“And When I Die”

And When I Die” is the last song of Laura Nyro week and, I suppose, my favorite of all her compositions, despite its ranking as just #3 on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “10 Essential Laura Nyro Songs“. It was written when she was just 17, which truly amazes me. In fact, I can’t think of another song this sophisticated and moving written by someone so young. The version below was recorded when she was 19: already her voice was powerful and moving.

As with many of her songs, it was covered by others before she recorded it—in this case Peter, Paul and Mary in 1966. Nyro herself recorded it the next year on her first album “More than a New Discovery.” But its status as a hit arrived only with Blood, Sweat & Tears’s 1969 version, which, I have to admit, is pretty good; it went to #2 on the U.S. charts. (I don’t like their horse-clopping bit, though.) But no version is as good as the one below:

6 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted March 29, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Not that it is a “song” exactly, but Mozart did write his first opera at age 14! 😉

  2. Historian
    Posted March 29, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    It seems that the evidence for the historical existence of Ragnar Lodbrok is at about the same level as the historical existence of Jesus. But, for reasons unknown, the debate over the existence of Ragnar is much more muted than the debate over Jesus. 😎

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 29, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      rong post or Nyro was a Viking? 🙂

  3. Anna Wilson
    Posted March 29, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    One of my favourite Laura Nyro songs but also loved Eli’s Coming. Fortunately had the pleasure of seeing her in concert in 1989, the world lost a great musician much too soon. Thanks for posting a week of her music, it brought back many fond memories of my youth.

    • Posted March 29, 2018 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Eli’s Coming is one of my all time Laura Nyro favorites as well. Her enigmatic songwriting and voice is is so unique and mesmerizing…

  4. Posted March 29, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the Laura Nyro retrospective this week. Discovered her in the early 80s and was mesmerized. I own almost every album she recorded…


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