I’ve been asked to play my music for funerals and memorial gatherings lately. Too many, and one more this weekend. (In one case a friend asked me because she said my songs were the last ones her mom listened to…) It’s of course an amazing honor to be asked, particularly by friends, but it’s all got me thinking (obsessing) about my lyrics, and what exactly is appropriate.
Normally I sing for celebration; my songs are generally soothing, and about being in the moment. I suppose this is why I am invited to sing/play in the first place. And while I know to obviously leave off all spirited songs, what of the rest? Where hearts and minds are raw, and all is amplified, there shouldn’t be too much…senseless beauty. But how much is too much…? I do want to soothe hearts, however I can.
So I decided to ask the Muses who brought me the original songs and lyrics, for help.
Siren. You who inspired “Swimming”
melody of that certain dive down a sunny
sea, true aquamarine that dissolves the self
aquatic bliss… come close
your song is requested
for a funeral.
Here, behind the veil and before the hearse,
with erasure ready, I await… show me
the parts to change, hide subdue, so no offense to life
no shock to stone.
Surely the endless blue, aqua holding you can be
kept, that comfort sea of light to both sides.
But too much time in forever when the tower
hides spring on this hill, in this field, with its view
to a bridge.
And too much beauty in the dappled dream
when even the faces of angels are solid and all the
tears around us paint a monochrome blue.
Siren, you come with images… humanity, some connection
humming verses I’ve never heard… Siren, keep singing…
Post Script: 4/10
Last night, I met and played with some other amazing musicians who will be playing music for our friend’s memorial this Sat. The host was there; I asked him what he wanted us to play, and if we should change in any way, our sound for the day. He said, “This is a celebration of life. I want the music to be as happy and beautiful as it usually is. That is how my wife would want it to be.” Of course. This will be my thought the whole time. I’m thrilled to collaborate with other musicians she loved.