U2: Gone Meaning
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Got so much for so little
Then you find that feeling
Just won't go away
You're holding on to every little thing so tightly
'Til there's nothing left for you anyway
You can keep this suit of...
anonymous Dec 2nd, 12:19am report
This song is about suicide. Hasta nunca amigo. Au revoir. Puro suicidio. Bono habla decomo la muerte es una puerta de la vida frívola y superficial.
anonymous Dec 15th, 2019 12:45pm report
I read it as being about someone in a close relationship with a person who has compromised all kinds of things to achieve money, fame, success, and has succeeded.
That person is "holding onto every little thing so tightly, 'til there's nothing left" for them. In other words, holding on to the personal gain, the money, the fame, at the expense of people, relationships, and integrity.
Their companion is sick of it. "Goodbye. You can keep this suit of lights."
A suit of lights is a sequin-adorned costume worn by bullfighters. But in general, it could refer to any similar, eye-catching costume, and figuratively, the fame and glitz that comes from close association with the star and being in the spotlight with them. It's not worth it to the person who's with the compromised star. Goodbye. You can keep all of the money, fame, celebrity, attention, bright lights. I don't want it. You can keep it. I'm done.
"I'll be up with the sun."
Now that I've reached this decision and worked up the resolve to tell you, I'm not going to delay about it. I don't have anywhere else to go tonight, but in the morning I'll be up early and out of here. I won't even wake you. You won't see me again. This, right now, is goodbye.
"I'm not coming down."
1. I'm not coming down for breakfast.
2. I'm not coming down, I'm not backing down from my decision to leave all of this and you behind.
3. I'm not coming down to your level any more. I'm done.
"You wanted to get somewhere so badly
You had to lose yourself along the way
You change a name but that's okay
And what you leave behind
You don't miss anyway."
All of that is straightforward.
"'Cause I'm already gone
Felt that way all along"
I'm already gone. It's done. All along I've had these nagging feelings of conscience and misgiving. I'm not ignoring them any more.
"Closer to you every day
I didn't want it that much anyway"
By being around you, I've found myself increasingly compromised. Just being a part of what you're doing has slowly lured me into being more like you. All of the money, fame, importance, none of that is worth it to me.
"You're taking steps that make you feel dizzy
Then you get to like the way it feels
You hurt yourself you hurt your lover
Then you discover
What you thought was freedom is just greed"
Again, pretty straightforward.
I can see that you don't want me to go.
This line is a bit softer than "Goodbye." I read it as a softening, a nod to the other person's grief.
"I'll be up with the sun"
But it's just a nod. Nothing has changed. I'm still committed to be out of here as soon as possible.
"Are you still holding on"
Do you think I'm not serious? Do you think I will back down? Are you still holding on to the hope that I don't mean what I'm saying?
"I'm not coming down, oh
I'm not coming down, oh
I'm not coming down"
That's the bottom line. That's it. My mind is made up. It's over.
anonymous May 18th, 2018 5:11pm report
anonymous Oct 11th, 2017 10:20pm report
i thought it was about going into a witness protection although probably wrong
anonymous Sep 1st, 2011 9:53pm report
In my mind, it's about someone in a relationship who is trapped in the chase of fame and success, but who ends up in the state of depression (the "feeling (that) Just won't go away). Chicken or egg? Which came first-the depression or the chase of fame? Anyway, depressed people (speaking as someone who lives there) often cling to external things because self-esteem is non-existent. Some of the lines seem to be about Bono himself ("you change your name..."). As time goes on, you die on the inside, so you're gone, but still clinging to the other person in the relationship, but you hate yourself for it. Eventually patterns of behavior develop that are self-destructive, but that's all you know. You fight with each other because that's part of that pattern, and you start to hate your spouse. You want her (or him) to hurt too, because you hurt all the time. Eventually, you want the pain to stop (what you hope death will bring), but when all's said and done, "What you thought was freedom is just greed" because you are only thinking about yourself. In my read, anyway.
Gone could be about Kurt Cobain or anybody trapped in fame. "What you thought was freedom is just greed", sums it up for me. Even Hold Me, Kiss Me.. deals with this theme. But that one was written before Cobains suicide, so it more Bono´s own thoughts about the price of fame. Check out the link for more info about the Cobain angle.
anonymous Jun 4th, 2009 6:53am report
The Pop album was released in March 1997 and Michael Hutchence died in November 1997, so this song is obviously not about him. You're probably thinking of "Stuck in a moment you can't get out of" which Bono has said is partly about Micheal Hutchence.
anonymous Nov 21st, 2008 11:46am report
Great interpretation. This song is a glorious riddle that rings and rings forever in my heart. I love it to death. I didn't know it existed until the year 2004!
It's about being a rock star. "You hurt yourself, you hurt your lover then you discover, what you thought was freedom is just greed" A beautiful lyric about, I think, how he got this fame and just started having way to much fun for too long and probably did some stupid, selfish things. The thing about suicide you speak of I don't think Bono is referring to Michael. He's just talking about how he's come to the conclusion that he's gonna to keep exploring and growing as an artist despite the unavoidable hassles of being a star, something less or more than the man that he actually is, which the world makes of its stars. A work of genuis--the song's construction is masterly. These dudes are very good!
This song was often attributed to Michael Hutchence, singer for the band INXS. He and Bono were good friends and they reportedly had a conversation about suicide, where they both condemned it. Hutchence later committed suicide (though there's still some question about the intent).
I think the song is partly about what fame does to people, such as how they feel empty even though they're wealthy and how they go to great extents to get this wealth ("you kind of lose yourself along the way," "you changed your name, but that's okay, it's necessary," "taking steps that make you feel dizzy").
In the chorus I think Bono is basically singing about how he's not saving Michael. In most Christian ideologies, those who commit suicide go to Hell. Bono is saying how if Hutchence is there and (I suppose assuming) Bono is in Heaven, he's "not coming down" to help him.
Still, it's a real brain-teaser of a song and I don't claim to have all the answers.
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