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I'm not sure I'd play many of those for my funeral. I'm waffling between formal and gloomy (Albinoni's "Adagio in G minor") to egocentric and gloomy (a recording of me playing Micah Page's "Requiem.") With any luck it will be years, nay, decades, before I have to make that decision!
I definitely wouldn't be playing "Tears in Heaven," a decision that harks back to a funeral I attended a few years back where a hapless keyboardist was playing music before the service started, but there was a huge delay (apparently the mom or dad of the deceased got held up for some reason), and he didn't have any sheet music with him, so he had to resort to playing the few funeral-appropriate pieces he knew over and over again. I think we heard "Tears in Heaven" a total of four times. My heart went out to that poor guy.
Loc: The Netherlands, Grootegast-Gr...
I made my own funeralmusic. Some weeks ago I recorded a song of a Dutch comedian, Jules de Corte.....'Als ik overmorgen oud ben wie zal mijn ogen sluiten als ze niet vanzelf dicht gaan....'(translation: Day after tomorrow when I'm old who is going to close my eyes if they do not automatically close)
I sort of like what they do at a jazz funeral: play some lugubrious dirge en route to the grave, then some happy stuff on the way back--dance his soul to the other side.
One of the most achingly melancholy-but-beautiful songs ever is the Brazilian song "Azulao". In it the singer is telling a bluebird to go tell his beloved that life without her is not worth living. Here's Gerard Souzay performing it with a very spare piano accompaniment:
But if you can find a recording of Salli Terri doing that song (it was on an LP then a CD entitled 'Duets with the Spanish Guitar') listen to that. Simply the most beautiful 90 seconds of music ever recorded, IMHO.
Now for the happy stuff, you can't do better than the song "We Shall Be Happy" from Ry Cooder's 1978 album 'Jazz'. I can't find a cut of it available online, though. Guaranteed to shake everyone out of melancholy and get their booties shakin'.
If anyone more skilled at posting links to music can find those cuts, please do so.
Ever since I can remember, I've wanted one song at my funeral ~ Tumbling Tumbleweed. No classical, nothing emotional, just drifting along like a tumbling tumbleweed. Preferably sung by my sisters. Love that song.
Edited by dlr (05/25/1006:55 PM)
Take my hand, let me stand where no one stands alone
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Ken, you have been diligent lately in finding countering posters who are one and the same person, I have to pat you on the back for that!
In adding to funeral appropriate pieces, a piano teaching friend died too soon in life and she was very fond of her jazz society playing friends. The last music as we left the funeral home was performed by a trio playing "Aint' She Sweet". (Aint' she sweet? See her walking down the street. Now I ask you very confidentially, ain't she sweet?" And, all the other words came flowing into mind and we couldn't help but move to the beat as we walked out the door. Surprizing and exceptional experience and actually a joy to us as that was the kind of person she was in life.