60s music for a visitation.
May 3, 2016 8:19 AM   Subscribe

My friend's mother passed away. She loved 60s music, particularly Peter Paul and Mary. In her home, I found CDs of Peter Paul Mary, John Denver, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens. I know she loved the song Turn Turn Turn and Signs

I need to put together a list of songs to play during the visitation. I went through the CDs and listed the ones that I knew. But I don't have a great depth of knowledge. Could you help with lists of songs from that era that are appropriate, and help me avoid songs that aren't? I hit the top 100 songs of the 60s but it wasn't as helpful as I'd liked. I'll purchase some if needed. But if I do that, can I put them on a CD or USB key(iTunes is probably the source, but I'm an Android 0person)

I'm hoping to jsut put them on a USB key.
posted by Ftsqg to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like she liked the counterculture music of that era. Cool. Off the top of my head, here are a handful of well known songs you'll probably want to include:

The 5th Dimension, "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In"
Buffalo Springfield, "For What It's Worth"
Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Fortunate Son"
Arlo Guthrie, "Alice's Restaurant"
Scott McKenzie, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)"
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:35 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

This may not be exactly what you were looking for but there is an all instrumental Beatles music CD called "Bedtime with the Beatles" that is very nice for something like this. My brother was a big 60/70's music fan (especially the Beatles) and we had this playing at his viewing.

posted by MrsMGH at 8:52 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I can't tell if you want to limit yourself to just songs off the CDs you found/have, or want additional ones?

Any of the Cat Stevens should be appropriate-- he usually runs mellow and thoughtful.

Maybe check out the Big Chill soundtrack too.
posted by travertina at 9:02 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sounds like she's more into acoustic and harmonizing (more gentle than the psychedelic/rock stuff). I chose the following list by picking popular songs of those artists / that era that have a gentle feeling about them, although most are not about death (more like songs she might have enjoyed that won't clash with the mood of the visitation)

How about:

"Leaving on a Jet Plane" by John Denver or Peter, Paul, and Mary (multiple versions)
"Girl from the North Country" by Bob Dylan
"Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" by Bob Dylan
"Boots of Spanish Leather" by Bob Dylan
"Annie's Song" by John Denver
"Calypso" by John Denver
"Sunshine on My Shoulders" by John Denver
"Moonshadow" by Cat Stevens
"Morning Has Broken" by Cat Stevens
"The Wind" by Cat Stevens
"Birds" by Neil Young
"Both Sides, Now" by Joni Mitchell
"The Circle Game" by Joni Mitchell
"Bleecker Street" by Simon & Garfunkel
"April Come She Will" by Simon & Garfunkel
posted by sallybrown at 9:03 AM on May 3, 2016 [10 favorites]

Miles from Nowhere by Cat Stevens is thematically appropriate as well as something she probably would have liked.
posted by chaiminda at 9:56 AM on May 3, 2016

Here are some Peter, Paul & Mary songs:

Leaving on a Jet Plane
Autumn to May
Early Morning Rain
The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face

And some Cat Steven songs:

Wide World
Into White
How Can I Tell You
Morning Has Broken
Moon Shadow
posted by colfax at 10:02 AM on May 3, 2016

And here are some Bob Dylan songs (with the specific album names, because there are so many live versions and bootlegs, etc, out there):

"You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" - Blood on the Tracks
"If You See Her, Say Hello" - Blood on the Tracks
"Shelter From the Storm" - make sure this is the acoustic version from Blood on the Tracks!
"Simple Twist of Fate" - Blood on the Tracks
"Girl from the North Country" - Freewheeling Bob Dylan
"Tomorrow is a Long Place" - Greatest Hits
"I was Young When I Left Home" - Love and Theft
In the Summertime - Shot of Love
posted by colfax at 10:14 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Judy Collin's version of "Both Sides, Now"
Linda Ronstadt's version of "Different Drum"
Leonard Cohen, "Sisters of Mercy" or "Suzanne"
If you can get ahold of some Rodriguez (Sixto Rodriguez), put that on the list.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 10:14 AM on May 3, 2016

The Circle Game is what I would want played at my visitation.

In My Life by The Beatles too, but it's very sad to me.
posted by rubster at 10:15 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh, and Oscar Issac's version of "The Death of Queen Jane." A contemporary recording, but done in that 60s folk-revival style.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 10:24 AM on May 3, 2016

I suggest looking for songs by Donovan. He has a lot more to offer than "Mellow Yellow," which he is most famous for in the US. His early stuff was pretty Dylan-esque, then he went in a pretty mystical direction -- but mostly retained pretty melodies and lyrics.

Catch the Wind
Happiness Runs

I would also consider some of his slightly more rambunctious tracks, which could still be appropriate depending on the person and the visitors: Season of Farewell, There is a Mountain, and Wear Your Love Like Heaven
posted by mean square error at 10:24 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Spirit in the Sky, Norman Greenbaum (release date 1969). This is a happy song about death.

I would also include Don't Fear the Reaper, Blu Oyster Cult even though it's '76 but I like happy songs about death. There's a cover of this one by the Caesars that I think is fantastic.

And When I Die was written by Laura Nyro and recorded by her in 67 but first recorded by Peter Paul & Mary in 66.
posted by janey47 at 10:40 AM on May 3, 2016

How about Get Together by the Youngbloods?
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 10:45 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Thank you for all the song suggestions. I so appreciate them.

I'd didnt make the second part of the question very clear- can I burn songs bought on iTunes to CD?
posted by Ftsqg at 10:51 AM on May 3, 2016

For Leonard Cohen, do be sure to include Anthem, which includes the lines:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

I'm sorry I can't answer your iTunes question.
posted by janey47 at 11:09 AM on May 3, 2016

You can make a playlist of songs on ITunes and then, still in ITunes, burn the playlist onto a CD.
posted by djinn dandy at 11:40 AM on May 3, 2016

I don't think anyone has said Simon and Garfunkle? The song called the Sound of Silence would go best with these others.
Maybe the acoustic version of Layla, which, while it was recorded way later on than the original, is still the same song from that era, but more in keeping with the vibe of this mix.
America - Sister Golden Hair
Don McLean - American Pie or Vincent
James Taylor - Carolina in my Mind, Fire and Rain

Yes re/ iTunes. However keep in mind fascist Apple has something like a seven-burn limit per song.
posted by jitterbug perfume at 12:30 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thank you for the days, by the Kinks. Beautiful song, perfect lyrics.
posted by smugly rowan at 2:11 PM on May 3, 2016

The Association had some really beautiful songs. I'd suggest "Cherish" and "Never My Love." Also the Mamas and the Papas, "Dream a Little Dream of Me" and "Dedicated to the One I Love."
posted by FencingGal at 4:33 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

If she didn't have any Joni Mitchell don't play any. Not all of us who were around in the sixties loved her music, some of us disliked it.

Seconding And When I Die.

It's My Way, Buffy Ste. Marie
posted by mareli at 5:05 PM on May 3, 2016

My mom liked a lot of the same artists; expanding on the original list, here's some other music that might work:

Gordon Lightfoot:
The Way I Feel
Early Morning Rain
If You Could Read My Mind
Minstrel of the Dawn

Tim Buckley: Morning Glory

Harry Belafonte: Jamaica Farewell

Judy Collins: Both Sides Now

Mama's and Pappa's: California Dreamin', Go Where You Wanna Go

John Denver: Take Me Home, Country Roads

The Weavers: Kisses Sweeter Than Wine

Mary Hopkins: Those Were the Days
posted by Bron at 5:57 PM on May 3, 2016

Not sure if you are interested in only music from the 60s or if you'd be content with covered 60s songs or some expanding into the 70s but still have a 60s vibe? Some songs I like:
The Times they are A Changin- Peter Paul and Mary
For Baby (For Bobby)- Peter Paul and Mary
500 Miles- Peter Paul and Mary (Justin Timberlake did an amazing cover of this)
Dink's Song - Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford
Ring them Bells- Sarah Jarosz (cover of Bob Dylan)
Take me Home, Country Roads- John Denver
Help Me- Joni Mitchell
Raised on Robbery - Joni Mitchell
Chelsea Morning- Joni Mitchell
Across the Great Divide- Kate Wolf (technically from the 80s but a folk song)
You Turn me On, I'm a Radio- Joni Mitchell (great cover by Aoife O'Donovan)
Walkin' Back to Georgia- Jim Croce (released early 70s)
Operator- Jim Croce
posted by Wildflowers at 7:51 AM on May 4, 2016

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