Janet Underneath the Roses


"Janet Underneath the Roses" is a song by Ricky Ian Gordon setting his own text. The song is part of Ricky Ian Gordon's songbook A Horse With Wings.

"My friend Amy Zorn’s sister, Janet, died a tragically early death from juvenile diabetes. At her funeral, this entire song came to me through the sights of the flowers and the coffin, Amy and her parents and - the beautiful letters the Rabbi read, written by Janet, that no one knew about."

--Ricky Ian Gordon

Janet Underneath the Roses
by Ricky Ian Gordon

When Amy’s sister died,
they put yellow roses
on her coffin,
yellow roses, and baby’s breath,
to see her off in-
adorn her death.
And all the mourner’s cried,
when Amy’s sister died.
When Amy’s sister died
there came naked angels
through her doorway.
Naked angels beheld her room
to bathe her fingers
and help her bloom.
And God’s arms opened wide
when Amy’s sister died.
The Rabbi read
from letters she had written.
Lovely lines of languished life.
Despite the ways
that she was smitten-
she had made
some peace
with strife.
Lying in her sweet repose
Janet, underneath the roses.
Yellow, for the light she’ll make,
Baby’s breath, the breath she’ll take
as she quick ascends the sky
watching Amy watch her fly-
(no one ever really dies.)
Look, a glittering above-
Amy’s sister, Amy’s love.
Amy’s white
beloved dove.

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