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> Norma Waterson > Songs > When I Die

When I Die

[ Roud 7697 ; Ballad Index RcSwHeav ; trad.]

Peter Bellamy sang When I Die, a song from the Doc Watson family's repertoire, on June 5 or 6, 1976 live at the Eurofolk '76 festival in Ingelheim, Germany. He recorded it a few year later for his 1979 album Both Sides Then with Lal, Mike & Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy, and Heather Wood & Royston Wood singing vocal harmonies. The album sleeve notes commented:

Peter and Anthea Bellamy and the Watersons are joined on this track by Royston and Heather Wood, who were co-founders with Peter Bellamy of the group Young Tradition. This traditional song is a gem from the repertoire of Doc Watson's family's treasure house.

This track was also included in 2004 on the Watersons' 4 CD anthology Mighty River of Song.

The Wilson Family sang When I Die on their 2009 CD A Grey Lock or Two. They noted:

The inimitable and sorely missed Peter Bellamy inveigled us into accompanying him on this song in the parish church at Wadebridge festival back in the 80’s—an experience we will all cherish forever. Peter attributed it to the Sacred Harp singing tradition from the Doc Watson family of Deep Gap, North Carolina.

Lyrics

Peter Bellamy sings When I Die

Because I believe and have found salvation,
When I die, when I die, I'll live again.
My soul will take part in that jubilation,
When I die, when I die, I'll live again.

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
When I die, when I die, I'll live again, I'll live again
Hallelujah, I'll live again
Because I'm forgiven my soul will find heaven
When I die, when I die, I'll live again.

My fear of the grave is removed forever
When I die, when I die, I'll live again.
My soul will rejoice by that crystal river
When I die, when I die, I'll live again.

Because in the Lord I have made confession.
When I die, when I die, I'll live again.
Oh now, in my soul there is no transgression,
When I die, when I die, I'll live again.