"When You're Gone" as written by and Dolores Mary O'riordan....
Give it up

Hold on to love, that is what I do
Now that I've found you
And from above, everything's stinking
They're not around you
And in the night I could be helpless
I could be lonely slipping without you

And in the day, everything's complex
There's nothing simple when I'm not around you
But I miss you, when you're gone
That is what I do, hey baby, baby
It's hard to carry on, that is what I do, hey baby
Give it up

Hold on to my hands
I feel I'm sinking, sinking without you
And to my mind, everything's stinking
Stinking without you
And in the night I could be helpless
I could be lonely, slipping without you

Hold on to love, that is what I do
Now that I've found you
And from above, everything's stinking
They're not around you
And in the night I could be helpless
I could be lonely slipping without you

Hey baby


Lyrics submitted by Novartza

"When You're Gone" as written by Dolores Mary O'riordan

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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When You're Gone song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +6
    My InterpretationPersonally I think the song is about losing someone (to death?) and the feeling of you're entire world crumbling around you. The video seems to match this interpretation with everyone gathering, dressed in black attire and looking upwards (towards heaven?). A symbol of a burning room with two chairs, in the end only a single chair remains, burning alone...

    Hold on to love, that is what I do
    Now that I've found you
    And from above, everything's stinking,
    There not around you

    Since she has found that special person who she loves, holding onto love is what she always did to keep going. I think the "...from above, everything's stinking, there not around you" is maybe talking about him being in heaven looking down upon them, and life has become "stinking" without him there, without being around him.

    And in the night, I could be helpless
    I could be lonely, sleeping without you
    And in the day, everything's complex
    There's nothing simple when I'm not around you

    Coping with the loss of someone is difficult, especially missing the usual things you do together. In the night, she could feel helpless and lonely and he is not there to comfort her anymore. In the day, life goes on, but it is complex having to do everything alone, without your love in your life.

    But I miss you when you're gone
    That is what I do baby
    And it's going to carry on
    That is what I do baby

    She always missed him when he was away from her, it's not the same without him around, and now he will not be coming back again, so this feeling is going to carry on, there is nothing she can do about it. :( But she also has to carry on despite her anguish.

    Hold on to my hands, I feel like sinking
    Sinking without you
    And to my mind, everything's stinking
    Stinking without you

    Similar sentiments as the previous verses; loneliness, wishing he was back in her life; in her mind everything around doesn't mean anything without him there.

    And in the night, I could be helpless
    I could be lonely, sleeping without you
    And in the day, everything's complex
    There's nothing simple when I'm not around you

    But I miss you when you're gone
    That is what I do baby
    And it's going to carry on
    That is what I do baby

    A beautifully tragic song, with heart wrenching vocals by an amazing singer.
    Love The Cranberries!
    sweetmidorion October 20, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti was just sorta sitting here bored and listless so i put on this cd (which i havent listened to in ages) and this song just sort of struck me.. my boyfriend is a marine and i wont see him till around christmas and this song is EXACTLY how i feel right now *sigh*

    And in the night, I could be helpless
    I could be lonely, sleeping without you
    And in the day, everything's complex
    There's nothing simple when I'm not around you


    mynamesjonason July 25, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsuch an amazing song...its so sad and reminds me of soo many things in the past...some lines are different the rest are just like any other love song but put into the actuall song its gr8
    AYUL1234on May 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsuch a simple and melodiac song, but yet so powerful. (sigh)
    juliashopeon July 05, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentbeautiful song, there is no better female singer. this is one of my favorites.
    rainbowbrite65on August 25, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit reminds me of who I have a crush on and since he is gone (he got expelled from school) i think of him and in the song "I Will Always" too.
    Music is my worldon June 29, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is one of the best songs i've ever heard... sort of depressing in a way... i spent nearly 3 years looking for the title of the song since i heard it on the radio. good thing i saw the video on VH1 a week ago. kudos to the cranberries and to VH1
    Henon March 02, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentlove this song. reminds me of things as well...
    wackydeli3on November 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthmm. i listened to the cranberries a lot when i was going through a breakup; it's like an unwritten rule or something that you just do that.... but this song really stood out to me - because it's just that simple: it's about a breakup. or atleast, that's the way i interpret it. because if you've had your heart broken, you know exactly how hard it it so sleep alone at night, and to try to function in the day. nothing makes sense, it's all complicated and turned around. and all you can do is just keep going on without this person, keep sinking, keep dreaming, carrying on as best you can. this song is a breakdown. it's one day out of many where the girl just realizes it's so much to handle.
    khoffon November 23, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song. It brings me good memories of summer and just peace.
    Toast76321on June 29, 2010   Link

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