Have you ever pictured your own funeral? It’s only natural, I think. I’ve been there, and one thing I know: the music’s going to be great. Why? Because I’ve already picked it out. That’s right – just like Mozart writing his own Requiem, I’ve put together a mix of music I want played at my funeral. And I listen to it all of the time.
So what makes for a good soundtrack for your own funeral? It’s got to be music that represents you. For me, that’s a pretty eclectic mix, but it starts with the classics, from both the Classical and Romantic periods.
Mozart’s Requiem. Ever since the movie Amadeus, I’ve loved the story of this piece. Even if it’s not historically accurate, it makes for a great story, and fits my story, since I’m also writing my own death mass, so to speak!
Dvorák’s 9th Symphony. My favorite classical composer. Ever. Maybe it’s my Slavic roots, or the melding of Old World and American melodies in Dvorák’s music. I’ve chosen the 4th movement, because the opening always reminds me of the theme from the movie Jaws. Very dramatic.
Wagner’s Götterdämmerung. Again a movie reference, this time from my favorite movie of all-time, Excalibur. There’s something about the haunting refrain from Wagner’s Siegfried’s Funeral Music and Final Scene that gets to me, every time I watch King Arthur dying in battle and being carried off on a boat into the sunset of Avalon. Perfect way to end it all!
Lest I come off as too pretentious, I’ve also mixed in a bunch of 20th century music. Less dramatic, but more reflective. Songs like The Beatles’ In My Life, The Rolling Stones’ No Expectations, Frank Sinatra’s It Was A Very Good Year. The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and Aerosmith round out my high school years, while I also threw in some of my more recent favorites by Cake, Chris Isaak, Liz Phair and Nirvana. Plus a few other surprises.
All of these songs speak to me, and speak from my heart. I hope that when you hear them, you’ll think of me. Even before I’m dead. Mahalo!