Darling, give me your absence tonight
Take the shade from the canvas and leave me the white
Let me sink in the silence that echoes inside
And don't bother leaving the light on
'Cuz I suddenly feel like a different person
From the roots of my soul come a gentle coercion
And I ran my hand o'er a strange inversion
A vacancy that just did not belong
The child is gone
Honey help me out of this mess
I'm a stranger to myself
But don't reach for me, I'm too far away
I don't wanna talk 'cuz there's nothing left to say
So my
Darling, give me your absence tonight
Take all of your sympathy and leave it outside
'Cuz there's no kind of loving that can make this all right
I'm trying to find a place I belong
And I suddenly feel like a different person
From the roots of my soul come a gentle coercion
And I ran my hand over a strange inversion
As the darkness turns into the dawn
The child is gone
The child is gone


Lyrics submitted by SNYder

The Child Is Gone song meanings
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50 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song gets me every time. This song is about the loss of innocence that comes with growing up. She's just become aware of the larger world around her, and all of a sudden feels panicked and doesn't know what to do with herself.
    charligrlon April 18, 2002   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation... and after it all becoming a better person because of it. Which is what i think the main point of the song is .. coming to terms with a tragedy and coming out of it a stronger being.
    1Azon November 05, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmaybe i'm wrong but i think in a way it's about losing your virginity? "darling give me your absence tonight" she talks about white, which symbolizes chastity... "no kind of loving can make this alright" i dunno, i could be wrong. i'm sure it has many levels of meaning... just my take on in.
    JuliSimmon September 11, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI never read anything extra into the song, I always looked at it from face value, as if she were talkin about a miscarriage, ya know, an actual child...but after reading what you guys had to say, I think maybe she is talking about something innocent within herself. It kind of reminds me of Sarah McLaughlans song I can't remember the title but its on her Fumbling Into Ecstacy
    Spanky03on October 09, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentfiona apple was raped when she was really young.
    that's what i've always took this song to me.
    soundgoroundon November 02, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI heard fiona say that this is not supposed to be a sad song, ''darkness turned into the dawn''. growing up is a mixed blessing, at the same time,she is talking about the loss of innocence, ''the child'' she's also saying that she can cope better on her own now, she is learning to deal with reality because as we grow up, there is nothing else that we can do but cope. ''no kind of loving can make this alright''. she's saying to her man, she doesn't need his love right now because it's a situation that can't be healed by that kind of attention, she needs to be left on her own, but she changes her tune in the bridge, explaining to him, that she's ''a mess''. ''honey, help me out''.
    that_sullen_girlon January 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is her coming of age. 17 when she wrote this, it's about the often dark & confusing bridge a girl walks into adulthood & womenhood. I always got that meaning from it. She's shedding her any past stress from childhood & teenhood and is becoming a full blown woman in society's eyes & this is scary for her.
    EternalTearsOfSorrowon December 25, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song really helped me when I went through a period in my life when I felt very suicidal. I was going through all these changes and indecisions. I was so confused but when I heard Fiona sing this song, I really felt that she somehow understood me. I really needed that understanding right then. The song allowed me to return to my music and writing in a way I had never been capable of before.
    rockergrrrl21on April 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel this song is laced with a kind of sarcasm.
    'I ran my hand over a strange inversion' - a reference to anorexia?
    'The child is gone' - for some reason this makes me wonder about fiona's relationship with her parents
    Its interesting that spanky03 thought of a miscarriage as that never entered my head (d'oh!) but the idea changes my view slightly
    mo79461on May 02, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti definitely think this song is about a miscarriage or an abortion.
    "i ran my hand over a strange inversion" - she is no longer carrying the child.
    "Take the shade from the canvas and leave me the white" white being chaste and sterile, even empty.
    maybe she is asking her lover to forget his sympathy because nothing he could say will make her feel better about her own loss.
    robogirl1on May 06, 2003   Link

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