My future funeral song (and other songs of memory)

First, the title isn’t as dark as it may first appear. I’m not dying (as far as I know). But it is a little potential foreshadowing for myself if my family has to choose a song for that ending that’ll happen sooner or later.

My musical selection of choice for the background music at my own funeral should be Johnny Cash’s “Hurt.” It’s a song I’ve like for several years but with its resurgence as the trailer music for the new movie Logan I’ve been listening to it again. And it seems to fit the end. I’m really quite fond of the lines:

And you could have it all
My empire of dirt

Because that’s exactly what it’s all worth from the dead person’s point of view (less the reputation they leave behind for their family name…). I’m sure there are better songs out there and perhaps I’ll find one before I pass away (Nine Inch Nails’ version of “Hurt” is pretty good too, though.).

Here’s the video for the song. It’s a little weird if you ask me. As if it was partially filmed during a Jim Jones rally while drinking their Kool-Aid. Nonetheless, the song it the care of the video

I also started thinking about other points in my life where music has some meaning, or, I guess, where music reminds me of a memory. For instance, Tami and I got married in 1999 and the single most important song of the time for me was (and still is today) Dave Matthews Band’s “Crush.” Every time I hear the song it’s all about us (I don’t even think she knows that).

My Mother gets some attention with musical selections too. One of my favorite songs of all time is Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.” My family will tell you the same as I urge them to all remain silent for my air drum solo. The song itself reminds me of sitting in her old Celica at the Ballard Locks rocking out to the song via her 8-tack player. It’s the little things.

On the less than fun side my Mother gets a second song attached to her; Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me.” Sadly she passed away last Spring but as I was touching down from a cross-country flight back to the Seattle area it was the song that stuck with me- playing through my headphones as the wheels touched the ground at Sea-Tac Airport. I hummed the song on the drive from the airport to the hospice where she was at. I’ve blocked out much of what happened over those few days but I do remember still humming the song (perhaps in trying to block out the issue at hand) walking into her room. I don’t know if she knew I was there, but at least I got to see her. And the song reminds me of that.

Last but not least, my wife and I are both reminded of our oldest daughter’s birth when we hear Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” It was a natural birth.

Do you have a song of remembrance?

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