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  • Writer's pictureRuth Jewell

Music, Weird and Whacky or Traditional?

What would be your music choices for your service?

Music plays a big part in our lives. We hear it on the radio and TV, in shops, at parties and get togethers. It often forms a background to our lives without us even realising the impact it has on us.

We can often sing along to hymns and songs that we learnt at school, even when we haven't heard them for many years. Some songs become an anthem, some a reminder of very special times in our lives.

I was a school governor for eight years and the school theme song was Proud. It was so apt in an environment where every achievement was celebrated, where small steps were something to be proud of. I was so proud of my involvement with the staff and students, and hearing Proud always reminds me of all I achieved in that role, all the friends I made, and all the student's successes that we were able to celebrate.

At our Wedding my Godfather paraphrased words from The Carpenters, White Lace and Promises. At the motorway services the next day we bought a tape (yes, it was that long ago!) and played it continually in the hire car whilst driving around Guernsey. It always reminds us of our Wedding and Honeymoon, wonderful memories.

Growing up I listened continually to my two brothers' choice of music. They are 6 and 9 years older than me, so my music tastes are very different to my contemporaries. My older brother loved classical music as well as Tubular Bells, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles and much, much more. My other brother loved the Doors and took me to my first live concert at the local college to see The Piranhas (I am not sure my Mum would have allowed me to go had she known that a fight broke out and someone had part of their ear sliced of)!!! I remember some of the girls in school (the ones who listened to the top 40 every week on a transistor radio) being dismissive and telling me they weren't a popular band. It was 1980 and very soon after Tom Hark was in the top ten singles chart, guess who had the last laugh!

I had a boyfriend very into Punk music, and then found a love for nightclubs and 80's music became my go to dance tunes. I have very eclectic music tastes. It depends on how I feel at that moment in time as to what I choose to listen too. Sometimes I love just one track from a performer, but hate everything else they do, others I can't choose between their songs and I can play album after album and love it all.

I loved watching Fame on the TV, and always believed that it was all make believe, but when our two children were at The BRIT School, and I walked through during a breaktime, Fame came alive in front of my eyes, there were people jamming, singing and dancing in what felt like every corner or open space. It felt so natural, I could have just stopped and stared and soaked up the vitality of it all.

Music can raise our spirits. When my Dad was in the home, and his Alzheimers had completely stolen his life, we would still sing together, and just for that moment we were connected again. I love to sing, definitely not in public, but it makes me feel good.

Music at a Funeral can change the mood in an instant, and an uplifting piece can help everyone to take those final steps as they leave their loved one behind. Music can be traditional or quirky, classical, jazz, pop, funk, whatever is right for you is right for your funeral service.

To have to choose just two or three songs for a Funeral Service can be so hard, and often people don't know where to begin, so have a conversation with your loved one about music you would like to have. Make sure your favourite track is a part of the celebration of your life, and if you want it played quietly or loudly make sure they know that too!


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