Thursday 22 September 2022

What is your funeral song/s?

My mom's cousin's husband died last week. My mom was a flower girl at their wedding 61 years ago (we went to their 60th wedding anniversary celebration last year). He was 84, life well lived. He'd had cancer, recent major surgery and although he was out of hospital and doing very well on the day of his death last week, it was maybe a pulmonary embolism that got him.

My mom went to the funeral yesterday in PE and returned today. With my aunt and her partner visiting, we got on to the discussion at dinner about singing and the hymns we're 'forced' to sing at funerals.

I can whistle a good tune, but I don't sing. I loathe hymns in the pamphlets at funerals (and weddings) and I don't see the point of them being sung by the friends and family. I favour the setup where a good singer sing the deceased's favourite song/s instead, without making the congregation to join in.

Then I asked my family, "What is your funeral song?".

As I asked the question, two songs popped into my head for my funeral:

The first one - I just like it. I even 'sing' it and delight in the silliness of it. 

As for Maxwell... My dad has always been a big Beatles fan. He plays guitar beautifully and sings. He probably curses the first time he did Maxwell for me as a child because it immediately became the one song I always asked him to do. 

For these two songs that both popped into my head, they're mostly on point as they both deal with death (OK, so Maxwell is murder, or more appropriately a serial killer who wields a silver hammer) but they're both upbeat and funny and easy to sing, which works for me.

If I go before you, please make sure these songs are on the pamphlets.

And no service please. No priests. No churches. 

An afternoon tea, with cake and cucumber sandwiches, and scones with cream and strawberry jam. And these two songs. Sorted.


I like music but I don't sit and listen to music. I hear songs on the radio, mostly. I pay little to no attention to the words. Strangely, there are songs that I sing along to - I know the words and they tumble from my lips, but I pay them no attention. I'm not interested in and I don't comprehend their meaning.

Instead, I latch on to melodies, rhythms, instruments, harmonies. I'm a nightmare with CDs because I don't listen to full songs and I'll play a section of a song that I like over and over again because I like the drums or a chord change. I'm the person you don't give control of your remote to.

In thinking of a 'beautiful' funeral song tonight that could be played at my funeral, I had no doubt that 'More than words' by Extreme would be the one. It is one of my all-time favourite-favourite songs. I've been singing along to it for 22 years, not realising that the lyrics are actually so appropriate to who I am.

I found the music video on YouTube tonight to post the link here and the penny dropped as I watched and followed along with the lyrics on screen.

My Love Language (and my language of everything) is 'Acts of Service'. While words may play a big role in my life in terms of writing and communication, I show love and caring through what I do, not what I say. As this is the language that I understand, it is what I expect in return. This is what this song is about.
How easy, it would be to show me how you feelMore than words is all you have to do to make it realThen you wouldn't have to say that you love me'Cause I'd already know
This song caught my attention so many years ago - after hearing it for the first time - for the beautiful tune, beautiful acoustic guitar, and beautiful harmonies (and beautiful Nuno Bettancourt in the video), not the lyrics. But, how appropriate they are for who I am.

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