Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 24: A song I want played at my funeral

I'm just going to go ahead and assume that absolutely everyone played this game at some point, so I'll skip over the likes of 'Highway to Hell', 'Another One Bites The Dust', 'Going Underground' and other, similarly-hilarious gems, and just get straight to the song.

On a tear-jerkingly self-indulgent note (and really, if you can't be tear-jerkingly self-indulgent when choosing a song for your own funeral, what's the point?), there's always be Warren Zevon's 'Keep Me In Your Heart', which I wrote about a few weeks ago. But that'd be senselessly cruel - if people are (hopefully) going to be pretty sad already, there's no need to push them over the edge. While I'd be less inclined to go with a "wittily" inappropriate song than I would have been a decade or so ago, I still suspect that the best choice would be something a little more upbeat, more positive. Funerals are a downer to start with, there's no need to pile on the misery. And since I've already written about the Rolling Stones, which according to my own arbitrary and self-imposed rules means I can't write about 'Shine A Light', which would probably have been my first choice...

It's a great song, obviously, but this version is particularly brilliant. I'd hope that I wouldn't need to explain why I love the Ramones so much - they're quite clearly one of the greatest pop groups ever formed - but this cover is a particular highlight of their career, for me. It may not be a blindingly-obvious funeral song (which is, of course, one of the reasons I'm choosing it), but it works better than it might initially appear. Like most of Dylan's songs from this period, the underlying meaning is buried under a slightly-purple lyrical overload, but at its heart, the song is a simple enough iteration of the "it's better to regret what you've done than what you didn't do" principle, and as such, perfectly-suitable for the occasion. Besides, the gloriously-simplistic guitar solo from 1:18 - 1:33 is about as life-affirming a musical moment as I can think of, and its presence would have substantially improved 100% of the funerals I've ever attended.

Yes, the deeply uninspired nature of this entry is part of why I haven't updated the blog in over a fortnight. But it's not most of it. Sorry, it shouldn't happen again any time soon.


Anonymous said...

You're back! Does this mean there will also be more geniunely interesting DW critiquing?

Mark Patterson said...

Hopefully - if I can get it finished tonight, I'll be posting my halfway-through-the-season thoughts in an hour or two.

Who is tonight's Mystery Stranger, incidentally? If you're someone I know, I could probably figure it out, or at least narrow it down, by tracking your IP address/location. But that's sinister and stalker-y, so I won't.

Pål Hellesnes said...

If I was inclined to be sappy and sentimental, I might choose this one: