“If You’re Gone” by Matchbox Twenty

Matchbox Twenty’s “If You’re Gone” is a bonafide love song, albeit a relatively-complex one. But ultimately what seems to be going down is that the singer is in love with the addressee alright. However, he is very insecure about their relationship. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Matchbox Twenty's If You're Gone at Lyrics.org.

This emotional reality is made evident from the first line of the song. And in the initial verse he goes on to not only state his belief that he may have “already lost” this lady but also express an idea akin to being under the impression that she thinks he’s inferior in some way.

But for the most part the sentiment this song is indeed based on is the singer fearing that the addressee is “gone” from his life. And for the record, it is never actually stated that they are actively engaged in an intimate relationship. 

Marisol Maldonado is the Addressee

Indeed the real-life history of this song is that the addressee would actually be a lady by the name of Marisol Maldonado whom the singer, Rob Thomas, went on to marry in 1999. But at the time this song was composed, their romance was more in the courting stage. 

So basically, we can say that the sentiments being relayed therein are from the perspective of someone who is unsure about certain aspects of his relationship. In fact as history has it, at that time Marisol was not sure if she wanted to fully fall in love with a musician.

So regardless of how “If You’re Gone” may read at certain junctures, Rob Thomas’s insecurity is not really on self-esteem issues. Rather he has basically fallen in love with Marisol. And what he was truly worried about (as was she) was his music career, which was blowing up at the time, getting in the way of building a lasting relationship with her. 

Also he had been separated from her for a considerable amount of time when he was compelled to pen this tune. Thus we can conclude that the titular phrase, based on the way it is used in the chorus, actually points to his longing for her “to come home”. He basically wants her to return to his physical embrace, primarily as assurance that she hasn’t actually dumped him.


So once again, this is in fact a true love song. And what is basically going down is that the singer’s prolonged absence from the woman he loves is causing him to doubt the strength of their relationship as well as her affection for him.

Lyrics of "If You're Gone"

When did Matchbox Twenty release “If You’re Gone”?

This song originally came out as part of Matchbox Twenty’s second album, “Mad Season”, on 23 May 2000. And a few months later Atlantic Records saw fit to re-issue it as the second single from that project.

The music video to “If You’re Gone” was helmed by one of Match Twenty’s regular collaborators in that regard, Pedro Romhanyi.

Success of “If You’re Gone”

This track was a notable success for Matchbox Twenty. It topped Billboard’s Adult Contemporary as well as Adult Top 40 charts. And interesting to note is that “If You’re Gone” set a record by taking 42 weeks in order to actual top the Adult Contemporary chart.

It also peaked at number 5 on the Hot 100 itself. And outside of the US it charted in 10 other countries, including making an appearance on the UK Singles Chart. Moreover as recently as 2019, this song made it onto Billboard’s Japan Hot 100.

A Fan’s Reaction

Stacy (not real name) from Ozark, Missouri is a staunch Matchbox Twenty fan. According to her, her favorite line from “If You’re Gone” is: “You think I’m weak, I think you’re wrong”.

This is what the said line means to her:

“That line gave me so much power in my head when I was preparing to leave my abusive ex. It also gave me the strength to overcome all the subsequent catastrophes that came after I left him. He wanted me to be weak but I wasn’t.”

4 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    What would you think if someone you were in love with sent you this song? Anyone?

    • S.B. (San Diego) says:

      It depends on who sent it to me? If is happened to be the man who is constantly on my mind. . well then, it would make me cry HAPPY tears!!😂💗

  2. Jim & Diane says:

    This song is what actually kept my husband and me Together, in 2001 we were “physically “ together but “mentally” separating, I was about to leave my house and go for a run and my husband was working out in our garage, the song “If you’re Gone came on, both of us listened and looked at each other; we Both looked at each other, we both got the feeling this song was being sung to us and from that day on we have reconnected and pursued more Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty songs and so many of “his” “their” songs relate to our life and help keep us together. 42 years May 30, celebrating that on July 27 with Matchbox 20
    at Jiffy Lube Live .

    • Anonymous says:

      I love your story, somebody I felt a lot for sent me this song I was trying to interpret what he was saying. I kind of thought this was what they were saying but it’s impossible congratulations for being together all that time that’s great I already had two and I’m not doing strike 3 through. Best Wishes to you both ????♥️

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