Friday, October 19, 2012

Songs to Make Funerals More Pleasant

I don't want to judge what people choose to play at funerals. OK, I do, but the disclaimer is that I fully realize everybody is entitled to arrange a funeral however they like, and if I don't like it, too freaking bad.

However, I would suggest that people who plan funerals and think a certain song would be appropriate should at least pay attention to the lyrics.
Maybe playing inappropriate music would
cheer this group up

I say this because of the news that Adele's "Someone Like You" is now a frequent hit at funerals, according to the publication NME.

Yes, the song is terrific. And mournful sounding, too. But are the lyrics really a fitting sendoff for the dearly departed?
The song opens with these words:

I heard that you're settled down
That you found a girl and you're married now.
I heard that your dreams came true.
Guess she gave you things I didn't give to you.

So our deceased person  died to find the girl of his or her dreams, got married in the afterlife and is having a better time than when he or she  had to hang around with idiots like you? 

OK, so maybe I'm being too literal. But still.

Then there's the song's chorus:

Never mind, I'll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you, too.
 Don't forget me, I begged, I remember you said.
 Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.  
So you're saying to the deceased: Yeah, I'll miss you, but I'll find somebody just as good as you, so I get over your death. Quickly. Time to party now, bye."

The list of most popular funeral titles has some other winners it it. My favorite is  Number 13 on the list of songs at funerals: The Monty Python hit "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."
These lyrics will get the mourners into a party mood:

"If life seems jolly rotten, there's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you're feeling in the dumps, don't be silly, chumps
 Just purse your lips and whistle, that's the thing"

It certainly would  help alleviate some of the gloom that funerals generally entail.

There's "Unchained Melody", another popular choice with people who arrange funerals, with these lyrics:

Oh my love my darling
I've hungered hungered for your touch
A long lonely time
And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine
I need your love
I need your love

God speed your love to me

It's a little late to hunger for the dead person's touch, since that ain't gonna happen.

At least  Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" sort of fits, lyrically:

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart

And my heart will go on and on

If the person in the casket still has a beating heart, time to call 911 and call off the funeral. It's a miracle!!!

I do love the song "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode, another suggestion for the Funeral Top 40:
Here are some lyrics:

All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm

To be overly literal, once again, "All I ever needed is here in my arms? You're hugging the dead person?! I'm not sure I'd go that far.

If you think about it, there's so many other songs that could work as funeral dirges, if you have a mean, sick, weird sense of humor, like I do. There's Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" and Elton John's "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" whose lyrics go:

"Oh it kills me to think of you with another man
I was playing rock and roll and you were just a fan
My guitar couldn't hold you so I split the band
Love lies bleeding in my hands."

That would sure raise some questions among fellow mourners.

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