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

Date: 1995Composer: Ricky Ian GordonText: Ricky Ian GordonSong Collection: A Horse With Wings

Print vitals & song text


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.

Sheet Music

A Horse With Wings

Composer(s): Ricky Ian Gordon

Song(s): Once I Was
Sweet Song
Afternoon on a Hill
My Sister's New Red Hat
A Horse with Wings
Poem (Lana Turner has Collapsed)
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
The Spring and the Fall
The Red Dress
What Shall We Remember?
Will There Really Be a Morning?
Sycamore Trees
Fewer Words
The Special Picnic
Janet Underneath the Roses
I am a Cherry Alive
An Old-Fashioned Song
White Haired Woman

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