If I Die Young might be a song with death in its title but it’s mostly about living. It’s not about the narrator inviting the listener to live to the fullest, but it’s more saying that:
“Even though my life was cut short, I am satisfied with the time I’ve had – I’ve had just enough time.”
If I Die Young is a song that touched people from older generations. While performing the song at a concert, The Band Perry saw an older woman standing in the scorching heat with a sign on which the words: “She died young” were written, signed with her daughter’s name.
Kimberly Perry delivers the song brilliantly. She doesn’t under or over-sing. She handles the melody with restraint and impeccable nuances. Her slightly weathered voice adds magnificence to the song. The subtle harmonies that her brothers deliver in the background added to the song’s magnificence.
The song’s effect
Nothing is more testament to how people perceive If I Die Young than the response the three members of The Band Perry received because of that song. The most famous story regarding the song comes in the form of a letter than Kimberly received, containing a necklace with a letter from an eighteen-year-old girl who lost her best friend to cancer. The girl was contemplating suicide, mourning her friend, and If I Die Young came on the radio. The girl heard so much life in that song that she sent The Band Perry her most prized possession, the necklace her friend gave her before passing away.
You cannot listen to If I Die Young without feeling something. It is a song that crosses age boundaries and touches everyone regardless of personal background or even musical preference. We’ve all had someone who died young. It is a song that calls after you to live and enjoy life. It calls on you to love your life and to have no regrets always. It’s no wonder it stands out on pop radio among all the electronic music being played. It rises way beyond clubbing songs that you would hear before and after it, simply because this is a raw, authentic and real.
For the record…
The Band Perry won the Single of the Year award at the 2011 CMA Awards for this song. The sibling trio was also awarded New Artist of the Year, while Kimberly Perry claimed an additional Song of the Year trophy for penning this tune.
The Band Perry
“So play us long and play us loud. The Band Perry is here, and we just have so darn much to say.” – Kimberly Perry
The Band Perry is composed of siblings: lead vocalist and guitarist Kimberly Perry, bass guitarist Reid Perry and drummer Neil Perry.
The Perry kids moved to Mobile, Alabama with their parents after a childhood spent in Jackson, Mississippi. Kimberly started her first band at age 15, with 10-year-old Reid and eight-year-old Neil observing every rehearsal from the sidelines. Later on, the siblings spent years traveling, performing, and honing their skills before signing with the Universal Republic in 2009 and being catapulted into the spotlight with “If I Die Young.” To this day, they are most comfortable onstage.
“Just learning that craft made us feel comfortable when we started to book shows at the big arenas that we’re now getting to play,” Neil says.