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I stumbled across a greeting card many years ago with a popular version of this poem, took it home and immediately set it to music. The original poem, however, does not make a complete song lyric, in my opinion, so I worked a bit on the second stanza, got stuck, and put the song on the back burner. There it sat for years until my girlfriend Holly's aunt passed away this spring. Holly's mother sent her an email saying that this poem was her aunt's favorite, and does she know where she could find the complete poem for her memorial service? A little bit of web searching later, I had located a very informative site by composer Geoff Stephens, who has set the traditional version to music and done a lot of research into the history of this beautiful poem.

Upon reading the original words attributed to Mary Frye, I found the line I am in each lovely thing, which is omitted in the traditional version. This, along with Holly's tremendous encouragement and feedback, allowed me to finally finish these lyrics and record the demo in time for her aunt's memorial service.

I recorded the guitar, piano and string parts working alone for a few hours, then invited Holly over to sing the vocal. Holly, or more properly, Dr. Holly Phaneuf, is a college chemistry professor (see her great herb site at herbsdemystified.com), who started out as a music major on scholarship. This is the first high-quality recording of her fantastic voice, and I hope it moves you as deeply as it has the others who have heard it.

I would very much like to hear your comments about this song and recording. Please visit my Guestbook.


In Every Lovely Thing
(Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep)

words and music by Tim Erskine,
from an original poem attributed to Mary E. Frye
play the demo mp3


Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there – I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am diamond glints on snow
I am sunlight on the grain
I am gentle April rain
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there – I did not die

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there – I do not sleep
I’m in the wild flowers’ bloom
I am in a quiet room
I am graceful birds in flight
I am star shine at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there – I did not die

I did not die...

All the World breathes as one with life
In the clouds of space and countless stars of every hue
And I am still alive here everywhere
In every lovely thing surrounding you
In every lovely thing inside of you

In every lovely thing


Demonstration Recording
Holly Phaneuf - Vocals
T.E. – Acoustic Guitar, Piano and Synthesizer

© Timothy J. Erskine. All Rights Reserved.

What's different between Tim's song and the original?

If you'd like a higher quality copy of this recording on CD, we'll include one FREE with your purchase of a First Light CD.

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