I Can't Find the Soundtrack of My Death

Article excerpt

Byline: Reg McKay

MUSIC and my skills are strangers. Whistle Dixie? I can't even hum it. But listen to music? Of course, I do. Everybody needs a theme tune.

More and more we control the soundtrack to our big events.Why spend all that dosh on a wedding, say, then abandon the music to some DJ with a bad haircut and worse record collection? A birthday party? For god's sake, don't choose Oasis if the birthday girl is a James Blunt romantic.

Marriages? Romance and duck low if you've forgottenYOUR tunes.

Funerals? Now there's a question. Exactly who is the music for? The man in the can, or coffin to you? Or the mourners in their undertakers' outfits? We're all going to pop our clogs one day. But being given six months left to live certainly concentrates your attention on such matters. Believe me.

I wanted to arrange the whole funeral shebang. Burning rather than burying, a place to leave my ashes, pay a tab on my favourite bar for a bevvy or two, dress code, flowers, charity donations - the works.

It sounded so good I regretted being a party pooper that day. Yet my biggest problem? The damned music.


Ever since Gerry's ma's funeral when the same song was played at every turn, I've learned one point. Organise. Why? Poor Mags's favourites were delivered with one CD case empty.

Tragic? No way. Mags would've laughed out loud if she could have.

Apart from one very special request to a pal, my first song choices were so obscure they'd chase even my closest away. Probably to that pub where I'll lay some cash behind the bar.

A child of the Sixties and thanks to my older sister, Jane, I grew up on a diet of Rolling Stones, Animals, Small Faces, BB King, Dylan. Since then I've just added, and there's not one cliche in the pack.

Imagine my generation when we hit the nursing home stage. No Mantovani or Jimmy Shand. Those Zimmers will rock.

So, most popular lists don't help me. Bette Midler bawlingWind Beneath MyWings ain't my style and Unchained Melody would do for a moonie with my Gers.

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life - I kid you not - is worth a grin but as the song folk will remember me by? The Police's Every Breath You Take makes the top lists for weddings and funerals. Yet it's about a stalker, for God's sake.

Then again, if there's a return ticket, I'm coming back. A few bad bears are high on my list for a serious haunting. They know who they are.

Then I keep adding to the songs. If all mine were played, my cremation would be so long some folk might not survive the ceremony. One death per funeral is quite enough, I reckon.

No choice, my music selection has been left unfinished, as it probably will be on the day I die. …