♫ Gone Too Soon ♫

I don’t know why I felt compelled to play this one tonight, but I did.  Perhaps thinking of the way things are, the way they ought to be.  Perhaps I’m just in a sad mood and the song played into that.  This one always brings back so many memories as I watch the video, listen to the music.  Memories of a friend who died of AIDS in the early part of this century, memories of following the Ryan White story, of the sadness when he died on 08 April 1990 of AIDS …

This song was written by Larry Grossman and Buz Kohan, and later sung by Michael Jackson, who dedicated the song to AIDS victim Ryan White. The American teenager became a national poster child for HIV/AIDS in the United States after being expelled from school because of his infection. Jackson befriended Ryan prior to his death.

Jackson performed this song at former President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration ball on January 20, 1993, where Michael gave the following dedication …

“Thank you, mister President-elect, for inviting me to your inauguration gala. I would like to take a moment from this very public ceremony to speak of something very personal. It concerns a dear friend of mine who is no longer with us. His name is Ryan White. He was a hemophiliac who was diagnosed with the AIDS virus when he was eleven. He died shortly after turning eighteen, the very time most young people are beginning to explore life’s wonderful possibilities. My friend Ryan was a very bright, very brave, and very normal young man who never wanted to be a symbol or a spokesperson for a deadly disease. Over the years, I’ve shared many silly, happy, and painful moments with Ryan and I was with him at the end of his brief but eventful journey. Ryan is gone and just as anyone who has lost a loved one to AIDS, I miss him deeply and constantly. He is gone, but I want his life to have meaning beyond his passing. It is my hope, President-elect Clinton, that you and your administration commit the resources needed to eliminate this awful disease that took my friend, and ended so many promising lives before their time. This song is for you Ryan” – Michael Jackson, January 1993.

R&B singer-songwriter Usher performed this song at Jackson’s memorial service on July 7, 2009.

Now, most of that I knew, but what I didn’t know was that Dionne Warwick first performed (but never recorded) the song in February 1983 on a TV special as a tribute to many performers, including Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, John Belushi, Cass Elliot, John Lennon, Bobby Darin, Minnie Riperton, Sam Cooke, Harry Chapin, Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Croce, Bobby Van and Karen Carpenter who had died days earlier. Later on the same day, Jackson called Kohan explaining he had wept while watching the performance and that he felt he wanted to record it some day.

This version was produced by Jackson and co-produced by Bruce Swedien for Jackson’s eighth studio album, Dangerous (1991).  The song was released on December 1, 1993, as the ninth and final single from the Dangerous album. Following its release—on World AIDS Day of 1993—Gone Too Soon became a moderate chart success in several countries: France, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland and the UK. The song was released as a cassette single in the US, and became a hit in Zimbabwe, where it charted at number 3.

Gone Too Soon
Michael Jackson

Like a comet
Blazing ‘cross the evening sky
Gone too soon

Like a rainbow
Fading in the twinkling of an eye
Gone too soon

Shiny and sparkly
And splendidly bright
Here one day
Gone one night

Like the loss of sunlight
On a cloudy afternoon
Gone too soon

Like a castle
Built upon a sandy beach
Gone too soon

Like a perfect flower
That is just beyond your reach
Gone too soon

Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight
Here one day
Gone one night

Like a sunset
Dying with the rising of the moon
Gone too soon

Gone too soon

Songwriters: Larry Grossman / Alan “buz” Kohan
Gone Too Soon lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Spirit Music Group

11 thoughts on “♫ Gone Too Soon ♫

  1. Pingback: ♫ Gone Too Soon ♫ — Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  2. Buddy Holly, J. P Richardson, Richie Valens, Jimmy Dean, Sal Mineo, Marilyn Munroe, Brian Jones, Bobby Fuller, off the top of my head. All the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Some men too.
    And all the nameless people we never got to know. I won’t put any names here, but I lost a number of friends as a young person. Suicides, car accidents, drug overdoses, murders, whatever. All gone too soon.
    I never heard this song before.
    Thank you, Jill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And Jim Croce. And Sam Cooke. Yes, and all the others … I lost a couple of friends to the Vietnam War, a couple to car crashes, but none that I’m aware of to drug overdoses or murders.


  3. The stigma and misinformation around HIV/AIDS in the 80s and 90s were so devastating and heartbreaking. We saw it rear it’s ugly head again in a smaller way with monkey pox earlier this year too. We need more compassion in this world.

    Hope you’re feeling better, Jill!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems to be human nature that people fear that which they do not and cannot understand, so HIV/AIDS and those who got it were shunned and might well have been told to wear a scarlet letter in another time. It still saddens me to think about it. I don’t think the world paid much attention to monkey pox, as it was overshadowed by the Covid pandemic, and I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t know much about it. But yes, we definitely need more compassion and understanding in this world.

      Thanks, Ab … no, I’m still pretty depressed about the state of the world today and feeling a lot like … why bother to keep fighting when the majority of people aren’t even listening, that nothing will change no matter what small things we do. Sigh. But, don’t worry … this, too, shall pass. I just wish the holidays were over so I could stop pretending to be joyous.

      Liked by 1 person

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