Kay, my partner, is away for the weekend with a group of friends at a luxury spa hotel. As they’re all deaf, at least they won’t be able to hear the awful background music which seems to be generic to all of these low-end ‘classy’ hotels. I have fond memories of sauntering out to the haw-haw for a post breakfast cigarette at Blenheim, admiring the sessile oaks before the grounds were opened to the hoards for the day – no fucking piped music there….but that’s another story.
I considered my options for the weekend and decided that, rather than wasting my time decorating the scruffy living room or sorting out the garden, I should spend the weekend doing something really useful…like backing up my most prized music files to cd-r and drinking too much supermarket wine. Oh, hang on a sec – Pere Ubu’s “Modern Dance” has just pinged…..right, there we go.
At a neighbour’s funeral last Tuesday, the music chosen for his coffin’s entrance to the church (fading out as he was encatafalqued) was Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, with a Johnny Cash number (I can’t remember which one as I was crying too much) playing as the coffin was carried out. I didn’t know him too well, but he was 78 years old – the first tenant on this street of council houses back in ’77 and always hanging out on the street chatting to anyone who went past. [He was also – bit of local knowledge here – an accomplished burglar. He gave me a cracking bit of advice, “if you hear a burglar in yer house at night, youth, let ’em get on with it and leave – then call the police. They don’t want bother – only yer stuff.” Followed by the comforting and, sadly, less true advice these days, “burglars never shit in their own back yards”].
But this isn’t an advice column. His funeral got me thinking what music I’d like at my funeral? I already have the beginnings of a plan at preparetodie but music kind of changes – no hang on – musical preferences change with time, right? Yes, knew you’d agree.
So how to choose a future proof musical agenda for my funeral? Hmmm…
My rummaging round the hard drive has thrown up som interesting possibilities (but god how I miss flicking through LPs and skimming sleeve notes).
I’ve settled on [I must remind you I’m on my second bottle of cheap Cotes du Rhone] “The Sinking Of The Titanic” by Gavin Bryars – played in its 60 odd minutes entirety at low volume while the vicar or other celebrant or whoever proposes how wonderful a person I was – for the entrance of my wicker basket cradled corpse to the church/chapel/building chosen by responsible survivor.
That was the easy bit. My first choice for “there he goes – good riddance” music was the Tiger Lillies’ “Crack of Doom” but given my (denied for decades by my father) Irish/Romany past, should I go with De Dannan’s “Dear Irish Boy” medley? That medley has, without doubt, the expected gravitas and low end of the keyboard emotion for a funereal piece, then kicks off and kicks ass in venerable Irish wake tradition [it’s also played on diatonic melodeon, my instrument of choice these days].
Or should i just go with Killdozer’s sublime cover version of “I Am I Said” a beautiful Neil Diamond song which Killdozer do nothing but justice?
Or “Are You Shivering” by Coil, seeing as how John Balance and I were all but neighbours. I think I’ll go with “Are You Shivering” – because I love Coil’s music and they were at leat half of them so close to my life and and worlds away and thats how it should be because if I knew what their world was i wouldn’t be intrigued and in their glamour and it really is time I went to bed or maybe just drank more and watched csi or something. or listened to “I am SittinG in aAa room” by AlvinLUcier” – rock n roll or what??!!!