Day 591: And When I Die

When I was in my mid-teens, “And When I Die” was one my favorite songs.

Here are three versions, from YouTube:   Blood, Sweat &Tears,

(found here )

Peter Paul and Mary,

(found here)

and Laura Nyro 

(found here )

…  who wrote “And When I Die,” when she was in her mid-teens.

Here are the lyrics:

And when I die and when I’m dead, dead and gone,
there’ll be one child born and a world to carry on, to carry on.

I’m not scared of dying and I don’t really care.
If it’s peace you find in dying, well, then let the time be near.
If it’s peace you find in dying, and if dying time is here,
just bundle up my coffin cause it’s cold way down there,
I hear that’s it’s cold way down there, yeah, crazy cold way down there.
And when I die and when I’m gone,
there’ll be one child born and a world to carry on, to carry on.

My troubles are many, they’re as deep as a well.
I can swear there ain’t no heaven but I pray there ain’t no hell.
Swear there ain’t no heaven and pray there ain’t no hell,
but I’ll never know by living, only my dying will tell,
only my dying will tell, yeah, only my dying will tell.
And when I die and when I’m gone,
there’ll be one child born and a world to carry on, to carry on.

Give me my freedom for as long as I be.
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me.
All I ask of living is to have no chains on me,
And all I ask of dying is to go naturally.
Oh I want to go naturally.
And when I die and when I’m gone,
there’ll be one child born and a world to carry on, to carry on.

And when that song is on my mind — like, now — what might that mean?

  1. Lots of people, including those in my therapy groups, have been talking about death and dying this week (perhaps because of Robin Williams).
  2. I am flying on a plane, tomorrow, to Edinburgh, Scotland, with my one child born.
  3. I’ve thought a lot about death, since before I first heard that song (probably because of medical challenges I’ve faced my whole life).
  4. A few days ago, my son said to me, “I’ll probably read your blog after you die” (which I found comforting).

These are all just guesses.

Guesses are going to have to be good enough today, people, because I have to go to work!

And when I end  —  and before I’m gone — there’ll be one photo shown:

IMG_7964

Thanks to my son; to Laura Nyro; to Blood, Sweat & Tears;  to Peter, Paul and Mary; to people who work in groups; to those who deal with death and dying; and to you — of course! — for being here, now.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Day 591: And When I Die

  1. When I read what your son said, tears welled up in my eyes. What a beautiful statement — so poignant.

    I too loved that song.

    And I think, because I just finished writing about another man’s son, your son’s statement hit me even harder.

    Thank you Ann for opening my day in love and memory and possibility.

    And for the songs! Always did like BS&T!

  2. PS — love the Laura Nyro jazzie version!

  3. An interesting topic Ann. Here’s one of my favourite songs regarding when I die. ❤

    Diana xo

  4. I always liked that song, too, but only knew the version by Blood, Sweat and Tears. Thanks for introducing the others. I’m a little astonished at having missed PP&M’s.

    Your son is a mensch and a sweetheart, Ann. Perhaps while you are on the plane with him this week, you can compose together a song called, “And When I Fly.”

    Perhaps you can leave the password for your blog for him in your will, and when you go (a long, long time from now) there will be one blogger more to carry on, to carry on.

  5. sweeet!
    may we all
    have beautiful continuations 🙂

  6. I’m back!

    I don’t fear death. I am annoyed by it. I mean it’s going to interrupt an existence that I’m rather enjoying. 🙂

    Maybe I’ll have time to go over all the posts of yours that I missed…but I doubt it. Maybe before I die though. 🙂

  7. Gene Phillips

    It’s been a long time since I thought of that song. Of course, in the big picture, more than one child carries on, so there are more and more of us for the world to support. Have a great trip with Aaron!

  8. That song was great, is great, will always be great, all three versions, Ann, and the different ways they present themselves for us to think about the big passing.

    And as you get closer to taking that other trip across the ocean with Aaron, may I bring up another favorite song done by BST: “God Bless the Child.”

    • I was thinking about that song today also, Mark. And many, many thanks for another version of a great comment from you.

  9. Facing the inevitable, being here now … and enjoying life with some inspiring music sounds like a great way to live Ann 🙂

  10. I remember thinking, after my two girls did a wonderful thing for me, I don’t mind if I go now, since I’ll be leaving them to carry on. Flying is good catch-up with yourself time, when you can’t run around worrying about all the things that need doing. Have a great time in Scotland.

  11. I hope you have a nice trip, and enjoy the beautiful city of Edinburgh. 🙂

  12. Pingback: Day 675: Eyes | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  13. Pingback: Day 768: Are you OK? | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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