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Today's Funeral Music

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Boplicity, Apr 27, 2001.

  1. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    This article appeared in my local newspaper and is from Cox News Service. If any of you are playing a funeral gig (as an organist, maybe) or need to select funeral music for a loved one, times and tastes have definitely changed.

    Traditional hymns are going the way of the horse and carriage. Some popular new choices are "Stairway to Heaven", "Dust in the Wind", "FreeBird." But the new funeral music is often chosen to reflect the taste or personality of the departed one.

    Some examples that may seem off-beat to traditionalists include music by Elvis Presley, Brooks and Dunne, Barbra Streisand, Reba McIntire, Michael Bolton and Elton John. But even more unconventionally, recent funerals have had music by Eminem, AC/DC and Kid Rock.

    While it used to be the practice of funeral directors to suggest the music for the service, now funeral directors ask the bereaved family to choose. The days of hymns with organs and chimes have gone. One funeral director recalled a funeral several years ago in which the family requested the "Yellow Rose of Texas." The organist refused to play it. That just wouldn't happen anymore.

    ( My father died last November. My mother, very much the traditionalist, chose the chimes and organ-style of music. I know my Dad would have preferred Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, but in the final analysis, the music is most of all for the mourners, not the mourned. I suppose. Still when I go, I'd like to have a mix of styles from "Bawidabah" to "Knocking on Heaven's Door" to "Enter Sandman" to "Kind of Blue".)

  2. that is just simply not cool!

    AC/DC? maybe highway to hell? ;)

    seriously though... playing stuff like that at funerals... I think it shows disrespect to the passed and maybe especially his relatives...

    even if the person that dies liked some kind of music doesn´t mean that should be played at the wedding... I mean, I´m not gonna make someone play Vic at my funeral...

    is it just me or is the world just going to hell... Eminem at a funeral? come on!!
  3. When my cousin died two years ago, "Freebird" was played after the last of the eulogies. I have detested that song since the first time I heard it. I must have played it in bands 1000 times. I cannot stand that song!

    Steve was a hardcore biker. At one point I was flanked by a Hell's Angel on one side, and an Iron Horseman on the other- these are two gangs that don't car much for each other. By two minutes into the song everyone was getting misty eyed, including Mr. H's A. Never seen an Angel cry before.

    BTW- I still hate the damn song, but for a few minutes there, I think I understood it at least.

    I want Rodney Dangerfield played at mine.
  4. I don't think that non traditional music is really disrespectful to the desceased if that's the kind of music that they like, although I'll probably stick with the more traditional stuff at mine. Well, I'll just assume that they'll play the traditional stuff, it'd be ok with me.
  5. i'm gonna make a list of songs i want at my funeral!! i have to have some blind melon!!
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The_Bass, funeral music is very cultural in what is played. For example, I watch a Mexican telenovela (soap opera) on Univision every day. For its "capitulo de gran final", there was a funeral. The family walked to the cemetary (I used to see this in the Phillippines, too), but what stood out is that they were accompanied by a mariachi band playing very typical mariachi music!

    Remember, too, in New Orleans, the band that accompanied the mourners as they walked to the cemetary played sad songs on the way to the funeral, but on the way back, they played very upbeat Dixieland music and the mourners even danced.

    So I guess what music--if any--is chosen is a matter of custom and culture. It seems that customs are changing in the U.S., perhaps because so many cultures and nationalities are a part of the U.S. now.

  7. anon5458975


    Apr 5, 2001
    I think it's really great that the funeral directors are putting the choice of music with the family of the deceased. I've never liked the traditional music played at Catholic Christian funerals that I've been to, I've always felt it makes the moment even more sadder than it is to begin with, sometimes unbearable, to me anyway.

    I guess right now my choice would be "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison. However if Eminem is played at my funeral I will be coming back to haunt someone....
  8. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    I also think that No Rain from Blind Melon would be perfect.

    That's such a beautiful song.
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    "If I saw You in Heaven" by Eric Clapton and "One Sweet Day," by Mariah Carey w/Boys To Men are HUGE at today's funerals, (not that I make it a point to get out to a lot of them for the music), even though it was really written about a gay person who lost their lover to AIDS.

    Personally, I think AC/DC has a good one, "Highway to Hell." :D
  10. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    That reminds me...Eric CLapton wrote a beautiful song back around 1992 or 93 when his son died in a terrible fall. Let me see if I can get it right. "Would You Know My Name If I Saw You in Heaven"?
    That song would be killer sad at a funeral, but would be an appropriate selection...probably far better than Kid Rock's "American Bad Ass."

  11. i have played tons of funerals and i tell you the show stopper is "Another One Bites the Dust" really gets the people on their feet.

    Highway to Hell is just in bad taste, so we stopped doing it. :D
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Bahdda-bing, bahdda-boom!!! Good one gruff!
    That's why I think Irish wakes are a good approach.
  13. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    My Mom made us kids swear that when she passes on, she wan't Louie Armstrongs "What a Wonderful World" Played. Man...I got that song...in my mind, there is NO other song more apt for a funeral than that.
  14. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    No way man, "If I Saw You In Heaven" would make the flowers cry.

    "Dust In The Wind" has gotta be right up there, if not 2nd. Personally, I'd have that...I love that song.
  15. For Whom the Bell Tolls would be appropriate at my passing. Man this is a depressing thread.
  16. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Okay, Flea, let's lighten it up again - Union Underground's, "Turn Me On Mr. Dead Man." :D
  17. My fiance' already knows that at my funeral, she has to have "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life"... I feel death is a happy transition and light heartedness is a must a my "going away party"...
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    fretless5 ~

    Y'know, I can't understand this "Free Bird" thing, either. EVERYONE HATES that P.O.S. song. I suspect that audiences just call it out like they do as a joke, to see if they can get the band to play a universally-hated song. Don't do it. It's a trick.
  19. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Personally, I must say I've always wanted my funeral to be quite flippant - I want the most ridiculous song I can think of to be played. At the moment, I'm thinking of the Birdie Song. Anyone got any more suggestions?
  20. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    Apologies if anyone thinks this in bad taste, but its late at night and I couldn't resist it..

    Theres always

    Going underground - The Jam
    3 steps to Heaven
    Light my fire - the Doors
    anything by the Velvet Underground
    Deeper Underground - JK
    Road to Hell - Chris Rea

    I'm sure I'll come up with more later...

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