Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Last Waltz

In the May 2009 issue of The Stool Pigeon, the free music newspaper, there's a small feature on the 10 Most Popular Funeral Songs for people aged between 20 and 44.

Before I go any further, here's the list:

1. Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
2. REM - Everybody Hurts
3. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
4. Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2U
5. Robbie Williams - Angels
6. U2 - With Or Without You
7. Westlife - You Raise Me Up
8. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
9. Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over
10. Gary Jules - Mad World

It's a strange assortment. From the sublime - Jeff Buckley and The Verve - to the ridiculous - Westlife.

With the possible exception of Bittersweet Symphony, none of the tracks is uplifting, all choosing to wallow in misery. I'm surprised that neither Oasis nor Nirvana make an appearance, and a little surprised that Crowded House make the list.

I decided long ago that the songs I'd like played at my funeral are The Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever and Doves' Here It Comes.

But I think I'd also like something uplifting, perhaps in the vein of Elbow's One Day Like This or The Verve's Love Is Noise. I've heard in the past of a young man who died tragically early going out to the strains of Tenacious D's Tribute, in an effort to make everyone smile as they said goodbye to a dear friend and relative.

I've only been to one funeral that ended with a pop song, and it was The Byrds' version of Mr Tambourine Man. It made it difficult to listen to the song for a while afterwards, but it was a fitting way to say goodbye to the person in question.

The music played at your funeral should, at the end of the day (no pun intended), be something personal that means something to you and those in attendance.

I wonder if churches ever get requests for Too Drunk To Fuck by Dead Kennedys (for the chronic alcoholic), Star Fucker by Nine Inch Nails (for the groupie) or anything by Anal Cunt?


Mike Smith said...

I'm going to have a traditional Scots song played at my funeral. I'm No Awa' Tae Bide Awa...

Anonymous said...

... I always imagined "Tuesday's Gone" by Skynyrd....


Anonymous said...

After some cheery music to pass the time :-
Entrance to
An Ataireachd Ard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh7uqG2c69s
Hymn Love Divine
"Let us all thy life receive"
Hymn Thine be the glory

And exit to the Pilgrim's Chorus which I sang in the old St Andrews Hall at Charing Cross, near Mother India and the special clinic.


Anonymous said...

The songs mentioned as the most popular are all Sooooo predictable.

Have people no sense of creativity or humour in cremation? I mean what about Disco Inferno or something by The Grateful Dead?

I've decided on Bring 'em all in by Mike Scott, Peace at Last by The Blue Nile and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by the Life of Brian cast.