Mudcat Café message #3146626 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #137536   Message #3146626
Posted By: Anne Neilson
02-May-11 - 03:30 PM
Thread Name: Singing at a funeral
Subject: RE: Singing at a funeral
I was once asked to sing for a friend's funeral. The song we settled on was Ewan MacColl's 'Joy of Living' (vv2 and 3 only) but my guitar accompanist couldn't get time off and I was in terror of not managing it unaccompanied -- so we enlisted a mutual friend with a good home recording outfit, made a tape and gave that to the family instead.
I agree that a personal delivery would have been preferable, but I also felt that a poor or uncertain delivery would be upsetting and distracting for all concerned.
Another time I had to sing at the funeral of the person I admired most in the world, to a very large congregation fortunately well familiar with Mary Brooksbank's 'Jute Mill Song'. I managed the first verse but must have begun to sound a bit wobbly -- and then everyone else just came in, in the most supportive and welcome way. But that was only possible because all the songs chosen for that particular occasion were picked because of their significance for everyone attending.
So a piece of advice I would humbly offer would be to consider something familiar enough to a singing congregation that they can participate if you need to invite them in.
And whatever you do, I'm sure it will mean an immense amount to the family.