Sunday, February 12, 2012

Planning Your Own Funeral Soundtrack

There’s nothing that says “I’m Forcing You to Listen to the Music I Like One Last Time” more than planning your own Wake and Funeral Soundtrack.  I’ve had less than flattering things to say about wedding and gift CDs in the past, so you might think me a hypocrite to suggest something similar for my wake. But so what?  I’ll be dead.

And there are some who might consider such a project to be the ultimate in procrastination – after all, there’s got to be something else that requires more urgent attention than a playlist I'll never get to hear. Estate planning, showering, etc.

But I happen to think it’s a worthwhile exercise.

Do you want to make ‘em weep?  “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” might work. (Nothing says Do like Don’t)

Are you resentful of some people in your life?  Try Big Star’s sarcastic “Thank You Friends”.  They’ll end up glad you’re dead, which, when you think about it, is very considerate of you.

There’s also Warren Zevon’s “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”.  Much more appropriate for those dying young, this might get a snicker since a more appropriate title for me now is “I’ll Sleep Right Here Where I’m Sitting”.

Of course, there are some songs that are best left out:
The Beatles “Getting Better All the Time” - Even I’m not that sarcastic.
Frank Sinatra “High Hopes” – A barn door closed too late, if ever there was one.

So here's my official list:

"Fox in the Snow" by Belle and Sebastian:

It's just so freaking sad, I had to include it.  I want to make sure somebody’s crying.

"My Friends" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers:

Since it's not all about me, I guess I should say thanks, as I have to make up for Big Star.  

 “The Story of My Life” by the Velvet Underground:

The music is so unassuming and sweet that you could miss the despairing lyrics.  

“My Life” by Iris DeMent:

Of course, if you think your life’s been a waste, it might help to put this on  It'd make you feel better, if you were still alive, that is. 

"At Last" by Neko Case:

This one's a little more defiant.

"When it’s Cold, I’d Like to Die" by Moby:

Wish granted!

"My Weakness" by Moby:

Moby's just so good at this kind of thing. This one's good for either death of alien abduction.

"Casimir Pulaski Day" by Sufjan Stevens:

This one ought to get them crying again.

"When I Get to the Borderline" by Richard and Linda Thompson:

But let's not despair.  Richard's good for a rueful grin, if not exactly a laugh.

"Wall of Death" by Richard and Linda Thompson:

Another F*ck You Death! song.

"That Day is Done" by Elvis Costello:

Co-written by Paul McCartney, it's an uncharacteristically direct look at death.  You can play it instead of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken".

"Don’t Forget About Me" by Dusty Springfield:

If you want to haunt your relatives and friends.

“Boundary Rider” by the Go Betweens:

It has nothing to do with me, other than that I love it, but it sounds nice.  You can chisel those lyrics on my headstone if you like.

But for the mourners themselves I’d suggest playing most of Funeral by Arcade Fire, but I think I’d be presumptuous to assume that anyone would get that excited about my passing, except in maybe a good way. Your choice.

"Sweetness Follows" by REM:

It's going to be all right.

"Underneath the Weeping Willow" by Grandaddy:

Maybe the saddest song I’ve ever heard. But at the end you get permission to be happy again.

“It’s Summertime” by the Flaming Lips:

The Lips repeat that idea. You can play this on June 22 following my wake.  If anybody still gives a damn, that is.

And that's that.

Mrs. Jaybee thinks this line of thinking is nuts, but I think not planning this is like not getting ice for a party.  The iceman cometh.  Twice!  Lucky him.

Moving on.

No comments: