Friday, November 24, 2006
The Funeral Album
So much of what I’ve been reading lately has to do with music. I have been giving this a lot of thought for some time now. I plan on mixing my own funeral soundtrack. The time and technology have permitted the average person to take the music of their choice and have it played from beyond the grave. We all have certain songs that conjure up certain memories from the past. These songs “mean something” to us, and you hope that, in some small way, they mean something to those that you leave behind.
Don’t you have that special song that, whenever it comes on the radio, you turn it up, just a little bit, just to refresh yourself in the tide of memories and emotions that that song entails? I think that we all have these connections. Even someone that claims to have no connection to music would admit that when they hear the national anthem, they feel some thing. Hate, revulsion, pride, wishing that the sporting match would begin already, etc.
That is why I have resolved that I will compose the best music to let me decompose. I will leave behind me a collection of songs that will have summed up my existence on Earth. I am not musically gifted. I have never been. I am more than willing to let the professionals write this kind of thing for me, but I reserve the right to select what I want. I have the esteemed privilege to have lived through some of the most profound eras of music. I was born at the cusp of rock when it was changing its identity. I lived through disco. I have seen Glam come and go. I was around when Punk started and ended. I have witnessed the second British invasion, with their New Wave and all of that. I was living through a time when the Fathers of Metal got their start, found their heyday, and went into a rapid decline. Not to mention the many Masters who had come before them. It is (and was) a great time to be alive.
There are those that will disagree with me, and those that belittle my choices, and even those that will ridicule the songs that I select, but the great thing about my funeral is the fact that, not only will I pick the music, I will get to make the guest list. Don’t get me wrong, you are all invited, but the press will be released the standard release. He died in bed, with his lovely wife beside him, and his last words were a plea for world peace.
What would you want to be played at your funeral? Would it be “Taps”? Would it be “Ding-Dong, The Witch Is Dead”? You really have to ask yourself, “What do you want to be remembered by?”
I want, so desperately, to write this play list. There will never be statues in the park that bear my name. No street will be named after me. No section of highway will ever be dedicated in my name. No charity will say “Give money for Doc’s Kids”. I will have to carve my own name where I find it. Just so long as I get to do it to a specific play list.
Ozzy Osborne’s “Goodbye To Romance” will certainly make the cut. This was the song that made me realize that I needed a funeral album, but what other songs do I pare with this? Do I dare include “Trip Through Your Wires” by U2? This is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night.
I mean, really, what would you include? Would you shoot for a rockin’ funeral, or would you try to tell a story, or perhaps, you would try to enchant your listeners? Would you cater to popular whim and release an album that is “safe”? Would you try to send a big fat, F**k You, from the Great beyond?
I mean really, if you could choose from all the songs that have ever been written, what would you choose for your final exit songs?
Please let me know. I have eleven slots to fill before I turn 70.