Admittedly, mortality has been on my mind lately (see previous post). Still, when I saw this idea ~ a funeral playlist! ~ in a recent Oprah (of course!), I loved it.

The idea is that the songs we list should ‘represent the things we value.’ Or be ‘essentially you.’ Hmmm… Not sure what songs are really ‘me.’ And what that would even mean…? Although I know we did pick songs we associated with my mother when we did her funeral – old big band, jazz standards, a few crooners. A musical hit (Dites Moi, of course!), a Doris Day favourite… Because we four daughters are all over the place spiritually/religiously, hymns were in short supply. And to be fair, I don’t remember Mother as a big hymn fan anyway.

My own funeral playlist has only a few constants; the other 6-7 songs (you’re supposed to list 10) vary as my mood does. A couple of classical favourites would always be there – Bach’s Brandenburgs, particularly number 4. And Pachelbel’sCanon in D, of course. I’ve been playing an extended Canon playlist (29 riffs, so far)! for years, whenever I need soothing. And the Brandenburgs work much the same, although #4 is my favourite.

Another sure thing is über idiosyncratic (although the album it debuted on was named best NPR album of 2006), the Decembrists’ Crane Wife.Crane Wife 3is the one I love – the Japanese folk tale it comes from is so poignant: love gone greedy, the beautiful wounded crane ~she had no heart so hardened…

Then there are a couple I’m not sure I will ‘always’ love, although they’ve certainly been favourites for years: Death Cab for Cutie’s I will follow you into the dark; Playing for Change’s Stand by Me. I have several coversof Leonard Cohen’s Halleleujah, too, as well as the original. 

Here’s my question for you: what songs do you want to be remembered by? What says ‘you’ musically? And how do you feel about the whole idea of a funeral playlist? When you go to a funeral (and do you?), does the music matter to you? Since music is important to me – isn’t it to most of us? – I don’t want songs played that have no significance to me. But then again… It’s not like I can do much about it by then!

Share your favourites! I’d love to hear what you like!