Monday, September 26, 2011

If I Die Young

OK, This song, "If I Die Young," was playing on every freaking radio station last month when I was driving alone around western Massachusetts for three weeks. At first I thought it was insanely hokey and awful and ridiculously over the top melodramatic teenage goofiness that someone thought would sell, and put production behind and made into this hit song that mothers and teenagers would all grab onto and connect with and cry over.

I pictured teenage girls all over America learning the easy chord progression and singing it on their guitars all dramatically alone in their bedrooms twenty times in a row. Which they are most definitely doing. Just YouTube it.

But the thing was, I couldn't change the station. I kept coming across that same damn song, and finding myself singing alone. It was catchy. It was a ridiculously catchy song about a dying - or dead - teenage girl. It was "Tell Laura I Love Her" and "Teen Angel" and Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.

I finally had to give in. I liked it. I liked the singer's sweet, good voice, the guys' harmonies, the simple arrangement with folksy guitar/mandolin/accordion/base/drums, a little banjo, a little fiddle. Wait, this was really beautiful. OK. It's a freaking beautiful song.

I thought it was Taylor Swift or someone like that, but I just remembered it tonight, since I haven't heard it since I got back to L.A., and looked it up. It's a band called "The Band Perry," and it's a cute blond girl and her two younger brothers - the Perrys, from Alabama. They're adorable.

Just look how adorable they are:

Adorable in the Studio
Adorable Live in Oregon
Adorable Making This Music Video
I had to play it for Michael when I realized he hadn't been subjected to the constant inundation of  "If I Die Young," like I had - at first acknowledging how ridiculously over the top sappy I knew it was, knowing that he would hate it, but he liked it right away, which totally surprised me - but the musicianship is good! The voices are good. The song is good.

Suspend your cynicism and your coolness, and just try not to get all sentimental about your life, or someone you loved whose passed away - a friend, a relative, a dog... This song will be played at a million funerals with those 'celebrate their lives' slide shows. And now I'm feeling sad about all those dead teenage girls and young women that will be commemorated with this song. And old women, and grandpas and brothers and dads and cats and guinea pigs and soldiers and this death song is going to make this little family band a fortune! And that's OK because it's a good song and because they're good artists.

Go on... Play the video:

But please... the lyrics.. Srsly?

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
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
Life ain't always what you think it ought to be
Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby

The sharp knife of a short life
I've had just enough time...

Oh, and it goes on!

They just got five Country Music Association (CMA) award nominations, and more power to 'em. Good job. Youngin's. Their parents must be so proud.

And they're cool. Look what they just posted to Twitter. LOL.

Wish I just saw Pearl Jam last night. And that I had that leather jacket... Oh hell, OK, and that I could sing like that and had 5 CMA nominations and a hit song and was twenty something  years old... In fact, I'm going to start practicing guitar again now. I haven't played in a long time, since my Kobe Bryant finger injury last year, and I've barely played my ukulele Michael got me for Christmas two years ago.

AHA! Note for my next life: Instead of sitting alone in my room playing my guitar as a teenager, try to write more songs, take more guitar lessons, don't let my brother sell the piano, get a mandolin... Be more patient. Practice more. Give it more time. 


  1. You are so right. That is a catchy song and I like it too. Thanks for posting it and talking about it.

  2. you have a mandolin.

  3. Haha! Yes, I do have a mandolin NOW. I was talking to teenage me in my next life! LOL.

    You're right though. I should start playing the mandolin now. I only picked it up a couple of times and it hurt my fingers and the strings were too close together for me. I'm used to my wide neck '69 Yamaha nylon string classical guitar that feels like butter... I have spoiled soft fingers. Need to callous 'em up.

    Point taken.

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