Over the holiday weekend, as we were digesting our second plate of leftovers, we stumbled across the 1983 film, The Big Chill. My mom, being the definition of a baby boomer, had seen it countless times and could list every track name on the soundtrack. My wife, being the child of baby boomers who happened to own it on VHS as a child, had also seen it repeatedly, and was full of quotes and minor plot points. And then there was me, who simply hadn't gotten around to it.
So, long story short, we put it on, and did that combo chatting, reading magazine, and movie watching thing that families do over holidays.
The film opens with a funeral, where all the college friends gather and return and discuss all their upcoming white people middle-agedness…serving a template for many quarter-life-crisis movies to come. And the funeral ends with a pop song goodbye: “You Can't Always Get What You Want”… begun on the church piano, and then fading into all its Rolling Stones glory as the procession makes its way to the cemetery.
Naturally, our family conversation led to question – what song would you choose? My mom – again, baby boomer – opted for:
My wife, cleverly, selected this obvious choice (and ain't it the truth)…
And me…well, honestly, I'd never thought about it. I have favorite songs, but none of them really rub against the message-giving, meaning-making poetry of playing them at a funeral.
So, for kicks, let's chat about it. Let's say your family and friends were to gather for your funeral today, and you happened to have arranged to have a piece of music played. What song would it be?
Would it be for the lyrical content? The tone you'd want to leave to your loved ones? Something so catchy and upbeat you'd force all the grievers into an inevitable dance party? Post your ideas in the comments below.