If life is like a candle bright
Then death must be the wind
You can close your window tight
And it still comes blowing in
So I will climb the highest hill
And I’ll watch the rising sun
And pray that I won’t feel the chill
‘Til I’m too old to die young
The song Too Old To Die Young is referenced at the start of Deadline when Ben first receives the diagnosis that he has a terminal blood disease. It comes around again toward the end of the book when Ben makes a playlist about loss that starts and ends with the song that signals the beginning of the end for him. Finally the music comes full circle with Dallas and Cody listening to it together after Ben’s death.
The song symbolizes one of the central themes of the story that Ben makes clear in the letter he leaves behind for his family and friends when he says he realizes the truth about the quote ‘Live every day like you’re going to live forever and every day like it’s going to be your last.’ Ben has learned that the essence of living life is to be thoughtful about the decisions you make because they have consequences that will leave a lasting impact but to live your life to the fullest and take chances because you may not get another opportunity.
In his final year Ben does seize life and lives it to the fullest. Despite the fact that he’s only 18, he crams enough living into that final year that he does live until he’s “too old to die young.”