I know it's morbid, but I can't stop thinking about the music I would like to have played at my funeral. There are two parts to this.
Funeral/service: I need just a few songs that will work with an organ, acoustic guitar, or string quartet.
This is the easy one. I love jazz, cartoons, and Charlie Brown Christmas. If you asked any math student who had me first period what they remember about me, I have no doubt that they would remember me playing this tape before class for the entire month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If this song can't put a smile on your face, then I'm sorry.
U2: Where the Streets Have No Name video (still working on this one. Could be replaced with a Beastie Boys song or some old school rap)
I want something completely recognizable here. This one isn't about a deep message as much as it is about a collective moment of recognition. In this day of iPods and DVRs, we have so few synchronous moments of experiencing music together.
The Specials: Enjoy Yourself video
This is the uplifting, message-laden send-off. Love the song and love the lyrics.
Repast/wake: Coming up with a playlist for the repast/wake is a longer-term challenge, but equally important. I want three hours worth of music. The first can be jazz/mood music that I love (Miles, Coletrane, Herbie, Bill Evans, The Adderleys, etc.), but the second and third hours need to be full of songs that make people who knew me smile. Must-have artists include Led Zep, English Beat, New Order, Talking Heads, Richard Cheese, The Beatles, The Beastie Boys, and too many others to name.
BTW: I want to be cremated and have my ashes spread at any location Boy Kid and Girl Kid want to visit.