Hymns are being replaced at funerals in one Australian city by popular rock classics like Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" and AC/DC's "Highway to Hell," a cemetery manager said Wednesday.
At Centennial Park, the largest cemetery and crematorium in the southern city of Adelaide, only two hymns still rank among its top 10 most popular funeral songs: "Amazing Grace" and "Abide With Me."
Leading the funeral chart is crooner Frank Sinatra's classic hit "My Way," followed by Louis Armstrong's version of "Wonderful World," a statement said.
The Led Zeppelin and AC/DC rock anthems rank outside the top 10, but have gained ground in recent years as more Australians give up traditional Christian hymns.
"Some of the more unusual songs we hear actually work very well within the service because they represent the person's character," Centennial Park chief executive Bryan Elliott said.
Among other less conventional choices were "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" by the Monty Python comedy team, "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead," "Hit the Road Jack," "Another One Bites the Dust" and "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead."
This led us to ponder what songs we'd like to play at our funerals. Some of my choices include:
- "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover"
- "Danke Schoen"
- "In The Jailhouse Now" (either the Soggy Bottom Boys or Johnny Cash)
- "Old Time Religion" (only the Pete Seeger version, of course)
I'm also thinking something by Madness, like "One Step Beyond" or "Bed and Breakfast Man", but not sure about that.
Edit: and how could I have forgotten? Tom Lehrer's "We Will All Go Together When We Go," of course!
What do you want them to play at your funeral?
The problem is that I can't figure out where any of it came from, or where to get any more of it.
AFAICT Ashley Pomeroy is a perl geek who dabbles in synthesized music. I first heard his work while browsing the massive MP3 archive at $job[-2]. I can't find any CDs that he has ever released, and almost no information about him in Google. For all I know, Ashley Pomeroy is the pseudonym of a collection of disaffected, self-impressed postmodernist geeks -- a Perl Bourbaki -- who have grown tired of the experiment and allowed it to wither and die.
I am positive that his web site at slab.org used to include links to at least some of his recordings, but he appears to have replaced it with a Wiki for his writing projects -- no music at all.
Any ideas out there?
qwrrty: You put that in iTunes??
qwrrty: Holy hell.
qwrrty: You're my kind of sick.
keyne: I think that may be the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me.
If there is a right time and place to be listening to this song, I think that three days before Christmas when you're frantically wrapping Christmas presents at two a.m. is probably it.
Thanks, folkmew. We owe you one. (One what, I'm not actually sure.)
I cannot understand how I have gone 35 years of my life without ever hearing this song before. A childhood that included annual renditions of "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" and Eartha Kitt singing "Santa Baby" should surely have brought this into my life too, but apparently not.
Thanks to all of you, especially to Steven for showing me that I can actually order the eponymous first 'Dad release through cdbaby.com. (The last time I checked the band's web site, several of their later CDs were for sale but not that one.)
20 musical acts I have seen live:
Not quite 20 though. And no way am I limiting this to big-name acts! Most of the fun ones I've seen were the little bands nobody has ever heard of!
- Roger Waters.
The first musical act I saw, in high school. Waters was touring for his Radio K.A.O.S. album around the same time that Floyd was touring for A Momentary Lapse of Reason, so I saw them within a few months of each other.
- Pink Floyd.
See above. I camped out all night with a high school buddy for these tickets. The overnight campout may actually have been more entertaining than the concert itself.
- Warren Zevon.
I saw X opening for Zevon at the University of Chicago, when I was a prospie there in 1987.
- 10,000 Maniacs.
I saw them twice, once at Radio City Music Hall and once at Bentley College in Waltham. Natalie Merchant was ill for that show and was so bad-tempered for her performance that we actually left before the show was over.
- Indigo Girls.
This was a high point of my concertgoing career: seeing Indigo Girls open for R.E.M. on their Green tour, before the Girls had really hit it big in their own right. We saw Stipe actually singing "Kid Fears" with them on stage, etc. The R.E.M. portion of the evening was mediocre by comparison -- the next day I went out right away and bought the Girls' debut record.
- Formaldehyde Blues Train.
I saw these guys several times in Brooklyn around 1989-1991. My best friend from high school had started studying guitar, and his teacher played lead guitar in this band. They are -- or were -- a very cool hard rock ensemble and mostly played in tiny dives in lower Manhattan.
- Laurie Anderson.
Saw her at Smith College on her Bright Red Dress tour. Cool, and inexplicable, as always.
- Andrew Ratshin.
At the Iron Horse in Northampton, probably 1991 or so, on his I Am Joe's Eyes tour. Andrew is one third of Uncle Bonsai, and played a lot of Bonsai songs at this show. At one point he was trying to decide what to play next, and I called out, "Heartache!" and he said, right back, "Heartache. Heh. Not a chance." Now that he's playing with Arni and Ashley again maybe I'll get that chance.
- Cordelia's Dad.
They were a local band in the Pioneer Valley but I think are now based in New Jersey? Their music was something they called "folk thrash" that is not quite like anything else I've ever heard. I still need to find a copy of their first record, which seems to be completely unavailable now.
- Frank's Museum.
Another part of the Brooklyn Beat crowd, with Formaldehyde Blues Train. Their lead singer, Rossi, was unbelievably hot in that early-nineties bisexual cool kind of way.
- Four Bitchin' Babes.
At Amherst around 1992, I think, when the lineup was Christine Lavin, Megon McDonough, Julie Gold and Sally Fingerett. Lots of fun.
- Yo La Tengo.
I saw them open for the Dad at the Iron Horse one night. They are definitely not my kind of thing.
- Paul Kelly.
Singer-songwriter from Australia. I saw him, again at the Iron Horse, with a friend who had recently spent a year studying in Oz. One of the more memorable shows I've seen.
- Leo Kottke.
I've seen Leo more times than probably anyone else on this list -- I think twice at the Iron Horse, once at WPI and once at Harvard. Leo is just an essential.
- They Might Be Giants.
Once at Amherst, on their Flood tour, and recently at Borders in Braintree, on their Here Come The ABCs tour.
- Hanneke Cassel Trio.
This was at Club Passim just a few months ago. Fantastic Celtic fiddle stuff. She made both Ellen and me want to go take fiddle lessons.
A few weeks ago at the Sit 'n' Bull Pub in Maynard. Live blues, lots of fun.