I love it when, out of the blue, you end up involved in one of those conversations that leaves you with tears of laughter running down your cheeks. These usually happen at the most inopportune moments and that’s exactly what happened mid-week at work. Having giggled my way through it, I now can’t remember exactly what innocent comment started it but a colleague and I ended up discussing the music we would like played at our funerals.
Both of us were singing from the same hymn sheet, so to speak, and agreed that funerals shouldn’t be a mourning of the person’s passing but instead be a celebration of their life and reflective of their personality.
My mum secretly wants a New Orleans jazz style funeral. As this was mentioned in conversation, I got my first fit of the giggles as I was struck by an image of Boy Child playing his trumpet at the head of the school jazz band leading the funeral procession through the local streets towards the crematorium playing “When The Saints Come Marching In”. (I later shared this vision with my mum who fortunately saw the humour in it.)
Anyone who knows me will completely understand that the 23rd Psalm and Highland Cathedral aren’t going to feature when my time comes!
I asked my colleague, who is fifteen years my senior, what he wanted played. “Anything by Guns N Roses,” came his instant reply. He quickly added that he wants to be cremated but that his wife has already vetoed “Smoke on the Water” for that part of the service. I lost it! – cue laughter and tears. I promptly suggested “Burn” as an alternative- cue more giggling from both of us! (sorry, work colleagues) Apparently “Another One Bites the Dust” is also off the playlist. His Good Lady Wife is however a huge ACDC fan so he may have a glimmer of hope of playing “Highway To Hell” …. I doubt it though.
I came home from work still smiling at the conversation and asked The Big Green Gummi Bear what he wanted played. “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,” came his reply. I should be grateful it wasn’t the Goombay Dance Band!
It got me thinking about my own choices and, I’ll be honest, I’m struggling. There’s so much good music to choose from. It would be easy to go down a rather reflective rock route and select “Wonderful Life” or “In Loving Memory” by Alter Bridge or “The Crow and the Butterfly” by Shinedown. While it could be fun to play “Stairway to Heaven” it would be giving the mourners false hope and sending them on a wild goose chase. Chris Rea’s “Road To Hell” takes them in a more likely direction!
Perhaps “One Last Thrill,” by Slash should be played? Or Avenged Sevenfold’s “Requiem”? As I wish to be buried rather than cremated when the time comes, Iron Maiden’s “Fear of the Dark” may also fit the bill. Regardless, the celebration should include Garth Brooks “Friends In Low Places” and culminate in “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.”
Now that I’ve got you thinking, hopefully with a smile on your face, what songs would you choose?