Blogathon 9/13 Morbid?

I’m going to update the list, below, as time progresses, and some items will get struck off, but remain as a matter of record, as I try to bring the list down to a manageable number of tracks…

In August 2011 I went to the funeral/cremation of a member of my team.

Grant Burke was a keen motorcyclist, a mad cricketer (in both senses of the phrase), and an online gaming weirdo.

He was also wonderfully sarcastic, bitingly scathing of our politicians, and he would support the underdog until he had no breath left.

Grant had the weirdest taste in music, coupled with an awesome sense of humour and, if you haven’t guessed yet, it was Grant who, over the course of a year of working together, encouraged me back in to motorcycling.

His funeral music included ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ by 10cc for his ‘intro’.

At the conclusion of the service we filed out to the distinctly (but pleasantly) jarring (given the circumstances) instrumental strain of the BBCs Test Match Special.

In between these two pieces, there were other – equally oddball – choices.

And there was dancing. And there was much laughter.

And there were tears.

My point is that Grant’s musical choices for his own funeral/cremation served to underline his larger-than-life (in a John Goodman kind of way) personality.

I hadn’t given the subject of funeral musical any further thought, until recently.

I was having ‘one of those’ deeply intense conversations with someone, recently, when she raised the subject of musical choices, for her funeral.

My first thought was ‘she’s clearly mental!’ (true), but then I remembered Grant, and recalled his musical choices, and what he had done for his friends, his family and his colleagues.

The smiles. The tears. The dancing.

She had a point, my friend, a similar point to the one that Grant had so eloquently made.

I made an effort to listen to her choices; there was much of her character in them.

And as I listened I started to wonder what my music might be.

Inevitably, I began a list.

It quickly grew in to a long list. I’m talking about a very long list indeed!

The first draft was:

  • Ennio Morricone, Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (for the walk-in)
  • Aimee Mann, Deathly
  • The Winchell Riots, Kandahar Road
  • Missy Higgins, The Special Two
  • Muse, Hysteria
  • Norwegian Recycling, The Pachelbel Mashup
  • The Smiths, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
  • Anemo, Heaven is Waiting?
  • Arcade Fire, Keep The Car Running
  • The Birdinumnums, Little Libertine
  • Buddy Guy, Feels Like Rain
  • The Candle Thieves, We’re All Gonna Die (Have Fun)
  • Dan Black, Hypntz
  • DJ Shadow, Organ Donor
  • Deer Chicago, Frozen Globe, Freezing Teeth
  • Deer Chicago, Quite Like A Tide
  • Elvis Costello, I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea
  • The Epstein, Dance The Night Away
  • The Calling, Wherever You Will Go

To this list got added Phil McMinn’s awesomely beautiful ‘The House You Built From The Wreckage’.

And that, logically, led me to check that ‘Kandahar Road’ by The Winchell Riots had been included (it had, obv), which, in turn, led me straight back to the eye-wateringly, delicate and wonderfully fragile ‘Lavender Hill’ by (once again) Phil McMinn.

Now some of you might think that 21 tracks for a funeral might be slightly excessive, but from the first notes of the walk-in piece of Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu, I dare you not to raise a smile.

Particularly when you see the congregation dressed as American Indians.

(well, maybe not, but they are in my head)

And I haven’t even got any Pink in there yet.

Or Paramore!

The file-out piece, though, is likely to be ‘Comfortably Numb’ by Pink Floyd.

Because that would be apt.

Two brilliant guitar solos in one song.

It would be impossible not to wear a smile after that.

But tell me, despite my list being (currently) infeasibly long, if you were to choose the soundtrack to your own farewell…

what would you include?






So, the (almost) final list:

  • Ennio Morricone, Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (for the walk-in)
  • The Winchell Riots, Kandahar Road
  • The Smiths, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
  • Anemo, Heaven is Waiting?
  • The Birdinumnums, Little Libertine
  • The Candle Thieves, We’re All Gonna Die (Have Fun)
  • Deer Chicago, Frozen Globe, Freezing Teeth
  • The Calling, Wherever You Will Go
  • Lavender Hill, Phil McMinn
  • Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb (walk out)
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4 Responses to Blogathon 9/13 Morbid?

  1. IanB says:

    I always said I’d choose “I’ll be gone ’til November” as one of the tracks at my funeral.

    I did consider “Ghost Town” by The Specials but, well, you know, people might not understand it’s about Coventry and so the moment would be wasted…

  2. Masher says:

    Coming in – Java, by Al Hirt.
    Going out – Bring Me Sunshine, by Morecambe and Wise.

    Both are songs that bring a smile to my face.

    • Brennig says:

      I don’t know Java, but Bring Me Sunshine is brilliant. You should specify that the congregation has to leave doing the Morecambe and Wise dance.