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Thread: Funeral Songs

  1. #51
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Coolest tune I ever heard at a funeral was Santo & Jonny's "Sleepwalk." I think Niles H. does a version on mando.

  2. #52
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    I always approach this topic with no small measure of trepidation, because it seems to demand that the participants bring a lunch, or even a bedroll, just to get through all the music. (Y'all aren't making it any easier either, I've picked up several more from your suggestions) However, the following are "musts":

    Be Still My Soul, a hymn set to "Finlandia"

    Amazing Grace (took the occasion to play this on the mandolin when visiting my Scottish father-in-law's grave in Jefferson Barracks national cemetery with my wife and mother-in-law. Wife's taking up the bagpipes. Can't wait for that visit to the cemetery.)

    Simple Song by Lyle Lovett, dedicated to my son.

    Dust by Fleetwood Mac, (from the good, old, pre-Stevie Nicks days) (dedicated to my bride of ___ summers)

    Written by Danny Kirwan.


    When the white flame in us is gone
    And we that lost the world's delight
    Stiffen in darkness.
    Left alone
    To crumble in our separate light
    When your swift hair is quiet in death
    And through the lips corruption thrust to still the labor of my breath

    When we are dust, when we are dust
    When we are dust, when we are dust

    When your swift hair is quiet in death
    And through the lips corruption thrust to still the labor of my breath

    When we are dust, when we are dust
    When we are dust, when we are dust

    When the white flame in us is gone
    And we that lost the world's delight
    Stiffen in darkness
    Left alone
    To crumble in our separate light
    When your swift hair is quiet in death
    And through the lips corruption thrust to still the labor of my breath

    When we are dust, when we are dust
    When we are dust, when we are dust

    And to end it all on an up note:

    Little Bit of Sympathy by Robin Trower:

    The light is strong and the man is weak
    And the world walks in between
    So rise above on the wings of love
    See and let yourself be seen
    See and let yourself be seen

    So fill your cup and drink it on up
    For tomorrow never comes
    If you weild the rod, answer to your God
    But me I'll be up and gone
    I'll be up and gone, gone
    I'll be up and a gone

    If the sea was glass and the land all gone
    Would you still be a friend to me
    When my time has passed, is it to much to ask
    For a little bit of sympathy
    Just a little bit of sympathy lord
    A little bit of sympathy

    R

  3. #53
    I'll take it! JGWoods's Avatar
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    Doc Watson's "Your Long Journey" to be played if I go before my bride, or for me to sing if she goes first.

    best
    gw



    Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
    Favorite Mandolin of the week: 2013 Collings MF Gloss top.

  4. #54

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    The Tim and Mollie O'Brien version of "Your Long Journey" is good, too, although that's one sad song.

  5. #55
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    Walking In Jerusalem Just Like John - Bill Monroe

  6. #56
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    "Bright Morning Stars" by the Freight Hoppers. And then just to inject a little levity in the whole affair "Please Don't Bury Me" by John Prine.

    GVD
    GVD

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    "Please Don't Bury Me" by John Prine.
    As Mr. Prine once put it, "the world's only organ donation campfire song."

    My list just keeps getting longer.

    R

  8. #58
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    Wayfaring Stranger
    Yeah, Keep calling me Hillbilly........

  9. #59
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    I just want to throw in a quick comment about how cool this thread is. A great topic, and wonderful suggestions. Really informative. Thanks everyone.
    -- Mandorado --

  10. #60
    Registered User Dan Cole's Avatar
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    For my dad's funeral last year I made a Power Point slide show of his life with "Ashokan FArewell"

    I then played "Wayfaring Stranger" at his service on my mandolin. #I had the words printed on the back of the program for those in attendance to follow along with. #It was real fitting for my dad. #

    I am a poor wayfaring stranger
    Traveling through this world below
    There's no sickness, toil or danger
    In that fair land to which I go

    I'm going home to see my Mother
    I'm going home no more to roam
    I'm just going over Jordan
    I'm just going over home

    I know dark clouds will hover or me
    I know my pathways rough and steep
    Yet golden fields lie there before me
    Where God's redeemed their vigils keep

    I'm going home to see my Father
    I'm going home no more to roam
    I'm just going over Jordan
    I'm just going over home
    I'll soon be free from every trial
    This form shall rest beneath the sod
    Iíll take the cross of Christ united
    Then Iíll be at home with God

    I'm going home to see my Savior
    I'm going home no more to roam
    I'm just going over Jordan
    I'm just going over home



    Go Vandals!

  11. #61
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    Well, I'm sort of stuck somewhere between two songs: "Goin' Down Slow" ("I have had my fun, If I don't get well no more..") and "The Lone Pilgrim" below:

    Lone Pilgrim
    I came to the place where the lone pilgrim lay
    And pensively stood by his tomb
    When In a low whisper I heard someone say
    How sweetly I sleep here alone

    The tempest may howl and the loud thunder roar
    And gathering storms may arise
    But calm is my feeling at rest is my soul
    The tears are all wiped from my eyes

    The cause of my master compels me from home
    No kindred or relatives nigh
    I met the contingent and sank to the tomb
    My soul flew to mansions on high

    Go tell my companions and children most dear
    To weep not for me while I'm gone
    The same hand that led me through storms most severe
    Has kindly assisted me on

  12. #62
    Registered User Trip's Avatar
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    My fiddlers Dad just passed, and we played throughout the service.....opened with a Wayfaring Stranger......Uncloudy Day....Amazing Grace....Workin on a Bldg......Paradise.......I am a Pilgrim.......as the casket was walked from the tiny chapel and down a gravel path to the gravesite we started an acapella 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken'that all joined in on all the way down the path.....after the final words were spoken we did an Ill Fly Away

    It was an amazing emotional experience for me and the family, I hope someone sends me out half that well

    Stranger String Band

  13. #63
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    If you haven't done so, take a listen to Pass Me Not played by Butch Baldassari.... its all mando. I like that. I never thought about it other than being cremated and be spread over my favorite hunting and fishing sites. If I had a choice I'd rather have them do a dance and play all the songs I've loved to play.
    Hubert

  14. #64
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    I've told my wife to gather our musician friends, and have them play uptempo gospel bluegrass till their fingers ache and they just can't play another note! I figure I'll be celebrating where I'll be, so they might as well join in the singin'!

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    When I was younger, I wanted the second movement from Beethoven's 7th Symphony. Then as I got older, I favored the Adagio from Mahler's 5th Symphony. Now that I'm broadening my horizons, I'd like to have Tom Waits' "Closing Time."
    \"Try again, fail again, fail better\" - Samuel Becket

  16. #66
    Registered User rnjl's Avatar
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    Well, just to inject a small note (as it were) of cross-cultural information trading, I'd point out that music - or instrumental music, at least - is not a universal funeral custom. (Not that I think anybody is claiming such.)

    I believe that many traditional Catholic parishes - at least around here - do not allow popular music as part of the funeral service, and neither do most traditional synagogues. (Some liberal rabbis and synagogues probably do allow popular music.)

    There's something extraordinary about the simplicity, in a traditional Jewish funeral, of the unaccompanied human voice, especially when it's a trained cantor singing the mournful memorial prayer, or chanting the 121st or 23rd or 90th Psalm.

    When my mother passed away, not too long ago, I chanted the memorial prayer, El Maleh Rachamim ("God full of Mercy")- which has a haunting, modal melody- myself, and I could not have imagined instruments interfering with that starkness and realness- it was just me and the prayer and the Almighty, nothing more, nothing less.

    That's what I want at my funeral: the 23rd Psalm, the 121st Psalm, chanted in Hebrew, with the most mournful and lonesomest (the "Hebrew Lonesome Sound") memorial prayer somebody can muster.

    Just another way to think about it.

  17. #67
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    "Tango Til They're Sore" - Tom Waits (Rain Dogs)

    "Peltoniemin Hintriikkin Surumarssi" (Hintrikki Peltoniemi's Funeral March) - trad. #Finland (J.P.P. - Kaustinen Rhapsody)

    "Dirt In The Ground" - Tom Waits #(Bone Machine)

    "Strange Affair" - Richard Thompson (First Light)

    "The Harder They Come" - Jimmy Cliff

    - - - - - -
    other contenders:

    "Oh Well" - (Peter Green's) Fleetwood Mac (Then Play On)

    "If Six Was Nine" - Jimi Hendrix Experience (Axis Bold As Love)

    "Baltimore" - Lyle Lovett

    "When I Get To The Border" - Richard & Linda Thompson (I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight)

    "Black Muddy Water" - Grateful Dead (In The Dark)

    "I Just Want You To Hurt Like I Do" - Randy Newman (Land Of Dreams)

    "Tequilla" - The Champs

    <span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>and of course....(how could I have forgotten?)
    "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" - Blue ÷yster Cult</span>

    Niles H




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    Hendrix, Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)

    "I'll meet you in the next world, don't be late.."

    I went to a funeral of a friend of mine years back, who died a young man, and sadly left wife and a child, and after the funeral we retired to his favorite area bar where, pursuant to his request, beverages were "on him" and in the corner was his stereo and stacks and stacks of his vinyl albums, which we played for hours in his memory....
    2006 Duff F5
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  19. #69
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    Y'all are right. There's got to be some John Prine at my funeral too, but which one? "Fishin' and Whistlin'?" "He was in heaven before he died?" Hard to choose.

  20. #70

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    "Amazing Grace" is a must. I like kvk's choice of "Brokedown Palace". Other Grateful Dead songs that I would consider are "Black Muddy River", "Ripple", and "To Lay Me Down".
    Just might get some sleep tonight

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    For one, I don't want to have a traditional funeral service---and especially not an open casket. Instead, I want everyone who's willing and able, to join the scattering of my ashes over Ladies' View in Killarney National Forest, where I hope someone will sing the only sad song of the day: Danny Boy. I still need to stake out the venue, but afterwards everyone is welcome to join the wake at a pub yet to be selected, where an upbeat session should follow, with plenty of stout and whiskey for all.

    (It probably sounds like I have given this a lot of thought, which I did: my wife and I updated our last will and testaments last year, so I sort of got a bit creative when it came to this part of the document; Jen's will is quite similar, but she specified that no banjos or fiddles would be permitted to her wake. )



    Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?

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    I'd previously rung in with Amazing Grace, but last nite i heard Fanfare for the Common Man again, and all my hairs stood up and saluted. I think that would be a powerful triumphant salute, and a heck of a theme with which to pass over to the Other Side.

    I am always amazed that people can actually sing, especially at such emotional events. I'm so squishy I can't for the life of me sing a melody that I find at all moving; I just get all choked up.

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    rnjl -

    I expect I'll have something more traditional at mine, but I figure sometime after I'd love to have folks gather at a memorial service and listen to some good music (I don't think my Rabbi would appreciate a combo...)
    \"Try again, fail again, fail better\" - Samuel Becket

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    This thread seems to have died over the weekend. &lt;sound of rim shot&gt;
    Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?

  25. #75
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    All my family has been instructed that if they even dare to have a funeral for me, I want Jimi Hendrix playing "All Along The Watchtower" in a continuous loop...live hard, die harder.

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