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Old 10-18-2012, 06:59 PM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,935 posts, read 3,489,492 times
Reputation: 3217

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Okay. So yesterday I attended, and spoke at, the funeral for a lady I dare say was fairly close to a friend of mine despite how she was mostly just "my biggest fan". She was killed tragically in a car accident at age 42. Those of us who knew her knew that she was full of spunk and always smiling... she was a nursing home activities director and I played for a few of the places where she worked.

Whenever she had me play, she had to hear rock 'n' roll. If I didn't play "Rock Around The Clock" by about halfway through the show, she'd be like "Hey, where's my 'Rock Around The Clock'?". I didn't know the fullest extent of the music she liked but I do know that she vastly preferred my upbeat rock 'n' roll to the slower stuff I did.

I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that if she knew I would be speaking / doing anything at her funeral, she'd have been like "Bring your instruments and play 'Rock Around The Clock', and if any of those old fuddy-duddies don't like it, too bad!". Now, I couldn't do that because the room was too small... but when I talked with the people who were coordinating the funeral, they said they didn't even think it was appropriate to play rock music at a funeral.

Instead, they chose to play one of the ABSOLUTE WORST SONGS EVER RECORDED BY A HUMAN BEING - "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. Talk about a bunch of talented people getting together to produce one of the biggest pieces of aural excrement that people's ears could ever have the displeasure of experiencing. It's bad enough that this lady died tragically at age 42. Then they have to play THAT SONG... and by about 30 seconds into it, I dare say my eyes were the only dry eyes in the place. EVERYONE was sobbing and crying and whatever!

The only way I got through it was by plugging my ears, focusing my eyes on a spot on the floor, and singing "Rock Around The Clock" to myself... under my breath of course so that nobody else could hear me. (I had to follow it with "Shake, Rattle 'n' Roll" because one of the things that makes "One Sweet Day" so repulsive is the fact that it runs for approximately four minutes longer than anyone really wants to listen to it.) Since I had to talk immediately after that song was done, I sure as heck didn't want to be crying or even choked up at the time.

So I got up and said what I was going to say, and injected a bit of goofiness into it in the end because I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that she'd have wanted that. Seemed like everyone else agreed, based upon their reactions.

But yet, this funeral was still all kinds of tear-jerking!

So here's my question.

WHY?!?!

Why MUST funerals be like that?! I can't name one person who would want his/her funeral to be full of crying people! Why can't they be upbeat and celebratory? Good grief, even in church they call a funeral service a "celebration of life"... okay, the person is dead, we get that... it's bad enough that we have to come to a funeral and look at someone we used to know, lying in a casket as a lifeless body... but why can't it at least be reasonably happy aside from that?

Come on! Help me out here! Man, at my funeral, I don't want any sourpusses!
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:15 PM
 
3,893 posts, read 9,360,820 times
Reputation: 3042
First off, I'm so sorry your friend was killed. She sounds like a wonderful person who made others happy, and there are far too few like her.

I'm glad you were there to speak about her, though. Sounds like you offered some badly-needed levity, and I'm sure your friend would have approved.

Now, that said, it's hard to say someone handled a funeral the wrong way. They must have done what they felt was best. You contributed your spark, and I imagine tears and emotions were released during the Mariah song you hated

There are as many ways to honor someone as there are people. Every funeral should be as unique as the person who died. As society loosens its grip on traditional ceremonies, we're getting there. Until then, there will be more funerals like your friend's than ones you envision.

I admit, some of the best services I have attended were unmistakenly the reflection of the person who had died. They included their musical taste, their loved ones telling poignant AND funny stories, etc. If your friend's funeral fell short of this, it still didn't prevent you from honoring her memory. That's what matters.

You were a good friend to get up there, respect what you couldn't change, and do your best to send her off as she would have liked.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:42 PM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,935 posts, read 3,489,492 times
Reputation: 3217
Yeah, I snuck a cookie up there (a snickerdoodle... yum!), and at the end of what I said, I mentioned that she always wanted me to rock, and she was always giving me food. So, since I couldn't rock, I could eat... and I whipped out the cookie and ate the first big bite up there at the podium in front of everyone. THAT is something she'd have wanted me to do.

That, and play "Rock Around The Clock"....

I just hope that nobody tries to ruin my funeral that way. Man, don't put me in some stupid box with my lips sewn shut and my hands crossed over my chest. Build a support frame of some sort, attach me to it with wires and nails and duct tape, and put me behind my keyboards and microphone so it looks like I'm rocking out like I've been doing for pretty much my whole life. People might cry because I'm gone but at least I want them to laugh, or be shocked, when they first come into that room and see something dramatically different than they've seen at funerals before. Pipe music I've recorded, through the speaker system. And end it with "Great Balls Of Fire" or some other good old rock 'n' roll song like I end every one of my shows.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
6,488 posts, read 6,596,921 times
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I liked the funeral music in the movie The Big Chill.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:21 PM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,645,283 times
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I've selected the music for my funeral in my will. You could do the same.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:39 AM
 
Location: 900 miles from my home in 80814
4,669 posts, read 6,737,637 times
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When my dad died, we planned a celebration that was a true reflection of his life. For most of his life, he had been in various amateur jazz bands that played mostly Dixieland and Swing. At his service, his band members came together and played a 20 minute set of rousing Dixieland and Swing, complete with standing ovations after each piece, but really got the 100+ people rocking when they closed with "When the Saints Come Marching In". Everyone was standing up, clapping, cheering, and singing along. His whole service was loud, upbeat, and happy, with lots of humor and fabulous music. I know he was loving that everyone was having a great time. His was truly a Celebration of Life.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:47 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,429 posts, read 18,139,040 times
Reputation: 18802
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
Yeah, I snuck a cookie up there (a snickerdoodle... yum!), and at the end of what I said, I mentioned that she always wanted me to rock, and she was always giving me food. So, since I couldn't rock, I could eat... and I whipped out the cookie and ate the first big bite up there at the podium in front of everyone. THAT is something she'd have wanted me to do.

That, and play "Rock Around The Clock"....

I just hope that nobody tries to ruin my funeral that way. Man, don't put me in some stupid box with my lips sewn shut and my hands crossed over my chest. Build a support frame of some sort, attach me to it with wires and nails and duct tape, and put me behind my keyboards and microphone so it looks like I'm rocking out like I've been doing for pretty much my whole life. People might cry because I'm gone but at least I want them to laugh, or be shocked, when they first come into that room and see something dramatically different than they've seen at funerals before. Pipe music I've recorded, through the speaker system. And end it with "Great Balls Of Fire" or some other good old rock 'n' roll song like I end every one of my shows.
All I can hear and envision is Joe Diffy's (?) "Prop Me Up By the Jukebox".
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:43 PM
 
Location: The Jar
20,071 posts, read 13,744,602 times
Reputation: 36712
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
Okay. So yesterday I attended, and spoke at, the funeral for a lady I dare say was fairly close to a friend of mine despite how she was mostly just "my biggest fan". She was killed tragically in a car accident at age 42. Those of us who knew her knew that she was full of spunk and always smiling... she was a nursing home activities director and I played for a few of the places where she worked.

Whenever she had me play, she had to hear rock 'n' roll. If I didn't play "Rock Around The Clock" by about halfway through the show, she'd be like "Hey, where's my 'Rock Around The Clock'?". I didn't know the fullest extent of the music she liked but I do know that she vastly preferred my upbeat rock 'n' roll to the slower stuff I did.

I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that if she knew I would be speaking / doing anything at her funeral, she'd have been like "Bring your instruments and play 'Rock Around The Clock', and if any of those old fuddy-duddies don't like it, too bad!". Now, I couldn't do that because the room was too small... but when I talked with the people who were coordinating the funeral, they said they didn't even think it was appropriate to play rock music at a funeral.

Instead, they chose to play one of the ABSOLUTE WORST SONGS EVER RECORDED BY A HUMAN BEING - "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. Talk about a bunch of talented people getting together to produce one of the biggest pieces of aural excrement that people's ears could ever have the displeasure of experiencing. It's bad enough that this lady died tragically at age 42. Then they have to play THAT SONG... and by about 30 seconds into it, I dare say my eyes were the only dry eyes in the place. EVERYONE was sobbing and crying and whatever!

The only way I got through it was by plugging my ears, focusing my eyes on a spot on the floor, and singing "Rock Around The Clock" to myself... under my breath of course so that nobody else could hear me. (I had to follow it with "Shake, Rattle 'n' Roll" because one of the things that makes "One Sweet Day" so repulsive is the fact that it runs for approximately four minutes longer than anyone really wants to listen to it.) Since I had to talk immediately after that song was done, I sure as heck didn't want to be crying or even choked up at the time.

So I got up and said what I was going to say, and injected a bit of goofiness into it in the end because I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that she'd have wanted that. Seemed like everyone else agreed, based upon their reactions.

But yet, this funeral was still all kinds of tear-jerking!


So here's my question.

WHY?!?!

Why MUST funerals be like that?! I can't name one person who would want his/her funeral to be full of crying people! Why can't they be upbeat and celebratory? Good grief, even in church they call a funeral service a "celebration of life"... okay, the person is dead, we get that... it's bad enough that we have to come to a funeral and look at someone we used to know, lying in a casket as a lifeless body... but why can't it at least be reasonably happy aside from that?

Come on! Help me out here! Man, at my funeral, I don't want any sourpusses!
LOL! Great post!

Like you, I think the 'recently departed' ones would prefer song choices/selections which reflect their own personal musical tastes and periods in their lifetimes- NOT the hokie cliché crap/choices which are the usual/norm.

Those predictable picks, are more often than not, meant to manipulate/squeeze the emotion out of eveyone present.

I can think of some other (overly used at funerals) tunes which are the same:
1)Sarah Mclachlan - In The Arms Of An Angel
2)Vince Gill--Go Rest High On That Mountain
3)Brad Paisley-When I get Where I am Going

I'm sure I'm leaving out some other obvious ones.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:15 PM
 
9,454 posts, read 15,010,253 times
Reputation: 15406
What about those funeral parades in New Orleans? The band plays happy music, people dance, sing, etc. I saw it on TV as a child and thought it was strange. My mother explained they were happy because the deceased was now going to Heaven. A good way to look at things!
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:05 PM
 
2,890 posts, read 5,152,172 times
Reputation: 4585
We had a celebration of life party for my Dad. Shared some great stories and had a wonderful time. I believe we played music that he and my Mom used to listen to: big band, old-time country, and even the Tijuana Brass.

The only weird part was when I was at Party Barn and someone tried to help be pick out plates - they poor person just froze. After all, who would buy festive plates for a "funeral?"
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