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Is It True? Do Only the Good Die Young? A Poem, Not a Song--My Nephew . . . .

Updated on July 16, 2015
My nephew's tombstone
My nephew's tombstone | Source

Do Only The Good Die Young?

Only the good die young--Aw, a word to the wise

Or is it just Billy Joel who claims early demise?

But I’ve seen it, too, the angels who leave just

one day are gone, their plans all but dust.

On the six o-clock news the media agree

How often do we hear there’s none better than he

Was or who would have thought that he would be taken.

He’s good, and he’s giving, so our faith is now shaken.


Only the Good Die Young--Billy Joel

How often do you hear he was a horrible man

Not his kids or his priest or his barber could stand

And we’ll be better off without him around

He deserved to be shot; he deserved to be drowned.

Ridiculous, yeah, but that’s not what we hear.

We learn how he gave to the orphans each year.

So the good die young? Yeah, too often for me.

I think and I ponder the pattern I see . . . .


So what word to the wise? My thoughts, my three cents

To Hell with being good? Mean makes more sense.

If it’s long life you want, don’t put on that halo

But live for yourself, to the beggars just say no.

Oh,I know of exceptions, of bad seeds who die

But it seems like too often, we're left to ask why--

innocent child, gentle mother , not even twenty--

Why choose them, God, when the jerks there are plenty?


Only the good die young? Or mostly it seems

Without the chance to grow up, to live out their dreams.

But is that the point? To live a long life

full of working and bills and marital strife?

Only the good die young? So maybe it’s really

More than Joel’s song, a tune some think silly

But maybe speaks true about those who pass on

Who share all their light before they are gone.


But those who remain, we’ve got more to do

Nirvana’s not ours, we haven’t a clue

Like the others before us who had it together

Their time here was through. No need for forever.


Only the good die young, praises already sung.

And the ones of us behind need time to learn in kind.


Only the Good Die Young Video

© 2014 Victoria Lynn

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    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      ahorseback. I just read this. I'm so sorry about your nephew. That's too young for him to die. I am glad that he has his faith. It sounds like that helps him.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Sherry, I tend to wonder about a plan, too. Seems like the crap shoot often gets in the way! Thanks for your comments!

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 2 years ago

      Victoria , I just read this again ! in the last year or actually ,more I have been watching my younger nephew , a husband and father of two teens who is ,now we realize , dying of cancer . Fifty four is too young and although he is very religious , its still hard to watch and sit next to him as he deteriorates , after this now fourth round of chemo, his pet scan just returned and it's not good Yet , his outlook remains strong . His faith insurmountable ! His is even at that age an 'elder ' at his congregation ....I wish I had his strength in faith. The good do always die young I fear. Nice writing.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 2 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      It is sad when good people die young, and often they do. Plenty of good people also live to a ripe old age.

      If you look at all of the bad people in the world, I think you would notice that lots of them die young too. Perhaps not so many mourn their passing, or maybe we are just reluctant to speak of their faults when they are dead.

      Maybe there is a plan that I can't understand, but it seems like a crap shoot to me.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Effer--your comments expressed just what I was feeling when I wrote this! I guess the good don't always die young, but it seems so often that they do!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Vee....Hello GF! I have missed you. Which one of us has been hiding?

      You know I love everything you write. This poem is wonderful & so meaningful. You give us all some profound thinking to do.

      Yes, I have found it true that the good die young....It's beyond sad and maddening. It's as though the world becomes darker, making it much more difficult for us to see the light and cling to hope.

      This is a beautiful poem....just like it's author......UP+++ Peace, Effer

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Minnetonka Twin--I appreciate that!

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi Victoria-had to come back and read this poem again. It's so beautifully sad. Your poetry is amazing! Voted up and hit many buttons.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I know what you mean, Rachel. It isn't consistent, but something to think about. Thanks for the input!

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Really something to think about. I always thought when someone completed his/her journey on this earth that God gave them, then their time was up. But I know a lot of very good and Godly people who lived to be the ripe old age of 90 and even 100. But there are a lot of good who die young. I enjoyed your hub and voted up.

      Blessing to you.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Vellur. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Beautifully expressed. It is always not the way Billy Joel has expressed in his song. Wisdom in your words, enjoyed reading and voted up.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Rachel L Alba--Yes, I know it's not an always thing, but it's sad when it doesn't happen that the good die young. Thanks for the votes and the excellent comments.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      It sure seems that way, doesn't it? But not always, I have a grandmother who was like a little angel who lived to be 101 and my father who I loved so very much and was a God fearing man who lived to be 93. But I do know others who lost their life way too soon. I'd still rather be "good" and live forever with God then be "bad" and loose my life to "you know who". Thanks for the interesting subject, I voted up.

      Blessings to you.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      pstraubie--It's certainly something to ponder. Thanks so much for the angels and blessings. I can use them!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      My Momma said those words to me when I was four..and my sister who was 9 at the time died. I remembered those words long after that.

      I wonder about what you say. And living mean would be a way but it would not be a happy way for me so I will try to muddle through....not that I think I am 'above reproach' for certainly I am not. But that is beside the point, is it not?

      this is thought provoking and well expressed....and I like that in a Hub.Pinned to Awesome HubPages Shared and Voted up++++

      Know that Many Angels and blessings are on the way to you this afternoon ps

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      It does seem that way, rajan. Thanks for the nice words.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      It does seem the good die young because they are missed always and the others even if they die young it seems they took ages to go.

      I love the flow of this beautiful poem Vicky.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, teaches! I appreciate those wonderful comments. I agree that maybe those who go early are truly blessed. Often they seem to be the ones who always shed job, who fulfilled their purpose early on. I don't know if that's true or not, but it seems it could be. Again, thank you. I appreciate your insightful comments, as always.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Victoria, I love your thoughts on this statement. You have me thinking. Sometimes those who die early are blessed -- they have lived a full life and are gone on to enjoy eternal bliss. Your verse, "Who share all their light before they are gone." is so profound!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      So true, Audrey. Thank you so much. :-)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      This was beautiful Vicky--sometimes the good do die young and we miss them our whole lives long

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I appreciate that, Rebecca!!!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      You did a beautiful job on this poem, Vickie. And the words ring true for me as well.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Aw, Susan, you lost your mom at a young age? I'm so sorry. It does seem to happen so often that the good do die young. Thanks for reading and commenting, my friend.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      The first time I heard the saying "Only the Good Die Young" was when my grandmother said it to me. I was three and she was talking about my mother. Beautiful poem Vicki!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Ed--are you saying it's okay to live in the past, too? Well, maybe so, as long as we aren't stuck there, huh? I like that idea! We don't totally have to let go, now do we?

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 3 years ago

      Victoria , Thought provoking my dear ! Many , many , as I do , can live in the past as well as in the now . I believe that's okay ! I know weird huh ! But I think its true .........Great writing !......Ed

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Nell, so true! Sometime the mean ones live long, destructive lives! Thanks for commenting!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      What a great poem! And so darn true! it does seem that the ones who last the longest especially in the news are the ones who have done wrong in their lives! maybe God don't want them!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, FlourishAnyway. Yes, they do. :-(

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I'm sorry about the loss of your nephew. Your thoughts do have some truth in them, sadly.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yes, BlosoomSB, there are those who live long and prosper and bless people as they go along! Thanks for commenting!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Minnetonka Twin--I feel I have a long way to go, too. :-)

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for a poem that makes us think. It does seem to happen that way, doesn't it? Although there are those who continue on to really old age and they seem to have done a lot with their lives and helping others along the way, too.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Rebecca!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I'm glad, janetwrites! Thanks!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, AnniesHealthTalk, for the votes. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Faith. I appreciate that!

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Thought provoking words Victoria. It does seem like the good die young. I guess that means I have more lessons to learn here and I'm ok with that. LOL

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I agree, Jodah. It seems to happen a lot. Thanks for the comments and vote. :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      MizB: I think that Mr. B may have an excellent point there. Glad you enjoyed the poem.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      A very pretty poem with a sweet message.

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 3 years ago from Georgia country

      A great poem. I love it.

    • AnniesHealthTalk profile image

      AnniesHealthTalk 3 years ago from United States

      Love this! Voted up and beautiful.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Excellent poem and such a creative take on Joel's song. I really enjoyed reading this piece. Your photo is heartrending.

      Voted up +++ and away

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Good poem Victoria, food for thought here. This does seem to happen far too often. Voted up.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Bill. Much appreciated!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Jamie. I appreciate that.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Homeplace Series--I'm glad you like it. Thanks!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Frank--I think having it licked is an interesting concept, too. :-) Neat comments--thanks!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      I really enjoyed it, Vickie, and I think there are several good points. Mr. B says that the good die young so they won’t have to go through old age. He has been through so much with health problems and pain that I’m not sure that he is joking.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beautiful reflections, Vicki. I have no answer to your question, but I do know life is for the living. :)

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Great job Victoria, this was such a pleasure to read. Jamie

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Lisa! :-)

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Food for thought... just like the song... I like your treatment. Neat! ;-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Kevin. I appreciate all that. :-)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      i find it interesting... not beautiful, although I can understand where the beauty might fit... not having to put up with the daily strife.. but life is a challenge and when you live past young you already have it licked.. I like the whole concept here

    • Lisawilliamsj profile image

      Lisa Williams 3 years ago

      This is beautiful, I really like the way it flows! I voted up!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      That was beautiful Victoria. It had some truth to it, these days that is what it seems like most of the time. I voted it up, shared it and pinned it.

      Kevin