Playlist For My Funeral
Updated: Apr 6, 2022
I have to admit it’s a little strange to plan for something in regard to the posthumous nature of this list, but since I consider making playlist one of my greatest loves, I feel it’s a little crazy to leave it up to someone else. This entire notion about something related to the end of my existence is in many ways a drag to think about, but I don’t think it necessarily has to be because of what we remember about people it’s the good times we had with them, and this is just another version of that.
Song number one is “No Woman, No cry” and it is not just a song but a prayer. About the struggles we have in life “Good friends we’ve had/Good friends we’ve lost.” This was true for me in my life and it’s true for you now. Embrace this feeling. If you listen to Bob Marley’s voice close enough you can learn to understand the necessity of this pain.
Paul McCartney wrote, “Hey Jude” for John Lennon’s son when his parents were getting
divorced. It was to help him through a tough time, and I hope it can help you now. It’s best if you cry now, know that I have cried to this song.
The third song is “Wish You Were Here.” Duh. If you’re not in church right now, you should
spark the blunt and hold your lighters in the air, none of that pussy cell phone shit kids do nowadays. Actually do this even if you’re in church, you still have time to be forgiven.
Number four is optional, kind of, it’s only supposed to take place if I die before Forty. “Only the Good Die Young,” for obvious reasons but don’t actually add this to the playlist. I have it arranged with a friend, Francis the Mute, to storm the ceremony, boom box overhead, ala John Cusack in “Say Anything,” only with the Billy Joel classic blasting instead. Let all Hell break loose, sing at the top of your lungs, dance in the aisles, let it all go (no twerking).
Number Five gets a little heavy, but I consider music to be like a friend to me in that it has
gotten me through many tough times, as my friends have, and in many ways, they are entwined. Like my older sister letting me move in with her when I returned penniless from New York or my friends who took me out to get drunk later that night, I hold on to those moments with the same reverence that I do songs like “Shelter from the Storm” or “Finally Moving”. The way I smell cigarette smoke and think of high school keg-ers when I hear “Tuesday’s Gone” or I see my parent’s faces when I hear “Against the Wind,” it’s the moments I hold to so many of these songs that make them great. All of these moments
with the people I love are encompassed in LCD Soundsystem’s “All my Friends.” If you’re going to sing, sing now, yell, please…
Six is Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” It’s always hard to say what a Dylan song is really about but it’s really hard to say what life’s about. I once heard someone say this song was about being forced into a change, the way it often happens to us in life. I’ve used this song to get through moments like that, listening to it, playing it on my guitar, singing the words, and having them mean so many different things to me at different points of my life. The last line reads “Strike your match/go start anew,” and though I know nothing for sure, I like to believe it is a principle that also holds true in death, that at the end of something we are always starting anew. You may be seated for this one.
Last is Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” Of all the shows I’ve seen, DJ sets,
festivals, solos, encores, some of my favorite artist, not one of them has had a moment I hold in the same regard as this. I was riding in a cab in Stockholm. It was a nice cab, black with tan leather interior, like the ones you think of when you think of London. I had just gotten in and randomly this cabbie starts telling me he’s a world class Louis Armstrong impersonator. “Yeah, sure dude.” He had a strong accent, Middle Eastern of some sort and he didn’t even speak good English. But fuck it if he didn’t throw on an instrumental of that song and raise old Louis from the dead. “I see trees of green, red roses too,” he was
spot on, raspy voice in perfect tone and all. I was in awe, listening so closely I felt like I was in a slow-motion trance, stunned at what was taking place in front of me. He kept on through the second verse, and I couldn’t help but being overtaken by the power of his voice in that small car. I was in a concert hall all to myself, that small little space transformed for that time, as I sang along to the final verse, smile on my face, the way I hope you remember me. Remember me but not too much, that’s not the way of life.
I hope that I outlive this list long enough to where any of the people that remember it are gone too, but, if not, at least there will be something to remember me by. In many ways, it’s a list about living more than dying, and reliving the things I have found important through songs because they have meant
so much to me in my life.