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The Offspring Reimagine ‘Gone Away’ as Emotional Piano Ballad

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It happens on occasion and seemed to occur often in the ’90s that bands could find success with multiple arrangements of a hit song (Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” anyone?). But a full 24 years after it was originally released, The Offspring could be primed to find success with an alternate version of their song “Gone Away,” which was re-imagined as an emotional, heartfelt piano ballad for their latest album, Let the Bad Times Roll.

The band just released a lyric video for the track, while also explaining, “We wanted to record ‘Gone Away’ in a completely different way for this record. We have been playing this version live, and we felt that this kind of arrangement makes the song feel more direct and more emotional. We love playing it this way. We hope you like it too.”

While The Offspring’s early years often featured some lighter subject matter, “Gone Away” stood out from their Ixnay on the Hombre album for its somber tone. The track was reportedly inspired by a real life incident in which singer Dexter Holland and his wife were shaken up after having to seek cover when an ice cream shop they were patronizing was riddled with gunfire by gang members. Though no one was killed, Holland told the Bob Lefsetz Podcast, “The idea that we came so close to death was a real life-changing moment. It was right when we were recording Ixnay and I was coming up with the idea. I knew I wanted it to be heavy, but I didn’t know what it was going to be about yet. I know it’s not a direct connection, but it made you think about dying and about grief and about what that would feel like, and what if my wife would have been the one?”

Where the original was a full-fledged rock song sharing Holland’s shouting angst, the piano version allows for a clearer listen to the heartfelt lyrics. You can revisit the lyrics below.

The Offspring, “Gone Away” Lyrics

Maybe in another life
I could find you there
Pulled away before your time
I can’t deal, it’s so unfair
And it feels, and it feels like
Heaven’s so far away
And it feels, yeah, it feels like
The world has grown cold now that you’ve gone away
Leaving flowers on your grave
Show that I still care
Black roses and “Hail Mary’s”
Can’t bring back what’s taken from me
I reach to the sky and call out your name
And if I could trade, I would
And it feels, and it feels like
Heaven’s so far away
And it stings, yeah, it stings now
The world is so cold now that you’ve gone away
Now that you’ve gone away
I reach to the sky and call out your name
And if I could trade, I would
And it feels, and it feels like
Heaven’s so far away
And it feels, yeah, it feels like
The world has grown cold now that you’ve gone away

As previously stated, “Gone Away” appeared on The Offspring’s fourth studio album, Ixnay on the Hombre, in 1997. It topped Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart and hit No. 4 for Alternative Airplay. It was also covered in 2017 by Five Finger Death Punch on their A Decade of Destruction hits set, peaking at No. 2 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

The new piano version version can be found on The Offspring’s Let the Bad Times Roll, which is out now and available via the platform of your choosing here.

The Offspring, “Gone Away” (2021 Piano Version)

The Offspring, “Gone Away” (1997 Version)

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