Funeral tunes that make me cry — for the wrong reason - New York News

Funeral tunes that make me cry — for the wrong reason

Updated:

By: Jerry Johnston, Deseret News

Years ago at a party, I asked a friend how many people in the room - in her opinion - had a Barry Manilow CD at home.

“Everybody has one,” she said.

I asked around.

It turns out she was the only person in the room who owned one.

I still remember the look on her face.

Her look said, “Please pass me the big, red rubber nose.”

Her look said, “What happened to the world I thought I knew and loved?”

Recently, I found myself in my friend's shoes.

Only my “big, red nose moment" involved funeral songs and religious faith.

I had thought the world and I were waltzing together in perfect step.

Turns out, I was waltzing. The world seems to be doing some crazy mambo.

It started when I found a quiz online. The question said: “Name the Top 10 Funeral Songs Today.”

I decided to take a shot.

I put down “Amazing Grace” first, since I knew that was the most popular hymn in America. Then I added “How Great Thou Art,” “Nearer My God to Thee” and a couple of upbeat, Christian pop anthems I thought the younger set might choose.

Then I checked the list.

What happened to world I thought I knew and loved?

Please pass me the big, red nose.

The top funeral song on the list was Frank Sinatra's “My Way,” a declaration of self-importance and self-interest. Even Sinatra said he hated the song.

Second was “Time to Say Goodbye” - the Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli duet.

Nat Cole's “Unforgettable” was on there. So were “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “The Wind Beneath My Wings.”

There was, indeed, a song associated with the Titanic, but not “Nearer My God to Thee.” The song was “My Heart Will Go On,” performed by Celine Dion.

Apparently at modern funerals, faith had taken a holiday. At modern funerals, the word "heaven" was in bad taste.

I leaned back.

For years, some of my friends have been trying to tell me we live in a "post-Christian” era. I thought they were engaging in wishful thinking.

Now I had to wonder, was I the wishful thinker?

Had everyone else been spirited away in some kind of Secular Humanist Rapture, leaving me behind?

At funerals - times of tremendous longing, love and hope - I found it hard to believe the deepest feelings people today could summon was Sinatra crooning the line:

“I've had my fill, my share of losing,

"And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing.”

What did that say about us?

If our best answer to the blood of our dead soldiers, the tears of heart-broken parents and our own profound grief was Sinatra's amused smile, how jaded had we become?

I knew some of my secular friends saw me as a fuddy-duddy, as a man trapped in the past and given to fantasy, but if the songs I saw on that list were the hallmark of the new "post-Christian America” that awaits us, I knew there was one name my friends could never call me.

They could never call me shallow.

They seemed determined to wear that one themselves.


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Another company to give family free cruise

    Family of 5-year-old with cancer upset with cruise line

    Family of 5-year-old with cancer upset with cruise line

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:52:08 GMT
    A Long Island family is upset that a cruise line won't accommodate them after their 5-year-old son had to have emergency surgery for cancer. Nicolas Colucci and the rest of his family was supposed to go on a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway. They did not buy travel insurance, so Norwegian says they cannot rebook the cruise so close to departure. The CEO of a rival cruise line saw their story and reached out to the Colucci family to offer them a free cruise.
    A Long Island family is upset that a cruise line won't accommodate them after their 5-year-old son had to have emergency surgery for cancer. Nicolas Colucci and the rest of his family was supposed to go on a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway. They did not buy travel insurance, so Norwegian says they cannot rebook the cruise so close to departure. The CEO of a rival cruise line saw their story and reached out to the Colucci family to offer them a free cruise.
  • Hudson River Sloop Clearwater

    Pete Seeger's environmental legacy lives on

    Pete Seeger's environmental legacy lives on

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:16:30 GMT
    American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger's passion for music and the environment embodied who he was every single day of his life. In 1966, Seeger co-founded the organization Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Ever since, Seeger's 106-foot-long sloop, Clearwater, has been sailing up and down the Hudson River to educate and inspire children to protect the environment.
    American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger's passion for music and the environment embodied who he was every single day of his life. In 1966, Seeger co-founded the organization Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Ever since, Seeger's 106-foot-long sloop, Clearwater, has been sailing up and down the Hudson River to educate and inspire children to protect the environment.
  • Eric Garner's family seeks federal probe of police custody death

    Eric Garner's family seeks federal probe of police custody death

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:46 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:46:48 GMT
    Family members of a man who died in police custody, the Rev. Al Sharpton and others met with federal prosecutors Friday to press for an investigation into the death. An amateur video shows a plainclothes police officer placing Garner in what appears be a chokehold last week while arresting him on Staten Island. The 43-year-old Garner can be heard gasping, "I can't breathe!" Chokeholds are banned under New York Police Department policy.
    Family members of a man who died in police custody, the Rev. Al Sharpton and others met with federal prosecutors Friday to press for an investigation into the death. An amateur video shows a plainclothes police officer placing Garner in what appears be a chokehold last week while arresting him on Staten Island. The 43-year-old Garner can be heard gasping, "I can't breathe!" Chokeholds are banned under New York Police Department policy.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices