Saturday, January 17, 2009

Back to Black

Funerals are shit, aren't they? Not as shit as weddings, but shit nonetheless.

The modern style of funeral with the picture of the deceased up front and members of the family feeling obliged to give speeches is just too tacky. Play a song by Westlife and reflect? Reflect on how crap the song is!

I still cried, of course. I'm wetter than a wet weekend, me. It was my first Humanist funeral and the Humanist chappy was very sincere and inclusive of everyone and even choked a bit when he read one of the grandchildren's letters.

But it's the dismal poor man's church-like setting. The "uplifting" or "humorous" music which is supposed to convey the character of the deceased. The creaking mechanical movement of the coffin as it jerks behind the curtains. There's just no class.

And then you file out and spend three hours looking at dying flowers, milling around like those morons on the Antiques Roadshow! Followed by some extremely awkward conversation.

More often than not followed the next day by people who went asking each other what song they'd like played at their funeral. Who gives a bollock?


  1. Luckily, I don't often get invited to funerals or weddings. I've only attended one funeral, my mother's, at which we - six out of seven fucked up kids who had a fairly miserable childhood thanks to her - had to listen to a complete stranger give a speech about how fantastic she was. I wanted to heckle.

  2. 'My Heart Will Go On' by Celine Dion? No? Okay then....

  3. What song would you like played at your funeral Geoff?
    No seriously .. I want to know.

  4. Would you like us to attend your funeral wearing "Yes" concert t-shirts?

    I will remember you
    Your silhouette will charge the view
    Of distance atmosphere

  5. Bob - My dad's funeral was really strange: a complete stranger talking about an atheist going to a better place or whatever nonsense he came out with. A complete waste of money but I suppose I got a few ironic laughs out of it. Meanwhile his second wife and love of his life was not at the funeral but setting up home with her lesbian lover. That is soap material!

    Scarlet - That song should be restricted to burials at sea. Far away from land.

    Kaz - If I really HAVE to have a funeral I would like to get my own back by pissing people off with Van Der Graaf Generator's 21 minute opus Meurglys III or maybe Iron Butterfly's 17 minute In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Or maybe pay for a vicar to stand through the whole of Trout Mask Replica.

    MJ - Maybe get Roger Dean to design the whole thing. A Roger Dean original coffin in the middle of a fantasy land! The funeral would be in the round and the coffin would revolve so everybody could get the full experience as they listen to Tales From Topographic Oceans in quadrophonic sound.

  6. I think it should be something the 'crowd' can sing along to. I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts would be my choice.

  7. I LOATHE crematoriums. Soulless ghastly production lines of the dead trying to dress themselves up as remotely dignified.

    Wasn't too impressed by my first humanist funeral the other day. Then again I'm never impressed by a vicar who doesn't do his homework re the deceased either. I think it's ok to have one fave tune that embodies the deceased but the rest should be a bit more appropriate to a funeral in my view.

  8. If it ain't a proper Viking funeral, with the boat getting consumed by flames as it edges into the North Sea, it ain't worth shit.

    But I do quite like those sky funerals, where they just dump your body on top of a huge stone pillar for the vultures to devour.

    Music: Johnny Cash, Ghost Riders in the Sky.

    Or Westlife.

  9. Malc - By the time we pop our clogs nobody will know the words or the tune. There'll have to be rehearsals.

    Laura - There were two Chas 'n' Dave songs at this one but nobody was having a knees up.

    Tim - I like the idea of being exposed to the elements. Coffins are so claustrophobic.

  10. I don't know about funerals, but if I ever get married I'd like the first dance to be accompanied by silence.

    That'd confuse them...

  11. Blimey Geoff! No wonder you write poems...

    There's a person who's funeral I imagine everytime I hear Death Cab For Cutie's 'Styrofoam Plates' "...he was a bastard in life, thus a bastard in death", sums it up. I don't think he's dead yet.

    I used to want 'Hallelujah' for mine. Not anymore though.

  12. I wonder how many times the new version's been used so far?