If I Die Young by The Band Perry Symbolism


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What is the meaning of “If I Die Young” By the Band Perry?The Ban perry

The Band Perry is a country group that decided to talk about a tragic subject with their song If I Die Young. This song, written by the groups lead singer, Kimberly Perry, deals with the death of a young person. It’s a song about death and sadness in a time when the person who has passed should really just be starting to really live their lives.

The song expresses that if the singer were to die young for any number of reasons that she wants to be buried in a satin lined coffin with roses all around. “Sink me in the river, at dawn. Send me away with the words of a love song,” is a reference to older burial practices. In England and Ireland, the dead used to be sent down the river instead of buried in the ground. She wants words of love not tears of sorrow. No one wants to think of leaving their families crying, they want people to talk about how much they love them, not mourn them.

The song then relates how young this person is. She speaks of wanting a rainbow to shine on her mother so she knows that her child is safe in the afterlife. She talks about her mother burying her baby and she herself is not even grey. She’s young, too young to have to deal with any of this. No parent should have to bury a child but to not even herself be grey let you know how young the deceased really is.

If there is any doubt about how young this person is the she goes on to say “I’ve never known the lovin’ of a man.” Alluding to the fact that she’s young, still a virgin, and never had that in part of her life. She apparently had a boyfriend that had promised to love her forever. Obviously the fact that she’s gone makes forever shorter than they both expected.

“The sharp knife of a short life,” phrase of the song has often been mistaken as being a sign that the girl in the song has killed herself. This is not true. Losing someone at a young age, or tragically, is like a knife to the heart. It’s painful to lose someone in the early years of life just as being stabbed by a sharp knife would be extremely painful.

This song of death calls to the forefront that those who have died are often listened to more than those who are alive. “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.” We often think and remember those who are gone more than we pay attention to those who are still alive, reminding us that we need to cherish the here and now because it’ll never come again.

Losing a loved one is hard enough, but to lose a young member of your family is tragic. That’s what this song is all about.




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