Posted tagged ‘Funerals’

My Funeral Music

April 23, 2017

2000px-GClef.svgSo, my post the other day about funerals got me thinking. Joe, what about your funeral. Mind you, I’m not planning on checking out any time soon, but you never know. So I had a chat with Paula about what music I would like played at my funeral. A while back, I had created a playlist on my iPhone titled “My Funeral Music”. So here’s my list. You might not be able to play it all inside of 60 minutes. If you are reading this (and have some time), hook up your ear buds and spend some time listening to the pieces.

  1. The intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni. This is the music that is heard between the two acts of the opera. One of the most beautiful, relaxing piece of music I have ever heard.”
  2. Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. I first heard this piece at a music appreciation class when I was in college. The professor was talking about 5/4 time signature which is a tad unusual. 5/4 time is five beats to the measure and 1/4 note gets one beat. He was comparing “Tchaikovsky – Sixth Symphony – Second Movement” to “Take Five” (both in 5/4 time)
  3.  A Hymn to New England by John Williams. This version is played by the Boston Pops with pictures of New England Scenery.
  4. The Entertainer by Scott Joplin. This rag time piece was made famous in recent years by reason of its use in the film “The Sting” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. There was a time when I could play this but I don’t have the hand strength to play the octaves anymore.
  5. Heigh Ho from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. This is probably one the most recognized (and loved) Disney tunes. When I first started playing the organ for my lodge back in Mass.I would play this tune at the beginning of every meeting. I don’t play it as much anymore. Maybe, I will push it up the stack for our next meeting.  Here’s another version done by Dave Brubeck in the album “Dave Digs Disney” done in 1957. Dave Brubeck is one of my all time favorite Jazz artists. Paula and I saw him in concert about a dozen years ago. Still touring into his 80’s. Amazing. And it that’s not enough heigh ho’ing for you, here is Louis Armstrong doing Heigh Ho.
  6. Next up would be the second movement from Mozart’s 21st Piano Concerto. This piece was made popular by the movie “Elvira Madigan” back in 1967.
  7. Now let’s get into some actual hymns. First on my list would be How Great Thou Art, followed closely by Amazing Grace.  And one more for my friend at OVBC, Daryl “What a Friend We Have in Jesus“.

Funerals

April 23, 2017

Today Paula went to the funeral for the former organist/pianist from Ocean View Baptist Church. We asked Mary if she would like to go. We explained who she was and that Mary probably knew her at one time. But of course, the name didn’t ring a bell. Showed her a picture of her. Nothing.

Here’s the thing. Right now at this time in her life Mary does not like going to funerals. Doesn’t matter who the person was. She doesn’t want to go. She won’t go. Period. End of discussion.

Normally I would have gone with Paula, but I decided to stay with Mary.

So what is it about funerals with Mary? We have tried on many occasions to have a discussion with her on what she would like for her own funeral. We get nothing. We get stonewalled.

We ask cremation or not? Where would you like to be buried? The only guidance we got was that she wants Harold’s ashes buried with her. (Harold died in 2009 and was cremated.) That we can handle. So many questions.

So Paula and I are the ones stuck with the decisions. Paula is an only child. So there’s no sibling to talk to. Somehow, we will come up with a plan. That’s both a blessing and a curse. No one to argue with but at the same no one to share the load.

I found a blog a few years ago that I thought gave me some thoughts and insight. The blog is called “The Inspired Funeral“. Take a look.

Be thou my Vision

March 17, 2014

I discovered a hymn while reading a blog called “The Inspired Funeral“. I discovered the blog from an article in the NY Times. The hymn is called “Be Thou My Vision” and is based on a sixth century Monastic text and an Irisih Folk Tune. And seeing as today is St. Patrick’s Day, I thought this would be a good thing to post.

Here are the lyrics:

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my Wisdom, and thou my true Word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Here is a youtube performance with piano and cello. Truly haunting.

Here’s a hint to my Lodge and OES friends in LA. You will be hearing this soon.

TTFN

Joe