"Shine It All Around" is a weary sounding song urging positivity. The words are abstract but coherent in their continued urging to spread light and love around. They contrast with the seriousness (almost desperation) of Plant's vocals, which project the feeling of a man who's beaten down by the hard realities of life and is begging some unnamed person or face to shine in the bleakness and illuminate the darkness. This is the declaration of a man who sees no evidence for hope yet refuses to surrender to hopelessness.
This was the first single Robert Plant released off Mighty ReArranger, his eighth solo studio album and his second with backing band Strange Sensation (the first being Dreamland from 2002).
The song hit #18 on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart.
"Shine It All Around" was nominated for a Grammy for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, but lost to Bruce Springsteen's "Devils & Dust."
Turn on your love light Shine it all around
This line is a clear reference to "Turn On Your Love Light" by Bobby "Blue" Bland. An interesting yet subtle twist is that the lyrics have been changed from Bland's "shine your light on me" to Plant's "shine it all around," taking the concept and projecting it out onto the whole world.
Break a little bread now Spread it all around
To "break bread" means to share a meal, and has the connotation of creating emotional and spiritual bonds between those partaking in the food. The term comes from the Bible and is still used today in reference to Holy Communion. An old (1300s) spiritual hymn is titled "Let Us Break Bread Together."