This shouldn’t be an uplifting song…
“My troubles are many, they’re as deep as a well
I can swear there ain’t no heaven but I pray there ain’t no hell”
But Lyro Nyro’s voice convinces you…
“I’m not scared of dying and I don’t really care
If it’s peace you find in dying, well, then let the time be near”
And that acceptance, along with the simple hope…
“And when I die and when I’m gone
There’ll be one child born and a world to carry on, to carry on”
translates into a song that always adds strength to my resolve.
I’m including Laura Nyro’s original demo version along with a strong cover by The Heavy. (Plus, as a bonus, versions by Blood, Sweat & Tears and a college-age Karen Carpenter.)
Nyro wrote the song at 17. Here’s her demo:
Nyro sold the song to Peter, Paul & Mary. They had the first release.
This version was recorded in 1969 by Karen Carpenter and Wanda Freeman while at Cal State Long Beach (YouTube deleted the original link. Now a link to DailyMotion):
Carpenters – and When I die (1968) by ssoko
Finally, this version by The Heavy was featured in True Blood. Their changes take out some of the bounce, but leave in the heart.
Read more about Laura Nyro.