WHEN I’M 64 – music for Babyboomer Funerals

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Simon Smith of green fuse contemporary funerals had a piece published in October’s Funeral Service Journal, the undertakers’ trade journal, which, I feared, had something of a flower of the desert about it. Despite the best efforts of its excellent editor, Brian Parsons, funeral directors are not great readers, nor are they great writers.

I asked Simon if I might put what he had written before more fertile eyes. He agreed. Here it is:
The earliest babyboomers are now 64, and many
are prepared to think about funerals, sweeping
away the 20th Century taboo with regard to
death. If you are one of them, one thing you
probably know is that you don’t want a Victorian
style funeral, with solemn black, a vicar and
Abide With Me. What you’ll want is something
different. And the music definitely must be
different, to reflect your own particular taste.
I always advise that the best music to play at a
funeral is the music the person who has died
loved, and which family and friends associate
with them. One lady in her sixties came into
Showaddywaddy’s Under The Moon Of Love and
went out to Abba’s I Have A Dream, another had
Blue Hawaii by Elvis. One man had his heartthrob
Doris Day singing The Deadwood Stage
(“Whipcrackaway!”) at the end of the ceremony.
I love music and I have studied over three
hundred songs for lyrics, style and tempo, many
of which have actually been played at funerals
and some of which are my own personal choices,
and have come up with a Babyboomer Top 20
(not in any particular order):

Read the rest of Simon’s piece here.


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