Day 24 – A Song You Want To Be Played At Your Funeral
The Warmth of the Sun – The Beach Boys
A nice cheerful category for a Sunday when people are celebrating new life then! Quite a difficult one to pick. Part of me thinks that I don’t care what is played at my funeral as I won’t be there to hear it, and part of me even thinks I should pick something very irritating as a practical joke on the mourners. But, in the spirit of the exercise, I will make a proper selection. In actual fact, I suppose it is a live issue for me. As I don’t want a religious funeral, there would be no hymns so secular music will be a definite requirement. Would I leave instructions for what to play? Probably not, I would trust those who care about me to choose. And, when all said and done, funerals are for the living, not the person who died, so they should choose something that will be good for them to hear, not necessarily a song that I might select myself. Maybe they could come up with something that defines me in their eyes. I wouldn’t presume to do that myself. But what I will do is select a song that I think would be good for a funeral (not necessarily mine) and for the kind of feelings such a ceremony invokes.
The Beach Boys are one of my favourite bands, have been for years. I was lucky enough to see them live a few years ago (with three original members, including lead vocalist Mike Love) and it was an absolutely fantastic night of great music. Of course, they are most famous for their songs about surf, teenage romance, cars and summer. But there is much more in their music than that when you delve deeper. Having said that, I must admit that if someone showed you all 30 categories and said “Which will he pick the Beach Boys for?”, the funeral one would probably have been close to the bottom of the list! Nevertheless, my favourite Beach Boys song fits the bill, dealing with themes of enduring love in spite of loss. Works just as well when applied to death as to a break up. In fact, the album sleeve notes say it was written in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination and it kind of reflects the grief that the whole of the USA was feeling at that time.
The Beach Boys at a funeral, you knew I was strange, now it has been confirmed.
Incidentally, the video I included is a collection of great sunset photos (which I love) with this beautiful song as a soundrack rather than one of the available Beach Boys clips of the song.
A beautiful choice.
I love the way you always say ‘I was lucky enough’ when you have seen live music. I always think it’s my right – my food and reason for existence but you are right, seeing music played live is a unique and privileged thing. Hearing music on the other hand, is my right!
Depends on the band concerned I suppose. If I’ve liked a band for a long time and never got to see them, I do feel lucky. Various bands and singers I love but I know I will never get to see now, either because they have split, died, or were around years ago. Felt lucky to see the Beach Boys with some original members because they are not exactly in the first flush of youth and rarely on the road in that configuration. As Mike Love himself said at the beginning of the concert: “It’s good to be here tonight. In fact, at my age it’s good to be anywhere”. With modern bands, it’s a bit different – I do still feel lucky to have seen them, but it is not such a big thing as you know they will be touring again twelve months later. I was always jealous of my parents, because they once went to the Odeon in Nottingham and saw the Beatles – who were the support act for Roy Orbison! They were truly fortunate I feel.