And When I Die

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"And When I Die"
Single by Blood, Sweat & Tears
from the album Blood, Sweat & Tears
B-side "Sometimes in Winter"
Released 1969
Format 7"
Recorded 1968
Genre Jazz rock
Length 4:06 (Album version)
3:26 (Single version)
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Laura Nyro
Producer(s) James William Guercio
Blood, Sweat & Tears singles chronology
"Spinning Wheel"
"And When I Die"
"Smiling Phases"

"And When I Die" is a song written by American singer Laura Nyro. It was first recorded by American folk group Peter, Paul and Mary in 1966. Nyro then recorded it on her 1967 debut album More Than a New Discovery. However, the song is probably best known for its third version by American rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears, which reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song gives a positive outlook about death, stating, in the chorus, "And when I die/and when I'm gone/there'll be one child born and a world/to carry on/to carry on."[1]

Song information[edit]

"And When I Die" was one of the first songs recorded by Nyro, when she was 17 years old.[2] She then sold the song to folk group Peter, Paul and Mary for $5000,[3] who then recorded the song for their sixth studio album The Peter, Paul and Mary Album.

The song was later recorded by American rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears for their self-titled second album and was eventually released as the third single from the album, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100; the album's previous two singles had also stalled at #2 on the Hot 100. The Blood, Sweat & Tears version exists in the album version, which features two instrumental portions, one featuring a player piano, and the other featuring horns and a clipped clopping sound, like a western cowboy song. Also, the pauses between the choruses and the other two verses are slightly longer, while the single version omits the two instrumental portions as well as the two pauses. The song begins with a harmonica solo, before the first verse comes in. The harmonica accompanies the other two verses.

The song was covered by The Heavy. This version was used in the season four finale of True Blood. The song was also covered by Joe 90 for the horror movie Final Destination.

Alison Krauss and Billy Childs, contributed an ethereal version of the song for the 2014 album "Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro." [4]


Chart (1969) Peak
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[5] 2


  1. ^ "And When I Die Lyrics". Song Meanings. Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  2. ^ "And When I Die by Blood, Sweat & Tears Songfacts". Songfacts. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  3. ^ "Laura Nyro Biography". Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "And When I Die - Blood, Sweat & Tears". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 

External links[edit]