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Nelson music guru picks songs he'd like played at his funeral

I don’t want people crying at my funeral. I want people to have a good time, to have a beer and share some nostalgic stories.
Dustin Stashko requests a ball pit at his funeral

Not to sound morbid, but I’ve been thinking a lot about my funeral lately — not that I’m going to leave the world any time soon (if I did, it would be by doing something bold and manly, like losing a fight to a grizzly bear), but it’s something that falls on everyone’s mind from time to time.

Who’s going to show up? Will that person that I have a huge crush on be there? Will they cry? Will ANYONE cry? Will there be enough sandwiches? Will there be too many sandwiches?

Unfortunately, our narcissism will never know because we’ll never witness our own funeral — unless it was staged... I call dibs on the movie rights to that one, assuming I’m the first one to come up with the plot.

The biggest question I ask myself about my funeral is what music would play? The soundtrack to The Big Chill?  I don’t want people crying at my funeral. I want people to have a good time, to have a beer and share some nostalgic stories. I mean of course there’ll be some tears, but there should be more laughs. I want all the favourites to play and for funeral-goers to get caught up in a fury of dancing, to shake what their mothers gave ‘em and forget that somebody died. I truly believe it would help the grieving process.

These are the songs that would play at my funeral. Most are fun.


Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – “Only the Good Die Young” Well this was obvious! This would get a few laughs, some eye rolls and hopefully no tears. It’s also probably the best Billy Joel cover ever.


Eels – “Things the Grandchildren Should Know” A great tune about an old man looking back at his life. There’s a line that speaks to everyone “And I had some regrets/But if I had to do it all again/Well, it’s something I’d like to do” — no matter what happens in your life, it’s still an experience.


The Beatles – “Revolution” Since the Beatles were basically my first musical love, it’s fitting I’d have them play during my funeral. Of course, I wouldn’t pick their obvious funeral song “In My Life,” because I’m original.


Against Me! – “Those Anarcho Punks are Mysterious” You know how you have that certain song that sums up your entire friendship with life-long high school pals? For some it’s Ace of Base but for me, it’s this tune. We’d cruise the streets of our hometown blasting this and always getting the lyrics wrong.


Jay Z (Featuring Mr. Hudson) – “Forever Young” Jay (I feel cooler if I nickname him “Jay”) took this Alphaville classic, added a beat and made another generation appreciate it. Of course the song’s all about reminiscing, but at the same time appreciating the present so “When the director yells ‘cut,’ I’ll be fine.” Jay, you speak to me.


Vampire Weekend – “Exit Music (for a film)” For a long time I’ve had this weird fascination to have my casket lowered with Radiohead’s “Exit Music” playing, but that would be super morbid. Luckily, Vampire Weekend have done a great cover that adds some fun to a rather bleak (but genius) song. So now the casket lowering is a party! — remember, this is MY funeral. Get your own.


I think the point I’m trying to make is that I only want people to have a good time at an otherwise unpleasant event. Another thing that would make a funeral awesome: A ball pit. You know, like the ones at McDonald’s in all their unsanitary glory? Do McDonald’s still have ball pits? How fun would that be?! Now, you’re coming.