20 February 2007

Another Day On Earth

Unlike my mother, I'm not in the habit of reading obituaries. The pursuit overtakes you at a certain age, I suppose, when you're reading the paper and munching Cheerios and wondering how many times you've done that, and how many times you might still.

The man who illustrated this cover, Joseph Low, died at his Massachusetts home on Feb. 12, at the age of 95. That's a pretty good age.

Low had a successful career; he won the 1981 Caldecott Medal, which is for children's-book illustrators. He was known, according to the New York Times, for using "wild pen gestures" to create "glyphlike characters meant for both adult and child that were both sophisticated and accessible."

Ever wonder about what song you want played at your funeral? I have three, but they've been changing lately.

This one's been on the list for a while now: Brian Eno's "And Then So Clear." In another foray into iMovie, I've put together a video for it. Tell me what you think.



What's your song?

(Alf, please skip.)

21 comments:

Stephen said...

Another day on Earth. Long may they run. Funeral music? Yikes.

I guess I don't like to think about it because I'm actuarily closer to the event than you JJB. I attended my dear Dad's funeral in 2003 and I couldn't tell you what was played.

Have you ever gone to a funeral where someone pulls out a boom-box to blast "Free Bird" or some such? I have and its not pretty.

Vieve said...

Amazing Grace. It seems to be a family fave.

Anonymous said...

I met a man a month ago that was 102 years old, once setting the Guinness World Book of Records for the oldest practicing doctor when he was 99 years old. Living that long didn't look like it was a good thing. My question is, why pick the music anyways?

JJB said...

Stephen, sorry about your Dad. If you can't remember what they played, that's good: it means they didn't pull out the boombox and play "The Joker" or "I Believe I Can Fly."

Vieve: Funny, my sister once sang "Violent Night" at midnight mass; I've always kind of thought of it as the family fave. Amazing Grace works, too.

Anon.: I think you pick the music primarily to see which of your relatives you can get to wail the loudest. I mean honking.

JJB said...

Okay, no, since we're on 'death,' I can't leave it facetious. You pick a piece of music because your funeral is for everyone else anyway, and it is your final speech, so to speak. And it's interesting to know what you have to say about life.

vieve said...

JJB, you are mistaken. 'Violent Night' was played by your sister (a fledging virtuoso) in her parents living room. Probably a deep seeded response to sibling torment. I have heard that she was a middle child, poor dear.

JJB said...

I don't have a sister.

ang said...

Is Fatboy Slim's "The Rockafella Skank" inappropriate?

I think you should chose something that's important to you, but that doesn't ruin that song for your loved ones. I can't listen to "Fire & Rain" by James Taylor without thinking of my friend Manda's funeral.

JJB said...

"Right about now..." -- perfect. I'd love someone ballsy enough to do something ridiculous. Gallows humour is the sign of a great soul.

How could you choose a song that wouldn't ruin it for your friends?

ang said...

hmm. good point. I guess you can't, really. The thing about Fire & Rain is that it's already a sad song, so I guess it would help if the song was upbeat and funky. You know, like the ones you bob your head to.

JJB said...

This is the song you need, then.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51V1VMkuyx0

CDM said...

Nice song John. Vieve and Ang a little weak. Mine: 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. Joking. Actually, Paradise - Bruce Springsteen.

JJB said...

Hadn't heard that one; just downloaded it.

Pretty solemn, CDM. I really like the last strains... How do you feel about that electronic dissonance that underlies the piece, particularly at the end?

ang said...

electronic dissonance?? it's Bruce Springsteen!

katie said...

Not surprised CDM went with Springsteen... I will have to go with something from Johnny Cash. Not sure which one... maybe 'Redemption'. Still deciding. Johnny's songs are depressing yet uplifting & well...at least he was always dressed for a funeral.

JJB said...

I'm a little suprised that the Boss got all about the electronic dissonance, too, but it works in the song.

Johhny Cash: nice call, Katie. Writers should write like Johnny Cash sings.

nuss bindy said...

Since this is supposedly my responsibility and I surely will outlive you (the fulsome always outlive the likeable), you need to narrow it down. I can't remember what you previously chose, but it was not this.

Elecia Chrunik said...

For my same day assignment tomorrow, I'm writing about this teen angst poetry reading night that goes on tonight. You dig up your old diaries and and poems you wrote when you were at your hormone-induced creative peak and read them aloud to a group of strangers.
My journal entry from Sunday May 5, 1996:
'I've been thinking about dying a lot lately. I always think about what kind of music I'll have. The songs I would want are "Always" by Bon Jovi because that's been one of my favorite songs since it first came out."

JJB said...

I want to do my same-day on that, too! I could chip in some teen-angst poetry, but I'd have to wear a ski mask while reading it.

Is it still "Always" for you?

newyorkette said...

My song is "Only the good die young," by Billy Joel. (To be taken as tragic or ironic, depending at what age I die). It's gradually shifting towards ironic, as the years pass! :)

briankilb said...

Nah, if it's an Eno funeral then it has to be 'An Ascent'. The clue's in the title.