Tag Archives: music

Hard Times of Old England

To me, the week between Christmas and New Year has always been a strange time. The presents are done, I can go back to disliking my fellow men with a clear conscience and there is nothing left to do apart from wait for the forced jollity of the New Year.

I’d be happy to start the New Year on Boxing Day and get back to work, but tradition means we have to wait a week. Historically we celebrated the Twelve Days of Christmas, but as there was no TV and no annual holidays I suppose you needed a good feast. When we think of life as historical characters we rarely think of ourselves as peasants do we? Dirty, downtrodden and destined to die young, it’s not really a life that holds any appeal to me. But life as a courtier, with all its pox and politics is hardly more attractive. If I was able to go back in time I’d not want to go back far – some time with anaesthetic, antibiotics and civilised dentistry would do me nicely.

Anyway, here I am, with a laptop and one earphone in. I’ve listened to Feelgood and am now making my predictable way through all the old favourites. I don’t do carols, and I’m very predictable. I really should listen to some modern music. If they ever write any that’s worth listening to i may try it. I’m going to put both earphones in now and listen to a group of old blokes knocking out a song about the state of the nation whilst fronted by a woman who looks like a member of the Women’s Institute. Ah, the Rock and Roll lifestyle. The song comes from the eighteenth century, which tends to support my view that we don’t need modern music. Sadly it also supports my view that there is nothing new in politics and that we will never learn to stop fighting wars.

Now I’m going to go through and do family stuff.

Stop All The Clocks (Part 3)

Sorry, it’s been a while since Part 1 andĀ Part 2, which covered making my own funeral arrangements. I had meant to keep them closer together but, as you know, I’ve not been very industrious lately.

The funeral is going to be non-religious, cheap and hot, with a cardboard coffin and informal dispersal of the remains. Let “economic dignity” be the theme.

That leaves the catering and the music.

The music is a problem, as I’m very limited in my musical taste, and a lot of it has been done before. On top of that is the problem that the music isn’t really for my amusement and going through the curtains to The Crazy World of Arthur Brown may not meet with Julia’s approval. In fact I know it doesn’t as we’ve discussed it before.

Being serious for a moment, my funeral isn’t really about me. Yes, I’ve no doubt that they will talk about me, share a few memories and, if honest, agree that I did have a few imperfections. Really, though, it’s for the people who are left behind, andĀ planning all the details seems a bit presumptuous. After all, I’m not the one who is going to have to sit through it all.

There’s a site with some favourite songs but most of them are either a bit over-used or too sad for funerals or, let’s be honest, rubbish. I’m not going to set myself up as a music critic, but I will be leaving a list of songs not to play at my funeral.

I quite like Banks of Green Willow, though I also like the theme from The Outlaw Josie Wales. Not saying anyone should play them, but there are worse songs to go out to. When the Angels Sing sounds like it should be suitable, but despite my love of the track it doesn’t really fit with my dull suburban life.

One of the things I’ve been meaning to do is write some better funeral poetry as most of it is fairly dreary. We read one of my father-in-law’s poems at his funeral – a short light verse about senior moments and that was good. One of my cousins had one of his own poems at his funeral, which was a bit more serious, but still better than anything you find by Googling funeral poems, apart from Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

Anything that talks about meeting later or, even worse, being in another room, is definitely out. So is anything claiming I am like wind beneath your wings, or anything else. The word wind, when linked to me, does not, I confess, lead to thoughts on a higher plane. It’s meant to be a dignified occasion and I don’t want any sniggering during the eulogy.

That’s enough for now, we’ll have to cover catering in another installment as I get nervous when a post gets close to 500 words. I’m a blogger, not a novelist.