"She's Gone" as written by and Mike Burkett....
A blackened wick is what remains
The flame was blown out just recently
Although the candle hadn't burned down to the stick
It won't be lit again, the day won't be so bright

We don't know what she may have been
All we know is what she left behind
An apartment cluttered with children's toys,
Photos of good times

In the bedroom, there's sheets on the windows
There's a four poster bed for a reason
There's a box on the floor full of secrets
It won't be opened

Here older boys and girls would play
All inhibitions were left behind
As the door would close, her face begin to shine
This was her finest hour, this was her finest time

Now, she's gone, and it's not gonna be alright, not for me

She's gone but not forgotten, she's still here
In all those years she touched so many lives
Who's gonna watch the little girl she left behind?

Carol Anne stands alone in the school yard
All the other children have gone
After waiting for hours,
She can't understand why her mother left her

In the darkness she sees definition
In the silence, she hears someone calling
After nightmares, she lies in bed screaming
But there's no one listening, there's no one
Now, she's gone, and it's never gonna be alright not for me she's gone


Lyrics submitted by AtomicGarden

"She's Gone" as written by Mike Burkett

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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  • +1
    General CommentHere is an essay I wrote about She's gone my first year of college. Thought I might as well share it with you guys. (The numbers in parentheses are line numbers) Sorry it's so long... -Grayson S.

    17DEC03

    Regardless of the genre of music, there is always a statement to be made, or story to be told, by every artist in their songs. Music has been society’s way of entertaining and passing on traditions since before written history, and will continue to do so in the years to come. Like an artist’s painting that entertains the senses, music makes you think, putting you in the place of the musician and enticing your mood with the lyrics.
    Arguably, some songs have a deeper meaning than others, and some songs are written purely for fun or to express emotion. On the other hand, some songs tell us about ourselves, as humans. She’s gone is a song that not only tells a tale about a little girl and her mother, but entices moods and emotions in the listener (at least one with an ear for “punk” music). It paints a picture too vivid for any easel, tells a story too powerful for pages, and leaves you wondering how it’s possible for people to do the horrible things that they do to each other.
    “A blackened wick is what remains” is the introductory line to the song. Right here the listener knows that this is foreshadowing of what is to come later in the story (1). The next line, “the flame was blown out just recently”, gives the listener the feeling that a drastic change has occurred (2). In my interpretation of the song, these first two lines tell about Carol Anne, the “narrator”, in a sense, of the story. She is a little girl who has just lost the “joy of being a child” because of her mother’s neglect.
    The introduction continues by telling that Carol is not completely void of all love, just in a solemn state of emptiness. The lines “It won’t be lit again, the day won’t be so bright” have a dual meaning, but at this point in the song they just emphasize that she won’t ever get to relive the days of childhood (3-4).
    Then the story switches to the viewpoint of the mother. In line 5 the story tells that no one could know what both the mother’s and the child’s lives would have been like had she (the mother) made different decisions about how to live her life. “All we know is what she left behind” states again that there is no way to tell how their lives would have ended up, but that the mother “left behind” something important (caring for her daughter) (6-8).
    In the ninth line the song changes again, this time to a more present tense. The lyrics “In the bedroom there’s sheets on the window” gives the image of a dark and lonely room, cluttered and messy (9). These lines are also a subtle hint that the room is closed up for a reason, possibly to keep the outside world and reality out of her life. Another way I interpreted this line is that there windows were closed up to keep the light out, because the mother is using drugs. Users of heroin and crystal methamphetamine usually cover the windows to their house because the light hurts their eyes while on these drugs. This second theory would probably be more accurate given the lines that follow.
    The tenth and 13th lines have very sexual overtones, and set the mood and define the character more intensely. Here the mother is portrayed as being extremely promiscuous, tying in with the characterization of a drug addict. Also hinted at is the assumption that the mother is relatively young and naive (13). When coupled with the images of the tattered house and Carol’s sadness, a picture of what is happening in the characters lives starts to vividly appear in the mind.
    By this time in the song the listener can begin to feel what the setting is like, and maybe even relate it to real life events he or she might have faced. Because this song is written by a “Punk Rock” band, in that style, many of the targeted audience can empathize or even sympathize with the story.
    Line 15 and 16 say “As the door would close, her face began to shine. This was her finest hour, this was her finest time.” These two lines together make up the pinnacle of both intensity and characterization in the song. In the first sentence it gives the image of a “door” closing. This could mean any number of things, but I think the physical meaning best fits in the story. When she closes the door to her bedroom with her “friends” and other people who are there using drugs, she feels like she is the center of attention, possibly even “loved” by them. All this time, while the mother is doing drugs and having sex, her little girl is out of the picture (20).
    Enter Carol Anne. Line 21 brings the little girl back into the picture, standing in a playground after school waiting for her mother to pick her up. The feelings of emptiness in Carol are expressed in the lines “all the other children have gone” (22). This gives a physical picture of the emotion being portrayed, a little girl standing in a deserted playground by herself , crying for her mom who, unbeknownst to her, is at home not thinking anything about her.
    The conclusion of the song could be interpreted several ways. The way I best found to finish the story is that one night Carol was sleeping while her mom was partying. Around the time she goes to sleep, her mother apparently dies of an overdose. The lines “In the darkness she sees definition, in the silence she hears someone calling” give the impression that she saw her mothers ghost and heard her call for her in a dream (25). When she awakes from this dream, crying, she finds herself all alone in the house. “There’s no one now, she’s gone. (29-30)” Many people consider music, not deemed by the general public and the critics to have “artistic value”, rubbish. As I hope I have exemplified, this could not be farther from the truth. Although musicians’ credibility has decreased over the years as the new “pop” sound rears it’s ugly head, the soul of music still lives on in the hearts of many. There will always be stories to tell, and music will always be a worldly and timeless medium in which artists can convey these stories and live forever through their words.
    Zamiel213on August 20, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI met my Ex wife in a subhumans mosh pit maybe 10 years ago. She used to be a model, and a heroin addict. We had a beautiful daughter together. My ex wife was insane. Maybe I wasn't a great husband either.

    We divorced and she ended up dating this scumbag who beat her and got her back on heroin. I took full custody of my daughter. Its so sad to see my ex like this. So sad to see our little girl without her mom. For my daughters sake, it is my worst fear that her mom O.D.'s or does something stupid and dies.

    I had heard this song a few times but never paid attention to the lyrics. The other day it was on and for some reason I could hear it very well. I could hear it so well that it punched me in the stomach. I hate to admit, but it brought tears to my eyes.

    For anyone who actually read this... Please ask whomever/whatever you consider to be a higher power that she gets her shit together and becomes a mother again, and not just another sad cliché...
    james_6942on January 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlyrically this song and "love story" are the best that fat mike ever wrote. I love this song, how is it that nobody else is commenting?
    Ange*Gaucheon July 20, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthmmm this song is awesome...
    S25on July 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmore people should be commenting on this song, it has awesome lyrics and has an incredible feeling to it. its one of nofx's best.
    punkbassplayer20on October 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is so underrated. how come people always talk about NOFX's worst songs like "Bob" and "The Brews" and always leave out "She's Gone" and "Falling In Love" and "The Malachi Crunch"?

    Oh yeah, and this song is about a woman who died, the things she left behind, and the effects she had on other people's lives.
    Rubberbandon March 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlyrically this song is definately one of their best... however musically... it's so-so... If i hadnt paid attention to the lyrics I dont think I would like it very much.
    beautifulon March 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOk, rubberband...good man for giving props to "Falling In Love" and Malachi. I'm pretty sure you were right about this being about a woman who died. I believe she was a prostitute too, It says "there's a four poster bed for a reason" and the reason might be making sex. Also, the line "here older boys and girls would play." so thats my guess... also she had a daughter, Carole Anne...proven by the line "Carole Anne stands alone in the schoolyard." but just maybe Carole Anne could be who the song is based around. Well, thats about all i got...have fun with this one
    CreedMakesMeHoton April 20, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe reason no one likes it is because |NOFX are a punk band, not some lame EMO band who do lots of songs about love and girls. THe few they do like this one are great but Mike hates them
    dysfuncti_1on June 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou moron, this isn't an emo song. Its about someone who died, what are you stupid?
    Jesus of Suburbiaon November 03, 2004   Link

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