Sunday, January 01, 2006

Funeral on a desert island

A few weeks ago, Bob asked me to look up the Robert Louis Stevenson poem, "Requiem," for him:


Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
'Here he lies where he longed to be;
Here is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.'

He said he wants that read at his funeral, or actually, have it read as his ashes are flung -- I guess I'd better check where that's supposed to take place. I think partly into Bennett Spring, and partly into some body of water near the Duck Club? Not sure. Not that I think it's going to be necessary anytime soon, but I guess I should find out and pay attention.

Coincidentally, I had just read this article in the Guardian: Curtain Music

Supposedly the ten most popular songs at funerals in Britain are:

  1. My Way - Frank Sinatra
  2. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
  3. Angels - Robbie Williams
  4. My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
  5. Simply The Best - Tina Turner
  6. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
  7. You’ll Never Walk Alone - Gerry and the Pacemakers
  8. Over The Rainbow - Eva Cassidy
  9. Time To Say Good,bye -Sarah Brightman
  10. We’ll Meet Again - Dame Vera Lynn

There are a lot of good--and more interesting--suggestions in the comments under the story.

I remembered that I'd made a post about funeral songs, and found it, way back in February of 1999: At my funeral . . .. At that time, I made several lists, and I thought it might be interesting to see if my tastes were still the same.

These are the lists I made in February 1999:

Desert Island Albums

Lips Against the Steel - David Knopfler
Lifelines - David Knopfler
Marc Cohn - Marc Cohn
Jack's Crows - John Gorka
Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys
Rumour & Sigh - Richard Thompson
Man of Colours - Icehouse
Fruitcakes - Jimmy Buffett
God Shuffled His Feet - Crash Test Dummies
Robbie Robertson - Robbie Robertson

Desert Island Books

Ladder of Years - Anne Tyler
The Stand - Stephen King
Four Past Midnight - Stephen King
Someplace to be Flying - Charles de Lint
War for the Oaks - Emma Bull
Reservation Blues - Sherman Alexie
365 Tao - Ming-Dao Deng
Ahead of All Parting - Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Stephen Mitchell)
Winnie the Pooh - A. A. Milne
Living Juicy - Sark

Songs to play at my funeral:

At My Funeral - Crash Test Dummies (from "The Ghosts that Haunt Me")
I Will Always Be - David Knopfler (from "Lifelines")
What a Crying Shame - The Mavericks (from "What a Crying Shame")
or maybe

There Goes My Heart - The Mavericks

And something from Richard Thompson, but there are so many that would be appropriate that it's hard to choose one. Maybe

At the Dimming of the Day - Richard and Linda Thompson

But definitely
Saving the Best for Last - Marc Cohn

You can go a hundred miles a second
Don't have to drive no lousy cab
Got everything you want and more, man
and the King picks up the tab.
You walk around on streets of gold all day
And never have to listen to what these customers say, and I know
They're saving the best for last . . .

~ Marc Cohn - "Saving the Best for Last"

And now? Much the same, probably, but a few differences.

Desert Island AlbumsCurrent Favorite Albums

(My musical tastes change so often, I would really have to think long and hard about what ten (or so) albums I could listen to over and over and not be bored by them. So instead, these are my current favorites.)

Marc Cohn - Marc Cohn
O - Damien Rice
The Giver - David Knopfler
Our Eternal Ghosts - Deadman
Love Songs - Paul Young
Ship of Dreams - David Knopfler
Los Lonely Boys - Los Lonely Boys
Elsewhere - Mack Starks
Paramour - Deadman
When the Telephone Rings - The Silos

Desert Island Books

(This is really hard, too. I almost never re-read books, but these are the ones that have stood re-reading, at least once.)

Ladder of Years - Anne Tyler
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Timeline - Michael Crichton
Ahead of All Parting - Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Stephen Mitchell)
Doomsday Book - Connie Willis
To Say Nothing of the Dog - Connie Willis
Enough Rope - Lawrence Block
Mendoza in Hollywood - Kage Baker
The Cat Who Went to Paris - Peter Gethers
The Sheltering Sky - Paul Bowles

Songs to Play at My Funeral

"Angels and Ordinary Men" - Wendy Lands
"Hallelujah" - Allison Crowe
"Whistled a Slow Waltz" - The Silos
"Love Will Guide You Home" - Deadman
"Heaven" - Los Lonely Boys
"I Will Always Be" - David Knopfler

(And I know I don't have to worry about it right away, either, but Bob, you know this is just for fun, right? You don't need to write it down or anything.)

And since it's just for fun:

Desert Island Knitting Supplies

Opal sock yarn and Noro Silk Garden. I keep coming back to these two yarns, and I think if that's all I ever had to knit with, I'd be happy. They're both variegated, which keeps me interested, and being variegated, I can knit big swathes of stockinette and a) not get bored and b) have it still look interesting. I wouldn't even really need any patterns--I've got my basic sock pattern in my head for the Opal, and I've made probably a half dozen multidirectional scarves in Silk Garden and have yet to get bored with either.

I suppose neither would be very practical if I were on an actual desert island--neither wool/silk scarves nor wool socks would be necessary--but it would keep me happy. Oh, and I'd need needles--a set of 5 - 5" doublepoint Size 1's and a pair of 10" Size 7's, both wooden.

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