Friday Conversation: What Song Do You Want Playing During Your Funeral?

Death. Doesn’t seem all that fun. I mean, as far as I know. I suppose it could be a blast, all free breakfast buffets and Gatsby-esque soirées staffed by talking beagles in tuxedos. No way to tell, really, not until the time comes. Definitely something to think about, though. Probably mentioned in the Bible somewhere.

But anyway, the point I’m haphazardly meandering toward is this: Your funeral is probably your last chance to have a little fun on your own terms, even if you won’t be able to enjoy it. And the best way to do this is to make your very specific wishes for what is to take place known to your loved ones before you pass away. That’s what we’re doing today, at least in one important area: Tell us the song (or songs) you want playing during your funeral. You wanna hit the nail on the head and go with an “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” or a “November Rain”? Great. You wanna make things weird by choosing, like “Sandstorm”? Go nuts. It’s your funeral. Go out however you want, I say.

As for me, well, I’ve got a plan. We start with “Amazing Grace,” like a normal funeral. But then. Halfway into the first verse, we cut the music after a record scratch, hit the fog machines, and bring out Bone Thugz-n-Harmony for a live performance of “Tha Crossroads.” We’ll probably have to Kickstart this. Or spend my life insurance money on it. Whatever, worth it.

Here are a few from the staff. Add yours below.

Josh Kurp:

I thought about this question a lot when I was a dumb teenager, because that’s what dumb teenagers do: glorify death. MY answer then was “Sister Ray” by the Velvet Underground. ALL 17 minutes of it. I’ve matured in the following 10 years, though. If I died tomorrow, I’d want my family and friends to hear Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row,”which flies by in a brief 11 minutes. Either that, or “The Rains of Castamere.”

Vince Mancini:

I don’t necessarily know if this would be my all-time, play-this-at-my funeral song (I do want people to look sad and sh*t), but easily my favorite song *about* funerals is “5000 Ways To Die,” by Nerf Herder (perhaps you’re familiar with Nerf Herder’s singer/guitarist/songwriter, Mr. Parry Gripp?). Like most Nerf Herder songs, it’s hilarious and it rocks.

“And the bastard you hated the most/Will stand up and give you a toast.
He’ll say! We were such good friends/Especially near the end…
Then he’ll feel up your girlfriend/In front of your ghoooost…”

Good luck having that shit in your head all week. No one is better than Parry at making you sing completely inappropriate things out loud, whether it be a song about funerals, marshmallow lasers, or having a boner for Christmas.

Cajun Boy:

I’ve always said that when I die I want Rebirth Brass Band to lead a Second Line parade of family, friends and random strangers through the French Quarter to the Mississippi River, where my ashes are to be sprinkled into it’s murky, swirling waters as the band plays their version of “Casanova.”


I want Queen with a hologram Freddie Mercury performing “Fat Bottomed Girls” for my entirely open casket, so that everyone can see me in my blazer with flowered board shorts, because I’m going out as a party animal. And then, all of my ex-girlfriends will be there to say goodbye to me, as the anthem blasts throughout Busch Stadium, where I’ll be buried under the pitcher’s mound.


Chosen partly because I love this song, partly because the one I really wanted wasn’t on Youtube, and partly because I’ll probably go out the same way the singer did: alcohol poisoning on a holiday.

Dan Seitz:

It’s simple; it’s my favorite song ever, and the best Nick Cave song ever. Anybody who wants to argue, I’ll go to their funeral first.