Personal Interpretation of „If You’re Gone“ by Matchbox 20
This lyric poem is a comment on the difficulties a couple faces when one partner doesn’t want to try to work things out, and the other does. The tone is serious and frustrated.
Not much is indicated about the speaker of the poem other than it is a person in a relationship that appears to be on the brink of a break up. The speaker in the poem is speaking to their partner. The gender of the speaker is somewhat irrelevant, as the situation, or point of view of the speaker, is not gender specific. From listening to the lyrics, however, one is likely to assume that the speaker is male, as the lead vocals are performed by Rob Thomas. I accept this assumption, and for the purpose of simplicity will apply that gender association in my interpretation.
I think the theme of the poem is that there will be problems in a relationship if people aren’t willing to give to the relationship emotionally. Line 9 in the song, „I think you’re so mean – I think we should try“, tells us the speaker is willing to work at the relationship, but his partner is „mean“ because she isn’t. Also, when the speaker says, „I know this is wrong, it’s a problem, I’m dealing“ (line 2), we see he’s willing to deal with whatever issues he may have in order to make the relationship work.
I think the title of the poem is significant in revealing the problem in the relationship. The title is „If You’re Gone“ which implies that the speaker’s not sure if his partner is really gone. This leads me to believe he’s speaking on an emotional level rather than a physical one. His girlfriend hasn’t left him yet, but she has left the relationship emotionally. The boyfriend is asking her to come back to the relationship when he suggests she, „come home“ (line 13).
I like this song for a variety of reasons. First, I like Matchbox 20 and Rob Thomas’ voice. Second, I like the ideas behind the song and connect to it personally. I’ve been in relationships where the relationship ended because neither person was giving emotionally, and I can associate with the speaker in this song who wants to work things out.
I think I’ve already lost you I think you’re already gone. I think I’m finally scared now You think I’m weak – But I think you’re wrong I think you’re already leaving Feels like your hand is on the door I thought this place was an empire Metaphor But now I’m relaxed – I can’t be sure I think you’re so mean – I think we should try I think I could need – this in my life I think I’m just scared – I think too much I know this is wrong it’s a problem I’m dealing If you’re gone – maybe it’s time to come home There’s an awful lot of breathing room Paradox But I can hardly move If you’re gone – baby you need to come home Cuz there’s a little bit of something me In everything in you I bet you’re hard to get over I bet the room just won’t shine I bet my hands I can stay here I bet you need – more than you mind I think you’re so mean – I think we should try I think I could need – this in my life I think I’m just scared – that I know too much I can’t relate and that’s a problem I’m feeling If you’re gone – maybe it’s time to come home There’s an awful lot of breathing room But I can hardly move If you’re gone – baby you need to come home cuz there’s a little bit of something me In everything in you I think you’re so mean – I think we should try I think I could need – this in my life I think I’m just scared – do I talk too much I know it’s wrong it’s a problem I’m dealing
For seventy years now it has been accepted practice to refer to the two decades of avant garde artistic experimention in France at the end of the last century by the term Post Impressionism. The irony of this state of affairs is that most of the artists designated by the term did not think of themselves as being ‘Post-Impressionists’ first and foremost, and probably would not even have recognized themselves under that heading. George Seurat, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Paul Cezanne, to take the four artists who create the most significant paintings during the period, were dead long before 1910 when the term was first coined. Post Impressionism was not one of those smear-words such as Impressionism or Fauvism, invented by witty French journalists on first seeing the works of the artists concerned, words which caught the public imagination and were subsequently accepted and used by the artists themselves. On the contrary, it was the invention of an academic, cultured, but exasperated English critic, Roger Fry, faced with the difficulty of presenting a haphazard exhibition of recent continental art to an inexperienced English audience. It was faute de mieux that Fry hit in 1910 upon the title ‘Manet and the Post-Impressionists.