Monday, March 16, 2009

MUSIC MONDAY | Say Hallelujah

A friend of mine - The Brat - played Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life" at her wedding - a choice that I totally approve of. Not that it matters what I think. It's her wedding, not mine. Still, we are living the age of soundtrack, where for every significant moment of our lives, there has to be a song to go with it.

This thread of thought started with this music meme, where my answer to "WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?" is "Number One Enemy" by The Slits. It was irony by randomness, but it did make me think a little about what song would I want to be played at my funeral.

In one of those moments of idle chatter, I asked The Brat what song would she pick for her funeral. She said it didn't matter; she would be dead. The song really, is for the living, just as a funeral is also for the benefit of the living. A funeral is a ritual, something for us to cope and come to terms with that unknown and terrible notion of mortality. What is it about death that I fear most? I guess I am afraid that nobody will come to my funeral. It's an irrational fear, but one that is entirely possible, because I kept my life so compartmentalized, my family has no idea who my friends are.

If I have a choice though (because I would want my funeral to be about me, because we would like some governance over our lives and our deaths in any way we can) - I would like Tracy Chapman's "Say Hallelujah" to be played at my funeral. The lyrics says almost everything I would like to tell my friends, especially this part:

Dry your eyes
And stand upright
Put a smile on your face
He wouldn't want us to cry

I wouldn’t want my friends to cry too much at my funeral. But if you must, you may.



"Say Hallelujah"


Say Hallelujah
Throw up your hands
The bucket is kicked
The body is gone

Close your eyes
And bow your head
To rest your soul
And to praise the dead

Say Hallelujah
Throw up your hands
The bucket is kicked
The body is gone

Dry your eyes
And stand upright
Put a smile on your face
He wouldn't want us to cry

The sun will rise
The stars will shine
Turning day to dusk
And night to dawn
We'll pass on
But until that time

Say Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Say Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Say Hallelujah
Throw up your hands
The bucket is kicked
The body is gone

Have mercy
It's a wonderful life
Eternal rest for the weary
Mourners party tonight

Say Hallelujah
Throw up your hands
The bucket is kicked
The body is gone

Wave your hands
But don't say goodbye
We're all gonna meet you
On the other side

5 comments:

Doc Martian said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGMd5a3QmhE

Poison Idea - Just to Get Away

Quit my job, told my boss to stand aside
Grabbed a gun, a fifth of booze, jumped in my ride
I got my girl, she's sixteen and she's really special
I can't slow down, I've got a date with the devil
Two tons of steel, one hundred miles an hour
No looking back, grooving on the power
Responsibility made me quit
I'm sick of this motherfucking goddamn shit
There's a road, beyond it lies, I don't know
I just gotta run, I just gotta go

Two tons of steel, one hundred miles an hour

I, I never sang a love song
and I never owned a car
But I've never met a machine who would drive me this far

I'm not gonna listen to a word you say
I'm leaving in the morning, just to get away
I can't stand myself for just another day
I'm leaving in the morning, just to get away

(repeat)

Doc Martian said...

btw. neil gaiman will be on stephen colbert this monday. you can probably find a stream of it on hulu.com or comedy central.

Ah Leng said...

I chose "Bring me to life" because it was appropriate for my frame of mind at that point in my life. That and the fact that hearing Shania Twain's "From this moment" would have made me barf (it was played at almost every wedding i have ever attended).

A long time ago, i did have a short list of songs that i wanted played at my funeral. And then i realised, hey, i'm not going to be able to hear the songs when i am dead in a box. And so that list no longer exists.

You are right, funerals are part of the grieving process for the living, so they should play what they want to hear.

Sigh, it's been hell at work.

Dark Orpheus said...

Ah Leng: The way I see it, the song I picked will be the "final message" to my friends. So, it's from me to them.

Bybee said...

For a while, I liked "Some Fantastic Place" by Squeeze for my funeral. But now I like the Tracy Chapman song. "The bucket is kicked." Nice.