Music Lyrics #19 – If I Die Young (The Band Perry)


I find so much importance for me in music, as I have explained in the past. Many people hear the music and like a song, but miss the lyrics. When I first heard The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young”, I was immediately struck by how many different levels it spoke to.

At first listen, I thought it a sad song about someone who died early and what was missed for them in their life. According to the lead singer, Kimberly Perry, in an interview in The Boot, the song has many meanings for them:

“That song works on so many levels and means different things to different people. It was just one of those songs that you felt like was meant to be on planet earth. We were just real humble to have the pen and paper in hand when it was ready to come, and for us it is a statement of contentment. We finished that song and just looked at each other and said, ‘How cool is this that we were able to put feet to our dreams?’ So many people work so hard for so long and for whatever reason are not able, or don’t have the opportunity to access their dreams. So for us it was a statement of you know what, if it all ends at this moment for whatever reason even at our young ages, we’ve gotten to live and love so well and so completely. And that’s what it means to us.”

But as we know, art is subjective. I would believe most of the idea of song is just a person leaving early until, to me, the most meaningful lyric of the song, when she sings “funny when your dead, how people start listenin'”. To me, it spoke of an unheard voice and the only way this young person would be heard is through their death. I find this same thing in those that commit bullycide. Many don’t believe they are heard or believed until the drastic day they take their own life. That is a tragedy that cannot be reversed, but is heard by everyone after they are gone.

So I share now with you, the song “If I Die Young” and the lyrics that speak to me of the importance of listening to our youth and not waiting until a tragic young death to hear what is being said.

“If I Die Young”

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in a river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song
Uh oh, uh oh
Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh,
And life ain’t always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain’t even grey, but she buries her babyThe sharp knife of a short life, oh well
I’ve had just enough time

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

The sharp knife of a short life, oh well
I’ve had just enough time

And I’ll be wearing white, when I come into your kingdom
I’m as green as the ring on my little cold finger,
I’ve never known the lovin’ of a man
But it sure felt nice when he was holdin’ my hand,
There’s a boy here in town, says he’ll love me forever,
Who would have thought forever could be severed by…

…the sharp knife of a short life, oh well?
I’ve had just enough time

So put on your best, boys, and I’ll wear my pearls
What I never did is done

A penny for my thoughts, oh, no, I’ll sell ’em for a dollar
They’re worth so much more after I’m a goner
And maybe then you’ll hear the words I been singin’
Funny when you’re dead how people start listenin’

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Uh oh (uh, oh)
The ballad of a dove (uh, oh)
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep ’em in your pocket
Save ’em for a time when you’re really gonna need ’em, oh

The sharp knife of a short life, oh well
I’ve had just enough time

So put on your best, boys, and I’ll wear my pearls.

One thought on “Music Lyrics #19 – If I Die Young (The Band Perry)

  1. Pingback: Music Lyrics #19 – If I Die Young (The Band Perry) | Bullying Help

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