When Kimberly Perry wrote the sequel to her smash-hit ballad more than a decade later, she focused on meaningful moments in life and themes of growth. She also set a heartfelt “intention” as she set her sights on motherhood.
Perry shared in a mini documentary about the making of “If I Die Young Pt. 2” that she suffered a miscarriage shortly before writing the song. Now pregnant with her first child, Perry said motherhood was still on her mind.
“In the second verse, we talk about the generation of my mother, me, and then, I call it the intention of the song, that intention there of a future daughter of my own,” Perry said in the mini doc. “When we wrote ‘Pt. 2,’ I had actually just gone through a miscarriage a few months before, which was a really sad time. So, in writing this second verse, it was like, ‘well, I would really love to set this intention that there is a baby coming.’ A healthy baby was gonna be here at some point. And it felt like it really held hands with the original version because the entire original version was sort of this romantic plea for all the things that I was hoping for. A few months after we recorded the song, I found out I was pregnant.”
Perry and husband Johnny Costello announced in April that they’re expecting Baby No. 1 in late August. The country star gushed in a celebratory Instagram caption that she’s “OVERFLOWING WITH JOY,” and can’t wait “to welcome this little bundle of love to our world.”
Shortly after that announcement, Perry shared that she would release “If I Die Young Pt. 2” on her first-ever solo EP, Bloom. The 5-track collection comes as she and her brothers, Reid Perry and Neil Perry, opted to take a break from The Band Perry. The trio released “If I Die Young” together in 2010.
The song has served as Perry’s “North Star” over the years, she said in the mini doc. It’s one that offered “grounding” as she navigated her artistry after writing it herself. She teamed up with co-writers Nicolle Galyon and Jimmy Robbins to tell the next chapter of the story.
“Originally, when I wrote ‘If I Die Young,’ it’s written in a prayer form,” Perry reflected. “My mentality then was sort of like, ‘hey, I have all of these things that I wish for, and that I hope for, that I don’t see in my life at this moment.’ I feel really grateful 10 years later that that prayer, particular prayer, was not answered in the way the song may have been asking for because so many of those dreams have come true.
“I think the project speaks to the ground that has to be prepped to bloom. That’s a violent process sometimes,” Perry continued later. “There’s a lot that goes into tilling up soil, and then there’s a lot happening under the surface that’s creating space for roots to grow. And that really is the metaphor for the last handful of years in my life. But I do feel like I’m emerging from the surface now, and it feels like a very, very bright time.”
Perry’s “full-circle” EP reflects on her growth, showing how far she’s come while still paying tribute to the girl she was 10 years ago. Bloom is set to make its debut on June 9. Watch the making of “If I Die Young Pt. 2” here: