When The Party's Over

My Funeral Playlist

If 2016 is to have an overarching theme, I think many of us would agree that it is death.

Not only was it the year that our membership of the EU met its sudden and untimely demise and The Great US of A croaked its last with its ill-advised trip to Trumpton. It was also the year of the celebrity death - and not just any old celebrities either. 2016 saw a clutch of our greatest cultural icons and game-changers leaving this mortal coil.

The fact that Bruce Forsyth with syrup intact, is still with us, is the only thing keeping me going into 2017 quite frankly.

But seriously, when the generation above you starts to pop-off, and the musicians, comedians and writers, who were the beacons of your youth gradually disappear, it does makes you consider your own mortality.

In my more maudlin moments, I find myself pondering which song I'd like played at my own funeral. Should you choose one that sums you up or one that encapsulates the life you've lived? Do you opt for a spiritual number which will take you with Godspeed into the next life or something sombre and sentimental? Alternatively, do you go for humorous? Something that will raise a little titter or a knowing smile amongst the congregation?

Now, before you dismiss this as the musings of some weird necromaniac, I must stress that it's not just me who has these thoughts. Me and my BF often have this conversation and she's adamant that should she go before me, I'm in charge of playing Everything She Wants by Wham!

A straw poll among more of my friends has revealed some interesting choices; one has decided that he's going out to The Party's Over by Dame Shirley of Bassey or Atmosphere by Russ Abbott, meanwhile another went for Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Bryan Ferry (thankfully said pal plans to be buried and not cremated).

Because I'm the unelected Head of Event Management in my clan, I know the tune that each of my senior family members wants. My Dad's choice is for Gracie Fields' Wish Me luck as you Wave Me Goodbye. Although my Mum has vetoed this suggestion, I think it's a marvelous choice. It sums my Dad up perfectly; fun, irreverent, always able to see the humour in a situation and permanently nostalgic for 1950s Britain.

My Mum on the other hand has gone a bit folksy opting for Joan Baez, Forever Young. However, there are so many songs that I associate with Mum, that I couldn't limit it to just one. Otis Redding, Janis Jopling, Fats Domino and Elvis would also need to have their voices heard on the day.

Other requests from the family include Like a Hurricane by Neil Young and Bob Dylan's Knockin' on Heaven's Door.

Anyway that's enough about other people, here is my shortlist of songs that could make the cut for my grand musical finale - hopefully I've got a few more years before I have to whittle it down to just one.

Great Gig in the Sky - Pink Floyd

My favourite track from possibly my favourite album. This is the tune that I want playing when I pop my clogs. At my great gig in the sky, musical entertainment will be provided by the class of 2016 - Bowie, Prince, David Mancuso and Leonard Cohen while Corbett, Wood and Aherne provide the lolz.

I'm Waiting for The Man - Velvet Underground

Not only because I love this song and Mr Lou Reed, but because evidently I'm the product of a monotheistic, patriarchal society and believe that a/God is a man and b/I'll finally get to meet Him when I die.

Last Dance - Donna Summer

Well it's Donna and I heart Donna. I also like how it starts out as a sentimental ballad and then goes into a rip-roaring, up-tempo Disco-fest. But most of all, l like that it was allegedly the last song to be played at Studio 54 - as a final hurrah, it doesn't get much better than that

Unforgettable - Dinah Washington

This is a slightly tricky one as ideally the onus is on those you've left behind to decide if you're truly unforgettable; but let's just assume I am so that Dinah's stunning vocals can take centre-stage

Acperience - Hard Floor

I've experienced some of my most life-affirming moments to this track and so why not also enjoy it in death? Many of my peer-group will (with any luck) be a load of old, ex-ravers by the time I go and I like the idea of a bunch of senior citizens nodding their head to banging techno, while the younger generation look on in bemusement

Somewhere over the Rainbow - Judy Garland

There are some who would suggest Ding Dong the Witch is Dead upon hearing of my demise, but instead I'm going for a very different number from The Wizard of Oz.

Granted it's a tad sentimental and not particularly original, but Garland's voice is so utterly beguiling and so full of longing and sadness, that there won't be a dry seat in the house - exactly what I want for my last farewell.


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