Friday, 18 September 2015

What's the Meaning of Real Gone?

On an answers site Zhengyue asked "What's the meaning of “real gone” as in the song Real Gone by Sheryl Crow?"  Someone brought up Van's Real, Real Gone that predates it and suggests he has "gone one better".  

For the hard core Van fan who won't find much of interest in this post:  By Real, Real Gone, do you think Van is referring to his epiphany on Cyprus Avenue or his general love of great artists like Ray Charles, James Brown, etc. who take him away to another place and time?

Real Gone?

Bill Lefurgy   -   "Everybody's lookin' for a way to get real gone."
Does that mean something cool?

Kris   -   Gone for good? 

Shoe 2   -   Van Morrison went one better with his classic Real Real Gone

Paul Richter   -   Let's not forget Boney M's camp disco classic Rasputin and the lyric  "There was a cat that really was gone."

Bill Lefurgy   -   The term generally means something like absent from normal concerns or behaviour in a way that's cool or outrageous in a hip way. The Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions defines real gone as "really cool; mellow and pleasant. (See also gone.) : Man, this music is real gone." 

It can also mean mellowed through drugs or alcohol. The top Urban Dictionary definition says "another word for high." In some uses, the term leans more toward excited behaviour; Straight from the Fridge, Dad: A Dictionary of Hipster Slang defines it as 1. Far out, wild, totally sent and 2. Insane. The term has been around for a while, as evidenced by the 1954 cartoon "Real Gone Woody." The earliest reference I could find to the term is 1941 in Google Books, in These I Like Best: The Favourite Novels and Stories of Kathleen Norris.

Hugo   -   In fact, the Kathleen Norris reference you found is originally from Little Ships, first published in 1925. 

Durango Mustafa   -   What about Tom Wait's 2004 album called Real Gone? Where does that fit in the Real or Real Real Gone canon? Anybody? 
Bill Lefurgy   -   Interesting that the term was used that far back. 
Hugo   -   The OED has two relevant definitions of 'gone'. The first has citations from 1598: Lost, ruined, undone. Also, a gone case, a hopeless case; gone sensation (feeling), a feeling of faintness or utter exhaustion.. I think this applies to Maggie needing coffee in Norris 1940. The fourth has citations from 1946 defining it as very inspired or excited; ‘out of this world’; extremely satisfying; excellent; especially in the phrase 'real gone'. Slang (orig. U.S. jazz musicians'). 

And there's a "Mr. Markham's real gone on that young lady," he said to himself. at the top of page 123 in the 1890's Heart of Gold, that is more like "a hopeless case" than "out of this world", but I suppose both could apply. 

Hunky Dory   -   I must suggest a great record by Gone which is called Let's Get Real, Real Gone for a Change. Brilliant.  Also, who is gonna come out with something called Real Real Real Gone? Great name for a mature cheese. 

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