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?