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"Recess" is the thirteenth and final track by Melanie Martinez that is featured on the standard edition of her sophomore album, K-12. The music video, originally available as part of the film, was later separately released on February 7th, 2020.

Background

On July 16th, 2019, a snippet of this track was released exclusively in Los Angeles, California as an assignment, before being officially released worldwide.

Theme

The song is about letting go of harmful and toxic people, as well as the importance of maintaining your mental health when times are rough. The pre-chorus could be touching on the music industry, as artists are often overworked and receive minimal breaks, while the second they take some time for themselves they are replaced by another artist. The song is also likely very personal to Melanie, as she mentions her grandmother, Lydia, several times, quoting advice that she had given Melanie when she was young.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I was too young to see the truth
In my grandma's lap, I'm drowning in her perfume
Too naïve to even care
'Bout the words she whispered while she brushed out my hair

[Pre-Chorus]
People gonna say
If you need a break, someone'll take your place
People gonna try
To tell you that you're fine with dollars in their eyes
(Just remember)

[Chorus]
Don't let them fuck you, honey, no, oh
Don't let them try (ooh)
Don't let them hurt you, baby
Just say "recess", I'm tired

[Verse 2]
Sittin' in my room, looking at all I've done
Everything I wanted has come to fruition
I should be happy but I can't get out my bed
Stressin' 'bout the voices screamin' inside my head

[Pre-Chorus]
People gonna say
If you need a break, someone'll take your place
People gonna try
To tell you that you're fine with dollars in their eyes
(Just remember)

[Chorus]
Don't let them fuck you, honey, no, oh
Don't let them try (ooh)
Don't let them hurt you, baby
Just say "recess", I'm tired

[Bridge]
Where is my time?
Gone in my mind
Gone, I can't find
Euphoria
When I get upset
I think in my head
Back to what she said

[Pre-Chorus]
People gonna say
If you need a break, someone'll take your place
People gonna try
To tell you that you're fine with dollars in their eyes
(Just remember)

[Chorus]
Don't let them fuck you, honey, no, oh
Don't let them try (ooh)
Don't let them hurt you, baby
Just say "recess", I'm tired

Video

Gallery

Recess/Gallery

Music Video

This is the thirteenth and final music video that appears in Melanie's film, K-12. The video begins rather abruptly, with Blue Boy exclaiming that the doors to the ballroom are locked, meaning all the students who are attending the dance are trapped inside. Over the loudspeaker, Leo commands the students to dance. As the song begins, the students are seemingly forced by a magic spell to dance, pairing up with whoever is nearest to them. Leo screams "dance!" into the microphone one more time before the song's vocals begin. The Empaths complain about the situation, clearly not pleased that they are unable to stop dancing. Fleur says that they have to figure out a plan and Angelita mentions that they need to find Cry Baby. The students' dancing is rather awkward and stiff since it is forced, and no one looks happy. Celeste and Magnolia realize that whatever spell Leo has put on them is blocking their powers, and so they have lost control of themselves. The students continue to dance and complain throughout the entirety of the video, before it fades to black and ends.

Cast

Trivia

  • In the original version of the booklet that comes with physical copies of the album, "Recess" was misspelled as "Reccess". This has since been fixed in newly printed versions.
  • Recess was one of the first songs from K-12 to be performed live, along with Strawberry Shortcake and High School Sweethearts. The three songs were first performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on September 16th, 2019.
  • Each song on K-12 represents a different grade level in school, from kindergarten through 12th grade.
    • Recess represents 12th grade.
  • Melanie performed an acoustic version of the song in the third episode of her YouTube series Extra Credit, titled "Recess with Melanie Martinez", which was released on December 19th, 2019.
  • This video along with the one for "Teacher's Pet" are the only K-12 videos where Cry Baby does not appear singing.
  • The instrumental was leaked on June 24th, 2020.
  • This is the first music video overall where Cry Baby does not appear whatsoever. She is only mentioned by other characters.
  • Swings creaking and children talking can be heard throughout the song.

Navigation

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K-12.png
Featured Tracks Wheels On the BusClass FightThe PrincipalShow & TellNurse's OfficeDrama ClubStrawberry ShortcakeLunchbox FriendsOrange JuiceDetentionTeacher's PetHigh School SweetheartsRecess
Credit Track Fire Drill
Characters Cry BabyAngelitaFleurCelesteMagnoliaLeoBenKellyBlue BoyBrandonBunny DoctorDeanMs. DaphneMr. CornwellMs. HarperMs. PenelopeMiss VictoriaThe PrincipalLilithBiology TeacherPhillipe
Extras FilmMerchandiseAssignmentsRemoved Songs
Locations K-12 Sleepaway SchoolCry Baby's House
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