When I'm Gone

Album: Away From The Sun (2002)
Charted: 4

Songfacts®:

  • "When I'm Gone" does not necessarily mean "when I'm gone in a permanent sense." When Brad Arnold wrote this song, the subject he had in mind was unconditional love, for when you're removed from your loved one by miles, or time, or other obstacles. "It's asking a question, just please love me when I'm gone," says the lead singer. "And not just like when I'm dead and gone, but when I'm gonna come back. And that's kind of one thing it's about. But at the same time it's kind of about unconditional love. It's a lot of different statements it's asking of the person in that song. And it's like just the fulfillment of those different needs for every situation that it mentions. So I guess that song is just about needing someone really to be there for you unconditionally, and when you're gone."
  • An "education x-ray," explains Brad, would refer to a psychologist or therapist who doesn't actually take an x-ray of you with a machine, but rather forms a sort of mental x-ray of you by way of their educational training, and the time spent talking with you to make a diagnosis. In Brad's words: "It's when a kid's mom or dad is quick to take them to a psychologist or something, and it's like talking about their education x-ray trying to look into you. It's like, 'I'm not gonna tell you a damn thing that I couldn't tell my friends.'" (Check out our full interview with Brad Arnold)
  • Although the lyrics don't have anything to do with the army or war, the music video was dedicated to all the men and women serving in the United States military.
  • This song gained popularity around the time the US was preparing to invade Iraq. For many people in the military, it said a lot about how they were feeling being away from their families and loved ones, and reminded them that everyone back home was still thinking of them. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chris - New Orleans, LA

Comments: 21

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaI first heard this song on TV. it was the theme song for a new(at that time) British spy type show that was getting ready to air(sadly I can't remember the name of the show) it just happened that as I was going through some body changes that was playing havoc with me as well as i had hurt my back. plus my mom was going through her first rounds of Chemo/Radiation. the lyrics spoke so LOUDLY to my soul. still love the song, and i hear myself saying in my head when people I really love(especially family) have time for everyone but me. Hold Me While I'm Hear, Love Me When I'm Gone thanks to the writer of this song
  • Ethan from Twin Falls, IdThis song is so amazing I love the music video that was donated to the people serving our country.
  • Missunderstood from Atlanta, GaWell I do agree that "when I'm gone" could mean many things as stated above.... but did anyone think about "when I'm gone" might be the way he feels when he's been partying a little too hard for a little too long, and his mind's just kinda wiped out? Or when things get so crazy out on the road, with the relationship itself, and everything else that "when I'm gone" might be referring to a little good ol' temporary insanity? Or it may mean when you have literally hit rock bottom in your life for whatever reason and have lost everything and everyone and you are hoping this one person will actually stick around and maybe even help you sift through the ashes and rebuild your life? Because you know this guy IS going to get it together and be 100% stronger and better than before having all this behind him, with you by his side. He IS worth your patience, your caring, your support, your time, isn't he? You did say you'd love him unconditionally; so do you really feel that way or did you just feel that way when he was winning? Aaaaah, what an awesome song because we all get to interpret it the way we see it, and either way, it's beautiful to hear the emotion in his voice and feel his vulnerability. We are all correct.

    (Sadly, the scenarios in my interpretations came to my mind immediately, before the literal "when I'm gone" or being dead or..... well..... really - any of the others. )

    This is an awesome "sweet and sour" song that will stand the test of time!
  • Thomas from Degraff, OhYou know, thats the great thing about music and poetry. It can be seen in different ways. Some people think this song is about love and others think it's about the military. It doesnt mean one side is wrong and one side is right, it's just whatever ur artistic interpretation is. Personally, I think this song is about love, but that doesnt mean u cant think its about the military.
  • Mallory from Vineland, NjEverytime I hear this song I think about our soldiers. My husband said this song played in his head over and over when he was deployed (along with Courtesy of the red, white, and blue by Toby Keith.) GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS
  • Kayla from Oklahoma City, OkGabe - I agree. I don't see any relations to war, but maybe that's just me. I see an unsure relationship and an afraid look at death and separation. It's a really good song.
  • Emily from Ocean Springs, MsApparently there was an alternative version of this video that featured people crawling around a graveyard and being buried (probably the Canadian version mentioned before). It was an open call in their hometown where kids just showed up.. No formal directing or anything lol.
  • Anthony from Cape May, NjGreat song, me and my ex-girlfriend cherished this one
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., OhIn my opinion, this is the best 3DD song. The video to this song reminds me of Styx's 'Show Me The Way', where troops are shown serving in Iraq during the Persian Gulf War.
  • Kate from Philadelphia, PaEven though I know this song is intended to be about war and the men and women of the armed forces, when I hear it, it has a different meaning for me. My little neighbor is 4 and was just diagnosed with leukemia. This song makes me think of him. Especially when they say "part of me is fighting this, but part of me is gone."
  • David from O'fallon, Il this song i think is really about what our troops think when they are gone, how they miss their family and friends. The lines:
    There's a light that I can't find
    Maybe it's too far away...
    Maybe I'm just blind...

    Maybe I'm just blind...

    shows how they can't find a reason why people protest the war and don't support them. the chorus tells us how they just want the people's undying support and thanks. I love this song and god bless our troops. HOORAH
  • Morgan from New York, NyAll 3 Doors Down songs make me cry!!I think about my husband Jacob who is in war!!I LOVE YOU JACOB!!!!
  • Tyler from Nashville, InThis is one of their best songs on "Away from the Sun." This is very inspirational, because I am in love with the most beautiful person in the world and she says she loves me, but she's not sure if she means it in the way that I do. And 'part of me is fighting this, but part of me is gone'. A great song; 3 Doors Down knows how to play real emotional music (that's easy to play on the guitar ;-))
  • Gabe from Utica, NyI have absolutely no idea what this song has to do with the military and the war in Iraq. But this song is awesome! Brad Arnold has a great voice. The lyrics to this song are great.
  • Matthew from Nr London, EnglandI'm not doubting the military importance or significance in this song, but Brad Arnold (lead singer) did say he wrote this on the road about the girlfriend at home he missed and this was his way of communicating with her.
  • Brian from Brookfield, CtI was on the USS George Washington when 3 doors down came on and filmed footage for the video in Portugal- the concert they gave was awesome
  • Ashley from Suquamish, Wai feel that this song can be seen in many perspectives. There are times when this song can be loked at in the military way (the US/Iraq war video) and when i listen to it i see it as a romantic song for a couple..how bout u?
  • Angie Bellamy from Columbia, Scmy dads in the millitary and everytime i hear this song i think of him and i just wanted to say that those boys work hard to keep of free and so WAY TO GO YOU GUYS KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
  • Chris from New Orleans, LaThis song has a lot to do with the military and with war. This song symbolizes what the military feels when we are deployed to 3rd world contries. I am in the United Stated Marine Corps. And i was in OIF. And this song reminded all of use out there that people back home are thinking of use.
  • Fgjdfgjdsfgj from Halifax, Canadai have no idea what this whole US Millitary thing is. The canadian version of the video is of the band in the woods litterally being barried alive.
  • Julio from El Paso, TxThere is two music videos for this song.The U.S. Navy version and the one where is taken in a forest cemetary(or something like that). And the chorus has a connection with the U.S. Navy version.
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