The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Music To Say Goodbye To …
March 24, 2011, 6:11 am
Filed under: Comment


If you are on prozac, you might want to pop another pill before you read this post.

If you’re not, you might want to hide all the knives before you read any more.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

I don’t know why, but the thought of dying is never far away from my consciousness.

That sounds very depressing but for me it’s actually quite good because the older I get, the more new things I discover that I want to learn, try and accomplish and the specter of time keeps me on my toes and makes me get on with stuff.

I know … I know … it all sounds weird, maybe it’s because of this or maybe it’s just because I’m a depressing fart – who knows – however I’m going to take things even lower a notch by talking about my funeral.

Feeling miserable yet?


So, a while back – when I was in Sydney – I made a presentation about generalists versus specialists.

The basic premise of my argument was that we are continually told by society and business to be known – or defined – by one single thing, however the people who seemingly make the biggest impression on society are often impossible to be defined in such a way.

Take Richard Branson.

Is he a …


… the reality he is probably all those things and more, and so to only define him singularly is not only wrong, but disrespectful.

I’ve told this story before, but my first boss once asked me to say what I loved the most about my Mum and then – just before I opened my gob – he added that if I could, she’d probably be upset because she’d hope she would be impacting me in many ways.

He was right and she has.

Which leads to my uber-depressing bit.


Or more precisely, the music I want played at my funeral.

I am not a religious person so when I die, I doubt it’s going to be some classic ‘church’ thing – and that’s good, because I don’t want hymns, I want music I like. The thing is – following on from the generalist/specialist theme – if I was told I could only have one song to represent me, I think I’d have a meltdown because while some people can pull it off [an old colleague of mine had ‘Wild Thing’ at his funeral and it was the most apt song for him ever made, RIP Paul] I honestly don’t think I could.

That is not because I’m saying I’m anything special, I’m just complicated I guess.

Which leads to the question, if I had to choose 3 or 4 songs at my funeral … 3 or 4 songs that meant a lot to me … 3 or 4 songs that allowed people to get a final glimpse of who I am and what I loved … what would they be?

As I said, this is not meant to be sad, I’m just interested – and if it bothers you a lot, think of it as if you’re reading what I’d choose if I was on ‘Desert Island Discs’.

The thing is I LOVE music … and yes, Queen is definitely music … however there’s so many pieces that mean something to me that the thought of getting it down to 3 or 4 tracks is incredibly difficult.

Then there’s the issue of whether I’d want people to feel happy or sad.

As much as I like the idea of the 3 people at my funeral having a positive experience [putting aside the fact that me being dead might be the happiest news they’ve had in decades] I have to say there is a part of me that wants every fucker in the place to be as depressed as can be and basically make them feel sadder than sad that I’ve gone.

The only song I definitely know I want played is Queen’s ‘Melancholy Blues‘.

Yes it’s depressing – but it’s not why I want that song, it’s because I love it – I love it’s simple, late-night, smoky little bar feel and without doubt, that makes the final cut.

The other song that is a distinct possibility is Whitesnake’s ‘We Wish You Well‘.

Again, it’s a bit depressing – but that’s not why I want it either.

On one hand I like the fact the lyrics are basically what I would like to say to everyone who is left behind, however the main reason is because it has the most naff 80’s rocktastic chorus you’ve ever heard and I know it would make people smile because it would remind them I liked some pap in my time.

Still not sure about the other song.

At the moment Jet’s ‘Lazy Gun‘, Prince’s ‘Purple Rain‘, Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown‘ and Van Halen’s ‘Jump‘ are all in consideration.

Jet – simply because it will make you nod your head whether you like it or not, Prince because I absolutely adore that song and Europe/Van Halen just because they’re both completely and utterly ridiculous and even though I’m not exactly the biggest fan of either of those songs – and they certainly don’t have any major significance in my life – I do find the idea of them played at a funeral very, very funny.

There is another option which is Opera singer Tebaldi’s version of ‘O Mio Babbino Caro‘ – simply because that’s something that we had played at my Dad’s funeral – however it’s all a bit of a minefield at the moment so in reality, I have no idea what will fill those other 1 or 2 places by the time the time comes.

Which I do hope is a bloody long way away I should add.

So to wrap up – and basically spread the misery – if you had to choose 3 or 4 songs for your funeral that you would like to be defined by … what would they be and what message would you hope the people at your service would get from them?

Go on, humour me and I promise after this I’ll try and be a bit more positive for tomorrow.

PS: This post was not paid for by the manufacturers of Prozac, but I might try and hit them for a kickback because their sales are definitely going to be going up after this.

79 Comments so far
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i literally dont know what the fuck to say to this post.

youll be writing your fucking eulogy next.

“campbell. founder of the worlds first reverse snuff blog. you read it, you want to kill yourself. sold soul to devil to live the fairy fucking princess life. died while getting more fucking freebies off someone. ruined andys life.”

of course you had to feature fucking queen in your song list. 

i swear to fucking god the real reason you do it is to fuck me off rather than you actually liking their musical bollocks, though next to that whitesnake shit, its like fucking sonic nutella.

whitesnake. fuck me theyre even shitter than europe and theyre fucking shitter than a britney/miley duet.

youre a fucking weird bastard campbell but whether I like it or not, I guess youre my weird bastard and because youre the sort of bloke whod choose a track just so you could feel closer to your old man, im willing to let this whole sorry excuse for depression off, but don’t go fucking doing it again or ill make sure i change all your fucking choices to smiths shit.

weird twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

I know you say we should talk about death more openly, but talking about my own death and then choosing songs I want playing at it wasn’t part of the deal. Still, this is a morbidly fascinating post but I’m with Andy on the whitesnake song. (I’m also with you on the bad 80’s chorus comment. Horrific.)

Comment by Pete

for once in your life, you can be assured that when i say “dont worry pete, its not your fault” i actually fucking mean it.

Comment by andy@cynic

That means the World to me.

Comment by Pete

Jump would be a fucking great song to be played while you’re being turned into worm food.

Comment by Billy Whizz

wouldnt weird al twatovichs “eat it” be better? or maybe one of campbells beloved melody murdering satan worshipping poodle rock wank, or do bland halen fall into that category?

Comment by andy@cynic

Bland Halen? Bland? You can only know them by that one song don’t you. Bigger issue is what would a death metal band have played at their funeral?

Comment by Billy Whizz

death metal i fucking presume you thick fuck. and yes, i only know that fucking jump song just like i only know europe by that fucking final countdown bollocks and im more than fucking grateful for that. why, do you wanna make something of it?

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Billy Whizz

That’s an exclamation, not an insult.

Comment by Billy Whizz

too fucking right it was.

Comment by andy@cynic

by the way, i fucking admire how you lulled people into a false sense of fucking security with that dickie branson shit before hitting us over the head with a list of death march tunes. youre the bastard fucking love child of pol pot and a fox. 

basil pot? boom fucking boom.

Comment by andy@cynic

Basil Pot? That’s bad, even for you Andy.

Comment by Pete

dont fucking blame me pete, its the standard of the fucking audience im commenting for. low rent, thick bastards the lot of them. no offence intended.

Comment by andy@cynic

Don’t fuck with me Andy, this is serious stuff. Today one of my oldest friends (and that’s old) sent
me the invitation he received to a wake. It was to the wake of a wonderful art director, in London, whose work (terrific) I was aware of but did personally know, called Judy Smith. The wake is on March 25th. Judy died of cancer on October 15, 2010.
The invitation was from Judy.
The invitation began “I’ve got a jolly good excuse for not showing up at my party … but hope you can make it.”
Today I started work on mine – hard to top Judy though.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

not as good as the george burns gravestone “i told you i was ill” but nice in a miserable fucking way all the fucking same.

arent you about 87 years old or something? makes sense its more top of your fucking mind but campbell has a mental age of 3 so why the fuck he is thinking about this stuff is any fuckers guess.

sorry about your colleague, death is shit.

Comment by andy@cynic

i dont do this very often but i might of come across as a bit of a c*** in my first comment to you so apologies, need to remember theres times where even i could do with being a bit more fucking sensitive.

ive just apologised for something. wives #1 and 2 will be choking on their fucking caviar that my fucking alimony pays for. always a silver fucking lining.

Comment by andy@cynic

i see that people find it easier to talk about aspects of their identity that they already know about. but then that all comes undone when it comes to leaving lasting impressions.

i know that, based on the only song i’ve thought about at the moment, my last musical influence on people is going to be wildly different to the kind of image i have thus far presented people. which is going to change from now on.

a friend of mine wants lyrics born’s i changed my mind. which i think is the best thing ever so far.

i went to the funeral of a friend who died quite young – mad music fan, hadn’t planned songs for the funeral. his family put stuff on and in the middle of this packed and heart-wrenching service, this awful generic funeral dirge comes on. about 2 minutes in, the tape (yes, tape), fucks up – the music warps and the tape player chews the fuck out of it. we’re convinced he intervened.

Comment by lauren

good fucking point lauren, when i go id hate if people got the wrong impression of who i am. you know, like nice, kind, considerate, caring. thats where this blog comes in. i just want my comments read out. every fucking last one of them.

nice story about the tape.

Comment by andy@cynic

the bit in the funeral where you all find out that i’m actually a soppy, sentimental (emphasis on mental) and nostalgic hack with no taste will be brought to you buy the jeff buckley (not, shockingly the leonard cohen) version of hallelujah.

i’m expecting to be slaughtered for my choice, which is perhaps, rob, why people don’t make it as public or free-flowing as their top 5 all-time desert island movie choices.

Comment by lauren

I know I should honour your choice with dignity but what a cliche!!!! Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” is the death version of Wet Wet Wet’s fucking awful, “Love Is All Around” or whatever the thing was called. Sure, Jeff’s song is cooler and better, but what about Patty Smith or something?

Mind you, she’s judging something at Cannes this year so even she’s sold out so maybe I should be grateful you didn’t ask for Cold Chisel or something.

Comment by Rob

point taken. i know these things, really. but it’s the only song that consistently gives me goosebumps whenever i hear it. anyway, after a discussion with mum about it in the car tonight, i’m making a death playlist. not just 1 or 3 songs, but a 12-track party mix. so it’s fine – it will be the safe one in amongst a crazy variety of songs. i promise, i’ll be redeemed. you’ll have gone before me anyway, so you won’t have to hear it ;D

Comment by lauren

BTW, don’t get me wrong, I’m just trying to acquire some of Judy’s funny, fuck you death, attitude. Hey, as Howard Gossage said about death, it happens to ten out of ten people.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

Had the honour of being at a funeral entirely organised by the deceased’s friends this year. Very straightforward – an hour of chapel time filled with classic Rock and good remembrance. May well have put the noses of the official funerary industry out of joint but all the better for it.

Comment by Chris

is classic rock a euphemism for shit rock that incredibly was fucking popular at some dark point in human existence? does that mean you can have classic nazis or classic flu epidemic?

Comment by andy@cynic

Only classic Nazis can get classic Flu. Consult your GP or Party Official.

Comment by Chris

Great post. all people should talk think and act around funeral issues while they are alive..

fucking horrible thing when those who survive you need to figure shit out (on behalf of you) while in the least suitable state of mind to do so.. and never knowing if they got it right… that is an itch that never goes away entirely..

great post..

Comment by niko

this is going to be one of those posts every fucker likes isnt it? that makes me more depressed than listening to all campbells death song choices in a fucking row and thats saying something.

youre right though niko, sos campbell but we obviously cant admit that shit can we.

Comment by andy@cynic

three topics he gets a pass on.. this, his dad and his mum..

the topics deserve it, we know it, he uses it..

evil little man…

Comment by niko

stop fucking flirting with me.

Comment by andy@cynic

87 years old! I should be so young!

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

fucking typical, i apologise and you dont notice or care. are you one of my fucking exes in disguise? hopefully a very fucking good disguise.

Comment by andy@cynic

The earth moved for me, how about you, motherfucker?
OOps, I digress.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

youre only fucking human. just.

Comment by andy@cynic

If you do play that Whitesnake “song” at your funeral, the church might end up looking like a reenactment of the Jonestown massacre after everyone has killed themselves from stabbing pencils into their ears.

Good post though.

Comment by DH


Comment by andy@cynic

Just re-read this post and noticed how you feel death drives you. I’ve often wondered where your energy to do so much comes from and now I know why you’re where you’re at and I’m where I’m at.

Comment by Pete

for someone living the fucking dream you sound like youre on the fucking streets. campbell does a lot but hes not fucking yoda, he some planning fuck that got lucky by meeting me and conning me into helping him do well. get a fucking grip.

Comment by andy@cynic

What I mean is he keeps looking for new adventures to stimulate his life and mind when he could be sat back on the sofa, diet coke in hand, counting his millions.

Where I dream of retirement, he dreams of becoming a teacher, it’s annoying.

Comment by Pete

annoying is a bit of a fucking understatement isnt it?

and campbell does it because he knows one day our lawyers will triumph and hell need as much fucking cash as he can get or hes just trying to make it more fucking difficult for us to find him, though given his fucking obsession with writing this shithole blog every day, hes hardly going to be mr fucking invisible is he.

Comment by andy@cynic

I don’t want to think about you dying Robert, the World will be worse off without your energy, wit and intelligence plus selfishly, I will have lost an inspiring and loyal friend.
However this is an important post because you touch on things like motivation, love and legacy; things that live within all of us but rarely get talked about.
I’ve always admired your ability to express your feelings, which is why I feel the songs you’ve chosen would be a good representation of who you were, but not of how important you were.

Comment by George

Perfectly put.

Comment by Bazza

it wont work george, he still wont give you the cash he stole from your kids future. what a bastard. try iron bars next time, theyll be much more fucking effective.

baz. quick fucking question. why the fuck has campbell got an ipad 2 and i havent. auntie i can understand but what the fuck is going on with me?

Comment by andy@cynic

I get the impression people are more disgusted at my choice of Whitesnake song rather than Queen. Interesting … though it could be because you’ve become immune to my love of Freddie and the boys and the new addition has come from out of the blue.

Anyway …

Thank you for the [odd] nice comment … though I would like to point out that [1] this was not written as an attempt to fish for compliments, and even if it was, it would never come close to balancing out the amount of abuse I cop on here so it would be pointless and [2] I am not dying, nor do I intend to die for a very, very, very, very long time so could we not make it sound like I am. Yes, that’s you George, Pete and Baz.

[But thank you]

I have to say I quite like writing posts like this … not because I’m a depressing bastard, nor because it brings up topics that I think are healthy for us to talk about … it’s because whenever I do it, I get to hear a bunch of beautiful stories and viewpoints from all of you and I have to say that is a real honour. That might sound ‘wet’, but I mean it.

PS: Andy you’re going soft, not just because you were almost nice to me, but because you wrote a comment to NP that stated, “you get better as you get older” [or something] and you apologised [rightly] to Ciaran. If you really don’t want people to get the wrong impression of you, you should make sure that whoever reads out all your comments at your funeral, ignores todays and yesterdays. See how much I care?!

Thanks people, but no one has told me about their choice of song, though Lauren reiterated why it’s important you should.

Comment by Rob

groper is a bald fucking planner from pigeonland. i only said nice things to him because his life is fucking empty and i thought id shove a little ray of fucking sunshine in it because hes got another money muncher on the way and he needs all the optimism he can get.

plus im a fucking saint.

deal with it.

Comment by andy@cynic

Well, first up it might be a choice between Whiskey in the Jar and The Boys Are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy, or maybe Sinead singing She moved through the Fair, and after that …

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

what about u2, hothouse flowers, the boomtown rats and the fucking riverdance cast seeing youre going for a fucking irish theme. dont tell me, youll die on saint paddys day and have people walking in to the fucking church listening to the annoying fucking melody of danny boy.

Comment by andy@cynic

You never fail to surprise me … you know the Hothouse Flowers!!! Now i know you’re a fan, I’ll know you’ll be over the moon to watch this collaboration with another of your favourite bands:

Comment by Rob

the one armed drummer from the band that made us start boringe? you think i like that shit? you have the aufuckingdacity to say i might be a fan. fuck you campbell. fuck you and your fucking shit song funeral. i havent been so insulted since you were seen out in public with me.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Rob

you couldnt get me if you had my house surrounded by navy fucking seals and a great big fucking net.

Comment by andy@cynic

Admittedly the combination of George’s eulogy and Andy’s apology make me think that this is all happening in some parallel universe, but it seems to me that your funeral isn’t about you.

It’s about reflecting on their individual view of the deceased’s impact on their life and, often I find, it’s about a realisation that your departed friend had various lives and social groups about which you know little if anything but which are united with you in grief.

Reminding the congregation of your appalling taste in music isn’t going to make them any sadder at your passing and it certainly isn’t going to colour their memory of you. It’s too late for all that.

Comment by john

it would make me sadder dodds. well not that the fuckers passed, but he got the last fucking word. and he has no other social group, you think anyone else would put up with his shit.

Comment by andy@cynic

If people are talking about you, doesn’t that mean it’s all about you or am I missing something? Please tell me because I want to absolutely make sure it’s totally about me.

Comment by Rob

Yes but not exclusively – I think it was brought home to me at the funeral of a friend who left behind parents, a young wife and a five day old baby that made me consider it differently.

Comment by john

Just two Rob: the Joy of Living by Ewan MacColl and No women no cry because it’s the only song that ever gets me up and dancing, even at my funeral. Oh, and you are a morbid sod.

Comment by martin

That means a lot from you. Ha.

Comment by Rob

This is a special post Robert, for all the reasons George highlighted in his comment.

Comment by Lee Hill

George is a very wise man.

Comment by Rob

Sometimes the behaviour on this blog deeply upsets me.

Comment by Marcus

Only sometimes???

How are you lovely, how’s the job? Do you miss the shed even a little bit?

Comment by Rob

I’m very well. And very happy. The days of shed are long gone and not missed.

Comment by Marcus


You have no idea how happy that makes me.

Comment by Rob

Interesting to see someone else continously toys with the death playlist, I think it’s part of the male propensity for ‘top fives’
Mine is ever changing, the only constant seems to be Aimmee Mann’s It’s Not Safe, I intend to go out fighting.
Still toying with The Jam’s Going Undergound

Comment by northern

I have also thought about this…(leaving aside the bizarre funeral wishes, which will involve a lot of strings, some mexican jumping beans and an animated corpse):

These songs, in this order – particularly the last one, as it’s ending:

1) Muzzle – Smashing Pumpkins
2) Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes – Paul Simon
3) Lay Me Low – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Comment by Will

Answering the question :

1) ELO – Prologue / Twilight
2) Cardiacs – Stoneage Dinosaurs
3) Bad Manners – Lip Up Fatty

before being floated down the river on a burning barge.

Hoping this will suitably poignant, uplifting and tastefully megalomanic.

Comment by Chris

Nice ELO action there Chris.

Comment by Marcus

Thank you, Marcus.

Comment by Chris

Love the choice of ‘Going Underground’ as one is being carried from the church/pub. Might raise a chuckle from the coffin.

Comment by martin

whats tomorrow? the different fucking coffin styles youre considering?

another riveting fucking read.

Comment by andy@cynic

Grumpy sod.

Comment by northern

stop trying to get in my fucking pants.

Comment by andy@cynic

Paul wants ‘Going on up to the spirit in the sky’ ………..and for me its ‘Time to say goodbye’ but only if Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli can do it live (not sure funeral budget will cover it)
I think about this alot and the song sometimes changes but I always want everyone to be miserable and then go and have a proper Irish session to give me a ‘good send off’ 🙂

Comment by Shelly

you make every fucker even more fucking miserable by making them pay for their own fucking drinks.

Comment by andy@cynic

Believe me Andy, it will be cheaper to get Andrea Bocceilli and Sarah Brightman than pay for the booze at an Irish funeral!!

Comment by Shelly

might pop along when you pop your fucking clogs then.

Comment by andy@cynic

Well Shell I’m glad i’m not dead yet cos it was a bloody joke !!!!!!!!

Comment by paul

Glad you cleared that up Paul or I could have spent the rest of my life [based on you croaking before me] trying to work out when, why and how my oldest friend had become a musical fuckwit.

Allie McBeal soundtrack purchase aside.

Comment by Rob

[…] To paraphrase the great Bill Shankly, some say music isn’t a matter of life or death. […]

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