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Funeral music… Top ten and my picks

The release of a top-ten chart of funeral music requests got me thinking morbid thoughts a few weeks ago. The top ten, for those who missed it, were:

1. Goodbye My Lover – James Blunt
2. Angels – Robbie Williams
3. I’ve Had the Time of My Life – Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley
4. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
5. Pie Jesu – Requiem
6. Candle in the Wind – Elton John
7. With or Without You – U2
8. Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
9. Every Breath You Take – The Police
10. Unchained Melody – Righteous Brothers

There’s not a one on that list that I’d want at my funeral. And it seems I’m not the only one. The blogging world has been abuzz with suggestions, from Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien and Always Look On The Bright Side of Life to Where Eagles Have Been and See You in the Next One.

But what would I want? Well, I’ve come up with a list of three. I know that’s pushing it a bit, but hey, it’s my funeral… It’s not as if I’m going to be too bothered if it drags on…

Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah:
It’s the defining death scene song of a generation – anybody who’s anybody in anything dies to this song, to the point where it’s almost a meaningless cliché. But it’s a nice song, and kinda sets the mood for a funeral, I think.

My Chemical Romance’s Welcome to the Black Parade:
Pushing the boundaries of acceptable funeral music… It’s a new release, so a new one to add onto the list (bumping Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars off, I think). It says everything I’d want to say I my own funeral – remember me for who I was and what I did in life, not for how I died – however that might be! And ‘carry on’ without me.

Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now:
It seems so appropriate… I think I’ve wanted this ever since Jonny Kennedy had it at his funeral, so I guess it’s a tribute to him in a way. It would serve as a reflection on a happy life I’d enjoyed living. And it’s kinda upbeat, which would be nice for the end of a funeral, I think. Leave people celebrating life, not dreading death.

So there you go. That’s a cheery thought and a half. Hopefully, I’ll have an awful lot of time to be rethinking and rejigging this list in the future…!

Oh, and I’ve probably broken a gazillion copyright laws in this post, so if any record company wants anything removed, feel free to get in touch. And then I’ll write to the Daily Mail and tell them that the big bad corporation wouldn’t even let me tell people what music I wanted at my funeral. Or maybe not.

This post was filed under: Miscellaneous.

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Comments and responses

Comment from Pigrim

    13.20, 20/10/2006

I’m a traditionalist. How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace.

Comment from karl

    00.49, 23/10/2006

Man, like you wouldn’t want Tears In Heaven played at your funeral. Clapton is God after all 😛
I think today I’m gonna go through and make a big list of songs that I want, I need something better to do with my time >_

Comment from BentonQuest

    01.16, 10/11/2006

Fun list! And thanks for the shout out.

Comment from Anna

    21.49, 19/11/2006

The Godfather theme- It’s haunting, it’s beautiful, and I think, the perfect way to leave your mark.

Other songs I’d like played at my funeral are…

Ain’t No Sunshine- Al Green
I’ll Cover You (reprise)- Rent
Angel- Sarah McLachlan
Pass Me Over- Anthony Hamilton
People Ain’t No Good- Nick Cave
Under the Bridge- Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dust in the Wind- Kansas
You Are So Beautiful- Ray Charles
I’ll Be Missing You- Puff Daddy and Faith Hill
Can You Feel the Love Tonight- Elton John
Fall At Your Feet- James Blunt
Don’t Dream It’s Over (Live Acoustic)- Crowded House
Fast Car- Tracy Chapman
Remember Me- James Horton performed by Josh Groban
Somewhere Over the Rainbow- Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Take Me Home Country Road- Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    22.41, 19/11/2006

Anna – that’s going to be one long funeral 😉

Comment from Rev Andrew

    08.34, 07/12/2006

Pity the poor ministers who have to play some of this stuff whilst keeping a straight face!

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    09.11, 07/12/2006

Who said anything about a minister being there:?:

Comment from Anonymous

    03.28, 15/02/2007

how about I’m Not Dead by Pink?!

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    08.08, 15/02/2007

Very good!

Comment from pogostik

    21.34, 04/03/2007

Only one for my funeral its written in my will – Bob Dylon singing Sands of Time.. Wow what a way to go –

Trackback from elsewhere on the site

28th March 2007.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » Doctors get (even more) vocal about MMC

Comment from 32wig

    12.30, 30/04/2007

I recently saw this on the road: http://www.motorcyclefunerals.com/ which prompted me to think about my swan song: Definitely gotta be “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf with this kind of send off! No – i’m not a motorcycle enthusiast – I just have a good sense of occasion.

Comment from Natterz

    12.11, 03/05/2007

k i kno this might sound weird especially since im 15, but i was talkin about it with my sisters and parents the other day and, my five songs that i would like to be played are,

Queen – Don’t stop me now
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird
U2 – Stuck in a moment
Metallica – Nothing else Matters
Guns and Roses – Sweet child of mine,

What you think?


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    23.29, 04/05/2007

Hey, not so weird, even if you are 15!

I’ve made a few changes to my list, but I am planning on covering them in an upcoming post… more classical things might be good I think. I’ll make sure I ping this post when I post the update, so you’ll know.

Trackback from elsewhere on the site

1st June 2007.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » Funeral music revisited

Trackback from elsewhere on the site

30th July 2007.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » Music for Funerals

Comment from CoRR

    14.44, 22/08/2007

I think alot of Linkin Park’s songs would be good. Such as:
What I’ve Done
My December
In Pieces
Leave Out All The Rest
In The End

Comment from BentonQuest

    19.26, 25/08/2007

I think it is funny that almost a year later I am still getting almost daily hits from this page!

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    22.05, 25/08/2007

It’s still a page which generates a huge amount of traffic, and comments still trickle in about it. I assume it’s because it’s become the top hit on Google for ‘funeral music‘ – which is great!

Comment from Joy

    15.30, 10/09/2007

My son once suggested ‘Ding Dong,the Witch is Dead”,for my funeral.I’m tempted.
I quite like the idea of having Eric Idle’s ‘The Galaxy Song’ at the end.

Comment from Wendela (Netherlands)

    13.43, 27/09/2007

Songs from my “funeral list”:

Peter Gabriel, ‘Washing of the Water’
Ozark Henry, ‘Weekenders’
Beth Nielsen Chapman, ‘Say Goodnight’
Beth Nielsen Chapman, ‘I Find Your Love’
Coldplay, ’See You Soon’ (acoustic version)
John Mayer, ‘Dreaming With a Broken Heart’
Keane, ‘She Has No Time’
Rajaton, ‘Butterfly’
Rajaton, ‘Dobbin’s Flowery Vale’
Schumann, ‘Träumerei’

What do you think?

Comment from Rob

    17.48, 21/10/2007

I wouldn’t want anything too cliché. I’m thinking maybe Matthew West – “You Know Where to Find Me”.

Comment from Jasmin

    12.51, 26/10/2007

trespassers william – different stars

Comment from fatstan

    19.28, 31/12/2007

were having :-
burning ring of fire – johnny cash
bill withers – lean on me
right said fred – your my mate

rip pete mate! (-:

Comment from Nicole

    14.38, 14/02/2008

‘It was a wild ride, Lord Trunkthorpe!’

Pschychedelic Soul from the Ghost in the Shell SAC second soundtrack album. Vocals by Scott Matthew and the ever legendary music of Yoko Kanno.

Comment from jack large

    01.43, 27/05/2008

How about ‘Going Underground’ by The Jam?

On a more serious note, I intend to have ‘Motion Picture Soundtrack’ by Radiohead.

Comment from chrissie

    20.50, 29/07/2008

How about “God only knows”:Beach Boys,”Mr. Tambourine Man”,Bob Dylan, “Blue Moon”, the Marcels, “Jerusalem,” Emerson Lake and Palmer, “Ne me quitte pas”, Jacques Brel,”Ti penso”, Massimo Ranieri, or The Easter Hymn ,(from Cavalliera Rusticana) by Cossotto. (On You Tube.) “Supper’s ready,”Genesis, “Wondrous Stories”,by Yes, “I know it’s over”, The Smiths. All these songs have a lot of pathos and will induce tears from most people, before going on to a pub or restaurant , where they can all have a good laugh, (as you ordered, )about the daft things you did or said, or criticise you for being the most two-faced cow they’d ever worked with! Me, I’m going for E.L.P. and Brel.

Comment from Pete

    14.04, 29/08/2008

If i may suggest: Amazing grace, played by scotty… and then whoos, off goes the torpedo cascet… just a great way to go.
well… at least for a trekki funeral

Comment from Mike

    17.14, 06/02/2009

The Sex Pistols version of my way.

Poiniont, irreverent, for someone who succeded despite, remembered the good rather than the bad. and still saw the joke in life.

Comment from tina

    19.52, 02/04/2009

i think you’re forgetting my heart will go on by Celine Dion and i will always love you by Whitney Houston

Comment from ABL

    12.16, 01/10/2009

My Mother had Gracie Fields singing “Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye” & had everyone laughing! What a great way to go.

Comment from Phil

    06.23, 07/01/2010

What about ‘another one bites the dust’ by Queen ?

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