Alfred Lord Tennyson and The Band Perry

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.”

(from “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry)

I came across an article on the sister-and-two-brother music group, The Band Perry, on the USA Today website (see article here). On YouTube, I watched their music video, If I Die Young (see video here).  It’s an exquisitely visual and lyrical paean to dying young with a lovely fiddle accompaniment.  In the video, Kimberly is shown clutching a volume of Tennyson as she floats down a river Lady Shalott-like in a boat with the song ending with a fade-into-focus shot on the book opened to the poem, The Lady of Shalott ( see complete poem here at You can see an image of John William Waterhouse’s painting, “The Lady of Shalott” here. )  They describe their sound as “modern throwback” with their roots in traditional country music combined with a modern sensibility.

I dusted off my long-forgotten Wordsworth Poetry Library edition of The Works of Alfred Lord Tennyson, and began to read and savor again the poems of this oft neglected poet.

May my lips be ever glistening with the juice of grapes;
My days ever filled with the merry sound of a reed.
May my heart be ever free from the burden of worldly cares,
So I may lightly skip and dance amidst the sun-drenched fields
And find repose beneath a shady oak beside a stream
To sing my  songs of everlasting joy and praise
Until the sun goes down and night comes to call me home.
©2011 All Rights Reserved


About poeticmeditations

A 19th-century romantic poet living in the 21st-century. The Romantic poets, nib pens, candlelight, waistcoats, and pocket watches are a few of my favorite things.
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2 Responses to Alfred Lord Tennyson and The Band Perry

  1. What is the full name of this poem by Tennyson? I can’t find the full text anywhere. Thank you!

    • The title of the poem shown in the video is “The Lady of Shalott” by Tennyson where the Lady of Shalott floats down the river to Camelot. Charles Keeping illustrated this poem. The actual lyrics to the song, “If I Die Young” were written by the Band Perry.

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