The Last Song

Published: June 4, 2020
by Lawrence A. Carnevale

Music is amazing. It has a powerful ability to move, inspire and heal. It can bring people together in wonderful ways and make ordinary moments come to life. Music has provided a soundtrack to our growing and has helped us mark and remember milestones in our lives. How many times have you heard a song on the radio that immediately brings you back to a special time or moment in your life? That’s the power of music.

Naturally, when we celebrate a meaningful ceremony like a wedding, graduation or baptism, these rituals are usually accompanied by song.  The songs we choose are special and can hold personal meanings to us. The music that helps us celebrate these moments can be spiritual, cultural or personal to us in other ways. Funerals are no exception. While most services still use traditional church music or spiritual hymns,  others have found a way to make it more personal. One of the awesome benefits of being a Funeral Director in 2020, is being able to accommodate unique requests that in days of old would have been considered imprudent. It’s beautiful when a family can be free to add unconventional personal touches  that personalize a service or Celebration of Life. One of those being, music. No one person is the same, and funerals need to reflect that. Incorporating songs  that are special and  meaningful can help us celebrate our loved ones in a way that truly pays tribute to their life and personality. 

Most of us have heard that cool song on our car stereo that touches us in some way and thought, “Yeah, play that at my funeral.” Well, nowadays, it can happen. From “Free Bird” to “Stairway to Heaven”, from Sinatra’s “My Way” to “Somewhere over the Rainbow”. We can do it and we love it when a family doesn’t just celebrate a life, but celebrates their loved one’s personality. The days of suffering through the dirgey march of Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor are over. And I for one, am glad. I can appreciate and I love traditional funeral hymns like “Old Rugged Cross” or “Amazing Grace”, but I also recognize the importance of incorporating more modern or personal musical selections. So, what do you (the reader) want played at your service? Do you have that one song that sums it all up? The final musical encore of your life, what will it be?  Do you want to rock your way out or will you choose a softer final note that brings comfort to your surviving loved ones? Here’s the good news, there’s no wrong answer. But I do want to hear your answer. In the facebook link for this blog, please let me know. What song do you want played at your funeral? As for me, there’s this old song that Liberace sang and my mother used to sing it to me. I’ll leave you with the final line… “ I'll find you in the morning' sun, and when the night is new.. I'll be looking at the moon.. But I'll be seeing you.”

Indeed, I’ll be seeing you. Until next time, keep on rockin!


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