Rock & Metal chart. Overall it proved to be a notable success throughout Western parts of the world.

All the Small Things  has also been placed onto a number of ‘greatest songs’ lists, including the following:

  • Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Pop Songs” (2000)
  • MTV/Rolling Stone’s “Top 100 Pop Songs Since 1963” (2000)
  • VH1’s “Top 100 Greatest Gongs of the 2000s” (2011)
  • NME’s “50 Most Explosive Choruses” (2014).

Some More Interesting Facts

The boy band-parodying music video to this song was helmed by director Marcos Siega. The clip won both a MTV VMA (Best Group Video) and Kerrang! Award (Best Video) in 2000.

Another interesting fact surrounding the video is that it was via its production that Mark Hoppus met one Skye Everly (who worked for MTV), whom he would go on to marry in 2000 (and remains wed to this day).

The music video also made headlines more recently, in 2022, when a Blink-182 fan actually put together an impressive Lego set based on the clip.

As time progressed, Tom DeLonge, as well as his bandmates, developed a disdain for this song.

Of course a tune that has proven as popular as this one is going to have a notable pop media presence, especially. And that is exactly what has happened in the case of “All the Small Things”. It has appeared in numerous films, TV Shows and even videogames.

All the Small Things

Blink-182’s “Enema of the State”

“Enema of the State” is an album by Blink-182, an  American rock band from California. It was officially released on June 1 of 1999 as their 3rd studio album.

The album was recorded in at least five recording studios in California, including Signature Sound.

Its production has been credited to American record producer and sound engineer, Jerry Finn while MCA Records, an American record label, was responsible for its official release.

“Enema of the State” was a commercial success, selling over 15 million copies globally and becoming one of the band’s most successful albums. In 2015, it was placed at No. 134 on music magazine, Spin’s list of the best albums of the past 30 years (1985 to 2014).

In support of the album, three singles were officially released. “All the Small Things” was the second of these singles. In addition to the singles, Blink-182 embarked on their first arena tour, the “Loserkids Tour”. As part of the tour, they performed at the 2000 “Reading Festival” in the UK.

“Enema of the State” peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 and No. 15 on the UK’s OCC. The album appeared on top-10s in other parts of the world including:

  • New Zealand – 2
  • Italy – 5
  • Canada – 7
  • Austria – 6
  • Australia – 4

In the United States, the album received a 5x platinum certification by the RIAA. Music Canada of Canada and Australia’s ARIA certified it 4x platinum and 3x platinum respectively. It attained platinum status in the UK and gold in a number of countries including Austria, Indonesia, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland as well as the Philippians.

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