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Music Discussions

If I Die Young
A Quick Music Discussion Guide
10/06/2011

"If I Die Young" by The Band Perry

Main Point of Discussion: Every moment is an amazing gift from God to serve Him and seize the day for His glory. So rather than focusing on our own selfish desires and circumstances, we must see every opportunity to reach people for Christ as though it might be our last.

The Band:
The Band Perry is an American country music group from Tennessee who released their self-titled debut album in October of 2010. Kimberly, Neil, and Reid Perry are siblings who have been involved in music since childhood. They have received critical acclaim and nominations for top awards from the CMA and Grammys. "If I Die Young" has reached #1 on the country music charts, and number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Introducing the Song:
While passing out the lyrics, say: “The discussion we are having tonight is based on a song by The Band Perry called “If I Die Young”. This video has over 35 million hits, and it’s based on a classic poem by Lord Tennyson, called The Lady of Shalott, which is about a woman who was cursed to live alone in a tower and would die if she ever left. At the end of the poem, she escapes and dies within sight of a place where she could have found love. If you look closely at the end of the video, you’ll see Perry holding a book of Lord Tennyson’s poems.

Music Video:
You can download the song or play this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NJqUN9TClM

    Song Lyrics: If I Die Young
    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
    Uh oh, uh oh
    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 grey, but she buries her baby

    The sharp knife of a short life, oh 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 holdin' my hand
    there's a boy here in town says that he'll love me forever
    Whoever thought forever could be severed by
    The sharp knife of a short life
    oh 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

    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've been singing
    funny when you're dead how people start listenin'

    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

    Uh oh (uh, oh)
    The ballad of a dove (uh, oh)
    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 'em, oh
    The sharp knife of a short life, oh well
    I've had just enough time
    So put on your best boys
    And I'll wear my pearls

Transitional Statement:
Although this song is based on The Lady of Shalott poem, the message of the lyrics reflects a key Biblical truth about how we should approach the time we’ve been given on earth in light of our relationship with God. We can’t waste time; we’ve got to live our lives to the fullest starting right now!


Divide into Small Groups: Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we dive in, everyone share a brief description of a great or even perfect day that you had growing up.

  2. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are some common things that go into days we would call ‘perfect’?

  3. ASK A FEW: Is living life to the fullest a part of what goes into a great day? Why or why not?

  4. ASK A FEW: Based on the lyrics of “If I Die Young”, do you think she had at least a few great days? Why or why not?

  5. ASK A FEW: Do you think she has regrets? If so, what might they be?

  6. ASK A FEW: Is it reasonable for us to think about the possibility that we could die young? Why or why not?

  7. ASK A FEW: What do you think the girl in the song learned from dying young?

  8. ASK A FEW: What does the expression ‘seize the day’ mean? Does it relate to this song? Why or why not?

  9. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Acts 16:25-31
      About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing praises to God, while the other prisoners listened. Suddenly a strong earthquake shook the jail to its foundations. The doors opened, and the chains fell from all the prisoners.

      When the jailer woke up and saw that the doors were open, he thought that the prisoners had escaped. He pulled out his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! No one has escaped."

      The jailer asked for a torch and went into the jail. He was shaking all over as he knelt down in front of Paul and Silas. After he had led them out of the jail, he asked, "What must I do to be saved?"

      They replied, "Have faith in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved!

  10. ASK A FEW: In this story, Paul and Silas are probably under the impression that they could die early for telling people about Jesus. Yet in the midst of these terrible conditions, what are they doing?

  11. ASK A FEW: Why did Paul and Silas stay in jail when they could have escaped?

  12. ASK A FEW: Do you think Paul and Silas care more about people than their own comfort? Why or why not?

  13. ASK A FEW: How did Paul and Silas ‘seize the day’ for Christ?

  14. ASK A FEW: What was the result of living out their faith? (Leaders - The jailer trusted Jesus instead of committing suicide.)

  15. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Philippians 1:21
      For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.

  16. ASK A FEW: This was written by Paul - one of the men in the story we just talked about. What does this verse and the idea of ‘seizing the day’ have in common?

  17. ASK A FEW: What’s the difference between ‘seizing the day’ for ourselves and seizing it for Christ?

  18. ASK A FEW: How can this verse help us when we are tempted to fear our dying young?

  19. ASK A FEW: Would seizing each day for Christ give us many more ‘perfect days’ in the future? Why or why not?

  20. AROUND THE CIRCLE: How are you going to ‘seize the day”’ for God this week?

Transitional Statement:
It is natural for us to sometimes worry that we might die young, but when those moments arise, we need to take those fears and use them to motivate us to seize the day for Christ. Just like Paul and Silas, even when life is at its low points, there is always opportunity to care more about people than our comfort, and more about sharing Jesus than escaping our circumstances.


Wrap Up:
Pass out a blank piece of paper and give the students time to reflect on the discussion and respond to these prompts:
    If I had one day to live:

      I would go….
      I would call….
      I would see…
      I would pray…
Now take a moment to look back over your list. If your list doesn’t reflect ‘seizing the day’ for God, you might think about changing it. If you want help with that or want to talk about how you could, then just speak with one of us after we’re done tonight.

Close in Prayer:
Take some time for students to share what they wrote, then close in a prayer that gives students a chance to trust Christ, and ask God to help us seize the day for Christ.

Written by Lane Palmer

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Comments on this post

   Jonathan McKee         10/10/2011 12:38:33 PM

Great write-up Lane! An awesome discussion to help kids think about the "eternal" rather than the "temporary."















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