Your creepy chronicler has once again been inspired by real life events. The recent funeral for a friend (of a former lady-friend) included a slideshow and rock music. There in a church, your rascally writer witnessed an audio-video barrage of a man’s life complete with sometimes questionable photos and rock music.
It seemed a bit bizarre to your scary scribe and yet put a thought into his head: “What song would you play at your funeral?” What better time to ask this question than Halloween, eh? So without further adieu, here are the responses from some of my special spooks and spirits!
D'Lanie Blaze chose "Goin' Up The Country" by Canned Heat. It appeared on their 1968 album Living the Blues and was also released as a single, reaching #11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and number one in 25 other countries. It was sung by Alan Wilson, who was credited with writing the song.
Debby Ward and Denise Fyke , mother of Matthew Fyke drummer for The Chase Walker Band, chose “Angel” by songstress Sarah McLachlan. Written by McLachlan, this song is off her 1997 CD Surfacing. It’s a tuneful albeit terrible tale of the Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin, who O.D.ed on heroin and died in 1996. It was her second consecutive top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at number 4.
Dan Watson favored “Spirit In The Sky” which was written and first recorded by Norman Greenbaum. Released in 1969 the single would sell two million copies and climb to number three on the U.S. Billboard chart. It’s off of the 1969 LP of the same name. Rolling Stone magazine ranked "Spirit in the Sky" at number 333 on their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.
Holly Gauger chose “Amazing Grace” by Elvis Presley. This is actually a Christian hymn with words written by the English clergyman and poet John Newton. It was published back in 1779. Presley put it on tape in 1971 and it was first released as on his 1972 He Touched Me gospel platter. It scored a Grammy and eventually went platinum. It’s been covered by Willie Nelson, Sam Cooke, Mahalia Jackson and The Mighty Groundhogs (among others).
Mary Sparks wants singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett’s “A Pirate Looks At 40” played at her wake. This one is off of his 1974 platter A1A It was also released as a single and was written about a guy named Phillip Clark whom Buffett met at the Chart Room (his first Florida gig location). It’s a fan favorite focused on the confessions of a washed-up, contemporary drug smuggler who reflects regretfully back on the past four decades of his life.
Rick Snyder wants his mourners to hear “You Can't Always Get What You Want” from The Rolling Stones’ 1969 LP Let It Bleed. The tune was co-composed by lead singer Mick Jagger and lead guitarist Keith Richards. It was slotted in at number 100 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2004 list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
Pamela Stever’s survivors will be playing Aerosmith’s “Full Circle” off their 12th studio album Nine Lives. Released in 1997 the disc climbed to the top of the Billboard charts. The song itself was co-written by lead singer Steven Tyler and American songwriter/musician and producer Taylor Rhodes. The band co-produced all the songs on the work.
Kim Cooke wants his across-the-pond-pallbearers to play ''Smile'' by Nat King Cole. He says: “It was released in the same decade I was born. I've told my family my funeral is not for mourning. It's to be a celebration of my life so no-one is allowed to cry. After playing ‘Smile’', it's difficult to picture no one crying. Just listen to the words.”
The original version was only an instrumental composed by Charlie Chaplin for his 1936 movie Modern Times. Lyrics were added by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons in 1954. Cole was the first to actually sing the song which was released in 1954.
Carol de Macedo chose “Turn, Turn, Turn (to Everything There Is a Season)” by the folk rock band The Byrds. It was written by American folk singer Pete Seeger in the 1950s. It became an international hit when The Byrds released it as the titular track to their 1965 platter of the same name. It’s quite apropos in that it is both biblical (from verses in the Book of Ecclesiastes) and references “a time to die”.
Photographer Suzanne Garner picked “The Stairs” by INXS for her memorial service. “The Stairs” (as a single) is a rarity as it was only released in The Netherlands. It’s off their album X and was co-written by Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence . (Garner perhaps plans on outliving Joe Cocker otherwise he will be performing graveside no doubt.)
So there you have it, my goblins and gobblers, a devilishly different, tuneful take on the upcoming horrible holiday. Feel frightfully free to contribute your own responses. Ask your best fiends this morbid musical question and make your own playlist. What song do you want played at your funeral? After all, boys and ghouls, no one lives forever.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.