So, there we were the other day, Mr. Muse and I, driving to work and there was a story on NPR about yet another mass-shooting and victims funerals. The background audio for the story was in the church and “Ave Maria” was playing. Mr. Muse broke his silent reverie and said, “You know… someone really needs to come up with a new song to play at a funeral.”
I looked up from my book and asked, “‘Ave Maria’ not really doing it for you? Tell you what, when I die, you can play “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire.” Of course, Mr. Muse not being great at Name That Tune just shrugged. I started in on my best impression of Maurice White in my passenger seat dancing and started up singing, “Do you remember…” Mr. Muse shrugged again and shook his head. I patted his leg, told him that I’d put together a play list for him (or whoever) to play in the event of my demise and that I’d make sure that “Ave Maria” isn’t played for his. I’ll just have to remember to review it every couple of years to make sure the songs are still ones I think would be acceptable.
Of course, that got me thinking about how many people actually write out a play list for their funeral? And well, I got to thinking about funerals in general, because I have made it known that people are to have a damn party for my passing. Why? Have you BEEN to a funeral? I’ve been to a few and they are all rather depressing until some wise person decides to bring up the good stuff, the funny things, and THEN people (mostly) snap out of their funk. Also, my grandma planned her funeral out down to the damn flower arrangements – her pre-Pinterest self had clipped out a photo from some magazine or brochure and had it with a note that she wanted THAT arrangement for her funeral. You GO, Grandma! (PS – I still catch whiffs of the Tabu perfume she wore in odd spots, so she must still visit me.)
So, until or unless I revise these instructions, here are the steps to celebrating my life (not mourning my death… whenever that happens to be):
Step 1: Find my play list.
For all you know I may already have the songs uploaded onto a thumb drive or whatever is being used at the time because I’m that damned efficient. This play list shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
-Gustav Holst’ entire suite of The Planets – this should be for all the serious junk – just make sure that I make my grand entrance during “Mars – Bringer of War”
-Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September”
-George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars “We Got the Funk”
-Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music”
-Rick James’s “Super Freak”
-KC & The Sunshine Band’s “That’s The Way I Like It”
-The Commodores “Brick House”
-Kool & The Gang “Celebration”
-Blue Swede’s “Hooked On A Feeling”
-Halestorm’s “I’m Not An Angel“, “I Get Off“, and “I Am The Fire“
Okay…. well, that’s just a small portion… but you get the idea.
Step 2: Plant a Tree
Better yet – plant a lot of them. Bonus points if they are pretty AND productive, like fruit or nut trees.
Step 3: Secure a wooden boat
See Step 4 for more instructions…
Step 4: Location = a Body of Water…. cause I’m going out Viking Style!
Sure, Darth Vader got his funeral pyre, but you saw what happened with his melted mask. No thank you. Y’all are going to put me on a wooden ship, shove me off into the water and set that ship on fire with flaming arrows! Doesn’t that sound AWESOME?! I think so. Also, I think it’d be appropriate to play music such as “I Am The Fire” during this time. You know, anything with references to fire, flames, or being hot.
I’m not into viewing the bodies – frankly, I’ve never understood it. Besides, there are tons of photos of me – photos are way better than looking at a near-wax figurine in a box. Hence – I’m going out in FLAMES!
Step 5: Party like it’s 1999.
Well, whatever year it is – partying is mandatory. Food, drink, silly hats, music. You get the idea. I’m not saying people can’t cry or whatever, but you get that shit out of your system before you show up! You need to arrive for my funeral ready to party down and have a hangover the next morning.
Now that I’ve gotten my instructions out in public and, of course, have made Mr. Muse aware that my instructions have been made clear to my public, it’s time for you!
What song is going to make it onto your funeral play list?
I love your play list! I would have to have something from Madonna & Michael Jackson. The gifs are hilarious!!
Also good choices! There are just FAR too many songs that I like to pick from and I could have had a while year’s worth of posts segued to music. Everyone would get bored with me. 😉
My grandmother had requested “Whispering Hope” for her funeral, and further that it be sung without accompaniment. That was one memorable funeral.
I think I want “Jerusalem” sung for my mourners but with no band — just voices, and why not give the words to the gathering, and have them join in? The primary request for my kids to respect is, no clothing — cover me with a shroud — certainly no jacket and tie!
The first song I’m familiar with, the second I’m not. As for your “no clothing” request – I get that! Clothing is pretty pointless once you’re dead.
Pop Goes the Weasel.
No, seriously. I love your ideas. I’ve thought about it and I don’t really care as long as it’s not Nickelback or Justin Bieber. If I had to pick though, it’d be something like “Baby Got Back” and “My Posse’s on Broadway” because Sir MixALot knew how to get it. Also, anything by the Beastie Boys and Violent Femmes.
You know, I’m not adverse to Nickleback – I think it’s a marketing ploy for people to be “against” them. That aside, I like your song and group choices!
I definitely can tell I’m from a different generation and my Grandma was right, I was born 100 years too late (but then I wouldn’t have had my awesome ‘kids’). Problem is that the songs I’d go out to were written with cowboys in mind…Eddy Arnold’s version of ‘Jim” (you know…”Jim, I wore a tie today, the first one that I ever wore and you’d have said I looked like a dummy out of the dry goods store…” or how about “Richest man in the world”, same artist – I got a hump backed mule, a plow and a tater patch, eggs that are gonna hatch someday…” I know, I know, not exactly send off songs – maybe “don’t fence me in”. I’m with you on the closed coffin thing, though, never wore makeup so why start then?
I think either of those songs are appropriate. I should write those down. Well, YOU write them down for sure, but I’ll try and have a back up. And no makeup – got it! 😉
Great post I’m partial to Viking style too. I would have Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon or Joan Jett’s Cherry Bomb. I want people to look at each other and think “What the hell?”
Both fantastic choices! I think leaving the masses to wonder what the hell is up is an awesome plan.
Ahhhh……Sarah my friend you did yourself proud with this one loved it all. Yes a funeral should be a celebration of life with all the good and funny things we have all brought to others lives. Testimonials from friends sharing their favorite memories are priceless. Yes, traditional funeral music is so boring and depressing, I do have some ideas for a play list. The final song would be Elvis’s rendition of “I Did It My Way”.
Good song! I used to listen to my dad’s 45s all the time which included a good portion of Elvis.