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The time for us to say goodbye is near
The day I hoped would never come is here
Though many hearts are broken we must somehow carry on
Cause I think you're gonna miss me when I'm gone

I thought my life was over when we met
So little to remember, so much to forget
Though it was you who saw me through the darkness to the dawn
Still I think you're gonna miss me when I'm gone

I'm a modest man
And it hurts me to say these things to you
After all we've been through it's the least that I can do
So instead of just goodbye I'll say so long
And as for the light by which you see me leave it on
I'm a better man than I was before
Knowing you has made me strong
And I sure am going to miss you when I'm gone
Yes I sure am going to miss you when I'm gone



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/r/randy_newman/when_im_gone.html

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  • U
    +1
    UnregisteredMay 2, 2012 at 7:42 am
    There is a subtle beauty here that i can't truly understand. But this is the meaning for me. Often times a true artist will give you a thousand ways to go with a song as simple and straight forward as this. One day you listen and you are given the meaning so clear... The next year you listen again and it is all so different.

    I first believed the song to be about a friendly breakup. The line, 'after all we've been through it's the least that i can do.. ' says it all in that version.

    A few months later i thought maybe someone knowing he or she would die and the effect it would have on others around them was the meaning. The line, 'though many hearts are broken we must somehow carry on... ' tells the story of that version.

    Someone very dear to my wife is losing a battle with cancer. With that thought in mind, you might say that the song doesn't relate because the person leaving this life is going to miss us when they are gone. Maybe that isn't the case as much as we are going to be missing them.

    I've grown to understand the ending of things. The great ones know when their time is done. They do not linger and they do not make excuses. Most of all they bow out gracefully after enjoying the fight, the battle and the challenge.

    I believe the song can be about anything you love - people, places, things. For example if you think of an athlete saying goodbye to a sport that he or she loved all their life and injury or time has ended that passion or spirit, the song means the same. When the person realizes the end is coming or has arrived, there is a moment of clarity when your heart breaks. If you love something so much, it loves you back, whether you know it or understand it.

    Watching a soccer game for example. Even if the score ends 0-0, there is an ebb and flow to the game. The great players make great plays and the crowd knows and understands how important those individuals or teams are to the game. The game takes on a personality. If it didn't, no one would be able to recognize momentum or the flow of life that emanates from any game played anywhere. I think the person might be a little bitter at first saying that the game (in this version) is going to miss him or her. I think after he or she really thinks about it, they realize that it is him or herself that is going to miss the game. So true is the fact that if you replace the game with life or love... You have the same meaning.

    I think that is what the song is really about in the end. Everyone is part of the game and the game is part of everyone... Everyone is part of life and life is part of everyone... Everyone is part of love and love is part of everyone... That's what i think
  • U
    0
    UnregisteredOct 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm
    I've experienced a lot of death, significant deaths in my life. I feel that this song reflected the meeting of two people at the end of one of their lives. Maybe they both are dying, and one taught the other how to live before the end came. It's not always easy to learn and change beliefs, even ones that don't serve us very well. Change can be so hard.
    But change happened and the song seems a love song from one to the other, trying to say how significant even this short relationship has been. It changed everything. To say he is modest and admit that he is worth missing must be so hard to say, but not in conflict. Honesty of living and appreciating life, true gratitude is spoken here. It seems to say you made me love myself. How good that must feel after thinking their life was over.

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