Music Friday: The Band Perry’s ‘If I Die Young’ Saves a Life; Jewelry Mementos Tour With the Group

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we present the Country Music Association’s 2011 Song of the Year, “If I Die Young,” by The Band Perry. Since its release, the song has touched the hearts of countless fans, and in at least one case, saved a life.

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Written by lead vocalist Kimberly Perry, “If I Die Young” is an anthem about making the most of whatever time we are given on this Earth. In the last verse, she sings, “So put on your best, boys, and I’ll wear my pearls.” The song has sold 4.1 million digital copies, and the official video has been viewed more than 67 million times.

Perry recounted the story of an 18-year-old girl who sent the band a necklace with a little ring hanging on it. The hand-written note accompanying the jewelry explained that the author had recently lost her best friend to cancer and that she was going through a very dark period, overcome with grief.

The girl was contemplating suicide, but changed her mind after hearing “If I Die Young” on her car radio on the way home from work.

Referring to the jewelry, the girl wrote, “I’m sending this to you because it’s the most important thing I own. This song literally saved my life.”

The necklace and ring were gifts that the gravely ill girl had given to her friend just before she died. The surviving friend was so grateful that she decided to pass them along to the band. Perry now carries the mementos on tour as a constant reminder of how her song has really made a difference.

“It’s amazing to me,” Perry said, “how folks are finding so much life in a song about death.”

See the video at the end of this post. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“If I Die Young”

Music and lyrics by Kimberly Perry. Performed by The Band 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

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 gray, 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 loving 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 ’em for a dollar
They’re worth so much more after I’m a goner
And maybe then you’ll hear the words I been singing
Funny, when you’re dead how people start listening

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 ballad of a dove
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep ’em in your pocket
Save them for a time when you’re really gonna need them, 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

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