Making Meaning: Morgan Erina on “When You’re Gone” by The Cranberries

This is the second post in our new Making Meaning series! Last time, Trevor of The Long Hunt talked about the meaning he makes of their song “Cantiga 166 (Tower of Set).” This time, we’re looking at the other side of this series: artists talking about the meaning they make from songs they love but that aren’t theirs.

Today I’m excited to share the meaning that Morgan Erina makes of “When You’re Gone” by The Cranberries. I first heard Morgan talk about her fascination with Dolores O’Riordon on the Petticoat Rule podcast she did back in March 2018. Morgan spoke a lot about being a musician, mental health issues, and using music as a support. It was really interesting and helpful. Check out the full interview – and many others – on the Petticoat Rule website.

I could really relate to Morgan’s inventive coping skills, as I, too, escaped to a world of imaginary rock ‘n rolling to get me through some tough times as child. I’m glad both of us ended up becoming musicians for real.

Let’s make some meaning…

Making Meaning: The Background

Morgan Erina is an indie/folk singer-songwriter. Her use of finger-picking and the rawness of her voice have drawn many fans to her music. The quality of her music and her prolificacy have kept them listening. Morgan grew up in New York City (she still plays there often) but has lived in Pittsburgh, PA for seven years now.

Morgan Erina. Photo by Rick Genser.

In 2009 she released Skeleton Butterflies and Whatever. She was part of the duo Broken Fences between 2011 and 2014, releasing Broken Fences in 2012 and Stormy Clouds in 2013. Her 2016 solo EP Lady received positive reviews, as well. In fact, Lady was named #2 Top Local Album by WYEP in 2016.

You can catch Morgan live at the Deutschtown Music Festival in Pittsburgh in July. Check out to learn more about her, stay up-to-date with her shows, and listen to her music! You can also follow her on Facebook.

Making Meaning: The Song

Listen to the song “When You’re Gone” by The Cranberries from their 1996 album To The Faithful Departed as you learn what meaning Morgan makes.


“I would put The Cranberries on, and pretend I was the fifth member of the band.” – Morgan Erina

Right now, [this song] means everything. When I was growing up, I was more than a bit of a loner, an outcast…loser… I would put The Cranberries on, and pretend I was the fifth member of the band. Had this whole story line, Dolores and I were very close friends, and we started this band and harmonized and performed for hundreds of people. We went on for years like this, happy until one day, I got sick and we performed right up until the day that I had to pass away. This is the last song we sang.

“So this song is especially meaningful to me because Dolores comforted me, made me feel a part of something.” – Morgan Erina

Sounds crazy, but stories and imagining/pretending were all I had to make me feel better in the real world. I’d get bullied at school, and then come home and I was in a rock band! Ha ha! She basically taught me how to sing and harmonize. I have harmonies for every single Cranberries song ever. So this song is especially meaningful to me because Dolores comforted me, made me feel a part of something. I wish I could have told her. She wasn’t supposed to die before me, that wasn’t part of the story line. – Morgan Erina

Here’s the video version that Morgan picked to share.


Thanks to Morgan for sharing the meaning she makes for this song! I appreciate her honest, endearing story. And, thank you for making meaning with us!

If you like what we’re doing, please support us by subscribing to Of Music and Mind, following us on social media, and telling others about us! Are you an artist who would like to share the meaning you make about a song? Contact usBe well!