Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

February 23, 2014

Question Time: Your funeral songs

What song(s) would you like played at your funeral?

[Editor’s note: To participate in future queries, keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.]

Last week, Rodney Ogle, presentation and graphics editor, sent me an email with a suggestion for a future question. He said he was inspired by Jay Leno’s choice of Garth Brooks’ “The Dance” as his farewell song as he gave up the reigns of “The Tonight Show” (again) Feb. 6. (Successor Jimmy Fallon took over the show Feb. 17.) I thought the question Rodney sent me was intriguing, so I put it to you: “What song (or songs) would you most like played at your funeral and why?” You provided us with a lot more answers than we could publish, but we’re adjusting the Question Time format slightly to accommodate a few more than usual.


“Any song from 2 Live Crew would work.” — Todd Jordan

“‘Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow’ by Frank Zappa. Because that’s the best advice I could give to today’s kids!” — Donald E. Aaron

“‘Shannon’ by Henry Gross on a continuous loop. It might make someone want to trade places with me.” — Brian Platt


“‘October’ by Eric Whitacre. Why? Because it’s a beautiful composition and it replaces what words cannot describe.” — Jessica Kennedy

“‘Some People Change’ by Montgomery Gentry and ‘Three Wooden Crosses’ by Randy Travis. Simply because in my lifetime I’ve done some things I’m not proud of. Some things were taught. Some things learned. Some by my own choices. I struggled with alcohol due to a horrible marriage and divorce for six years, which in turn led to me not seeing my kids and grandchildren. (Again, self-absorbed.) With counseling and these two songs gave me the strength courage and determination to beat it. I now see my family almost daily. I have a wonderful job that I LOVE and am happily married to an amazing man that loves me unconditionally and stood by me through last parts of my alcoholism and encourages and lifts me daily.” — Sandy Seals Beatty

“My husband wanted ‘Stairway to Heaven’ played. And so it did. I cry every time I hear it.” — Pennie Philbrook


“1) Why are you asking that? Weird. 2) The K-Love Radio Station because, it is a positive station that brings tears, laughter and inspiration to me, so maybe it would someone else.” — Salena Catron

“Salena, death is part of life. I don’t understand why it is so taboo. As a nurse, it is so frustrating and saddening to see families have no idea what their loved one wanted in regards to life support care, funeral arrangements etc. We see it every single day. Ignoring it doesn’t make it not real. EVERYONE should talk about their wishes! Don’t wait until they are hooked up to machines to say: ‘We never talked about it, I don’t know what to do.’ As healthcare workers we are obligated to do everything ... and sometimes what we do is much more inhumane than allowing a person to pass with their dignity intact and in peace. I hope this encourages AT LEAST one person to talk to their loved ones about their wishes.” — Tarina Ryan Wills

“This is so weird. We are planning my dad’s funeral right now and picking songs.” — Brandy Riggs

Our answers

“This is a tough question for those of us that love music so much. It’s hard to name just one or two songs that have meant a lot to me when there have been so many. Each part of growing up and growing old has had its own soundtrack, from being a kid to going through high school and college, to raising a family and seeing them begin to grow more independent. If I had to choose one artist at this point in my life, I would say something by U2 would be appropriate to play when I’m gone. They have put together so many great songs and records over the years that you probably can’t go wrong with something by them. Plus, Bono and Co. seem to have a knack for making music that speaks to a higher place and can lift our spirits even in the darkest of times.” — Rodney Ogle

“Don’t care. I’ll be dead.” — Mike Fletcher

“Johnny Cash. Just anything by Johnny Cash.” — Rob Burgess

Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577, via email at rob.burgess@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/robaburg.

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