Monday, April 20, 2009

Play List: Eulogy

Two of the classes that were part of my Religion major were "Issues in Medical Ethics" and "Ethical Issues in Death & Dying" (or, Deathics). One of the topics highlighted in both courses was to make sure your final directives are made clear to your loved ones before you are in the situation where they will come in to play. I think at the time the lesson dealt more with life support issues, organ donation, and cremation versus burial, but the first directive I came up with was music oriented. NO bagpipes, NO "Amazing Grace", NO BAGPIPES PLAYING "AMAZING GRACE".

Last week I caught this article on Yahoo News about what songs are the most popular at funerals. The study was commissioned by the British company Co-operative Funeralcare and they do this study every couple of years or so. Their findings, which can be found here, are interesting in a dark humor sort of way.

The top popular song choice was "My Way" by either Frank Sinatra or this version by Shirley Bassey:

Neither version would be my choice. If I wanted something that theatrical, I would probably go with "The Impossible Dream", though chances are I would avoid any song with such pomp.

The only song on the top ten that I was not familiar with was Gerry and the Pacemakers' "You'll Never Walk Alone":

I can see why this one would be popular for this context, but again I wouldn't want something so over the top. Maybe it's my Irish heritage talking, but I think I would want the music to be celebratory rather than making people sadder.

The alternative, I suppose, would be to go to the "quirky choices" section. My favorite item on that list: The Trammps "Disco Inferno"

It's a good track, but not quite how I would like to be remembered. It is in the ballpark being an up-tempo dance number, but unless I died in a fire or too much funk it wouldn't be all that relevant.

Here are three choices I'm tossing around:

Bjork "New World"

Stevie Nicks "Landslide"

Elvis Costello "Everyday I Write the Book"

I realize it is kind of morbid, but what song or songs would you be considering for this situation? Are there some songs that are totally inappropriate or ones that you think the list overlooked?

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