Let’s #talkabout death baby! Let’s talk about you and me or whoever ends up organising my send-off from this planet. You are of course at liberty to add your own special touches to my final ceremony because hopefully you think I am so worth it. Seriously though, it is vital we talk about these things as it makes it easier on those we leave behind. Marie Curie have launched the biggest ever public awareness campaign about death. It is called #TalkAbout and aims to get the nation talking more openly about dying by having conversations with loved ones, friends and family. I have agreed to support this campaign and I am doing that today by giving you some pointers on songs for funerals that I love.
The Final Countdown
I first heard this as a teenager on my first visit to the Frontier in Batley. Going to a nightclub is quite a milestone really so it would seem nice to reference this in some way. I hope it would make friends from teenage years smile. I admit that this is a relatively new addition to my funeral songs list. When I went to visit my late Dad knowing in my heart I would not see him alive again, I got in the car and the first song to come on the radio was this one. I could not help but laugh at the irony and Dad would have loved it too! In fact if I become terminally ill, I might have this one to hand to taunt visitors with every time they show up. I have a weird sense of humour sometimes.
Don’t Stop Me Now
You don’t know me at all if you don’t know that I love Queen. Not the Queen you understand but Freddie Mercury and friends. In fact, I refer to Queen’s lead singer as Uncle Freddie to my children. This led to an embarrassing incident once at school when my daughter got in trouble for telling lies when she insisted that Freddie Mercury was indeed her uncle. If you take a look at photographs of my late brother you would know she was not far off! I was surprised to find that I am not so original and quite a few people have this on their wish list for funeral songs. Don’t Stop Me Now as I intend to carry on after death and come and haunt anyone who goes against my funeral wishes.
Spirit in the Sky
I have loved this song since teenage years again. I do believe in some sort of spirit in the sky or Higher Being. I was brought up as a Roman Catholic and have not quite let that go really despite appearances to the contrary. I have tried to be good in life even if I have not always managed it. So when I die I really do hope I will have a friend in Jesus and all that. Plus this is an Eighties song and that is the decade I never quite left behind.
I suppose someone might decide to give me a church funeral. I think I would actually like that to be honest. So if looking for hymns my favourite one is Faith of Our Fathers. I used to sing it loudly at mass as a feminist tirade against men thinking that I quite liked the concept of “dungeon. fire and sword” Another one from someone who wishes to die with a sea view is known to me as “Sweet Star of the Sea” but is actually called “Hail Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star” It’s a nice nod to my Dad who was a Navy man who served on H.M.S. Ocean. For my late mum, I might include “Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder” as she had that at her funeral and it means a lot to me. There is much to wonder at in this world – that’s for sure. It feels good to share my parents’ songs for funerals. If I do end up with a Catholic funeral can someone add in “It’s a Sin” by the Pet Shop Boys just so it does not all get way too heavy. After all “they didn’t quite succeed” with me now did they?
Last songs for funerals I like
We should have “Let it Be” too as it is sort of religious and sort of not much like myself. It was sung to me by a French man on my 50th birthday and it made me cry in a good way. I could not find a French man on You Tube but I do love this version and it about time as a woman who claims to give women voices that I put some girls and women in the mix!
I found “Run” by Snow Patrol very comforting on the way to my Dad’s funeral. I swear he whispered to me as I read the eulogy and wobbled “Even if you cannot hear my voice I’ll be right beside you dear”. That song is still delivered to me by him at challenging times in life.
I guess I should also have the song that comforted me after my Mum died which was appropriately Queen’s Radio Gaga. Our loved ones always send a message, we just have to listen hard enough. She was telling me I had yet to have my finest hour and I believe that still applies just in case you were wondering! I hope these last three would provide great comfort to my children who I do hope will miss me at least a little bit but also get on with their lives in a positive way. Someone still loves you I would hope to say!
I have enjoyed writing this post. I think it reflects a flawed individual who loves her family very much both those on Earth and those in Heaven. It shows that I am witty with a wicked sense of humour who likes to make people giggle. It reflects my Irish Catholic heritage without it being dominated by that. It hints I am a bit of a rebel too with a glint forever in my eye. I do believe I am actually enough!
What songs for funerals appeal to you?