Funeral Songs

January 8, 2009

As I mentioned a few days ago, Andrea and I went to a funeral last week.  It reminded me that Andrea and I have had several conversations about funeral songs over the years.

There are good ones, bad ones, and overused ones. 

Andrea wants Kimberly Hoy to sing I Can Only Imagine at her funeral, and she wants Amazing Grace played on the bagpipes.  I’m not sure what I want.  Nothing overused.  No canned karaoke music.  No organ.

So, I’ve compiled a list of funeral songs that I’ve seen or heard about or that I’m merely suggesting.  There are some good ones and some less stellar ones, so I’ve also added my comments for your reading pleasure. 

Please chime in with your ideas or thoughts.

The list got kind of long as I worked on it for several days and asked a few people for suggestions…

  • I Can Only Imagine – Mercy Me (Getting to be overused?)
  • In Better Hands – Natalie Grant (Not my style, but a great funeral song.)
  • Thank You – Ray Boltz (So 1980’s…  I would strongly advise against not using it.)
  • The Dance – Garth Brooks (If you’re into that sort of thing; I’m not.)
  • Hello Again – Petra (This song could be pretty appropriate.  I only want it at my funeral if John Schlitt will come and sing it!)
  • See You In Heaven – Guardian (I played this at a funeral last year.  Great song!)
  • Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler (I’ve threatened to come back and haunt my wife as a poltergeist for the rest of her life if she has someone sing this at my funeral.  I loathe Bette Midler!)
  • Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf (Only appropriate at biker funerals.)
  • Amazing Grace (It’s a classic.  Bagpipes get bonus points.)
  • Because He Lives (This hymn is used a lot, but I wouldn’t vote for it.)
  • Home – Daughtry (Andrea’s vote for the perfect funeral song.)
  • Love You ‘Til the End – The Pogues (Andrea wants this one at my funeral.  Nice touch!  I’d be okay with that.)
  • In the Garden (A classic hymn.  I think my grandmother once told me that my grandfather wants this at his funeral.)
  • Candle In the Wind – Elton John (Only if you’re a princess…)
  • Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Greenday (An excellent choice!)
  • Who Wants to Live Forever – Queen  (Hmmm… Not sure if it would work or not.)
  • In the Blink of an Eye – Mercy Me (My wife’s suggestion; I can’t stand the song personally.)
  • Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton (That would be a tough one to pull off…)
  • Come to Jesus – Chris Rice  (My wife’s suggestion.)
  • Go Rest High on That Mountain – Vince Gill (A good one for you country fans.)
  • Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone) – Cinderella (My friend Dawn says this was used in her brother’s funeral.)
  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Monty Python (Hmmm…  Probably not.)
  • There Will Be a Day – Jeremy Camp (Not a big Jeremy Camp fan, but this could work…)

For more funeral song ideas… check out, this article about an Australian funeral provider, and this post on The Best and Worst Funeral Songs.

And finally, thanks go out to Andrea, Heather, Dawn, and Clara for their suggestions.

Please add a comment with your thoughts on the list or any other funeral song ideas you have!


Sunday Setlist …. December 28, 2008

December 29, 2008

I’m a little late to the Sunday Setlist party, but I’m sure you’ll get over it.

I wasn’t sure of my holiday travel schedule originally, so I made myself unavailable for Sunday.  We did end up making it back to Wichita because Andrea had to work in the nursery.

So yesterday, I joined the other worshippers in the audience.  Here is the setlist from GracePoint.

Break Free is a great rocker from Hillsong.  I was slightly disgusted when Gil actually started to dance during the instrumental break…  I have an appointment with my therapist on Thursday.

Sing to the King seems to have become a regular in the setlists.  Again… a great song.

Better is One Day hasn’t shown up in a while.  I really like the Kutless arrangement except for the fact that they repeat the first verse twice.  When Petra recorded it, they used a 2ndverse.  (I don’t know who wrote the verse originally.)  Petra also had some awesome harmonies…  We usually add in the 2nd verse, but I honestly don’t remember which way the band did it Sunday.

“One thing I ask and I would seek
To see your beauty
To find you in the place your glory dwells”

Also, we play it a half step higher than recorded to avoid detuning guitars…

Give You Glory also hasn’t shown up in a while.  I know a lot of people really like it, but I can’t make myself like it.  I think it drags on and on at the end.  I’m not much of a Jeremy Camp fan either…  Carlos’ bass solo was very cool though.

Best of You has been tossed around a lot over the last few years but I don’t think it’s ever actually made it in the setlist until this week.  The band rocked this one pretty good.  Gil screamed his lungs out.

Who Will Save Your Soul was also new this week.  Christina has been singing it with her band for a while, but Edge of Grace has never used it.  She nailed it.  Good song!

Sunday Setlist … November 16, 2008

November 16, 2008

Since my blogging hiatus is officially over, I thought I’d participate in Fred McKinnon’s Sunday Setlist mania.  So here goes…

Today’s setlist at GracePoint:

  • Understand by Jeremy Camp (pre-service walk in song)
  • Break Free by Hillsong
  • I Am Free by Desperation Band/Newsboys
  • Your Grace is Enough by Chris Tomlin
  • Salvation is Here by Hillsong
  • Rise Above This by Seether (offering)

It was a fun Sunday.  I pulled out my Breedlove acoustic mandolin this week, and I realized just how much more hand strength it takes to play than my electric.  I’ve barely touched it in the last 6 months and it shows.  My left hand is still sore from this morning.

Today was a no-practice week, due to a scheduling conflict.  But it turned out pretty good anyway.  The songs were fairly familiar to everyone, and everyone playing this week has been around a while.  That being said… I had never actually played Salvation is Here or Rise Above This before.

That’s particularly surprising considering that this was the sixth time we’ve used Salvation is Here in church according to Planning Center Online.  You may (or may not) recall that I even blogged about the song back in April…

It’s really a treat to get to play with such talented musicians.  Next week it’s back to the FOH mixer.

Carlos Santana on Changing the World Through Music

September 22, 2008

My dad saw Santana in concert last week in OKC.  He sent me a link to an article in the Daily Oklahoman.

This quote jumped out at me:

“… if we can bring music, which we will do our best to do, that would allow people to look at each other through the eyes of Christ. Then there will be more kindness, compassion, patience, understanding, sweetness, all the things that are missing right now because there’s too much fear on TV, too much anger, people each other and fighting each other.”

As a musician, that is quite a mission – to change people’s lives with our music.

L.A. Music

September 5, 2008

In honor of my upcoming trip to the Los Angeles area, I thought I’d compile a list of songs about L.A. and California.

  • California Girls by The Beach Boys
  • Hotel California by The Eagles
  • Los Angeles by the Counting Crows
  • California by Hawk Nelson
  • Dani California by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • California Sun by The Ramones
  • California Justice by Five For Fighting
  • California Dreamin’ by The Mamas and The Papas

What am I missing?  Leave a comment.

Not A Typical Day at GracePoint…

August 17, 2008

My church, GracePoint, is in the middle of an 80’s themed series right now.  “Big Hair, Bad Debt, Good Music!”

What makes this series so “special” at GP, is that most of the guys in the band previously played in two different 80’s cover bands.  They loved life in the 80’s, and enjoy reminiscing with the rest of us… Today, they went a little nuts and wore appropriate 80’s attire.

Thanks to Kelly Martin (proud wife of the bass player who looks a little like Olivia Newton John in the videos), you too can experience the 80’s at GracePoint.

First up is Living on a Prayer, complete with Tommy rockin’ the Talk Box and Mike doing his best Bon Jovi impression.

Yes I realize that Salvation is Here is a modern song, but Kelly posted the video on youtube too.  Great job on the bass solo Jeff!

Jeff, I really am sorry about the ONJ comment.  It’s just that someone made a comment that they were expecting the band into “Physical”.

Controversy over church music is nothing new

July 13, 2008

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post by Dan Kimball over at the Vintage Faith blog.  Dan writes about the controversy surrounding the introduction of the organ into church music.  According to one of the commenters, it took hundreds of years for the organ to be widely accepted.  Electric guitars and drum kits aren’t taking nearly that long…

There’s also a few interesting letters written by people protesting the introduction of the songs “Just As I Am” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”. 

Simply hilarious. Don’t forget to read the comments too.

Thanks to Stephen Barry for pointing it out.