And When I Die

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

"Spinning Wheel"
(1969)
"And When I Die"
(1969)
"Smiling Phases"
(1969)

"And When I Die" is a song written by American singer and songwriter Laura Nyro. It was first recorded by American folk group Peter, Paul and Mary in 1966. Nyro released her own version on her debut album More Than a New Discovery in February 1967.

The song is best known for its third version by American rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears. This recording reached #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and became a Gold record. It reached #1 in Canada, December 1969.

Lyrics[edit]

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 jazz-rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears for their self-titled second album. It 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 arrangement is very different from previous versions. It was also released an album version and an edited single version. The album version features two instrumental portions, one featuring an RMI Electra Piano, and the other featuring horns and temple blocks, like a western cowboy song. Also, the pauses between the choruses and the other two verses are longer than on the edited version.

The song was also recorded by The Heavy. This version was used in the season four finale of True Blood. The song was also played by Joe 90 in the horror movie Final Destination (2000).

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

A line from the song is sung at the end of season one, episode three in the 2016 series "Van Helsing" when Doc, played by Rukiya Bernard, is healed and returned from a feral - zombie - state to a human state.

Chart history[edit]

Chart (1969) Peak
position
Australia Kent Music Report[5] 4
Canada RPM Top Singles[6] 1
Canada RPM Adult Contemporary[7] 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 2
US Billboard Easy Listening 4

References[edit]

  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". Biography.com. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  4. ^ Danton, Eric R. (July 15, 2014). "Alison Krauss Joins Billy Childs on Laura Nyro's 'And When I Die' (Exclusive)". WSJ. Retrieved August 23, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2016-10-20. Retrieved 2017-05-07. 
  6. ^ RPM Top Singles, October 11, 1969
  7. ^ RPM Adult Contemporary, December 6, 1969
  8. ^ "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]