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Songs for Dead Time
October 3, 2006 5:43 AM   Subscribe

Music for Funerals - 5000 Brits were surveyed about songs they'd like played during their funeral. I'm warning you right now, Bon Jovi made the top 20.
posted by davebush (173 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I thought it was going to be "Livin' on a Prayer," not the one that it was. Or "Bad Medicine."
posted by wigu at 5:48 AM on October 3, 2006


What, "Death of a clown" by the Kinks didn't make it?
posted by spazzm at 5:50 AM on October 3, 2006


That's all really depressing.
posted by Alex404 at 5:52 AM on October 3, 2006


I'd be happy for Bon Jovi to play at my cremation. Provided they're locked in the coffin with me.
posted by Mr Bismarck at 5:54 AM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


I guess this means that the Elgar Variations (i.e., the Nimrod variation) are out of the running.
posted by bim at 5:56 AM on October 3, 2006


I'm having 'Flash' by Queen (Greatest Hits version) and 'I am the Resurrection' by The Stone Roses. Any MeFites who here this has not worked out should I shuffle off this mortal coil are invited to investigate and thump my nun Auntie who will be the most likely cause of their being blocked.
posted by biffa at 5:56 AM on October 3, 2006


Psycho Mafia by The Fall
Song to the Siren by This Mortal Coil
Interactive by TQ1
Rush Hour by Jane Wiedlin
Satellite of Love by Lou Reed
Go For It by The Coventry City 1987 FA Cup Winning Squad

Hymn: Abide With Me

When I go, I go with variety...and I'm not just talking about my toilet habits...
posted by i_cola at 6:06 AM on October 3, 2006


I'm picturing attending someone's funeral, and hearing "I've Had The Time Of My Life" play. I honestly don't know if I'd find that tragic or hysterical. Probably depends on the deceased. Would it be wrong to start dirty dancing with my wife?
posted by Banky_Edwards at 6:08 AM on October 3, 2006


I'd want 'Live Forever,' by Billy Joe Shaver, myself.
posted by jonmc at 6:09 AM on October 3, 2006


I'm thinking Queen also, biffa. Start off with "Who Wants to Live Forever," and then once everyone's sobbing, kick in with "Princes of the Universe." Or possibly "Fat-Bottomed Girls."
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:12 AM on October 3, 2006


Number 5 on the list is "Pie Jesu from Requiem." Not a word about which Requiem (my pick would be Duruflé, but then I have weird taste.)

I bet it's Andrew fucking Lloyd fucking Webber.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:12 AM on October 3, 2006


I'm surprised that Bittersweet Symphony isn't up there. It seems to be the one all my friends want, even though I'm not a fan.

I want Iron & Wine's Sodom South Georgia to be played by my son, who not only doesn't play guitar, but doesn't exist yet, what with me being 18 and all. Can you guys hold off killing me 'til then?
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 6:14 AM on October 3, 2006


METAL MACHINE MUSIC BOTH SIDES 2X WITH NO SEATS PLUS BEER WILL BE $10 A CUP.

I'm dying angry.
posted by dong_resin at 6:15 AM on October 3, 2006 [3 favorites]


that or eno.
posted by dong_resin at 6:15 AM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ain't It Grand to Be Bloomin' Well Dead by the Barmy Brothers.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:18 AM on October 3, 2006


My mate has his heart set on Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go".

He can't die soon enough.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:23 AM on October 3, 2006


The group said that 51 per cent of people have considered a specific song to be played at their funeral. Also, 79 per cent have discussed the choice of song with family or friends.

Those numbers are much higher than I would have thought. Wonder how many of these people have signed an organ donor card or have a valid will, though.

I don't know what I would select. The songs I love help me get through life. Right now, when I'm trying to get through a couple of things, I love Natalie Merchant's Life is Sweet. But I doubt that my family and friends would want to hear it at my funeral. I figure it's up to the people who care about me to pick out the songs that speak to their grief, and even to their conception of me. Funerals, like the rest of life, are for the living.

I HOPE they won't select anything by Jon Bon Jovi, but it's not like I have the capacity to be offended or to complain if they do.
posted by orange swan at 6:26 AM on October 3, 2006


A friend of mine killed himself earlier this year. He was a local 'rave' dj -- he didn't make a living at it -- just a hobby, but a really nice guy and really popular in the local scene.

I was holding my shit together until I got to the viewing and they were playing his last house music mix CD on a little boom-box next to the coffin.

I had two thoughts-- one was that it was pretty incredible that his parents had enough respect for who he was that they did that for him and his friends -- that was the thought that actually made me cry about his death for the first time.

My second thought was that even though I'm (sometimes) a trance dj, that I made sure to tell all my friends afterwards that should I die an untimely death, that under no circumstances was trance to be played at my funeral.
posted by empath at 6:27 AM on October 3, 2006


I can't believe nobody's put Meatloaf's "Bat out of hell"
posted by katiecat at 6:30 AM on October 3, 2006


"Kickstart my Heart" by Mötley Crüe.

What? I'm serious.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:30 AM on October 3, 2006


Some years ago, around this time of year, my best friend's nephew died after being alive for only a week. As unendurably tragic as it was, the horrible, horrible music at the funeral had my best friend and I convulsing in fits of laughter (a mixture of greif and hysteria, I'm sure). Laughing at a baby's funeral, no matter how bad the organ playing and warbling about Jesus, is just not cool. It was then that I determined to make my own funeral mix CD. The list has changed over the years, and every now and then I'll hear a song and think--ooo that's a good one for my funeral!

A few that have stood the test of time:

Washing of The Water - Peter Gabriel
Here Comes The Flood (piano version) - Peter Gabriel
Across The Universe - Beatles
posted by apis mellifera at 6:31 AM on October 3, 2006


This post is a bit UK centric, don't you think?
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:32 AM on October 3, 2006


All my friends want Sid's version of "My Way'. I don't really care. I'll be dead. (Though maybe they can play 4'33" and say it's just a whole lot of people saying "." online).
posted by bunglin jones at 6:32 AM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Queen, "Another One Bites the Dust".
posted by Justinian at 6:36 AM on October 3, 2006


Sing me to sleep
Sing me to sleep
I dont want to wake up
On my own anymore

Sing to me
Sing to me
I dont want to wake up
On my own anymore

Dont feel bad for me
I want you to know
Deep in the cell of my heart
I really want to go

There is another world
There is a better world
Well, there must be
posted by four panels at 6:46 AM on October 3, 2006


"Highway to Hell".
posted by Sijeka at 6:47 AM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Slayer, Altar of Sacrifice.
posted by effwerd at 6:47 AM on October 3, 2006


"No One Lives Forever" by Oingo Boingo. Because, sadly, it's true.
posted by jscalzi at 6:49 AM on October 3, 2006


I'd shoot anyone that chose James Blunt to be played at their funeral. Good job they're already dead I guess.

Too many of them where too cliche'd or just crap.

I always thought I'd have House of the Rising Sun at mine, but then the
story of the song is fuck all like the story of my life.

Maybe Gadda Da Vidda - i mean at least its long. People would have to sit
for ages listenting to it witter on, and then they'd be bored. Bored to
tears. Shit I'd be dead, they should all be crying.

Err I dunno.

I guess right now it would be anything by Combichrist.
posted by 13twelve at 6:49 AM on October 3, 2006


One of my choices would have to be Lorena McKennitt's Dante's Prayer.
posted by spock at 6:56 AM on October 3, 2006


my funeral mix, for what its worth.
posted by nola at 6:58 AM on October 3, 2006


I'd want 'Live Forever,' by Billy Joe Shaver, myself.
posted by jonmc


thats awsome.

i should add "Desperados Waiting for the Train" by Guy Clark to my list.
posted by nola at 7:01 AM on October 3, 2006


As a funeral director, this post brings me much joy. I will say, from a professional view: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU CHOOSE!

I can't tell you how many people want "Freebird" played when a young person dies. My advice to them: listen to the song first. Most people remember "I'm as free as a bird now" but forget that the song is nine minutes long and half of that is instrumental.

Believe me, watching grandma roll her eyes while Skynard rocks out is funny for me, but may make you wish you had chosen better music.
posted by ColdChef at 7:04 AM on October 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


I have a friend who has decreed that at her wedding, divorce and funeral the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" will be played.
posted by patricio at 7:09 AM on October 3, 2006


I Can't Believe You Actually Died by the Microphones would be a pretty good choice.
posted by aquafiend at 7:11 AM on October 3, 2006


Come And Die With Me by Therapy? and Fatal, from the Judgement Night soundtrack.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:13 AM on October 3, 2006


FAAAME - I WANNA LIVE FOREVER!

That would be funny.
posted by xammerboy at 7:14 AM on October 3, 2006


ColdChef, for my friends putting Freebird on the jukebox was a way of hogging airtime and annoying everyone else (the 4th time it comes on in a non-rock bar in 1 hour made my friends weep with laughter and everyone with pain). Maybe the folk that chose it did so in that vein also?
posted by Gratishades at 7:18 AM on October 3, 2006


Pet Sematary by The Ramones?
posted by NationalKato at 7:18 AM on October 3, 2006


Lord is my Shotgun by Primal scream?
posted by clevershark at 7:20 AM on October 3, 2006


No funeral for me, but my choice would be REM's Find the River.
posted by davebush at 7:21 AM on October 3, 2006


No contest.

"Oh Yeah" by Yello.
posted by Jimbob at 7:24 AM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


"Suck My Ass It Smells" by GG Allin.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:26 AM on October 3, 2006


Don't you ever laugh as a hearse goes by,
for you may be the next to die.
They wrap you up in a big white sheet,
And cover you up from your head down to your feet.
They put you in a big black box,
And cover you up with dirt and rocks.
All goes well for about a week,
And then your coffin begins to leak.
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
The worms play pinochle on your snout.
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,
They eat the jelly between your toes.
A big green worm with rolling eyes,
Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes.
Your stomach turns a slimy green,
And pus pours out like whipping cream.
You spread it out on a slice of bread,
And that's what you eat when you are dead.


i wonder if anyone's used that
posted by pyramid termite at 7:27 AM on October 3, 2006


"Tango Till They're Sore" by Tom Waits.
posted by JT at 7:27 AM on October 3, 2006


"Ra Ra Rasputin" - Boney M.
posted by NeonSurge at 7:34 AM on October 3, 2006


Thing is, doesn't matter how great the song that you choose is, it will sound like crap over the tinny crematorium tannoy, and doubtless were you alive to see the blank incomprehension of your elderly relatives at the din coming out of the speakers, you'd be squirming in your coffin-lining in embarrasment.

As you can possibly tell, I have thought about this issue in some detail. No music at my funeral thanks.

I had an experience much like apis mellifera, my much beloved great uncle died a few years back, and was cremated in Chelmsford. Somehow, someone had managed to hire a Les Dawson impersonator to play the organ at the funeral. Between the frequent, artfully inserted bum-notes, and the regularity with which low frequencies appeared to hit the natural resonance of the coffin, or the pulpit or something, then despite our grief most of us were fighting off hysterics.
posted by bifter at 7:36 AM on October 3, 2006


I'm in ur funeral parlor cheezin' up ur wake...
posted by Mister_A at 7:39 AM on October 3, 2006


I've always thought "Every Breath you Take" sounds like a stalker's manifesto set to music.

For my funeral I want Randy Newman's "Life Has Been Good To Me" from Faust. And maybe an instrumental version of Michael Jackson's "Thriller".
posted by JeremiahBritt at 7:39 AM on October 3, 2006


"Angel of Death" by Slayer.
posted by photoslob at 7:39 AM on October 3, 2006


People Who Died/Jim Carroll Band
When I Die/GG Allin
I'm Free/The Who
I Want My Baby Back/Jimmy Cross
Endless Sleep/the Poison Idea cover...
posted by AJaffe at 7:40 AM on October 3, 2006


Believe me, watching grandma roll her eyes while Skynard rocks out is funny for me, but may make you wish you had chosen better music.

Nah, I won't care, I'll be dead.
posted by JanetLand at 7:41 AM on October 3, 2006


I want "March of the Dwarfs" by Grieg, and also I want everyone should wear a pointy wizard hat OR a Xena breastplate.
posted by Mister_A at 7:41 AM on October 3, 2006


Huh, no John Cage - 4'33"
posted by Pastabagel at 7:42 AM on October 3, 2006


I plan to have the coffin lowered into the grave to this lovely horn suite I heard years ago. It's slow, a bit mournful, but fulfills the greatest point of such things: some people will recognize it and bust something.

It's the end theme to "Mystery Science Theatre 3000".
posted by mephron at 7:43 AM on October 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


I've always wanted Fear Factory's "A Therapy For Pain", but I haven't really thought about it since I was 16.

Maybe just have Lard's "They're Coming To Take Me Away" played over and over again until I'm in the ground, just to hurry along any chance of missing me.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:50 AM on October 3, 2006


"Close My Eyes Forever"
Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne
posted by owhydididoit at 7:56 AM on October 3, 2006


Bach's Cello Suite No. 1
Spinvis - Limonadeglazen Wodka
Flaming Lips - Do You Realize?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:00 AM on October 3, 2006


Rolling Stones - Dead Flowers
posted by maggieb at 8:00 AM on October 3, 2006


How about the theme from Halloween? Or the Exorcist?
posted by Pastabagel at 8:02 AM on October 3, 2006


Shine on You Crazy Diamond, I-IX. On acid. Scatter my ashes to the winds, then go play some frisbee.
posted by prostyle at 8:02 AM on October 3, 2006


I want that 'Gift of a Thistle' song off the Braveheart soundtrack. Make fun of me all you want.
posted by Bageena at 8:09 AM on October 3, 2006


Mount me upright on a frame with casters, set me in the middle of a ballroom, and play waltzes so I can have a last dance with everyone, one visitor at a time. Then finish it by having me thrown on to the crowd for some stagediving around the floor and out to the cemetery.
posted by pracowity at 8:11 AM on October 3, 2006


the last time i heard "plainsong" by the cure i thought that might be a good choice, especially if it was really loud and the funeral hall was very dark. right now i'm thinking "blasphemous rumors" by depeche mode.
posted by snofoam at 8:12 AM on October 3, 2006


Europe. The Final Countdown.
posted by wigu at 8:15 AM on October 3, 2006


I'd go with The Beatles "Goodnight".
posted by gfrobe at 8:19 AM on October 3, 2006


Frankie Yankovich's "Pennsylvania Polka" and Herbie Hancock's "Rock it"
posted by papakwanz at 8:23 AM on October 3, 2006


Although I am not a bird, nor do I surf, I've always hoped that The Trashmen's "Surfer Bird" will be played at my funeral.
posted by peeedro at 8:24 AM on October 3, 2006


Neutral Milk Hotel - The Aeroplane Over the Sea
Flaming Lips - Do You Realize?

My mother has chosen "Into the Mystic," which means I cannot hear that song without contemplating her death. Thanks, mom.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:24 AM on October 3, 2006


Don't Fear The Reaper?
posted by dreamsign at 8:24 AM on October 3, 2006


and Fire by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

for the cremation, you understand.
posted by dreamsign at 8:25 AM on October 3, 2006


The End by the Doors.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 8:26 AM on October 3, 2006


Good call, dreamsign. Another good one from the same album: "Rest Cure"
posted by AJaffe at 8:28 AM on October 3, 2006


dreamsign writes "Don't Fear The Reaper?"

Only if it is mandated that someone repeatedly ask for more cowbell.
posted by clevershark at 8:31 AM on October 3, 2006


And also to keep in mind: this funeral isn't for you. I mean, it's for you, but it isn't for you. It's a show, a pagent for your friends. You want to choose (as someone has indicated above) songs they'd recognize and enoy (if only ironically).

Keep in mind that these people hypothetically loved you and they're maybe sad that you're dead (no, they probably won't be celebrating your life just yet, they'll be mourning you).

Here are the most popular songs for funerals down here in the deep South:
The previously mentioned "Freebird"
"Go Rest High on that Mountian" by Vince Gill
"When I Get Where I'm Going" by Dolly Parton and Brad Paisley
Contemporary versions of "Amazing Grace"
"Wind Beneath My Wings" (which, to me, is one of the most insulting songs of all time..."It must have been cold there in my shadow" Well, fuck you.)
"The Dance" by Garth Brooks (which is actually pretty damn good for a funeral)
posted by ColdChef at 8:32 AM on October 3, 2006


Classy for crematoria:

Dead I am the one, exterminating son
Slipping through the trees, strangling the breeze
Dead I am the sky, watching angels cry
While they slowly turn, conquering the worm

Dig through the ditches,
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula.....



Then just as they turn the burners up



Do it baby, do it baby
Do it baby, do it baby
Burn like an animal

posted by lalochezia at 8:37 AM on October 3, 2006


Speaking of 'Iron & Wine', I bet 'Dead Man's Will' would bring everyone to tears at a funteral. I know it gives me goosebumps whenever I play it:

Give this stone to my brother
We found it playing in the barnyard many years ago
Give this bone to my father
He'll remember hunting in the hills when I was ten years old
Give this string to my mother
It pulled the baby teeth she keeps inside a drawer
Give this ring to my lover
I was scared and stupid not to ask for her hand long before

May my love reach you all
I locked it in myself and buried it to long
Now that I've come to fall
Please say it's not to late now that I'm dead and gone
posted by daHIFI at 8:37 AM on October 3, 2006


But I would have to go with "Dress Sexy at my Funeral" by Smog.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 8:38 AM on October 3, 2006


I'd want 'Live Forever,' by Billy Joe Shaver, myself.
posted by jonmc at 8:09 AM CST on October 3


I saw him sing that live on the anniversary of Eddie's death a year or two ago, and I saw him sing it a second time with Robert Earl Keen. Was really moving both times and and interesting choice.

I liked the idea of Stevie Goodman singing a Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request. I also always liked the Johnny Cash version of "We'll Meet Again" from American IV.

But for some reason, for me, I think a song called "Dings" by Mike McClure would be a good fit if I died as it captures my view of life.

Or I might throw everyone off by having them play The Song of the Shrimp by Elvis Presley from Girls! Girls! Girls!
posted by dios at 8:43 AM on October 3, 2006


"Hope There's Someone" - Antony and the Jonsons.

Also, I want to echo 13twelve, James Blunt makes me want to start shooting, although the deceased obviously wouldn't have to worry.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:47 AM on October 3, 2006


Johnsons...
posted by arcticwoman at 8:49 AM on October 3, 2006


Bela Lugosi's Dead
posted by rfs at 8:49 AM on October 3, 2006


Lay me low by Nick Cave.
posted by twistedonion at 8:54 AM on October 3, 2006


The ghoulish side of me suggests The Normal's "Warm Leatherette," particularly for a closed-casket sort of death.

More seriously, I'd probably pick the instrumental track "Pitter Patter Goes My Heart" off of Broken Social Scene's You Forgot It In People. That, or Eva Cassidy's cover of "Fields of Gold," because I'm a goddamn sucker for it.

"Eagle's Wings" for a hymn, of course. A gentle, acoustic version of it, sung barely above a whisper.
posted by Iridic at 8:55 AM on October 3, 2006


My husband wants "Carry On My Wayward Son" played as his casket goes into the crematorium.
posted by macadamiaranch at 8:55 AM on October 3, 2006


METAL MACHINE MUSIC BOTH SIDES 2X WITH NO SEATS PLUS BEER WILL BE $10 A CUP.

I'm dying angry.


I'm totally going to dong_resin's funeral. And I'm sneaking in a mickey and a set of bagpipes.

And if anyone has their heart set on a Johnny Cash tune, might I suggest his cover of Nick Cave's "Mercy Seat"? Can't beat the theatricality of that.

Or "Believe" by Cher? Different kind of theatricality . . .
posted by gompa at 8:59 AM on October 3, 2006


"Rico Suave" by Gerardo.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:04 AM on October 3, 2006


Gymnopédies 1-3, Erik Satie
Straight To Hell, The Clash
Keep Me in Your Heart, Warren Zevon
Cold, Cold Ground, Tom Waits
I See a Darkness, Johnny Cash & Will Oldham
In My Life, The Beatles
Lick My Love Pump, Nigel Tufnel
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:07 AM on October 3, 2006


9. # Every Breath You Take, The Police


Does no one actually listen to the lyrics of this creepy paranoia ridden song about obsessive stalking and latent violence? I've heard it is popular at weddings as well -- wonder how many funeral songs can make that claim...
posted by Rumple at 9:18 AM on October 3, 2006


Music to Die For reports on an earlier international study on this topic. Again this is for music that people say they would like played at their funeral: I suspect this is very different from what actually gets played. I would imagine - in the UK at least - it might look more like this.
posted by rongorongo at 9:20 AM on October 3, 2006


I had a conversation with a couple of friends about this way back in college. The most inappropriate thing we could think of for my funeral was "Tubthumping". Preferrably playing on cheap boomboxes held over my friends' heads as my coffin was lowered into the ground.

One friend even promised to yell "Don't bury him! I saw him move!" when the lyrics got to "I get knocked down / But I get up again / You're never going to / Keep me down".

It won't happen, of course (not because I've grown up, but because I'm donating my body to science), but I still find the imagery amusing for some reason. I'm just wrong like that.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 9:25 AM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


That's kinda cool, macadamiaranch. I'd throw "On The Road Again" into that mix (for the true believers).

no...
Spirit in the Sky?
It's The End of the World As We Know It?
Live and Let Die?
Highway to Hell?
My Sweet Lord?
I think I'm in Trouble?
the entire Xanadu soundtrack? on ice?

But seriously, I kinda thought the south would go in big for just about anything by John Denver. Tear jerkers for sure. And I bet there are more than a few takers for Don't Let It Bring You Down -- the Annie Lennox version. There's a good AskMe question: is it callous to seek royalties from such an event?

my half-serious choice: Just Like Starting Over
posted by dreamsign at 9:26 AM on October 3, 2006


For mine I'd choose something by J.Buckley, like Satisfied Mind (which I'm told was played at his funeral).

....or Elliott Smith's Angeles or St. Ides Heaven.

Surprised that w/ the popularity of the film "Love Actually", that the Brits didn't choose "Bye Bye Baby by the Bay City Rollers.
posted by incurable at 9:29 AM on October 3, 2006


Yakety Sax
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:29 AM on October 3, 2006


I've always told everyone that might have music authority at my funeral that I want a full swing band to be playing Madness - One Step Beyond.

If that can't be had, I'll settle for an acoustic guitar and a good singer with a rendition of Led Zeppelin's Going to California.
posted by thanotopsis at 9:32 AM on October 3, 2006


The Great Gig in the Sky - Pink Floyd
posted by effwerd at 9:33 AM on October 3, 2006


The Song of the Shrimp by Elvis Presley from Girls! Girls! Girls!
posted by dios


That's. Just. Perfect.
I've never had more respect for dios than I do right now.

I saw three shrimp in the water, two were old and gray
I swam a little bit closer and .. I heard the third one say

Goodbye mama shrimp, papa shake my hand
Here come the shrimper for to take me to Louisian'
Here come the shrimper for to take me to Louisian'

He showed his mama and papa, the shrimp newspaper he read
An invitation to all the shrimp and this is what it said
Free ride, New Orleans, stay in grand hotel
Big Creole gal who help you come out of your shell
Big Creole gal who help you come out of your shell

If I should live to be ninety, I will never forget
The little shrimp and the song he sang as he jumped into the net

Goodbye mama shrimp, papa shake my hand
Here come the shrimper for to take me to Louisian'
Here come the shrimper for to take me to Louisian'
posted by Floydd at 9:33 AM on October 3, 2006


If my family disrespects my wishes and gives me an open casket funeral instead of a simple cremation, I'd like "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" playing on a loop. Maybe interspersed with the theme from Fame. That'd clear the joint out.
posted by maryh at 10:02 AM on October 3, 2006


METAL MACHINE MUSIC BOTH SIDES 2X WITH NO SEATS PLUS BEER WILL BE $10 A CUP.
[!]


YOU PAID FOR THE WHOLE SEAT - BUT YOU'LL ONLY NEED THE EDGE!
posted by Pastabagel at 10:06 AM on October 3, 2006


I think, on a serious note, this song by Leonard Cohen would be a good one to go out on.

If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will

If it be your will
That a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

If it be your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill
On all these burning hearts in hell
If it be your will
To make us well

And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In their rags of light
In our rags of light
All dressed to kill
And end this night

If it be your will.
posted by Danf at 10:08 AM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


I swear to God, I will walk out of any funeral where The Wind Beneath My Wings is playing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:09 AM on October 3, 2006


Chris Whitley (RIP 1960-2005), "Dirt Floor"

There's a dirt floor underneath here
To receive us when changes fail
May this shovel loose your trouble
Let them fall away

Well the mist shall be your blanket
While the moss shall ease your head
As the future is soon forgotten
As the dirt shall be your bed

There's a dirt floor underneath here
To receive us when changes fail
May this shovel loose your trouble
Let them fall away

posted by gottabefunky at 10:14 AM on October 3, 2006


Lalochezia, excellent choice! Rob Zombie would make a most honorable funerary piece.
posted by winks007 at 10:22 AM on October 3, 2006


The Jefferson Airplane song "Coming Back To Me" as sung by Rickie Lee Jones, with pure, undiluted, whispering pain in her voice. Make 'em all sob uncontrollably.
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 10:22 AM on October 3, 2006


My wife hates this one, Tubular bells by Mike Olfield. Imagine the look on the crowds faces. Priceless
posted by winks007 at 10:29 AM on October 3, 2006


I swear I'll come back and haunt anybody that dares play either 'Wind beneath my Wings', anything by James Blunt or 'Raise you up on Eagles wings' (or whatever it's actually called at my funeral. I'm thinking perhaps 'This is the Sea' by the Waterboys to go out on. I could definitely also see 'Do you Realize?' by the Flaming Lips. Some friends of mine have a great a capella song called 'Nobody Ever Dies' which would also be perfect. It's on their Myspace.
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:33 AM on October 3, 2006


Well wouldn't it be better if the songs were contextual? For Example...

DOA by Bloodrock for someone horribly mangled in a car crash.
Fire and Rain for someone who died in an airplane crash.
Timothy for someone who died in a Mine accident
Burning Down The House.... well you get the picture.

Personally I would have them play Jethro Tull's Passion Play just so the people would be leaving the ceremony asking 'what the hell was that all about?'
posted by Gungho at 10:37 AM on October 3, 2006


What, no "Dead Man's Party"? Come on!

Anyway, I've long been smitten with the idea of having REM's "Get Up" blare loudly while my corpse lies there, emphatically not getting up.
posted by Skot at 10:38 AM on October 3, 2006


"I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead" by Weird Al.
posted by ktoad at 10:41 AM on October 3, 2006


I swear to God, I will walk out of any funeral where The Wind Beneath My Wings is playing.
posted by Astro Zombie


Not if it's yours, AZ.
posted by NationalKato at 10:41 AM on October 3, 2006


I was thinking maybe "Turn the World Around" as sung on the Muppets Show by Belafonte and sung at Henson's funeral. Then again if my friends do what I want which is a Viking send off with my body lashed to a pair of 70's style size speakers powered up and playing some tunes like Orff's Carmina Burana (oh I love bad medieval flicks - it is a secret pleasure shame) or Paulson's Death by Misadventure that wouldn't be bad either. But in the end it will be the lamentations of my enemies' women that will be my song (oops was channeling Conan there).
posted by jadepearl at 10:55 AM on October 3, 2006


Hmmm. This list of popular songs for funerals almost exactly matches my list of songs that I'd rather kill myself than listen to.
posted by vapidave at 10:55 AM on October 3, 2006


I swear to God, I will walk out of any funeral where The Wind Beneath My Wings is playing.
posted by Astro Zombie

Not if it's yours, AZ.


Unless of course that was exactly how he became a zombie.
posted by effwerd at 10:59 AM on October 3, 2006


"You're innocent when you dream" by Tom Waits
posted by homunculus at 11:00 AM on October 3, 2006


>>>The Song of the Shrimp by Elvis Presley from Girls! Girls! Girls!
>>>posted by dios

That's. Just. Perfect.
posted by Floydd at 11:33 AM CST on October 3 [+]


I'm amazed anyone else knew that song.

What's perfect about it is that it is such a cheery sing-song-y thing that you would get the sing-a-long aspect going.
posted by dios at 11:15 AM on October 3, 2006


Here's my simple 3-song set-list setlist....

Paik - Tinsel and Foil.mp3
The Appleseed Cast - Forever Longing the Golden Sunsets.mp3
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Moya.mp3
posted by Mach3avelli at 11:16 AM on October 3, 2006


"A Love Supreme" by John Coltrane
"Steppin' Out" by Joe Jackson
"Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" by Edith Piaf

(I think this topic would make for an excellent blog meme, despite the fact that I usually hate blog memes).
posted by scblackman at 11:16 AM on October 3, 2006


I returned a bag of groceries
Accidently taken off the shelf
Before the expiration date
I came back as a bag of groceries
Accidently taken off the shelf
Before the date stamped on myself

Did a large procession wave their (Did a)
Torches as my head fell in the basket, (large pro-)
And was everybody dancing on the casket? (cession dance?)

Now it's over I'm dead and I haven't done anything that I want (now it's over)
Or, I'm still alive and there's nothing I want to do

I will never say the word
"Procrastinate" again; I'll never
See myself in the mirror with my eyes closed
I didn't apologize for
When I was eight and I made my younger brother
Have to be my personal slave

Did a large procession wave their (Did a)
Torches as my head fell in the basket, (large pro-)
And was everybody dancing on the casket? (cession dance?)

Now it's over I'm dead and I haven't done anything that I want (now it's over)
Or, I'm still alive and there's nothing I want to do

(So) So I won't
(Sit) sit at home
(And) anymore
(And) and you won't
(And) see my head in
(And) the window
(And) and I won't
(And) be around
(And) ever anymore
(And) and I'll be up there on the wall at the store

I returned a bag of groceries
Accidently taken off the shelf
Before the expiration date
I came back as a bag of groceries
Accidently taken off the shelf
Before the date stamped on myself

Did a large procession wave their (Did a)
Torches as my head fell in the basket, (large pro-)
And was everybody dancing on the casket? (cession dance?)

Now it's over I'm dead and I haven't done anything that I want (now it's over)
Or, I'm still alive and there's nothing I want to do

Now it's over I'm dead and I haven't done anything that I want (now it's over)
Or, I'm still alive and there's nothing I want to do
posted by snofoam at 11:19 AM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


effwerd writes "Slayer, Altar of Sacrifice"
photoslob writes ""Angel of Death" by Slayer."


Sorry, but I'm afraid you're both wrong. The correct answer is Rain in Blood. Afterwards, Kerry King busts into the room, screams "munky was fucking metal", and then kills a man with his bare hands in tribute. Then he has sex with my widow (also in tribute).
posted by Drunken_munky at 11:22 AM on October 3, 2006


"Do Not Go Quietly Unto Your Grave" by Morphine
"Thank You Friends" by Big Star
posted by aGreatNotion at 11:24 AM on October 3, 2006


I would've thought the best (?) Slayer song to play at a funeral would be "Necrophobic".
posted by stinkycheese at 11:29 AM on October 3, 2006


JeremiahBritt writes "I've always thought 'Every Breath you Take' sounds like a stalker's manifesto set to music."

Er, that's because it is.
posted by Bugbread at 11:30 AM on October 3, 2006


"Heart and Soul", Joy Division
posted by snoktruix at 11:39 AM on October 3, 2006


"Unchained," by Johnny Cash
"I Am Weary (Let Me Rest)," the Cox Family
"Daddy Sang Bass" Johnny Cash
posted by keswick at 11:51 AM on October 3, 2006


If I don't get "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" played at my funeral, I am so coming back as a murderous ghost.
posted by mckenney at 12:06 PM on October 3, 2006


parabol / parabola - Tool. This song always feels so positive about life and existence to me.

Hurt - Nine Inch Nails (maybe the Johnny Cash cover). In the context of the NIN album, this song seems to be about someone who has committed suicide but is looking back on their life and they realize that "I would keep myself". This may or may not be a crowd pleaser.
posted by utsutsu at 12:12 PM on October 3, 2006


Sorry, but I'm afraid you're both wrong. The correct answer is Rain in Blood.
Sorry, but you're equally wrong: the album was Reign In Blood and the title track was Raining Blood (also surely one of Tori Amos's less good cover versions).

For no reason at all, other than I've always loved it, Tori Amos's "China" would be good. But, really, I don't even know if I'd want people to turn up, or, if they did, it would be because they wanted to be there as opposed to any sense of duty, family or otherwise.
posted by TheDonF at 12:21 PM on October 3, 2006


"Happy Boy" by The Beat Farmers.
posted by mazola at 12:26 PM on October 3, 2006


Boo Radleys' "Wake Up Boo"
posted by kirkaracha at 12:29 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Radiohead: Pyramid Song, natch.

Then Im Abendrot from the Four Last Songs by Strauss. Though given my family's track record of only playing 20 seconds worth of music selections at funerals (like what, we have to rush off somewhere? Get to the coffee and biscuits?) I doubt they'd sit still for it. That's why it's specified in my will that they have to be played in their entirety, or I will arrange for some variety of beyond the grave displeasure. Like, suck it up. It's my funeral.
posted by jokeefe at 12:52 PM on October 3, 2006


My best friend made me promise that I'd play "Goodbye, Goodbye" by Oingo Boingo as his casket was beeing lowered into the ground, with bonus points if I did it "Say Anything" style with the boombox held over my head. I haven't figured out what I want to have played at my funeral, but I hope to have enough time to procrastinate a while longer.
posted by lekvar at 12:52 PM on October 3, 2006


Yakety Sax

With video of my autopsy played at 3x normal speed.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:54 PM on October 3, 2006


Sorry, but you're equally wrong...

Alas! It's been a while since I've looked at that album, but that's no excuse. I am now significantly less metal.
posted by Drunken_munky at 1:06 PM on October 3, 2006


ColdChef, for my friends putting Freebird on the jukebox was a way of hogging airtime and annoying everyone else (the 4th time it comes on in a non-rock bar in 1 hour made my friends weep with laughter and everyone with pain).

Try Sister Ray. Longer, noisier, and most people don't know it. In fact, that's a good funeral song for a bassist. Since he/she's gone, you know...

Personally, I'd prefer something like Wang Dang Sweet Poontang.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:12 PM on October 3, 2006


I am now significantly less metal

You should redeem yourself by getting a copy of the new Mastodon album - it's rather fine.
posted by TheDonF at 1:14 PM on October 3, 2006


(I think this topic would make for an excellent blog meme, despite the fact that I usually hate blog memes).
posted by scblackman at 2:16 PM EST on October 3 [+] [!]


Or even more horribly a great bulletin thread on mySpace (yikes!)
posted by daHIFI at 1:24 PM on October 3, 2006


"O Death," Camper Van Beethoven
posted by rottytooth at 1:28 PM on October 3, 2006


Ideally, Eno's Neroli would begin at the precise moment of my death, and continue playing until the end of time.
posted by davebush at 1:29 PM on October 3, 2006


Actually, I should hope that one of my ex-bandmates would play one of the songs I wrote.
posted by rottytooth at 1:31 PM on October 3, 2006


"Well may the world go" by Pete Seeger seems like a nice one, provided I don't hate my friends and family when I die. If I do I figure I'll make them listen to the Jackson 5 sing "ABC."
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:43 PM on October 3, 2006


If the deceased is female, "She's Gone" by Hall and Oates would work pretty well.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:16 PM on October 3, 2006


No contest.

"Oh Yeah" by Yello.


This made me laugh for a good 5 minutes.
posted by Kloryne at 2:18 PM on October 3, 2006


Yeah, I was just thinking Mastodon would be excellent music to annoy people at a funeral.

MY LIFESBLOOOODDDDD
posted by synaesthetichaze at 3:14 PM on October 3, 2006


Sitting there, beyond the grave, watching people have to listen to Mastodon would be great. Especially if you followed it up with a medley of, say, Steps.
posted by TheDonF at 3:19 PM on October 3, 2006


"Ooh Child" would not be a bad song for my funeral. though not at all funny.

I love the "MST3K Love Theme idea" as well.
posted by litlnemo at 3:20 PM on October 3, 2006


Geez, I thought that Steps link was taking me to yet another experimental web page about Coltrane's Giant Steps.

Speaking of which, Ascension would be a great track to make your loved ones miserable at your funeral too.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 3:24 PM on October 3, 2006


Heartbeat by Don Jonson.

I'm looking for a heaaaartbeeeaaat!
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 3:39 PM on October 3, 2006


Hell's Bells by AC/DC would be a fine choice as well.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 3:42 PM on October 3, 2006


My friend made a mix tape for his funeral it is kept with his will. It has music that he liked and is sad. The 13th track has him farting and then he says "that was what my farts sounded like when I was alive!" the next track after that is walking on sunshine. I hope he lives long enough to change his mind.
posted by I Foody at 3:53 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Funeral for a friend, by Elton John
posted by found missing at 3:54 PM on October 3, 2006


Sorry synaesthetichaze, no Coltrane. You get to look at the lovely Lisa Steps instead which could well make up for it.
posted by TheDonF at 3:59 PM on October 3, 2006


METAL MACHINE MUSIC BOTH SIDES 2X WITH NO SEATS PLUS BEER WILL BE $10 A CUP.

All of Wing's albums, back to back. Beer will be free, and it will still be worse.
posted by oats at 4:37 PM on October 3, 2006


Tyco drumming.
posted by blag at 4:48 PM on October 3, 2006


Pyramid Termite got close to my favourite suggestion - "worms". It's probably traditional, but I know the pogues version. It's short but not all that sweet...
The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out
The ones that crawl in are lean and thin
The ones that crawl out are fat and stout
Your eyes fall in and your teeth fall out
Your brains come tumbling down your snout

Be merry my friends
Be merry
Still... my other two crematorium options were "Great balls of fire" and "smoke gets in your eyes" and I've been told that these would almost certainly be rejected on grounds of taste.

The Verve's Bittersweet Sympathy, and the Stones You can't always get what you want and Time is on my side all appeal.
posted by twine42 at 4:50 PM on October 3, 2006


The Trapeze Swinger, by Iron & Wine. Only a shortened version, to avoid the situation ColdChef spoke of.
posted by teem at 4:59 PM on October 3, 2006


I want Jacques Brel's "Funeral Tango" (As sung by Scott Walker):

Ah, I can see them now Clutching a handkerchief
And blowing me a kiss Discreetly asking how?
How come he died so young? Or was he very old?
Is the body still warm? Is it already cold?
All doors are open wide They poke around inside
My desk, my drawers, my trunk There's nothing left to hide
Some love letters are there And an old photograph
They've laid my poor soul bare And all they do is laugh
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha - ha, ha, ha!

Ah, I can see them all So formal and so stiff
Like a sergeant-at-arms At the policeman's ball
And everybody's pushing To be the first in line
Their hearts upon their sleeves Like a ten-cent valentine
The old women are there Too old to give a damn
They even brought the kids Who don't know who I am
They're thinking about the price Of my funeral bouquet
What they're thinking isn't nice 'Cause now they'll have to pay
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha - ha, ha, ha

Ah, I see all of you All of my phony friends
Who can't wait till it ends Who can't wait till it's through
Oh, I see all of you You've been laughing all these years
And now all that you have left Are a few crocodile tears
Ah, you don't even know That you're entering your hell
As you leave my cemetery And you think you're doing well
With that one who's at your side You're as proud as you can be
Ah, she's going to make you cry But not the way you cried for me
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha - ha, ha, ha
Ah, I can see me now So cold and so alone
As the flowers slowly die In my field of little bones
Ah, I can see me now I can see me at the end
Of this voyage that I'm on Without a love, without a friend
Now all this that I see Is not what I deserve
They really have a nerve To say these things to me
No, girls, just bread and water All your money you must save
Or there'll be nothing left for us When you're dead and in your grave!
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha - ha, ha, há
posted by black8 at 5:30 PM on October 3, 2006


Dear god, oats. I just listened to some of that. If the dearly departed would like some company in the hereafter that's the album to play; her Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds made me want to kill myself.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2006


Lowell George's "Dixie Chicken."

But then one night at the lobby of the Commodore Hotel,
I chanced to meet a bartender who said he knew her well.
And as he handed me a drink he began to hum a song.
And all the boys there, at the bar, began to sing along...


All together now.
posted by tizzie at 6:59 PM on October 3, 2006


"Feel Like Makin' Love"
posted by tristeza at 8:42 PM on October 3, 2006



"Never Mind the Strangers" by The Sawdoctors

"Jenny," and "Old College Try," by The Mountain Goats

"One Long Pair of Eyes," Robyn Hitchcock

"Death is Not The End," Nick Cave, et al.

"The End of the World Polka," by The Bad Things.

But I think I'm going to tell my spouse that what I want most of all is Unicorns L.A., because it will drive him insane.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 8:48 PM on October 3, 2006


If I Ever Leave This World Alive - Flogging Molly
posted by killy willy at 10:03 PM on October 3, 2006


I want a live folkie with a real, old-fashioned, fascist-killing acoustic guitar to sing 'Send Me to Glory in a Glad Bag':

Folks tell me that I ought to save my money
So that I can be laid away in style
In a walnut box with all the fancy trimmings,
Vacuum sealed to keep me fresh a while.

(But I say)
Send me to glory in a glad bag,
Don't waste a fancy coffin on my bones.
Just set me by the curb next Tuesday,
Let the sanitation local bear me home.

Then take the cash remaining in my wallet,
And have a toot upon my memory.
And when it's time to throw away the empty,
Just chuck it in the bag along with me.

Send me to glory in a glad bag, etc.

My girl and I went out to buy some glad bags;
She winked at me as we were driving back.
She whispered low that paradise awaits me
As soon as she can get me in the sack.

(So)
Send me to glory in a glad bag, etc.

Oh, it may be that I'm not bound for glory,
But to another place I would not choose.
So if it seems I'm headed that direction,
An oven bag would be the thing to use.

(Oh,)
Send me to glory in a glad bag, etc.

(Everybody sing along!)
Send me to glory in a glad bag,
Don't waste a fancy coffin on my bones.
Just set me by the curb next Tuesday,
Let the sanitation local bear me home!
posted by eritain at 10:05 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


I had this big list of my favorite songs to inflict upon the mourners, but Coldchef's point about this being for them and not me is very valid. I knocked it down to two that I like and I think will be enjoyed by all.

Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time?) - The Delfonics
Sing - The Carpenters

If possible, some background music by Polyphonic Spree would be nice.
posted by sciatica at 10:47 PM on October 3, 2006


What, no "I'll follow you into the dark?"

I would choose Iz's uke medley at the end of Finding Forrester, "It's a Wonderful world/Over the Rainbow." Clichéd but I like it. Supposedly when it was first played on the radio in Honolulu it literally stopped traffic.


posted by craniac at 5:47 AM on October 4, 2006


I can't believe no one's mentioned "Seasons in the Sun."
posted by JanetLand at 6:30 AM on October 4, 2006


how about "going underground" by the jam?
posted by CliveDallas at 7:08 AM on October 4, 2006


I'm surprised nobody's mentioned "In My Life" by the Beatles.
posted by Frankieist at 9:31 AM on October 4, 2006


Merzbow.
posted by Bugbread at 10:22 AM on October 4, 2006


HOLY CRAP CRANIAC.

I think I just had a sympathy heart attack.
posted by keswick at 2:02 PM on October 4, 2006


Oooh, what about "Wake Up" by The Arcade Fire? I mean, the album itself is called Funeral, no?
posted by jokeefe at 2:11 PM on October 4, 2006


Is the Bon Jovi song they mention (I'll Sleep When I'm Dead) just a cover of the Warren Zevon song of the same name?

Actually, a sizeable chunk of Zevon's catalog could be used for this purpose. Anyone for something fun like, "Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School"?
posted by JMOZ at 5:31 PM on October 4, 2006


"Thank you for being a friend" by Andrew Gold and "In the Mood" by Robert Plant.
posted by Just Ask, Just Tell at 8:03 PM on October 4, 2006


"Orphan Girl" - Gillian Welch. Giss me da goosebumps...
posted by AwkwardPause at 8:42 PM on October 4, 2006


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