"If I Die Young" as written by and Kimberly Perry....
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

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 colours, oh and
Life ain't always what you think it oughta be, no
Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby
The sharp knife of a short life,
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,
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 holding 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,
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 them 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
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep 'em in your pocket
Save 'em for a time when your really gonna need 'em oh

The sharp knife of a short life,
Well I've had just enough time
So put on your best boys, and I'll wear my pearls


Lyrics submitted by babyghostrogue

"If I Die Young" as written by Kimberly Perry

Lyrics © MAJOR BOB MUSIC, INC.

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If I Die Young song meanings
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84 Comments

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  • +9
    General Comment I personally think that this song is absolutely beautiful. Kimberly Perry's vocals are not original, but they are classic bluegrass. It is worth noting that bluegrass vocalists don't make careers as singers, but they make careers by songwriting, and by being in bands surrounded by great bluegrass musicians. All that aside,to grasp the full effect of the song, you almost have to watch the music video ( youtube.com/… ).

    The song alludes to Lord Tennyson's poem "The Lady of Shalott" (based off a legend from the days of King Arthur, Elaine of Astolat), and a collection of Tennyson's poems is a freqent image in the video. Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott" is a poem about a girl living in a mysterious tower, who is cursed with death if she should leave. The Lady of Shalott does leave and she takes a boat and floats down a river toward Camelot. She dies while singing before she arrives. She is found with the boat near Camelot, and Sir Lancelot and all the people marvel at her beauty.

    One of my favorite lines, "Send me away to the words of a love song", is spirited and light and still inneocent in the face of death. It inspires me and haunts me.

    I am hoping that this song gets some solid radio airplay, because it is truly a nice song. Thanks for reading.
    gimmerain4dayson June 02, 2010   Link
  • +6
    Memory"There's a boy here in town says he'll love me forever" I can't hear this song and especially that line, without weeping.

    On October 18th, 2011 a drunk driver murdered my beloved Rose. She was seventeen. In broad daylight, he careened around a corner, jumped the sidewalk and struck her from behind.

    Then he drove away as she lay dying.

    She was 150 feet from my house, where I was waiting to join her on our walk to school, a path we had taken together every single day for over 12 years.

    We met when we were 4 years old; we started dating in the 7th grade. She was the only girl I have ever kissed or held hands with. She was pure and innocent and the most beautiful girl I have ever met.

    I am that boy here in town who will love her forever.
    Warriorskaldon February 22, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"Never known the lovin' of a man
    But it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand, there's a
    Boy here in town says he'll, love my forever"
    My favourite lyrics. It seems like it totaly fits with the whole dying young theme. When your young, love is a mystery, and people try to convince you they love you. We always say it will last forever, and it rarely ever does. And you never know if your really in "love" but you love the display of affection(it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand).

    Great job! Amazing song. Similair voice to some, but still goregeous and fits the song.
    messyroo232on February 25, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI believe the meaning of this song is very literal. I lost my son who was only 14 last February to a freak car accident. This is the first song about death I have heard that really touched me. I literally cried for an hour after hearing it for the first time. I love the line about the rainbow shining down on their mother. I spent 30 days in the hospital watching my son die and I had hours and hours to think about how short life is and the things we stress over on a daily basis dont' matter much in the end.

    I'm really sad at how many young women believe this song is about suicide, which leads me to believe that they are contemplating it. Please don't, it's a selfish act and things will get better. Appreciate what you have now and enjoy your life everyday.
    Indie_Queenon June 29, 2011   Link
  • +3
    My OpinionI literally cry every time I listen to it, but it is a very touching song.

    From Wikipedia:

    "If I Die Young" is a mid-tempo accompanied by acoustic guitar, banjo, accordion, mandolin, and fiddle. The song's female narrator describes being content with the life she has lived, assuring others that if she were to die at her young age, that she would have no regrets. She recognizes that once someone passes away, others seem to pay attention to life more: "And maybe then you’ll hear the words I been singin' / Funny when you're dead how people start listenin'." So, she states that "if she dies young," then her family left behind should "save their tears" for a time when they're really gonna need them." She is not scared of death, because she knows she had a good life.

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    Try living live to it's fullest, as anyone could die at any moment, including you.

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    I would like to say this song IS about suicide, For a moment imagine that little girl on the playground, that always was getting made fun of, everyday over and over again...called names every single day from elementary school threw Jr. High !!!! Now as that little girl, she is imagining herself in her "fairy tail world" this part of the song...
    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 .....IS her "fairy tail world"
    This part of the song .....
    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 baby...
    She still cares for her family, but to the little girl this life is not the fairy tail world and is to hard to face day in and day out....

    The sharp knife of a short life, well
    I've had, just enough time....
    this part means well she's had, just enough time of this life and does not want any more to do with it.

    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 holding my hand, there's a
    Boy here in town says he'll,love my forever
    Who would have thought forever could be severed by
    The sharp knife of a short life, well
    I've had, just enough time

    "Green" meaning young and innocent
    "But it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand, there's a
    Boy here in town says he'll, love my forever"
    This part is a child's "first crush"

    A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell them 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 your dead how people start listenin'

    People didn't see her hurting inside she may have told her parents and teacher's but they just told her to ignore them saying this is just a phase it will get better, but to her she heard "it's never going to change"
    "so put on your best boys and I'll wear my pearls" "what i never did is done" this could be her way of saying i told you and you didn't listen, so you will have to live with this.
    and for saving your tears, could mean she wasn't worth crying about before so why do it now.

    This is just what I got from the song and if this is what the song is truly about is sends a very powerful message about children having to deal with day to day life.
    Source(s):
    I have been doing a lot of research on Alternative Aggression in children....so I guess this is why I perceived this song as being about adolescent suicide.

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    [Sorry for this being SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO long!] {I always have lots of opinions}


    PoeticLoveon September 15, 2011   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI think the song is actually written more from the point of view of Kimberly Perry. She said it was written pre-record deal and it's about how her and the boys have done everything they set out to do so far. In an old, old interview, when KP was 20, she mentioned her purity ring - she was gonna save her virginity for her future husband. Now, I don't know whether she still wears the ring and has kept that promise, or not. However, this song was written in 2007 - KP was about 23. I think she was definitely still a virgin at that point in time - "I'll be wearing white" (white is symbolic for purity and virginity), "I've never known the loving of a man, but it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand" (she's been in love, but not had sex). Plus, the ring could be a purity ring. I always interpreted that line as she's inexperienced at life (green). "Who would have thought forever could be severed by..." could be commenting on how young people think they are invincible and won't ever die. "Save 'em for a time when you're really gonna need 'em" I think means that death is not so bad - she doesn't want her family to cry over her because there are worse things than death (I don't know what, but I think she's saying that she's not suffering, so maybe she thinks that life can be worse than death?)


    Yep, I really don't think this has anything to do with suicide. It's just about how Kimberly is sure that if she died now, she would have had "just enough time" to do all she set out to do. The message is that life is fleeting and can be cut short at any time and so you should live it well.
    tennesseeonmymindon April 23, 2012   Link
  • +2
    MemoryMy cousin David was talking last month about how if he dies, he wanted this song played at his funeral. Sadly, he passed on Christmas, and this song was played at his funeral yesterday. Now I can't listen to this song without shedding a tear, but it's beautiful.
    MyDearestJulieton December 30, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Commentmy child just died april 28, 2012 her name eas sydney jane but we called her soso
    so to me this song hits home deeply the brige
    " a pennie for my thoughts, oh no i sell emfor a a dollar
    they're worth so much more after im a goner
    amd maybe then you'll hear the words i been singin'
    funny, when your dea how people start listening"
    was amazing and too true
    this song to me is the tragity of losing a child
    kaysosoon June 29, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe first time I heard this song I hated it because it hit so close to home for me. A friend of mine passed away last summer and the words were just haunting. But now I've grown to really like the song, and I really don't think it's a negative song at all. I think it basically says, I've done all I've wanted/needed to do and if it's my time to go, don't feel bad for me because I have no regrets. It's so beautiful.
    nwc13on August 04, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmy favorite lyric is "Funny when your dead how people start listenin'" .
    th3xRid3x0fxY0urxLif3on October 19, 2010   Link

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