Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Final Playlist

Doc has laid down a challenge: to come up with the dozen songs I would want played at my services should I kick the bucket.

Okay, here goes, The Final Playlist, Part I:

1. When I'm Gone- Phil Ochs
2. In My Life- The Beatles
3. Dock of the Bay- Otis Redding
4. Dreams- The Allman Brothers Band
5. Box of Rain- The Grateful Dead
6. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue- Bob Dylan
7. Don't Go Back To Rockville- REM
8. Light My Fire- The Doors (my instructions are for cremation)
9. Many Rivers to Cross- UB40 (I love the Jimmy Cliff original, but this was a college favorite)
10. It's All Mine- World Party
11. Refuge of the Roads- Joni Mitchell
12. Death Is A Star- The Clash


Here are the lyrics to Phil Ochs' "When I'm Gone"-- I take this song to be my life's mission statement. They're made all the more poignant by the fact that Ochs' life was so short. He took his own life in 1976 at the age of 36.

There's no place in this world where I'll belong when I'm gone
And I won't know the right from the wrong when I'm gone
And you won't find me singin' on this song when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

And I won't feel the flowing of the time when I'm gone
All the pleasures of love will not be mine when I'm gone
My pen won't pour out a lyric line when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

And I won't breathe the bracing air when I'm gone
And I can't even worry 'bout my cares when I'm gone
Won't be asked to do my share when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

And I won't be running from the rain when I'm gone
And I can't even suffer from the pain when I'm gone
Can't say who's to praise and who's to blame when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

Won't see the golden of the sun when I'm gone
And the evenings and the mornings will be one when I'm gone
Can't be singing louder than the guns when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

All my days won't be dances of delight when I'm gone
And the sands will be shifting from my sight when I'm gone
Can't add my name into the fight while I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

And I won't be laughing at the lies when I'm gone
And I can't question how or when or why when I'm gone
Can't live proud enough to die when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

9 comments:

The Elk said...

Egads! A Grateful Dead song?
Have a few too many Weiss Biers last night?

What's next? Hanging around with Horse and his typical Lazy, Loafing, do nothing, dopefiend, Deadhead friends.
Q. How many Deadheads does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A. None - They wait for it to burn out then they follow it around the country for 20 years.

The greatest day in music history was when that musical cancer Jerry Garcia took his dirt nap.

Should someone play that crap at my funeral I would rise from the Dead faster than Finnigan and put a sleeper hold for the ages on the perpetrator.....

Thanks for raising mt blood pressure about 20 points

Elk Out

lulu said...

Many Rivers to Cross (same version) is on my funeral list as well.

Big Orange said...

hmmm... reminds me of an atheist's comment re: why he's not afraid of dying:

"hell, I was dead for 20 billion years before I was born, and i'll be dead for at least that much longer when I'm gone."

Bubs said...

Wow, some list. I think I'm going to steal your idea. This has morbid meme written all over it.

Jess Wundrun said...

My sister says she would like Simply Red's "If you don't know me by now".

No truer sentiment, I guess.

Johnny Yen said...

Elk-
I'm going to leave behind a special Led Zeppelin/Grateful Dead playlist to be played only when you are there...

Lulu-
One night in the mid-eighties I called in a request to "XRT with the UB40 version. The deejay haughtily said he might play the Jimmy Cliff version. Snob.

Big Orange-
Puts it all in perspective, doesn't it?

Bubs-
Steal away! I'm dying to see what your picks are...

Get it? Dying to see... never mind. I have to hire better scriptwriters.

Jess-
I like Simply Red all right (the Red refers to their politics, BTW), but you need to get her to listen to the Harlold Melvin and the Bluenotes original. It's marvelous.

Doc said...

I don't know the tune, but as far as life mission statements go, this is truly outstanding!

A wonderful list, one and all, even the Grateful Dead tune. I kinda figgered that this little meme would appeal to the music lovers, the wistful, and the morbid. I first had this idea while I was still making mix tapes.

I mean really, what would I want played at my final hurrah? Would I want something tasteful and poetic to sum up my life on this little blue rock? Would I want something Rockin' that would lend itself to a drunken bash where the S.W.A.T. team was called? Or would I prefer to go with a laugh with some of my favorite Dr. Demento novelty songs?

I'm thinking of introducing each tune and why I chose it. And of course it would be for sale in the lobby (I gotta support my family, and copy rights be damned! I'm dead!) as well as poorly printed T-shirts that would read "I Was There" with a date, hopfully very far int future.

Doc

Beth said...

Excellent final playlist, sir.

Dale said...

Excellent list Johnny and the Phil Ochs is perfect. When I thought of R.E.M. for my list, it was Rockville too but then I went for the smart assy title.