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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 10/ 6/2006

Friday List: Goodbye Songs

By Liz Kelly

Today's Friday list was inspired by this beaut from across the pond: Britain's Bereavement Register announced that James Blunt's "Goodbye My Lover" tops a list of songs played at funerals. A look at the full list (below) makes it clear that a British funeral is now officially as boring as the music piped into my dentist's office.

Still, this does force one's mind to consider the set list for one's own, ahem, sendoff. Depending on the desired reaction, music is one surefire way to render your post-partum guests elated, sad, wracked with guilt or -- if you're completely sadistic -- appalled.

So, today's list: Choose 1 - 3 songs you'd want played at your final farewell.

I'm actually having a hard time (I think the mental image of someone playing the "Dirty Dancing" theme song at a funeral is blocking my creative juices), so I'll stick with one song for now:

"She's My Best Friend" - The Velvet Underground. It's short, to the point and not too maudlin.

Oh, and for anyone who is tempted to answer "Spirit in the Sky" or "Stairway to Heaven," shame on you.

(Hey, it's October, so let's just call this a little acceptable pre-Halloween ghoulishness.)

The full Bereavement Register top 20:

1 "Goodbye My Lover" - James Blunt
2 "Angels" - Robbie Williams
3 "I've Had the Time of my Life" - Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley
4 "Wind Beneath my Wings" - Bette Midler
5 "Pie Jesu" - Requiem
6 "Candle in the Wind" - Elton John
7 "With or Without You" - U2
8 "Tears from Heaven" - Eric Clapton
9 "Every Breath You Take" - The Police
10 "Unchained Melody" - Righteous Brothers
11 "Danny Boy" - Daniel O'Donnell
12 "Time to Say Goodbye" - Sarah Brightman
13 "What a Wonderful World" - Louis Armstrong
14 "Knocking on Heaven's Door" - Bob Dylan
15 "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" - Aerosmith
16 "Bright Eyes" - Simon and Garfunkel
17 "Eternal Flame" - The Bangles
18 "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" - Bon Jovi
19 "I Want to Live Forever" - Fame
20 "Reach for the Stars" - S Club 7

By Liz Kelly  | October 6, 2006; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists  
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Beatles - I'm Only Sleeping

Posted by: Alan | October 6, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Holy cow, what a lame list -

In no particular order

Ashokan Farewell
Sleepwalk (Santo and Johnny)
There's A Place For Us (Tom Waits)

Posted by: spike | October 6, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Our Farewell- Within Temptation

Posted by: Chris | October 6, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum

Posted by: Arlington | October 6, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum

Posted by: VA | October 6, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"Apes-Ma" - Captain Beefheart

Posted by: Thor | October 6, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Sarah McLachlan's "Angel"

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I didn't know Bon Jovi did a version of "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" -- ironically, that's a Warren Zevon song.

"Bright Eyes" is just Garfunkel.

Posted by: Cosmo | October 6, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: VA | October 6, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Just to clarify, "Pie Jesu" is from Requiem by Gabriel Faure. There are dozens of requiems.

Posted by: akb | October 6, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, was being funny. Isn't "I want to live forever" a weird song to play at a funeral? Why would people do this?

Posted by: VA | October 6, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"Every Breath You Take"? Only if the deceased was murdered by a stalker.

Posted by: BK | October 6, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

It's always been "The Dance" by Garth Brooks.

Posted by: Djohnson | October 6, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

What?!? No "Dust in the Wind"? You're my boy, Blue!

Posted by: jw | October 6, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"And She Was" -- Talking Heads
"Golden Years" -- David Bowie
"Stand" -- REM

Posted by: Steph | October 6, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"I'll Be Missing You" by P. Diddy and Faith Eveans. I actually love the song (guilty pleasure), and I'd hope people would smile as they thought about Puffy dancing around in his white suit.

Posted by: Maria | October 6, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Not sure about myself, but my uncle wants us to play "Danger Zone" (from Top Gun) at his funeral. Good luck getting that one past the priest.

Posted by: Baltimore | October 6, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"Every Breath You Take" is not comforting even if the person is alive. It gives a whole new creepy factor is the person is dead.

Having heard S Club 7 songs, I can safely say that's the absolute last thing mourners should be subjected to.

Posted by: petal | October 6, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I seriously think I would start laughing if I was a funeral and "Knocking on Heaven's Door" started playing!!

I think I would want some fun, happy Dave Matthews Band music - he sings a lot about death too, so it might be appropriate - perhaps some "Tripping Billies" - "Eat, Drink and Be Merry, For Tommorrow We Die" :)

Posted by: Betty | October 6, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (the Eric Clapton version)

"Little Wing" (Jimi Hendrix)-- "Well, she's walking through the clouds...."

Posted by: Sanderson | October 6, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

//Sleepwalk (Santo and Johnny)//
Yikes, that was our wedding song.

"Dweller on the Threshhold" - Van Morrison

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"After You're Gone" - Iris DeMent

"Live Forever" - Shaver

both sweet songs about memories living on.

Posted by: elle | October 6, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

dancing queen - abba

Posted by: not bluto | October 6, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I attended a funeral of a co-worker killed in a motorcycle accident where they played Garth Brook's "Friends in Low Places". I was appalled, but the rest of the mourners felt it was acceptable AND appropriate.

I've always liked "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes.

Posted by: Ken | October 6, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

In the event one commits suicide....perhaps Don McClean's "Vincent"

Posted by: felipe | October 6, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"Here Comes the Sun" - The Beatles
"(I'll Be Glad When You're Dead) You Rascal You" - Louis Prima
"Glad to See You Go" - The Ramones
"Not Fade Away" - The Crickets

Posted by: Chris | October 6, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I suppose it'd be sweet for those still alive that someone played Joe Satriani's "Flying in a Blue Dream" at my funeral, but I'd laugh my dead backside off if they played Motorhead's "Dancing on Your Grave" and/or Accept's "Son of a B!tch".

I guarantee some would not be able to contain their snickering.

Posted by: bc | October 6, 2006 12:14 PM | Report abuse

In the event one commits suicide....perhaps Don McClean's "Vincent"

Posted by: felipe | October 6, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

or maybe hung up - madonna

Posted by: not bluto | October 6, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

At first blush, this would at least bring some brevity, but if they listened to the words long enough, my loved ones would be crying their eyes out (just as I've ordered them to in my Last Will and Testament): "Freebird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Posted by: Go 'Noles | October 6, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"Please Don't Bury Me" by John Prine.

Posted by: b | October 6, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"Secure Yourself (to Heaven)" by the Indigo Girls.

Secure yourself to heaven
Hold on tight, the night has come
Fasten up your earthly burdens
You have just begun

In the ink of an eye I saw you bleed
Through the thunder I could hear you scream
Solid to the air I breathe
Open-eyed and fast asleep
Falling softly as the rain
No footsteps ringing in your ears
Ragged down worn to the skin
Warrior raging, have no fear


I'm kneeling down with broken prayers
Hearts and bones from days of youth
Restless with an angel's wing
I dig a grave to bury you
No feet to fall, you need no ground
Allowed to glide right through the sun
Released from circles guarded tight
Now we all are chosen ones

{Refrain twice}

Posted by: D | October 6, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"Please Don't Bury Me" by John Prine.

Posted by: b | October 6, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"One Sweet Day" - Boyz II Men/Mariah Carey

"It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" - G.C. Cameron(Original) Boyz II Men(Remake)

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

How is "My Way" not on the list?!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Handel's Messiah:
1) Since by man came death
2) By man came also the resurrection of the dead
3) For as in Adam all die
4) Even so in Christ shall all be made alive

Dear Friends (?) Queen

So dear friends, a love is gone
Only tears to dwell upon
I dare not say as the winds must blow
So a love is lost, a love is won

Go to sleep and dream again
Soon your hopes will rise and then
From all this gloom life can start anew
And there'll be no crying soon

Posted by: CV | October 6, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Eeeeew! James Blunt?! Listening to that crap would make me want to kill myself right there at the funeral. Maybe I could get a 2-for-1 deal.

BUT, I've never really wanted a funeral. I'd much prefer to just be cremated and scattered somewhere, then have my friends have a picnic or something where they could talk and listen to music. They would have to play "Every Day Is Like Sunday" by Morrissey, however, just because I've always loved that song so much.

Posted by: Simone | October 6, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

i would want

amazing grace--duh
lightning bar blues--arlo guthrie
imagine--john lennon
i'll fly away--willie nelson

Posted by: m | October 6, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Buckley's haunting version of "Satisfied Mind"
DeVotchKa's "Dearly Departed"
Billy Bragg & Wilco's "Another Man's Done Gone" (lyrics by Woodie Guthrie)

And of course, I don't want people to go home sad... Finish it off with MC5's "Kick Out The Jams"! (I would pay to see that blasting at a funeral!)

Posted by: Tom Sawyer | October 6, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Europe's "The Final Countdown". I require nothing less.

Posted by: loonatic | October 6, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I want Tom Verlaine's "Postcard from Waterloo" played at mine, while my brother has requested "Asa's Death" from Peer Gynt.

Posted by: as | October 6, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

At my mother's funeral 2 years ago, we played "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof.

Posted by: CJB | October 6, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

'I Used to Love Her, But I Had to Kill Her'-GNR

Posted by: liz | October 6, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

When I kick, I want any of the following played/sung/etc.:

1. Rod Stewart's Version of "People Get Ready" with Jeff Beck on guitar

2. Blind Boys of Alabama's version of "Amazing Grace" set to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun"

3. "My Old Friend" by Carl Perkins and Paul McCartney

4. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" as sung by Dolly Parton and Ladysmith Black Mombazo.

Posted by: Sudiegirl | October 6, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I know it's been done to death (har har) but I'd like "Over the Rainbow" by Iz.

Posted by: Rockville cube | October 6, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh funeral songs, such fun.
My sister and I talked about this YEARS ago and I decided I wanted nothing but happy songs sung at my funeral. In Germany (where we lived when we had this morbid conversation) funerals tend to be more a celebration of the person's life and they have a big party. Which is what I want. So here they are, my request list for when I kick off.
I'll fly Away-by Allison Kraus
Spirt in the Sky -how could you NOT play this song?
My Sweet Lord
and some hymns, but HAPPY ones.

Posted by: Melissa | October 6, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: LS | October 6, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

When I read Liz's question, the following song immediately came to mind, unbidden and without giving it any thought: "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats. I don't know why, because I was never a fan. Even worse, the more I think about it, the more sense it seems to make. Seriously.

Is there something wrong with me?

Posted by: Doc | October 6, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse


No one has put "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the Rolling Stones on this list?!?

Are y'all sleeping, or something??

Posted by: Centre of Nowhere | October 6, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

As a Tar Heel girl, I'd have to go with "Carolina in my mind" by James Taylor.

Posted by: Kate | October 6, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Second that: Rainbow/Wonderful World, -Iz

Posted by: Brudda | October 6, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

In order...
Oh Death-Ralph Stanley
Franklin's Tower-Grateful Dead
Keep Me in Your Heart-Warren Zevon

Posted by: gettingtherefast | October 6, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Stars Are Blind - Paris Hilton
Turds - Shelley Marsh
They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! - Napoleon XIV

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Twistin' By The Pool-Dire Straits

Posted by: Earl | October 6, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

That made me almost spit my lunch across my death - final countdown is a GREAT selection!!!

Posted by: To looatic | October 6, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw.

Posted by: Maggie | October 6, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Seasons in the Sun.

Posted by: Elizabeth | October 6, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

How can a British list not list three great Queen songs for such an occassion:
Those Were the Days of Our Lives
Show Must Go On
Who Wants to Live Forever

I also know that at my mom's funeral (hopefully still year's away) in addition to the Queen songs, we have to play "November Rain" by GNR, probably also "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd.

Posted by: Tiff | October 6, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Oy vey, there are some terrible choices out there. I think I have to give my family a list of classical music to play at my funeral. We're all classical music fans, so I don't really have to worry, but at least they'd know what I want my mourners to hear. Things like:

Albinoni - "Adagio"
Mozart - Requiem: "Lachrymosa"
Mahler - Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection" (the entire thing, if I'm famous enough to warrant a memorial concert)

As for actual songs:

Pink Floyd - "Wish You Were Here"
Dream Theater - "The Spirit Carries On"

Posted by: Phil | October 6, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

amazing grace (even as a non chrisitan i love that song)

somewhere over the rainbow (any version)

the A-Team theme song

Posted by: bird | October 6, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

WITH OR WITHOUT YOU???? "I can't live, with or without you..." It is all about the hellishness of a relationship and how he cannot live with her. That is a bizarre choice. About as weird as the wedding I attended where the "intriducing the New Mr. and Mrs. X!!!" song that the new couple ran into the room on was ......"Tainted Love" I ---- you not.

Posted by: what??? | October 6, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

How about I Believe by Brooks & Dunn. Or Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood.

Posted by: mjb | October 6, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"Bell, Book, and Candle" by Eddi Reader
"Sand and Water" by Beth Neilsen Chapman

Posted by: Melinda | October 6, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"Didn't we almost have it all" - W. Houston

"My Immortal" - Evanessance
The line "I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone." will have the mourners wailing!

They played "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes at my father's graveside service 20 years ago. I still get teary-eyed when I hear that hymm on bagpipes.

Posted by: DaninAnnapolis | October 6, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Cirlce of Life - elton john/tim rice

It just seems so appropriate. Plue I'm a huge Lion King fan.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Rooster - Alice in Chains
Birthday Boys - Oysterhead ("I don't mind, if you come around and drink up all my wine")
This Party Sucks - Slickee Boys (it's on -- hilarious and awesome song)

Posted by: Matt | October 6, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

no woman no cry- bob marley

Posted by: duxbury | October 6, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Nina Simone - Ne Me Quitte Pas

Posted by: dj1221 | October 6, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Dead Flowers" by the Rolling Stones
(" . . . and I won't forget to put roses on your grave.")

Too morbid? How about "My Generation"? ("Hope I die before I get old.")

Not goofy enough? Then I second Doc's suggestion. "Safety Dance" it is!

("Seasons in the Sun"?? Now THAT'S just being mean to the mourners.)

Posted by: John K. | October 6, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Wham's "Wake me up, before you go-go"
Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way"
Doris Day "Que sera, sera"

Posted by: Ha | October 6, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The Go-Gos, "Our Lips are Sealed"

Posted by: John K. | October 6, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

In the same vein as "Another Man's Done Gone" I'd pick "Airline to Heaven" by Billy Bragg/Wilco --

"If the world looks wrong
And your money's spent and gone
And your friend has turned away

You can get away to heaven
On this aeroplane
Just bow your head and pray"

Posted by: Annie | October 6, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"Heaven and Hell" Black Sabbath

Posted by: Kally M. | October 6, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"The Passenger" Iggy Pop

Posted by: grease monkey | October 6, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Also, a ton of songs from O Brother would be good -- "Angel Band" comes to mind, as well as "I'll Fly Away". And "I Am Weary" -- all would probably make me cry at a funeral.

If you Were Here by Poe would be good, asw ell.

We chose the music for my mom's funeral carefully. We wanted to avoid Amazing Grace, etc. We walked in to Battle Hymn of the Republic because she was a history teacher and would have loved that, and we walked out to Jesu, Joy of Man's Desire because it is beautiful and warm. One of her students chose to sing during the mass, though, and while I hate Celine Dion every time I hear "Because You Loved Me" I cry like a baby.

Posted by: Annie | October 6, 2006 1:35 PM | Report abuse

It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it:

"Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen

Posted by: b | October 6, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Until The End of the World and Last Night on Earth by U2; but if only one song could be played it has to be BURNING OF THE MIDNIGHT LAMP by Jimi Hendrix.

Posted by: bliggetts | October 6, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Fly From Heaven - Toad the Wet Sprocket
This Side - Nickel Creek
Galileo - Indigo Girls
A Living Prayer - Alison Krauss + Union Station
Baby I'm a Big Star Now - Counting Crows
I'll Follow You Into the Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
A Praise Chorus - Jimmy Eat World
Christina - Patty Griffin
Prayer of St. Francis - Sarah McLachlan

I'm sure I'm missing a bunch, but it's a start. Maybe "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" by the Flaming Lips for good measure?

Posted by: Piranha | October 6, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the late Eva Cassidy. Her versions of "What a Wonderful World" and the hymn "How Can I Keep From Singing" are amazing. The second song is my pick. From the opening lines "My life goes on, and endless song...

Posted by: Karen | October 6, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

this is sort of funeral-related. i went to a memorial service the friday after 9/11 in honor of that day & they started playing 'lean on me', which, ok, a little upbeat given the occasion, but a nice sentiment. after that song ended, the next song on the tape came on to play 'purple rain'. my theory was that it was somebody's mix tape & they didn't hit 'stop' soon enough.

Posted by: (not the postie) liz | October 6, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Sarah McLachlan's "Angel"

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I think for a funeral, especially given that we all read and post on this blog, our ultimate goal has to be lighters in the air. To that end, there's no contest:

"Free Bird" Lynyrd Skynyrd

Posted by: Glover Park | October 6, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The recessional at the funeral of a longtime colleague, who had been a World War II fighter pilot, was "Off We Go into the Wild Blue Yonder." The congregration, once it got over its surprise, joined in the singing, and capped it off with a standing ovation.

As for me, I want Jessye Norman's rendition of Richard Strauss's "Im Abendrot."

Posted by: Ted Q. | October 6, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"I'll be on my way" by the Saw Doctors.

Little known Irish band, best song I've ever heard at a funeral...

Posted by: WIlberforce | October 6, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"Kissed by a rose" -Seal

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I have a twisted sense of humor, but "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" by AC/DC could be at mine...only if that's not how I go, though.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"Bright Eyes" is Art Garfunkel, not Simon and Garfunkel.

My list:
"10th Avenue Freeze Out"- Bruce Springsteen

"Coma"- Guns N' Roses: this is what I want played if I die in a coma

"Eruption" -Van Halen: why the hell not?

Posted by: JD | October 6, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"No One Lives Forever" - Oingo Boingo
"Enjoy Yourself - It's Later Than You Think" - The Specials

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Little Wing-Derek and the Dominos

How I wish it would rain-Temptations

What is Life-George Harrison

Posted by: Lisa | October 6, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Paradise City, Guns and Roses

....If it's determined that I lived a not-so-good life:

Highway to Hell, ACDC
Ring of Fire, Johnny Cash

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

My list:
I believe I can fly-R Kelly
Somewhere-from Westside Story
Workout-Jackie Wilson(leave 'em on a high note)

P.S. My sister is not to sing Amazing Grace( she'll just mess it up)

Posted by: Alice | October 6, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"Acknowledgement" (aka Part 1 of "A Love Supreme") by John Coltrane.

"Long Black Veil" by Lefty Frizzell, if I want to tick off my wife.

Some good version of "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You," which she will add to the playlist once she gets a look at "Long Black Veil."

And if there's still time, Laura Nyro's "And When I Die."

Posted by: johnshade | October 6, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

yo la tengo - "our way to fall"
superchunk - "detroit has a skyline too (acoustic)"
red house painters - "san geronimo"
guided by voices - "motor away"
tom petty - "time to move on"
the replacements - "skyway"
the smiths - "there is a light that never goes out"
elvis costello - "man out of time"
gram parsons - "return of the grievous angel"
joni mitchell - "a case of you"
john lennon - "oh yoko!"
van morrison - "into the mystic"

Posted by: HoyaParanoia | October 6, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"Old and wise" by the Alan Parsons Project

Posted by: Deb | October 6, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

What a lame list !

How about 'In my Life " by the Beatles?

Or for those a little older Roy Rogers--the cowboy , not the restaurant-- "Happy Trails"

Posted by: jmsbh | October 6, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I think that list got switched with the LIST OF SONGS YOU'LL HEAR PIPED IN OVER THE P.A. NEXT TIME YOU GO TO GIANT.

Posted by: Max | October 6, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I think I would just want a ton of organ music. Organs always make me tear up. But I guess that any Dashboard Confessional song would have the same effect. The real list:
Lua - Bright Eyes
Stumbleine - Smashing Pumpkins
Tubthumping - ChumbaWamba

Posted by: kater kat | October 6, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

In the following order:

"Yellow Ledbetter" -- Pearl Jam
"The Letter" -- Macy Gray
"Alive" -- Beastie Boys

Posted by: NoShowMo | October 6, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I like "There will never be another you" as sung by Nat King Cole.

Also, "Peace in the Valley" as sung by Johnny Cash

Posted by: Smorrison | October 6, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Forgot my pick... it would have to be two songs by Brian Wilson: "Love and Mercy" and "Til I Die."

And then maybe to lift everyone's spirits as they left, "No More Blues" by Dizzy Gillespie.

Who is, incidentally, dead.

Posted by: Max | October 6, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm, I think I would want the following:

1. Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings

2. Queen's I Want to Break Free

3. The hymn Breathe on me Breath of God.

Posted by: MandyB | October 6, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"Je Ne Regrette Rien" by Edith Piaf

The Faure Requiem

"I Grieve" by Peter Gabriel

"Goin' Out" by Sarah Harmer

Posted by: Arlington | October 6, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

For a Dancer (Jackson Browne)

She Goes On (Crowded House)

Skating Away (Jethro Tull)

Posted by: JudyU | October 6, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

country roads - john denver

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"Many Rivers to Cross" - Jimmy Cliff

Posted by: JAM | October 6, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Turn, Turn, Turn
The Rest (Will take care of itself.)
Native Son

Posted by: Chris | October 6, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

The Grateful Dead -- gulp! -- "Black Muddy River."

Also: Toussaint McCall, "Nothing Takes The Place Of You."

Posted by: Russ Wall | October 6, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Dust in the Wind

I can see clearly now

Posted by: Sue | October 6, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Do the Funky Penguin-Rufus Thomas
Do the Funky Chicken-Rufus Thomas
Funky Hot Grits- Rufus Thomas

These would be the best because I know it would bother Liz. So I could have one more laugh.

Posted by: Your Husband | October 6, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The Dark -- Trans-Siberian Orchestra, from "Beethoven's Last Night"

Agreed on "Je Ne Regrette Rien" by Piaf, had forgotten about that one.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse


"Gallow's Pole" - Led Zeppelin

"The End" -- Beatles

Posted by: GZ | October 6, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I've always liked the idea of Metallica's "Enter Sandman." Or "Margaritaville," as long as the bar was still open. Yes, there will be a bar at my funeral.

Posted by: Nick | October 6, 2006 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I was waiting for someone to list Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic." I always had a sneaking suspicion that song was about death...

Posted by: Good Call | October 6, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Siren Song by Dead Can Dance
Everybody Loves You When You're Dead by Cop Shoot Cop

Posted by: jessker1 | October 6, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Ooohhh! For YEARS i have wanted to pick my songs:

(1) Green Day's "Good Riddance" (more often known as "I hope you've had the time of your life")

and (2) "Silence" by Delerium/Sarah Mclachlan

Posted by: ciao, bebe | October 6, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Gallow's Pole is an excellent choice!

I'll add "Going to California" from Zep as well. Cuz you know, i wanna "smoke my stuff and drink all my wine" before i go!


"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen (why has no one else said this???)

"Straight to Hell" by The Clash (depending on how i lived my life)

"Electric Funeral" by Black Sabbath

"THE END" by The Doors

Posted by: lc | October 6, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Gene Weingarten | October 6, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

What about Send Me on My Way by Rusted Root?

Posted by: Annie | October 6, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

for the Bangles, forget Eternal Flame, go with Crash and Burn

second act, Ramblin' Jack Eliot's version of Freight Train

for the big send off, "How Much of What We Did Was Good?", Chou Enlai's solo in the 3rd act of Nixon in China, Adams-music, Goodman-libretto

or Wildfire, either or

Posted by: otis | October 6, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I was gonna say that, Gene.

Posted by: Snortle | October 6, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds

And what is so goofy about "Safety Dance"? If I wanted something REALLY goofy, I would have them play "Hang On Sloopy"

Posted by: Doc | October 6, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

How about 'Walking on Sunshine'. I mean...I'm dead. Nothing else could go wrong.

Posted by: Duke | October 6, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

What about "I Will Remember You" - Sarah McLachlan????

Posted by: Suz | October 6, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

In-a-gadda-da-vida by Iron Butterfly

Posted by: Laura | October 6, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"Good Riddance" - Green Day

Posted by: karen | October 6, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"End of the Line" by the Traveling Wilburys.

Posted by: Some moron | October 6, 2006 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"'Didn't we almost have it all' - W. Houston"


Posted by: not bluto | October 6, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

god, how morbid. i guess it fits with the atrocious weather today.

"knockin' on heaven's door" by warren zevon. no other version will do. that one fits too well.

"asleep," the smiths. that's in hoping that i live long enough for the words to apply.

"i'll follow you into the dark," death cab for cutie. (this was way cooler before one of those shows everyone in the world but me watches, like grey's anatomy or desperate housewives or whatever, picked the song up.)

"the rebel's goodbye," greg graffin. i hope i live up to this request.

Posted by: bamagirlinVA | October 6, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Many good ones above but Keef singing "Before They Make Me Run" has been my number one since I was in college.

Add "Dead Man's Party" from Oingo Boingo and "It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)" by REM

"Send Lawyers, Guns and Money" from Warren Zevon as the recessional ("Dad, get me out of THIS one!")

Posted by: Tony Plutonium | October 6, 2006 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I got to agree with Wildfire.
The one good thing about being dead is that I won't have to hear it.

Posted by: LL | October 6, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

For some reason, everyone in my family likes to tell ME which song they want. Somehow, I'm going to end up picking the music for everyone I know!

My husband wants Back in Black - ACDC
My mom wants River in Judea
My dad wants Amazing Grace on the bagpipes (he's an Irish retired cop - makes sense)
My godfather wants Here I am Lord

I've been too busy getting all these requests down to even think about my own!

Posted by: Gada | October 6, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I've always liked Natalie Merchant's "Beloved Wife"--it is the song I would have like to play at my grandparents funeral:

you were the love
for certain of my life
you were simply my beloved wife
I don't know for certain
how I'll live my life
now alone without my beloved wife
my beloved wife

I can't believe
I've lost the very best of me

you were the love
for certain of my life
you were simply my beloved wife
I don't know for certain
how I'll live my life
now alone without my beloved wife
my beloved wife

I can't believe
I've lost the very best of me

you were the love
for certain of my life
for fifty years simply my beloved wife

with another love I'll never lie again
it's you I can't deny
it's you I can't defy
a depth so deep into my grief
without my beloved soul
I renounce my life
as my right
now alone without my beloved wife
my beloved wife
my beloved wife

my love is gone she suffered long
in hours of pain

my love is gone
now my suffering begins

my love is gone
would it be wrong if I should
surrender all the joy in my life
go with her tonight?

my love is gone she suffered long
in hours of pain

Posted by: Emily | October 6, 2006 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Some of these are odd but mostly great. I will have to leave money for a day long music event.

Posted by: Dona | October 6, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I associate both "Champagne Supernova" by Oasis and "Crossroads" by Bone Thugs N Harmony with a friend's funeral in 1996.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

my sweet lord - george harrison

Posted by: sl | October 6, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I love this song by Mary Chapin Carpenter:

Fare thee well
My own true love
Farewell for a while
I'm going away
But I'll be back
Though I go 10,000 miles

10,000 miles
My own true love
10,000 miles or more
The rocks may melt
And the seas may burn
If I should not return

Oh don't you see
That lonesome dove
Sitting on an ivy tree
She's weeping for
Her own true love
As I shall weep for mine

Oh come ye back
My own true love
And stay a while with me
If I had a friend
All on this earth
You've been a friend to me

Posted by: Another VA resident | October 6, 2006 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I attended a funeral a couple years back where they played "Time of your Life (Good Riddance)" by Green Day, "Wonderwall" by Oasis and "It's True We Love One Another" by the White Stripes. The person who passed away was in their teens, so it made sense.

Posted by: Okie | October 6, 2006 4:57 PM | Report abuse

#9 Dream - John Lennon
Remember - Harry Nilsson

Both achingly beautiful songs.

Posted by: Chris | October 6, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

after thinking about it, i think i'd like to have "walk like an egyptian" by the bangles played as a recessional.

Posted by: b | October 6, 2006 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I'd like Bruce Springsteen to sing "The Strife Is O'er" (acapella).

He could really belt out those "hallalujas" for me.

Posted by: Fairfax | October 6, 2006 5:26 PM | Report abuse

For the service: The entirety of John Rutter's "Requiem".
For the wake: Foo Fighter's "DOA" and "Hell", played back-to-back.

Posted by: Baltimore (again) | October 6, 2006 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I have always thought this one would be a great song for my funeral: It's the End of the World as we Know It (and I Feel Fine), REM. Really.

Posted by: kedzie | October 6, 2006 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"And She Was" is hilarious!

How about "No Woman No Cry"?

Posted by: still here | October 6, 2006 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"Send lawyers, guns and money/And get me out of here" would be my sentiment. That, and "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner."

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 8:10 PM | Report abuse

How could they leave out IS THAT ALL THERE IS by Peggy Lee???

Posted by: Little of Lady from Pasadena | October 6, 2006 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I second John Prine's Please Don't Bury Me. It's about organ donation & would be a great sing-along. "Please don't bury me down in the cold cold ground. I'd rather have 'em cut me up and pass me all around." Then he goes on to say where his parts should go, such as giving his stomach to Milwaukee if they run out of beer.

And I have add a German song we used to sing at St. John's College: Tod ist ein langer schlaf. (Death is a long sleep.)

By the way, I was recently at a funeral where Into the Mystic was played. It was a real tear-jerker for most of us. The old traditionalists didn't like it much though.

Posted by: bigfoot | October 6, 2006 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Wondrous Stories by Yes - the ascending notes at the end remind me of going up to heaven (not that I think heaven is really "up" but anyway...)

Great Gig in the Sky by Pink Floyd - my friend came up with that one as a teenager as something she wanted to be played at her funeral.

Posted by: Lee | October 6, 2006 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Don't Fear The Reaper - BOC

All our times have come
Here but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain..we can be like they are
Come on baby...don't fear the reaper
Baby take my hand...don't fear the reaper

Posted by: Ted | October 6, 2006 11:36 PM | Report abuse

"Thank You" by Led Zeppelin

Posted by: Beth | October 9, 2006 7:42 AM | Report abuse

"He Was a Friend of Mine" by Willie Nelson

Posted by: Beth | October 9, 2006 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I saw a couple of Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic", but my choice would be "bright side of the road"

Posted by: diaworld | October 9, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Two already chosen:
Forever Young by Rod Stewart--my kids will laugh and remember us singing this loudly in the car with all the windows rolled down

and Every Long Journey by folksinger Ann Reed--this has become a song sung at our family celebrations--it is beautiful

Posted by: mominva | October 9, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

There had better NOT be any music at my funeral but if I had to choose...

It's a Shame about Ray. Because it is.

That or Girlfriend in a Coma (It's Serious!)

Posted by: ex cap girl | October 9, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The Sky is Crying - Stevie Ray Vaughn
You Are So Beautiful - Joe Cocker

And if you want to send your mourners into a serious depression:

Not Ready Yet - The Eels
Cold Cold Ground - Tom Waits
A Man Alone - Frank Sinatra

Have a nice day!

Posted by: JC | October 9, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye by Patty Griffin

Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley version)

Across the Universe (Rufus Wainwright version)

Posted by: Klange | October 9, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Flamenco Sketches - Miles Davis

Posted by: Mike | October 9, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Someday We'll be together

Both performed by a Full Gospel Chior

Posted by: birdflewsouth | October 9, 2006 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Another one bites the dust!

Posted by: skeezy | October 9, 2006 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"What a Difference You've Made in My Life" --Ronnie Milsap. Good for both the mourners and the departed, and upbeat to boot. A definite fir me.

If you want to wring the tears out of them, try:
"Everything I Own" -- Bread
"Go Rest High on that Mountain" -- Vince Gill
"Up Where You Are" -- Josh Groban

Posted by: one more | October 9, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

A friend of mine has demanded "Throwing It All Away" by Genesis for his funeral, whenever that day comes.

Posted by: Alyson | October 9, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

the same song I walked into my wedding reception to- Blitzkrieg Bop

Posted by: Justin | October 9, 2006 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The two best songs I've heard at funerals were vastly different but were each perfect, leaving us uplifted instead of weepy. For my Dad: some lively gospel sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford. For my husband's friend, killed in his mid-30s: Great Gig in the Sky, by Pink Floyd.

Posted by: Texan | October 9, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I will Survive - Cake
Do You Realize? - Flaming Lips

Posted by: CB | October 9, 2006 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm jealous of Alan - The Beatles' "I'm Only Sleeping" is the best answer of all, and he posted first!

The saddest song I've ever heard played at a funeral was Cat Stevens' "Oh Very Young", played by one of my college classmates at the funeral of another, a beautiful young girl who left us too soon. It still makes me weep...

Posted by: KiKi | October 10, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Lucky by Bif Naked
This was my wedding song.

Not Alone by Patty Griffin
This one fits me and my husband

The Special Two by Missy Higgins
I had them play this at my best friend Levi's funeral. It just fit for us, he was the one who gave me away at my wedding.

Beautiful Wreck by Shawn Mullins
Levi once told me he thought about me every time he heard this song.

Posted by: Kara | October 28, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

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