music for special occasions

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Humorous Bits
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Today Sandy wrote about a conversation she had with a friend concerning the song she’d like to have played at her funeral. It’s an interesting thought and makes for fun, lively discussion. Unfortunately, no matter which song(s) we request be shot over the loudspeakers during our final above ground moments, we can never be absolutely sure these musical instructions will be followed. This concerns me.

It’s not as if we can’t trust those tapped to deal with our going away soiree. I’m sure they’re fine people. It’s just that mistakes can be made, even by those with the best intentions. Your loved ones (or liked ones or saddled with the responsibility of ushering you out ones) will be, in theory, mourning. They’ll be dealing with all kinds of arrangements, not the least of which is making sure the repast is an all you can eat affair with an open bar. People are going to want to chow and drink after sitting through whatever you decreed they sit through. Ensuring that happens without a hitch is a big, stressful job. After all if something goes wrong with your service, you’re certainly in no position to bitch about it. But if the post-service meal is screwed up your party planner may be forced to endure years of abuse and behind the back nattering. With that kind of pressure it’s conceivable they may botch your well-thought out and deeply symbolic exit song. I don’t know which would be more horrifying for those bearing witness to your great farewell:  Being forced to listen to a song which, let’s face it, only has that special deathy meaning to you, the deceased, or being forced to listen to the theme from “The Amazing Race” because your social director misread your instructions to play “Amazing Grace.”

The other aspect of this whole magilla is, and perhaps this is a bit selfish, I want to personally witness the reactions people have when listening to songs I picked for a special occasion about me. Other than a wedding, we don’t get this chance. It’s sure not happening at my funeral, what with me being dead and all. And isn’t half the fun seeing how folks react to choices you made to underline a particularly momentous occasion?

I thought more about this idea of music for special occasions and decided I don’t want to miss people experiencing my musical accompaniments, as it were. The obvious solution is let my family, friends and accomplices know now what songs I want played at anticipated future events in my life. Of course the assumption is these things will happen before I depart this mortal plane. It’s an assumption I’m happy to make.

– Getting published:  Paperback Writer and Every Day I Write the Book are obvious choices, but I’m going with the more subtle Basket Case by Green Day. It better reflects my probable state of mind.
– Paying off the mortgage:  I contemplated Pink Houses and Our House (Madness or CSN&Y) and even Homeward Bound. However, given the bleak outlook for the country’s financial future, it would be foolish not to think about potential sources of insurance income. Therefore, the Talking Heads’ Burning Down the House seems perfect.
– Buying a new car:  Who wouldn’t consider Radar Love or Low Rider or Roll On Down the Highway? I certainly did. Nonetheless I’ll go in another direction with Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Meatloaf’s magnum opus. Having a new car isn’t all about the driving, you know.
– Upgrading the appliances:  As life events go I realize this is an odd one to celebrate. However, appliances are one of life’s least thought about wonderments – until they break. So whenever we have an opportunity to upgrade these silent heroes, it’s cause for celebration. Fine choices would be Watching the Clothes, Eat at Home and, of course, Dirty Laundry. However, Rentokill’s Songs of Convenience really gets to the heart of what appliances are all about.
– Celebrating a birthday:  Oh my, where to start? Everybody Hurts works just as well as King of Pain which works just as well as Manic Depression which works just as well as Misery which works just as well as Poor Poor Pitiful Me which works just as well as…
– Retirement:  It’s as likely I’ll hear this song as I will my funeral song. Pass.

Music to celebrate life’s less celebrated moments. It’s an idea whose time has come!

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Comments
  1. BrainRants says:

    I may well have to leverage this idea myself.

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  2. sparklebumps says:

    For a new car, you forgot “Life is a highway” – the Whitesnake version of course, not th suck-ass Rascall Flatts version. And “Love’s the only house” by Martina Mcbride for paying off the mortgage. The question NOW is what kind of car are you going to buy?

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    • John says:

      “Life Is a Highway”, good one! I would’ve never in 1,001 years thought of a Martina McBride song, although I like the title.

      I know you’re secretly hoping that whenever I buy a new car it’ll be a purple Mustang. I have to tell you, purple’s not a color that wears well on me!

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      • sparklebumps says:

        Well, Martina is pretty much awesome, but she’s only had a few good songs in the… last 10 years.
        Umm, no, the purply Mustang is MINE, and no one must have one like it! But I was going to have to kick you in the ass if you said you wanted a Camaro….

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  3. I like this idea of thinking beyond a playlist to having a personal soundtrack for the big events in our lives. I like your song choice for the new car!

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    • John says:

      There’s a trunkload of songs about specific cars (“Camero” – Kings of Leon, “Hot Rod Lincoln” – Commander Cody, “Ol’ 55” – Tom Waits, “Sweet Little 66” – Steve Earle to name just a few) and if I ever get one of them I’ll have to use the appropriate tune. But since a new car is not on the horizon, I’ll just have to sit back and enjoy that dashboard light variety of paradise!

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