Song Remembers Phoebe Prince, The ‘Red Rose’

Song Remembers Phoebe Prince, The ‘Red Rose’

Published June 8, 2010  UPDATED JUNE 9

  • |BOSTON — A Seattle indie band has released a song for Phoebe Prince, the South Hadley High School freshman who committed suicide earlier this year after relentless bullying by her peers.

So what inspired the band, The Green Pajamas, to sing about a tragedy that happened on the other side of the country?


Jeff Kelly, the band’s founder and lead singer, says he wrote “The Red, Red Rose” after stumbling on news of the 15-year-old’s death online.

“You know, I just kept thinking about it,” Kelly said. “It was too sad for my wife to talk about with me and I wanted to, kind of, just express how I felt.”

Kelly is the father of two girls around Prince’s age. He says that, in some ways, the song is for them.

“Because, you know, all of us, I think, that read that and were moved by that would have liked to just grab her and said it’s gonna be OK,” Kelly said. “But that didn’t happen, so it’s unsettling to say the least when you do have children of that age and something like that happens.”

Prince was found hanging in the stairway of her home in January. Nine teens were later arraigned on related criminal charges. The outrage that followed her suicide spurred state lawmakers last month to unanimously pass strict anti-bullying legislation.

“The Red, Red Rose” is available for purchase at the Green Pajama’s MySpace page.

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