Skip to main content

Funeral Playlists

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’…


Popular posts from this blog

A Packet of Solpadeine and a Lecture Please

Years ago I was a respectable lady married to a nice German doctor, and it was he who brought to my attention that in Germany you can only buy pain killers in a chemist and not in a petrol station, pub or supermarket and that there was not a chance in hell that you could ever buy a pain killer with codeine in it directly from a pharmacy, which in Ireland, you can - Solpadeine.
Then a friend of mine who is a pharmacist told me that Solpadeine was her best seller. So lucrative were the sales that she did not have enough room to store the stuff in her pharmacy. But that was also back in the time when I was respectable, and in the meantime the Solpadeine police seem to be out on patrol.
Now if you ask me, I think it's pure madness to sell substances with codeine in them over the counter at a pharmacy, and I'm also a bit iffy about buying paracetemol in the supermarket, given that any 13 year old can go in and stock up on a drug that is lethal in relatively small doses. But there a…

The MoMa, a Beggar and my Limp

There’s a woman who walks up and down the streets around West 82nd and Amsterdam Avenue asking people if they’ll give her a dollar. I’d put her around 80. Small, wiry, bent, wispy hair. Brittle bird legs in black tights, but still a follower of fashion in a knit skirt with a tartan pattern, more the kind of skirt you might see on a 20-year-old Asian student. Pale pink lipstick, and a crimson red blouse topped with a cream overcoat despite the muggy August New York heat. I wonder what she does with the money she collects. She doesn’t look like she eats anything, can’t tell if she drinks. She’s sober when she pushes her trolley bag up and down 82nd, asking ‘do you have a dollar for me?’ I don’t give her one. I keep my dollars for the MoMa. My feet are killing me after walking into the city, but I’m scared of the subway. I did make a weak attempt, but have no idea what they mean by uptown and downtown. Both of these expressions mean the same thing where I come from: Uptown – as in, I’m…

The Now or the Nervous Breakdown?

There’s a thin line between reaching a state of inner peace comparable to that of a Buddhist monk and being bang on in the middle of a nervous breakdown. Thing is, I’m never sure which state I currently find myself in. It’s true that one feeds the other at times. You need to have a proper meltdown to let the storm settle and find your peace. And peace wouldn’t be peace if you didn’t allow the true tempest of this life to enter your accepting and non-judgemental state of whatever you want to call not letting stuff get to you.
The buzz word nowadays is ‘Mindfulness’. If I understand it correctly, it means that you should mind your mind, like think of it as a place where you set yourself up for feeling good or bad, and as with all of these pop psychology hits, it’s about living in the now. Like Buddhism it involves meditation and sitting cross legged on a straight-backed chair, and then you have to focus, focus, focus…
So far, I’m pretty good at not sweating the small stuff. I don’t worry…