Not that I consider myself in any way moribund, but recently I’ve started thinking about a song list for my funeral. As I’m only 45 (I tell people I’m 55 in order to hear them say how incredibly young I look), I’m probably quite unlikely to kick the bucket any time soon. But funerals are the new weddings and I want to pick my own songs.
I’ve come across some desperate ones. I recently gate crashed a funeral in Dublin when catching up with some friends, and even though I never knew the corpse in his living days, I still felt that Garth Brooks’ ‘The Dance’ was a tad twee as a funeral song. After all, it does conjure up the image of line dancing non drinkers in cowboy hats, and the corpse had apparently been a hash smoking hippie who met his death when his boat capsized on a lake. Of course, I do understand that the song itself relates to cherishing special memories, but if you listen to the lyrics it is actually all about a relationship gone wrong. Yuck.
So now the problem is that every time a song I like comes on the radio, I start thinking ‘oh that’d be good for my funeral’. Yesterday they played the song ‘Born Free’, so I decided to email one of my brothers to tell them that this would be my funeral song wish, but before I got home they’d played ‘The Logical Song’, ‘Thank You for the Days’ and the classic ‘Satisfaction’ by the Stones. All of them were on my list by the time I got back home. Then I realised that it might be awkward if I contact any of my family members with funeral arrangements, so I decided to compile a list, because after all, when it gets nearer to dying I might have thought up of some other songs, and it also depends on when I die. If I’m lucky enough to live into old age it’s going to be shit, because I’ll have to witness all my friends dying off first and I’ll end up with a tiny funeral populated by more carers of the aged than friends.
I think I’ll start doing the rounds of funerals to look for ideas. I suppose poignant, moving and a tiny bit humorous is what you’d look for. A touching tear jerker to remind folk just how much they'll miss me.
Just now as I was writing this blog one of my kids asked me what I was at. I told him I was looking for a good personal funeral song. He said nothing, but when he walked past me again on the way out I could hear him gently hum ‘ding dong the witch is dead’…