Monday Music List (Thursday Edition) -- Funeral Songs

| 12 Comments

What songs would you want played at your funeral? It is an interesting question. You want the songs to be representative of your life and interests. You also want to assure and comfort your survivors. Plus you have to be respectful. Even though it’s “your funeral,? you have to recognize that there will be many sad people there. If I had my druthers, I probably would like to have the Replacement’s Gary’s Got A Boner at my funeral. It’s a fun song, it rocks, and would be good representation of the music I love. It’s also extremely inappropriate for a funeral. Another example is It’s Time For Me To Fly by Reo Speedwagon. It may have some poignant lyrics, but would be way too cheesy for a funeral.

My brother requested that we play MLK by U2 at his funeral. It was a perfect funeral song. It was one of his favorite songs by one of his favorite bands, it set a somber but inspiring mood, and could be enjoyed by young and old, U2 fans and non-fans alike.

Given that criteria, here are the songs I would like to be played at my funeral (btw, I am not dying and don’t intend to invoke this request anytime soon).

Elvis Presley – Amazing Grace. It includes a nod to Elvis, which is important. It’s a religious song and Elvis just nails this rendition. This would be a good song to open the service. Elvis’ Peace in the Valley would be a good alternative. Heck you could just play Elvis’ Ultimate Gospel CD, have Mass and then send everyone to the reception. Now that would be a funeral.

Johnny Cash – Meet Me in Heaven. An absolutely gorgeous song about assuring loved ones that you will be up in heaven waiting for them. This one’s for the family. This could be played after the testimonials. Of course there are a bunch of other Johnny Cash songs I could request as well. I think I would make everyone read my treatise on Cash’s American Recordings series as part of their attendance however. Download file

Bob Dylan – Forever Young. I know this one is a little clichéd but it gives a little hope to the survivors. If you want to get high-tech, you could play this as a powerpoint with a bunch of pictures from my life showing on the screen. This would be played at the end of the service on the way out the door.

Of course there are many, many other songs that I would like to be played and would be appropriate. However, I have a theory – not fully formed – that Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan are the Father, Son and Holy Ghost of popular music. Playing these three songs would be a nod to the premise. Who knows, maybe by the time I need to invoke these songs at a funeral, I will have figured it all out and those who have read/heard my theory with will get the acknowledgment.

What songs do you want played at your funeral?


12 Comments

Funny you should mention "Forever Young." I lost a friend to cancer about a year ago, and his wife (also a close friend) asked me to play at the funeral. Talk about your tough gigs. Anyhoo, since this friend was survived by three young children (all under the age of 10) I suggested "Forever Young," for basically the same reasons you identify. The performance was shaky, but the message was spot on. For those times when words fail us, there's always Bob Dylan. I'm don't know whether those kids will remember that, but I sure won't forget it.

At that same "gig," I also played Gary Louris' "Will I See You In Heaven" during the prelude. Just as I was singing the last "won't you carry me home," I look up to see the pall bearers, as if on cue, delivering the casket to the front of the church.

Free - great topic. I've actually thought about this a lot. Here are the three songs that I would like played at my funeral - hopefully decades from now:

The Waterboys - "This Is The Sea"

The Beatles - "In My Life"

Neil Young - "One Of These Days"

Jeff T.

Would "It Is Accomplished" from Peter Gabriel's soundtrack to Last Temptation make me seem too full of myself?

I'd like to have "The Body of an American" played at my wake, like on "The Wire"

Man you guys got my juices flowing. Here are a bunch of others. Some more appropriate than others:

My Wandering Days are over - Belle and Sebastian

God Walks Among Us Now - Flaming Lips

Freak Scene - Dinosaur Jr.

Clock Strikes 10 - Cheap Trick

100 Years from Now - Byrds (G Parsons version).

Falling Slowly - Glen Hansard

I have just released a song that would be a good choice for a funeral or memorial.
Please take a listen and let me know what you think.
www.amyhelmuth.com
"You're Near"

Wow! Thanks Amy that song was wonderful. Good luck with songwriting career.

Very interesting topic. Excellent article. Thanks

Awesome content. Very interesting articles. I love this blog.

Check out the songs I want to have played at my funeral... when the time has come http://bit.ly/r1Ae9

Check out the songs I want to have played at my funeral... when the time has come: My List

This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like 'Mixview' that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you're listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of "neighbors" will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune "Social" is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

Pages

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Freealonzo published on July 24, 2008 10:31 AM.

Watchman Trailer was the previous entry in this blog.

Friday Random Top 10 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.