Because Songs Matter


I have to admit that I am a John Cusak nerd. Couple that with my love for music and you have to assume I own a copy of High Fidelity and your assumption would be right! This weekend I watched it again and after that Top 100 I put myself through I thought a little fun was in order. So here’s the deal. I want to do a weekly Top 5 list and have all you post your answers in the comments, on your blog (and link back here), or wherever as long as it gets noted here so the rest of us can play along! I’ll pick the topic, feel free to suggest topics for next week in the comments or on twitter, and put up a five song tape and then you knuckleheads respond by posting your own answers. Now try to be as quick as you can in response, this isn’t a deep thought Lose Weight Exercise or anything, just fire it off. I know this one has one of my guilty pleasure songs…

This weeks Top 5 is: What are the Top 5 songs, regardless of genre, that you want played at your funeral or wake?

Track Archive

Now it’s your turn…(don’t forget to send me ideas for next week)


I decided to take the approach of just answering with the mp3’s I have here on my work computer….so here’s what I came with (it has a pretty fitting mood as well):

As people are filtering in for the funeral:

John Mellencamp - If I Die Sudden     

Eilen Jewell - Fading Memory     

During the service:

JJ Grey & Mofro - The Sun Is Shining Down     

As the casket is being wheeled out for cremation:

Slim Cessna's Auto Club - Children Of The Lord     

As people are leaving the service:

Possessed By Paul James - Take Off Your Mask     


  1. January 19, 2010    

    1. Arcade Fire – Neighbourhood 1 (Tunnels)
    -Very elegiac, very appropriate.
    2. Waylon Jennings – The Wurlitzer Prize
    -Works just as fine as a love song as a mourning lament.
    3. Anybody doing “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”
    -Tears a hole in you.
    4. Against Me! – 8 Full Hours of Sleep
    -Aww yeah, grainy and sad.
    5. Bright Eyes – I Believe In Symmetry
    -Definite closer. Sort of optimistic.

  2. Brit Brit
    January 19, 2010    

    Funny. I thought you were talking about the book at first. I used to make Top 5 lists of everything but now really only keep up with my “Top 5 songs I will never get tired of no matter how much I hear them”.

    This is actually a really hard one. Not at all happy with this, but here it is:

    1. Elliott Smith – Fond Farewell or See You Later
    2. Jeff Buckley – I Shall Be Released (cover)
    3. Lucero – The Prayer (off Eight Paces to Jackson)
    4. Neko Case – I Wish I Was The Moon
    5. Tim Barry – Wait At Milano

  3. Adam Fenwick Adam Fenwick
    January 19, 2010    

    Good one! Let’s see….

    1. Back Home – Eric Clapton
    “I don’t know what I will do if I can’t get back home…”

    2. Heaven Sent – The Steeldrivers
    “I know our days are Heaven Sent. Lord knows I know not where they went. Shake my head and I wonder how I’ll ever get to Heaven now.”

    3. Last Goodbye – Kenny Wayne Shepherd
    “I could lose myself, I could curse like hell, but I’ve lost the will to even try. If you ever doubt, listen to the sound. No lies, no, no, no, this is my last goodbye.”

    4. I Shall Be Released – Bob Dylan & The Band
    “Any day now, any way now, I shall be released.”

    5. Let’s Call It A Life – Darrell Scott
    “I only wanted to be in B Movies, be kind to strangers and call it a life.”

  4. Too Tall Too Tall
    January 19, 2010    

    Keg On My Coffin – Push Stars
    Everything’s Gonna be Alright – Al Green
    To Live Is To Fly – Townes Van Zandt
    In The Light – Led Zeppelin
    Why Me Lord – Kris Kristofferson

  5. January 19, 2010    

    In no particular order:

    “Going to Your Funeral” (tie) “Things the Grandchildren Should Know” – eels

    “Good Day to Die” – William Elliot Whitmore

    “Beer in Heaven” – Matt Woods

    “He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot” – Grandaddy

    “Here” – Pavement

  6. Megary Megary
    January 19, 2010    

    John Prine’s “Please Don’t Bury Me” will do.
    Either that, or “I Must Be In A Good Place Now” from Bobby Charles.

  7. So Devoted to Lonesome- The Dexateens
    To Live is to Fly- TVZ
    Nickel & A Spoon- Alejandro Escovedo
    Angels Wings- Social Distortion
    Average Man- The Dry County Crooks

  8. shwa25 shwa25
    January 19, 2010    

    1. John Lee Hooker, “My Dream”

    2. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “No Second Thoughts”

    3. Dizzy Dean Sings “Wabash Cannonball”

    4. John Prine, “Jesus, The Missing Years”

    5. Little Milton, “Grits Ain’t Groceries”

  9. January 19, 2010    

    Dunno if I can come up with a whole five.

    1. Half A Mile A Day – Johnny Cash
    2. No Depression – Uncle Tupelo (Yes, I actually do like the Uncle Tupelo version better than the Carters.)
    Maybe 3. There’ll Be Joy, Joy, Joy – Carter Family

    I’ll have to really think to come up with two more…

  10. January 19, 2010    

    Great topic! Here’s 5 from the tip of the iceberg (i hope there are enough people that love me or hate me that the party could last a day or three)

    Peace in the Valley (Johnny Cash, from San Quentin)
    Here Lies a Good Old Boy (James Hand)
    Ride Me Down Easy (Billy Joe Shaver)
    When I Get My Wings (Billy Joe Shaver)
    Precious Lord, Take My Hand (Merle Haggard)

    and one more that just came to me
    I’ll Fly Away (Johnny Cash)

  11. Al Al
    January 19, 2010    

    1…Withered & Died…..Kate Rusby

    2…Remember Me My Friend…Moody Blues

    3…Old And Wise…The Alan Parsons Project

    4…Water,Paper & Clay…Mary Hopkin

    5…Dust In The Wind…Kansas

  12. Adam Fenwick Adam Fenwick
    January 19, 2010    

    New song I just discovered now that would be great on my list:

    Deadman – When The Music’s Not Forgotten

  13. Kt Kt
    January 20, 2010    

    I always thought funerals should be more like rock concerts.

    1. There She Goes, My Beautiful World – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

    2. It Won’t Be Long – Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons

    3. Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife – Drive-By Truckers

    4. Weary Kind – Ryan Bingham (from Crazy Heart. Amazing song)

    5. Plow You Under – Scott H. Biram (to lighten the mood)

  14. January 20, 2010    

    Harvest Moon – Neil Young

    Closer to Fine – Indigo Girls

    Polyester Bride – Liz Phair

    Naked as We Came – Iron and Wine

    I Will Follow You into the Dark – Deathcab for Cutie

  15. January 20, 2010    

    personally, I am surprised no one mentioned “Sing Low Sweet Chariot”

  16. January 20, 2010    

    “There’ll Be Joy, Joy, Joy” <— well played, sir.

  17. January 20, 2010    

    “Deadman – When The Music’s Not Forgotten”

    good song.
    Imma have to check that band out.

  18. January 20, 2010    

    Thought about this on the drive in to work today…

    Fade Into You – Mazzy Star (let’s get ’em cryin right off)

    With or Without You – U2 (would like to hear the bass on this one echoing in a church before I’m dead)

    Feelin Good Again – Robert Earl Keen (this one will be playin on the jukebox when I get wherever I’m goin)

    Sweet Home Chicago – Blues Brothers live version (please feel free to sing along to my all-time favorite karaoke song)

    Higher and Higher – Howard Huntsberry (send em out smiling and clapping, hopefully there will be a large choir involved)

  19. Sonvolt1 Sonvolt1
    January 20, 2010    

    Time Ain’t Nothin’ – Green On Red (If only one song is played when I go, this has to be the one!)

  20. January 20, 2010    

    Stairway to Heaven! Tears in Heaven! Free Bird! I am kidding!

    I would also request TVZ’s To Live is To Fly.

    (I realize this is not a Top 5 list. I will do better next time.)

  21. January 20, 2010    

    A Tout le monde-Megadeth.

    Life is beautiful-Sixx Am.

    Somewhere over the rainbow-Tori Amos

    That’s all I got.

  22. Geoff Geoff
    January 21, 2010    

    “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” – Willie Nelson
    “Shiver Me Timbers” – Tom Waits
    “When The River Meets the Sea”
    “Far Side Banks of Jordan” – Johnny Cash/June Carter
    “Keep Me In Your Heart for a While” – Warren Zevon

  23. bostonkid05 bostonkid05
    January 21, 2010    

    “I’ll Be On My Way” – The Saw Doctors

  24. January 21, 2010    

    “Flyin’ Shoes” – Townes Van Zandt
    “In My Life” – Beatles
    “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train” – Guy Clark
    “Good Old Boys Like Me” – Don Williams
    “That Western Skyline” – Dawes (my most recent addition)

    re: your earlier comment about Deadman. Personally, I would recommend the first album Paramour. Have never gotten as much into the later stuff, this album was great.

  25. January 21, 2010    

    Bought and downloading from AmazonMP3 now.

  26. January 21, 2010    

    1. Genesis (Jorma)
    2. I Shall Be Released (Dylan)
    3. Redemption Song (Joe Strummer)
    4. Salt of the Earth (The Stones)
    5. Jungleland (Springsteen)

  27. January 21, 2010    

    Larry: “‘There’ll Be Joy, Joy, Joy’ <β€” well played, sir."

    LOL, think ya missed the "Mrs." in Mrs. Romeosidvicious. πŸ˜‰

    Autopsy IV, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" almost made my list, but my 4yo requests I sing it almost every single day at naptime, and I think I've heard it enough to last this life *and* the afterlife. πŸ˜‰

  28. January 21, 2010    

    Congrats Romeo! You’ve done something I’ve yet to do….In all the years of doing this blog Ms. Autopsy IV has never once made a comment.

  29. January 22, 2010    

    I have thought about this before. Never came up with 5 but I would have to have “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” by the Allman Bros.

  30. Good Gravy Good Gravy
    January 30, 2010    

    1. Angel Band – The Stanley Brothers
    2. Windfall – Son Volt
    3. All Along the Watchtower – Hendrix
    4. Other Side – Josh Ritter
    5. Blinded by the Light – Mannfred Mann’s Earth Band

  31. February 1, 2010    

    My apologies, MrsRomeosidvicious, I did miss the misses. πŸ™‚

  32. February 9, 2010    

    I posted my list of five songs at my blog, Corduroy Mountain. Check the mp3 to one of the selections here:

  33. February 13, 2010    

    Jane’s Addiction “Ocean Size”
    Symphony of Science “We Are All Connected”
    Beastie Boys “Gratitude”
    Jesus & Mary Chain “Just Like Honey”
    Pixies “Wave Of Mutilation (UK Surf)”

    Choosing those last two is kind of a cheat, they were played at my wedding. (Pixies for the recessional, J&MC for our first dance.)

  34. Kyle Kyle
    December 8, 2010    

    1. I Shall Be Released – Bob Dylan and the Band
    2. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Elton John
    3. Let It Be – The Beatles
    4. Down Don’t Bother Me – The Derek Trucks Band
    5. Jurassic Park Theme – John Williams

  35. ktqt76 ktqt76
    June 27, 2011    

    Nick Drake- From the Morning
    Allison Krauss- Down to the River to Pray

  36. Anonomous Anonomous
    November 12, 2011    

    Life Is Beautiful-Sixx A.M.


    Shout At The Devil-Motley Crue

    Crazy Train-Ozzy Osbourne

    Hells Bells-AC/DC

    I Love It Loud-Kiss

  37. Johno Johno
    March 9, 2012    

    so a little late to the party but i will be attending a funeral on monday so here goes

    1. Time Of Your Life. Green Day a truely beautiful song that if you listen to hard enough you will see the ones you’ve lost

    2. Stand By Me. Oasis cos I want my bro to know i’m right next to him about to give him the shock of his life

    3. Drift Away. Rolling Stones / Roy Orbison either are mind blowing and will leave everyone upset if they were not crying already that is

    4. Spirit In The Sky. Norman Greenbaum just because its a little more upbeat

    5. Ooh La La. The Faces and this one cos i want my grandchildren and hopefully great grandchildren laughing there heads off during the service screaming jesus that was him

  38. Neon Leon Neon Leon
    September 21, 2012    

    Just 5 of many that I would want played at my wake. Someone else can pick the music for my funeral.

    1. Nice, Nice, Very Nice – Ambrosia

    2. Freight Train – The Weavers

    3. Galaxy Song – Monty Python

    4. Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of A New Day) – Jethro Tull

    5. Slush – Bonzo Dog Band

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