When you die, what song do you want played at your funeral?
August 5, 2004 8:37 AM   Subscribe

When you die, what song do you want played at your funeral?

I ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Can't decide if I wan't people to crack up with my delightful wit (Motley Crue - Kickstart My Heart), bum everyone out, and ruin a perfectly good song with the memory of their greif at my loss ("Dust in the Wind"), or maybe somewhere in-between (Talking Heads - "Heaven").

posted by Quartermass to Media & Arts (77 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
What Happens When We Die by Luke Haines.

link is to lyrics
posted by kenaman at 8:54 AM on August 5, 2004

In order of preference:
"To the Sky" -Cure
"No One is Alone" - Sondheim
"Heaven or Las Vegas" - Cocteau Twins
and "Being Boring" - Pet Shop Boys (altho that one's been a standard for years at most of the memorials i've been to, so probably not, and it's dated now)
posted by amberglow at 8:56 AM on August 5, 2004

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's Somewhere Over the Rainbow cover. Kitschy, yes, but I don't care; I'll be dead, remember?

(Note: I hope this thread doesn't end up some omg eerie, morbid, cyberspace coincidence where someone who posts actually dies and bloggers everywhere point to this thread and talk about how sad it is.)
posted by Hankins at 9:00 AM on August 5, 2004

No contest. The Arrogant Worms, Don't Go Into Politics.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 9:01 AM on August 5, 2004

What a coincidence. I'm with Hankins. Iz's Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World cover.
posted by dobbs at 9:04 AM on August 5, 2004

This was a question at a rock DJ meeting that I was at once. One of the better answers was the first three minutes of The Incredible String Band's "A Very Cellular Song".

(I think I said Bob Drake's "In the Tomb" or Shub-Niggurath's "Yog Sothoth".)
posted by kenko at 9:05 AM on August 5, 2004

something by george michael, perhaps? i don't listen to his music, but he is (was?) more than capable of hitting a good, danceable groove - i'm assuming this "funeral" would be some kind of party; that my partner would outlive me, and that she'd be dancing 'til daybreak.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:09 AM on August 5, 2004

Theme from Shaft. But with the word 'black' dubbed with 'dead', and the name 'shaft' dubbed with my name.

"Who's the dead private dick that's a sex machine with all the chicks? John Kenneth Fisher! (you're damn right.)"

I'm actually only slightly kidding. I want my funeral to be a joyous affair, though I know saying that sets me up for many "oh, it will be" kind of jibes.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:18 AM on August 5, 2004

Anything from Metal Machine Music will do.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:32 AM on August 5, 2004

Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
posted by swift at 9:35 AM on August 5, 2004

cast your fate to the wind vince guaraldi, as played by my dad.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:36 AM on August 5, 2004

"So Long, Farewell" from The Sound of Music: "Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu." Or maybe "Shoot Out the Lights" by Richard and Linda Thompson. Or maybe The Pretenders' "2000 Miles."
posted by kirkaracha at 9:41 AM on August 5, 2004

A lone piper on a mist covered hill in the distance playing the immortal rendition of "Do ya think I'm sexy" has always been my wish.
posted by karmaville at 9:42 AM on August 5, 2004

Pulp - 'I Spy'
posted by biffa at 9:44 AM on August 5, 2004

I've never been to a funeral where music was played. Where is this a common practice? I'd favor a Mozart or Verdi Requiem Missa: dona eis requiem...et lux perpetua luceat eis.
posted by naxosaxur at 9:45 AM on August 5, 2004

I think funerals/wakes should be fun, and involve lots of alcohol, so "Ecstacy in Decay" by Cannibal Corpse while the first keg is tapped, followed by Irish drinking songs.
posted by cmonkey at 9:46 AM on August 5, 2004

Nobody wants Danny Boy any more?

I'd bet Dar Williams' I Love, I Love would fit well:
And were I a deadwood ship, my heart a compass
I would leave with inanimate grace, no love could touch me
But I live and I know that I'll burn as I grow
Though it might break my heart to walk away and so

As a moon may adore you and remain, high moon
The wind may crown your head with leaves, and keep blowing
So I'll stop and I'll watch you, for I love, I love
And then be on my way. And then be on my way.
There's also a choral piece by a local Utah composer Ralph Woodward called A Day in Spring that's beautiful, beautiful, much in the way Danny Boy is.
posted by weston at 9:49 AM on August 5, 2004

Oh yeah, requia. I'm also partial to the Requiem of both Faure and Rutter.
posted by weston at 9:53 AM on August 5, 2004

I'm... too sexy for this life... too sexy for this life...

(real answer: I'll be dead, and couldn't care less what people do at that point)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:53 AM on August 5, 2004

I'm with Woody Allen on the whole question of my death, but this reminds me of an anecdote that strikes me as hilarious in retrospect.

If you grew up in Chicago during the 80s, you know who Steve Dahl is: a radio personality. He had a friend, Marcus Palmer. In 1983 (?? too lazy to look it up) Marcus was apparently in ill health, and underwent surgery. Steve got a call on the air that Marcus had died on the operating table. In shock, he had the engineer play the next song, which had already been cued up.

It was Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust."
posted by adamrice at 9:54 AM on August 5, 2004

I'd like one of my good musician friends to write a song using the words to A Late Fragment.

And then something like Star! by Erasure... or 19-2000 by Gorillaz to get things movin'.
posted by papercake at 9:59 AM on August 5, 2004

Slayer - Hell Awaits
posted by pissfactory at 10:08 AM on August 5, 2004

you know, for many years i would have said "Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who.

but lately i'm thinking "Hubba Hubba Zoot Zoot" by Caramba pretty much says it all.
posted by quonsar at 10:08 AM on August 5, 2004

No contest: smog, "Dress Sexy At My Funeral":

Dress sexy at my funeral my good wife
For the first time in your life
Wear your blouse undone to here
And your skirt split up to here

posted by yerfatma at 10:14 AM on August 5, 2004

Couldn't Call It Unexpected (No. 4)

So toll the bell or rock the cradle
Please don't let me fear anything I cannot explain
I can't believe, I'll never believe in anything again

posted by baltimore at 10:17 AM on August 5, 2004

How about St. James Infirmary, while we're moving that direction...
posted by weston at 10:21 AM on August 5, 2004

John Cage - Four Minutes, Thirty-three Seconds.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:24 AM on August 5, 2004

Pogues, "Body of an American"
posted by kirkaracha at 10:24 AM on August 5, 2004

the gories - six cold feet
posted by mrcircles at 10:26 AM on August 5, 2004

Lucky by Radiohead.

Although a friend of mine always says he wants the Imperial March from the Empire Strikes Back which would be cool so if i die before him i might nick it.
posted by devon at 10:28 AM on August 5, 2004

posted by nicwolff at 10:34 AM on August 5, 2004

Black Sabbath's Electric Funeral and/or Hand of Doom have always struck me as good funeral songs
posted by TedW at 10:36 AM on August 5, 2004

Enya's Memory of Trees.

But the truth is I will wind up with church music, which is okay, as by then I will have probably written something suitable anyhow.

Morbid or not, folks, do plan your funerals. I have been to a few in the last few years that have been doozies. One you could have sold tickets to. So you really don't want to leave things to grieving amateurs.
posted by konolia at 10:41 AM on August 5, 2004

Fleetwood Mac, "Landslide"

If I live to a ripe old age, it'll be in spite of my hobbies... I'm most likely to die in an accident of some sort. "Landslide" describes the kind of wonder I'm always trying to seek out in the world around me, and my hope that someday the rest of my family will stop being afraid of everything and choose to experience more.
posted by SpecialK at 10:50 AM on August 5, 2004

"Baby, Im-A Want You"
posted by dhoyt at 10:52 AM on August 5, 2004

Spread Your Wings by Queen.
posted by alphanerd at 11:17 AM on August 5, 2004

Free Bird
posted by trbrts at 11:28 AM on August 5, 2004

Metallica's cover of the Imperial March, from Star Wars, natch.
posted by signal at 11:33 AM on August 5, 2004

I don't care what you play at my funeral, as I don't expect to be there.
posted by kindall at 11:41 AM on August 5, 2004

I want to be cremated, and have them dump my ashes into the driveway for traction during the winter.

No funeral, no music, no nothing. I find all that corpse worshiping icky!
posted by jpburns at 11:46 AM on August 5, 2004

Festive Overture at the climax of the cremation ceremony, with Crazy Train beginning immediately thereafter.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 11:53 AM on August 5, 2004

Bach, "Erbarm'dich Mein, O Herre Gott"
posted by the fire you left me at 11:56 AM on August 5, 2004

"Fire and Rain" - James Taylor
posted by grateful at 11:59 AM on August 5, 2004

"Farewell Transmission" by songs:ohia. make sure you visit the site and check out the guy's unibrow.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:07 PM on August 5, 2004

"Dig me out" by Sleater-Kinney.
posted by whatnot at 12:09 PM on August 5, 2004

"Smoke gets in my eyes" and "great balls of fire" would be fun, but I intend to be burnt, thankyouverymuch.

Slightly more seriously, "We'll all go together when we go" by Tom Lehrer would be about my style.
posted by twine42 at 12:11 PM on August 5, 2004

"At My Funeral" - Crash Test Dummies
posted by Steve Simpson at 12:11 PM on August 5, 2004

I'd say "Like a friend" by Pulp, except that it doesn't really work at all. And I second the whole burn-me-or-dump-me thing.

(or third, or twenty-eleventh, I'm not counting)
posted by codger at 12:13 PM on August 5, 2004

Yerfatma, You stole my idea!
posted by smich at 12:17 PM on August 5, 2004

'Psycho Mafia' - The Fall
'Song to the Siren' - This Mortal Coil version
'Go For It' - Coventry City 1987 FA Cup winning squad
'Interactive' - TQ1
'Satellite of Love' - Lou Reed

Hymn: 'Abide With Me'

This is actually in my will ;-)
posted by i_cola at 12:24 PM on August 5, 2004

"Hell", by Squirrel Nut Zippers. haha.
Seriously, a stupid ask me though. Please refrain guys
posted by ac at 12:29 PM on August 5, 2004

I always thought this Poi Dog Pondering song was perfect:

Put away your tongues and roll up your sleeves
Pick up your shovel and bury me deep
posted by xil at 12:30 PM on August 5, 2004

Apparently I'm one of the few who wouldn't want a DJ with one headphone earpiece to his ear at his funeral. It's pretty conventional, but I want Barber's "Adagio for Strings", Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion" and/or Brahms "Ein Deutsches Requiem".
posted by turbodog at 12:30 PM on August 5, 2004

If she were alive, I would've liked Linda McCartney to do a very respectful, very somber tambourine solo as they lowered me into the ground. She was the real talent in that marriage.
posted by dhoyt at 12:42 PM on August 5, 2004

drats! well it looks like dude took all the press photos off of the songs:ohia site. but it's important to me that you guys see his unibrow so:

posted by mcsweetie at 1:00 PM on August 5, 2004

Christ. That brow is seriously nonpluralistic.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:05 PM on August 5, 2004

...while the first keg is tapped, followed by Irish drinking songs.

Good call: Wild Rover for me

And it's No, Nay, Never . . . . No, Nay, Never, No more
posted by rorycberger at 1:10 PM on August 5, 2004

Any or all of Channel Light Vessel's "Bill's Last Waltz", and Kate St. John's "My Goodbyes" and "Coloniel Sinnott's Song of Love." Appropriate mood, little hopeful, and my one last chance of subverting anyone's musical tastes from the grave.
posted by frallyth at 1:20 PM on August 5, 2004

If I'm done in by my lack of tact, I definitely want The Clash's "Somebody Got Murdered."
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:28 PM on August 5, 2004

what, no one said "Seasons in the Sun"? ; >

Goodbye my friend it's hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
(and a midi version)
posted by amberglow at 1:32 PM on August 5, 2004

I was asked this question a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't think of an appropriate one so I tried to write it.

As I did I realized the chord structure and changes were a complete rip off of Neutral Milk Hotel's "Two Headed Boy, Pt. 2", so I'm going with that. Or possibly "Dry the Rain" by the Beta Band.

Although I'm not much for funerals. As far as I care they should just harvest my organs and dump my body somewhere they see fit. I hope people don't mourn my passing but instead celebrate my life.
posted by nath at 2:22 PM on August 5, 2004

I heard that at Janis Joplin's funeral, she had decreed in her will that they drop a piano from a great height at the service. They did it too, apparently.

Songs? Sidney Bechet's Black Stick and Tom Waits' Anywhere I Lay My Head. And the 12" single version of Da Da Da by Trio. That'll keep the festivities short.

Then, and a New Orleans-style cabaret jazz band with lots of horns at the wake. You know. To encourage the flow of good memories. You know.
posted by chicobangs at 2:29 PM on August 5, 2004

"I Was A Maoist Intellectual" by Momus
(You gotta scroll down for full lyrics)

I gave up ideology the day I lost my looks
I never found a publisher for my little red books
When I died the energy released by my frustration
Was nearly enough for re-incarnation
posted by shotsy at 2:45 PM on August 5, 2004

without a doubt, the entire suite from Coltrane's A Love Supreme
posted by sic at 4:30 PM on August 5, 2004

I've been thinking about this question all afternoon, and it's down to Modest Mouse's Cowboy Dan or Blind Willie McTell's Dyin' Crapshooter's Blues.
posted by Acetylene at 5:05 PM on August 5, 2004

(This is possibly gonna label me a complete geek but...)

"Into the West" by Annie Lennox and Howard Shore. Yep, that's right, the end credits music to Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

But I want the memorial to be done on a beach on Maui, at sunset.
posted by dnash at 6:38 PM on August 5, 2004

Is it wrong for a white boy to want a New Orleans jazz funeral?
posted by SPrintF at 6:50 PM on August 5, 2004

Shadows In A Mirror by Chris Isaak. Or maybe Little Black Flowers.
posted by rushmc at 7:35 PM on August 5, 2004

"The Waiting for Something Worse to Happen Waltz", because I wrote it, played on it, and it sums up how I feel pretty well.
posted by interrobang at 7:37 PM on August 5, 2004

311 - I'll be here awhile

Just because I'm dead doesn't mean I'm not going to haunt my friends for a long ass time.
posted by Stynxno at 7:54 PM on August 5, 2004

Box of Rain by Robert Hunter and Phil Lesh, performed by the Grateful Dead.
posted by caddis at 10:17 PM on August 5, 2004

Time Is Tight, of course (although Highway To Hell might get a laugh).
posted by timeistight at 11:44 PM on August 5, 2004

I recently did a death/funeral mix after losing my grandmother. Here's the tracklisting:

We're All Gonna Die Someday - Kasey Chambers
Sweetness Follows - REM
Amsterdam - Coldplay
Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
Don't Go Away - Oasis
Jesus Don't Want Me For A Sunbeam - Nirvana
Nan's Song - Robbie Williams
Toronto #4 - Tragically Hip
Autumn's Here - Hawksley Workman
Angel - Sarah McLachlan
In My Life - Beatles
We'll Meet Again - Johnny Cash

(Oops, sorry - I thought this was ArtOfTheMix.org)

For myself, I'd probably take nearly any song on that list but you can't go wrong with the Beatles one (or Kasey Chambers if I go for the "celebrate life and party" funeral instead.)

On a related note, when my first grandmother passed away I always thought it was hilarious that her choir group sang "Blowing In The Wind" - I guess I just never expected to hear a Dylan song in that setting for some reason.
posted by Jaybo at 11:38 PM on August 8, 2004 [1 favorite]

My friend Ian had the Star Trek theme (next gen) played at his funeral. The bastard really raised the bar with that one. None of us saw it coming.

So, in competition, if I get cremated, I'm having one of the following:
Ash - Burn Baby Burn
Nelly - It's Getting Hot In Here
Tom Jones & The Cardigans - Burning Down The House

On the other hand, if I'm buried, it's gonna be:
Jamiroquai - Deeper Underground
The Jam - Going Underground

Terrible, cheesey crap. Roll on 2065!
posted by armoured-ant at 2:48 AM on August 9, 2004

Mahler's Symphony #2, "Resurrection"
And yes, the attendees can damn well sit there and listen for 80 minutes. It's my funeral, after all.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:12 PM on August 11, 2004

« Older Fearful   |   Is there a way to view the entries in Safari's... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.