And When I Die ~ Blood, Sweat & Tears

Blood, Sweat & Tears is an American music group, originally formed in 1967 in New York City. Since its beginnings in 1967, the band has gone through numerous iterations with varying personnel and has encompassed a multitude of musical styles. What the band is most known for, from its start, is the fusing of rock, blues, pop music, horn arrangements and jazz improvisation into a hybrid that came to be known as “jazz-rock“. Unlike “jazz fusion” bands, which tend toward virtuostic displays of instrumental facility and some experimentation with electric instruments, the songs of Blood, Sweat & Tears merged the stylings of rock, pop and R&B/soul music with big band, while also adding elements of small combo jazz traditions.

Al Kooper, Jim Fielder, Fred Lipsius, Randy Brecker, Jerry Weiss, Dick Halligan, Steve Katz, and Bobby Colomby formed the original incarnation of the band.

“Blood, Sweat & Tears” was the name chosen by Al Kooper, inspired by both the 1963 album with this title by Johnny Cash and after a late-night gig in which Kooper played with a bloody hand. Kooper was the group’s initial bandleader, having insisted on that position based on his experiences with The Blues Project, his previous band with Steve Katz, which had been organized as an egalitarian collective. Jim Fielder was from Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention and had played briefly with Buffalo Springfield. But undoubtedly, Kooper’s fame as a high-profile contributor to various historic sessions of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, and so forth, was the catalyst for the prominent debut of Blood, Sweat & Tears in the musical counterculture of the mid-sixties .

The music of Blood, Sweat & Tears slowly achieved commercial success alongside similarly configured ensembles such as Chicago and the Electric Flag. Kooper was forced out of the group and became a record producer for the Columbia label, but not before arranging some songs that would be on the next BS&T album. The group’s trumpeters, Randy Brecker and Jerry Weiss, also left after the album was released, and were replaced by Lew Soloff and Chuck Winfield. Brecker joined Horace Silver’s band with his brother Michael, and together they eventually formed their own horn-dominated musical outfits, Dreams and The Brecker Brothers. Jerry Weiss went on to start the similarly-styled group Ambergris.

And When I Die

And When I Die” is a song written by American singer Laura Nyro. It was first recorded by American folk group Peter, Paul and Mary in 1966. Nyro then recorded it on her 1967 debut album More Than a New Discovery. However, the song is probably best known for its third version by American rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears, which reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song gives a positive outlook about death, stating, in the chorus, “And when I die/and when I’m gone/there’ll be one child born and a world/to carry on/to carry on.”

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
If it’s peace you find in dying
Well then dying time is near
Just bundle up my coffin
‘Cause it’s cold way down there
I hear that it’s cold way down there, yeah
Crazy cold, way down there
And when I die, and when I’m gone
There’ll be, one child born
In this world
To carry on, to carry on

(Piano Solo)

Now troubles are many
There as deep as a well
I can swear there ain’t no Heaven
But I pray there ain’t no hell
Swear there ain’t no Heaven
And I’ll pray there ain’t no hell
But I’ll never know by livin’
Only my dyin’ will tell
Yes only my dyin’ will tell, oh yeah
Only my dyin’ will tell
And when I die, and when I’m gone
There’ll be, one child born
In this world
To carry on, to carry on
Yeah yeah

(Instrumental Solo)

Give me my freedom
For as long as I be
All I ask of livin’
Is to have no chains on me
All I ask of livin’
Is to have no chains on me
And all I ask of dyin’
Is to go natrually
Only wanna go naturally

Here I go!
Hey hey
Here come the devil
Right behind
Look out children, here he come
Here he come, heyyy
Don’t wanna go by the devil
Don’t wanna go by the demon
Don’t wanna go by satan
Don’t wann die uneasy
Just let me go
Naturally
And when I die
And when I’m dead
Dead and gone
There’ll be one child born
In our world
To carry on, to carry on

  • Audio from the 1969 album, Blood, Sweat & Tears:
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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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