JRJR Gone, Review and Analysis- Case Wright


What if you are living your best life, but it’s horrible?

Depression, Anxiety, and Mental Illness are as common as Brown Eyes, but treated like mystical forces. It wasn’t even until the 1970s that we commonly used the term “Depressed”. Today, we have not acknowledged as a species that the Brain is just another organ. The brain is a miraculous organ, but an organ nonetheless. We are fine with treating a pancreas with insulin, but anti-depressants are still referred to by many as “Happy Pills”, implying recreation; or worse, there use is akin to marijuana or alcohol consumption.

“Gone” was written by Joshua Epstein, Mike Higgins, and Dan Nigro when they were 34. It was featured in films, gained popularity, and yet Joshua remained anxious and sad. Why? It was because Joshua didn’t know that he had clinical Anxiety. The upbeat tempo of the song like his upbeat life and success belied the danger and depression expressed in the lyrics. He was wasn’t diagnosed with Anxiety until after “Gone” was a hit. By danger, I mean suicide. Suicide takes out middle-aged men like a scythe. I have lost friends to it. I’m not writing that ”Gone” was a suicide note, but the lyrics point to it as true a laser sight.

Just as Joshua didn’t know he had anxiety, it was equally likely that he didn’t know that he was writing about suicide. However, I argue that his subconscious must have. The suicide theme has gone unnoticed because the tempo and melody is upbeat. This is similar to the “MASH” theme – “Suicide is Painless”, which used the exact same means to cover up the song’s inherent darkness. Although I believe the “MASH” producers intentionally covered up the theme song’s darkness and JR JR did not.

I will analyze the lyrics and post the video, allowing you to decide if you believe that I am correct.

I’ve made up my mind over and over

Here Joshua is expressing that he doesn’t understand what he’s meant to do. Do I become I dentist like my dad? Do I stay in music? Build canoes in Oregon? These are all dead ends. He’s passionate and smart; so, he might he even be successful at these re-invented Joshua’s, but he’s still wanting.

Keep pressing rewind but I’m getting older
Tried every door, don’t know who I’m looking for

Joshua is in middle-age now and he still has no clear path forward.

And I’ve made up my mind over and over

I can’t be everything you want me to be
I can’t be everything you want me to be

Frustrated, like many middle-aged men. He decides to give up. He’s going to end it.
Finally, I can see the light through the leaves

As he is dying, he looks up from the ground and sees “the light through the trees”. In his last moments, he figures out his path, but he won’t be able to “hit rewind” because his decision is a final one.
But it’s all gone
But it’s all gone

“But it’s all gone” is referring himself being all gone. No more present or future.

What comes from the ground now is returning

“What comes from the ground now is returning” is a reference to Man coming from the ground as clay and now he’s returning- Dust to Dust.
It’s all the same sound and my ears are burning

He states “my ears are burning” because people are talking about him; they’re worried.
In some strange home, don’t know who I’m working for

Now, he’s losing consciousness that’s the “strange home” and because this act is final he doesn’t “know who [he’s] working for because all self-determination and advice is now irrelevant- forever. The final chorus refrain reinforces him drifting into the abyss.
I’ve made up my mind over and over

I can’t be everything you want me to be
I can’t be everything you want me to be
Finally, I can see the light through the leaves
But it’s all gone
But it’s all gone

Over and over, over and over
Over and over, over and over

I can’t be everything you want me to be
I can’t be everything you want me to be
Finally, I can see the light through the leaves
But it’s all gone
But it’s all gone
But it’s all gone

The brain is an organ, but unlike the heart, the brain can call out for help through nightmares, outbursts, reckless behavior, or like this artist’s brain – it used art.

I could be wrong, but I do not believe that I am. If this song or my analysis strikes a chord with you, I implore you to talk to someone ASAP.

One response to “JRJR Gone, Review and Analysis- Case Wright

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 1/10/22 — 1/16/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.