Hi. I’ve just come back from my Aunty Teresa’s funeral, hence the christening/wedding/funeral suit I’m wearing (which I’m pleased to say still fits me after 12 years of christenings, weddings and funerals). No tears, she was 88 and had had a good innings. All part of life’s rich tapestry and all that. In the immortal words of the even more immortal Monty Python “you come from nothing, you’re going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing!”
I’ve been to quite a few funerals in the past few years – it’s an inevitable aspect of getting older – and one thing I’ve noticed is the lack of good contemporary funeral songs. Today, we had Bette Midler singing Wind Beneath My Wings and Celine Dion doing My Heart Will Go On. Fine songs both, but how often does that poor vicar have to listen to them each day?
Though having said that, what other options where there? James Blunt‘s Goodbye My Lover springs to mind (in the Wikipedia entry for this song, it states “The song ranks No. 1 in funeral song requests according to The Bereavement Register”). Song For Guy by Elton John is another (I always thought he was singing “life is a different thing”, but apparently the lyric is “life isn’t everything”. Both pretty nonsensical though: imagine saying to someone on their deathbed “cheer up! Life isn’t everything, you know!”)
One of our my wife’s friends, who died very young from Cystic Fibrosis, got to plan her own funeral and chose Leave Right Now by Will Young. This is not a song about death, just the end of a relationship, but I can’t hear this song without being moved to tears. There was not a dry eye in the house that day – a brilliant choice of song for the occasion and, even though I don’t believe in the afterlife, I hope she was looking down on us and was pleased with the outcome.
Me? I was originally going to have Monty Python’s Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, but I think that’s become a bit of a cliché. So currently I’d choose Dust In The Wind by Todd Rundgren – yeah, I know you’ve never heard of it (or him for that matter), but it’s definitely an on my death bed song.
Not that I intend to be on my death bed for a fair few years yet. Gotta record these 150 odd songs that I’ve written first. Which at the rate I work will take a little while…