mudcat.org: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


I have to sing at Granny's Funeral

Janie 02 Nov 04 - 07:50 PM
skipy 02 Nov 04 - 07:59 PM
Liz the Squeak 02 Nov 04 - 08:10 PM
katlaughing 02 Nov 04 - 08:12 PM
Clinton Hammond 02 Nov 04 - 08:16 PM
Jeri 02 Nov 04 - 08:29 PM
Morticia 02 Nov 04 - 09:19 PM
Janie 02 Nov 04 - 10:22 PM
Jeri 02 Nov 04 - 10:44 PM
open mike 03 Nov 04 - 01:59 AM
Wilfried Schaum 03 Nov 04 - 03:28 AM
Cats at Work 03 Nov 04 - 04:53 AM
breezy 03 Nov 04 - 04:54 AM
Nick 03 Nov 04 - 06:02 AM
Rain Dog 03 Nov 04 - 06:54 AM
Janie 03 Nov 04 - 08:51 AM
Big Mick 03 Nov 04 - 09:23 AM
Tannywheeler 03 Nov 04 - 11:07 AM
M.Ted 03 Nov 04 - 12:17 PM
Joybell 03 Nov 04 - 05:21 PM
KT 04 Nov 04 - 01:36 AM
Cats 04 Nov 04 - 05:36 PM
skipy 04 Nov 04 - 06:16 PM
Joybell 04 Nov 04 - 06:21 PM
Janie 04 Nov 04 - 06:51 PM
Ferrara 04 Nov 04 - 08:34 PM
Susan A-R 04 Nov 04 - 10:46 PM
Little Robyn 05 Nov 04 - 07:17 PM
karen k 05 Nov 04 - 11:26 PM
Janie 12 Nov 04 - 10:31 AM
GUEST 12 Nov 04 - 11:40 AM
Cats 12 Nov 04 - 12:25 PM
Joybell 12 Nov 04 - 05:29 PM
Janie 14 Nov 04 - 03:05 PM
KT 14 Nov 04 - 03:11 PM
Big Mick 14 Nov 04 - 06:35 PM
Peace 14 Nov 04 - 06:59 PM
Janie 14 Nov 04 - 08:21 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Janie
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 07:50 PM

My 95 year old grandmother died this weekend, and I am going to sing "Come Thou Fount" a capella at the memorial service in mid November. I need some tips for not choking up during the song so that I can't sing. I don't feel particularly grief stricken. She is at peace now and the quality of her life had been zilch for the last 3 or 4 years. In addition, I haven't been close to her in 30 years, since she moved to Florida. But I am sure that in the context of the church and the service that I will be prone to weep a little. And this song has a lot of emotion attached to it for me and my family. I want to do a good job.

Any tips or ideas are appreciated.

Janie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: skipy
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 07:59 PM

I seem to be the first person to have read this message, I am probably the worst person to try & give advice!
But the way I see it:- practice, practice , practice & then practice again.
"spot" on something, that is to say find a point in the venue & focus on it, be it a flower or a door handle, keep looking at it & pretend it is in your bathroom & you are just practicing.
Run it past a few of your friends who will be there, so that they are not hearing it for the first time.
Good luck with this, I am sure more help will come your way.

Regards Skipy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 08:10 PM

Try and find a spot to sing from where you can be heard but not seen. Finding a focus spot and singing to that rather than watching others will help.

I've sung at funerals a couple of times now, and both times, one or other of these methods has prevented any 'wobbles' until I was finished.

Keep a bottle of water nearby for sipping too... helps with the lump in the throat and dry mouth.

Good luck.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 08:12 PM

Also, try to keep your mind clear and focussed on your performance, but NOT the emotions of the song, church, and those the mourners will be experiencing. I find I can do okay if I don't let the emotions creep in when trying to sing or read. It's not easy, esp. for a relative. Best of luck to you.

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 08:16 PM

You could also record it before hand... Not the most personal of options, but it might be the 'safest'

best of luck eh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 08:29 PM

This was somebody people loved, even if you didn't have much contact in recent years. You'll look at those people sitting there, and remember when you were samll. You'll see people cry, and maybe you'll sniffle a bit.

Nerves will actually help you not 'lose it', but it doesn't sound like you're in danger of a complete breakdown anyway. Don't be afraid of a tear or two, though. If you tear up, pause and let it go, close your eyes and breathe, then start again. Not one person who'll be hearing you will think less of you for it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Morticia
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 09:19 PM

was just about to say what Jeri said, but much better than I could.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Janie
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 10:22 PM

And she was someone I loved too, Jeri, though you couldn't tell that from my earlier post.

Janie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 10:44 PM

Janie, sorry - I didn't mean to imply you didn't love her. I've been sticking my foot in my mouth all day. The sentence should have started, "this was somebody people, including you, loved, even if you didn't have much contact in recent years." I could tell you loved her, or you wouldn't be worried about crying. I also believe you're a loving person.

From my own experience with my mom, I somehow thought that because I was living a distance away for a long time and knew how sick she was, losing her wouldn't be as bad. Maybe it wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it was still very hard.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: open mike
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 01:59 AM

I have sung at funerals and memorial services more and more lately..
sometimes the tears come and are appropriate, and everyone will under-
stand....and they will probably be right along with you...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 03:28 AM

Janie - leave it to someone else who didn't know your granny. From own experience let me tell you: I have seen so many people die, held some speeches for good friends at the grave, and mostly handled them well mastering my grief. And then - suddenly - the last time I was overwhelmed by grief and had to pause till my tears stopped. This goes well with a speech, but not with a song. You can't stop it and start again.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Cats at Work
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 04:53 AM

If I have a emotional problem with a song I make sure I have sung it so many times beforehand that you can sing 'through'. i.e. almost in a mechanical way, it's just another song for the very short while it takes. You no longer have to worry about the words, you are able to blank your mind off for the short while it takes to get through it... and then come the tears in huge waves. One of the most courageous singers I have seen recently was a friend when she sang at the funeral of her husband who died unexpectedly and at a young age. Again she sang 'through' the song and there was not a tear until afterwards - everyone else was in tears though! Good Luck


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: breezy
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 04:54 AM

Good job its a Grannie or you could have done The Funeral Song

I'm sure you'll be fine.

my condolences


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Nick
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 06:02 AM

My father recently died and my mother decided to speak at the funeral rather than have someone who knew him less do it. From that I would say that the most difficult bit is starting rather than keeping going. The first few sentences that she uttered were enormously emotional and shaky and I reckon most of us thought that she wouldn't make it through, but once she got over the beginning it seemed easier and she was able to get through.

Once you get going I would guess you will be ok so perhaps concentrate on the first few lines?

Good luck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Rain Dog
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 06:54 AM

I am very sorry to hear about your loss

Along with all the helpful suggestions that people have already mentioned, you might find these previous postings helpful


Singing through the tears


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Janie
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 08:51 AM

Thanks so much for the many useful ideas. In particular, I think drilling myself on the song so that I can go on "automatic" and focusing on an object may do the trick. I also like the idea of standing where I am heard, but not where I am watching and being watched by everyone. There will probably be no one but family there, although it is a large family, and reminding myself that singing for a religious service is not a "performance" (I am not a performer) will help to keep my own ego out of it some, and may help keep the anxiety down.

A bit of thread creep to pay tribute to my grandmother. She was born and raised in the coal fields in West Virginia. Her husband was killed in a mining accident in 1938 when my mother was age 9. She had a 16 day old baby at the time. She vowed that none of her sons would go down in the mines. She left her kids with my great
grandparents and went to Huntington WV to go to beautician school. When she finished her training she went to work and soon brought the entire family out of the coal fields, her parents and sisters and brothers as well as her kids. She never made much money, but she kept the family together and gave her kids better opportunities than she ever had. She was loads of fun and always on the go. When she took her false teeth out she could bend up her chin and touch the tip of her nose with it. Quite an impressive trick to all of us grandkids. She was outspoken to the point of inadvertent rudeness.

I didn't appreciate how tough her life was until I tried to get her to go see the movie Maitewan when it came out. I though she would really enjoy it since it was about the area and the times in which she grew up and where she lived until her 30's. She flat refused to go. Said she did not want to be reminded of those troubled times.

She had really bright blue eyes that literally twinkled.

Love you Granny.

Janie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 09:23 AM

Janie, I have had experience at this. It will be tough, no matter how you prepare yourself. The best advice is to practice this song until you almost can't stand to sing it. When singing, turn to your inward self, and focus very hard on the interpretation of the song. The idea of a focal point other than a person works very well, but be a bit careful that you don't go clinical.

Singing from the part of you that loved this woman, the sharing of the love, not the grief, that is what will carry you.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 11:07 AM

Janie, It can be done. Hang tough.

When my cousin's 6-year-old daughter died in a traffic accident, he asked me to sing a lullaby that is particular to our family. It's a version of "All The Pretty Little (or Whole Heap O' Little) Ponies". Mother, sometime transcriber/secretarial right arm to American folklorists, said she'd never run across another similar version of the several lullaby "families" she had worked with. I had made the mistake of saying, when the news about the child's death had come, "Anything I can do to help -- any way you feel I could..." Automatic response, right? That's what they asked for. The first service was at the little funeral home. I had been placed with the family, and when my cousin took my arm and placed me to sing I was 3ft. from the casket and looking straight at it. (6-yr-olds have SMALL boxes.) Not conducive, to put it mildly. I struggled thru about the first 2 lines, stopped, repositioned myself to look at some of the others in the funeral home chapel that I didn't know. I got thru without falling apart. The next morning at the church service, I lucked out. This was a German Catholic "Painted" church in the little Hill-Country town this cousin and his family lived in. These are kept up by their founders' descendants, the art work being refreshed on a regular basis. I was in the choir loft, close to the decorated arches of the ceiling. I told myself the song was just sounds in the air, and focused on the beautiful, artistic detail work around me.   Easier, smoother than the night before.

So find a way to psych yourself to get through. Nobody's gonna be able to give you a trick to make it easy. It's one of those odd, awful moments you will be able to have satisfaction in (that you participated to help the family) as life goes on. Promise.    Tw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: M.Ted
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 12:17 PM

Janie,

I couldn't do it--I cry at everything. I love your little tribute--she seemed a wonderful and strong person--maybe you could work it into a song--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Joybell
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 05:21 PM

Yes I've managed it too, Janie. Nothing much to add to the excellent advice above. The one option I would not want to take is to have someone else do it for me, but it's a personal decision. I am moved to tears by all sorts of songs - not necessarily sad ones, but I've never cried while singing in this situation. I think I use Big Mick's method (and others have mentioned it) of NOT involving myself in the song as I usually do. You can sing it in your head at other times for your Granny, and it won't matter if you cry. She would understand. Good luck, Janie. Joy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: KT
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 01:36 AM

Janie, my condolences to you in the loss of your Granny. She sounds like a terrific, strong woman. And she lives on in you!

There's a lot of great advice up above. I try to go with detaching just enough to be able to get through it, but not so much that it has no meaning for me......It's a very fine line, really. I try not to look at anyone in particular, until I am sure I can. And I pray for help in getting through it so that those who are there are served to the best of my ability. That said, I never know how it's going to turn out. It's never easy.

If you can sing it a few times beforehand, for some family members, it will help to take some of the edge off of the raw emotion.

No matter what happens, it will be okay. Tears born of love are gifts themselves.

All the best,

KT


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Cats
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 05:36 PM

Grannies are really amazing people and it is so sad that we never know enough about them until they are gone. Perhaps we ought to have a thread called, 'What did your Granny do?' My Granny was a suffragette and you can bet anything you like that she'll be out there welcoming your Granny and showing her all the best places to go to and people to meet. Your Granny sounds amazing and so strong. Just make her proud of you and she'll love you for it .. so will my Granny.

xx


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: skipy
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 06:16 PM

So cats, Don't just say "perhaps" - do it! Do it NOW!

Will it include Grand dads as well?

Skipy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Joybell
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 06:21 PM

Cats, that's a great idea. My Granny was a spiritulist and a Christian preacher so she'll be there somewhere either in Summerland or Heaven, proud and happy.
Janie when you've sung for your Granny would you start a thread, in honour of all our Grannies, along the line that Cats is suggesting? Or Cats, maybe you would like to start it. Either way - meet you there. Joy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Janie
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 06:51 PM

Great idea!

Janie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Ferrara
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 08:34 PM

Janie, Your grandmom sounds like a true treasure. You're lucky to have known her.

I had to sing for my friend Linda Lieberman, it was a song I wrote for her after her death. The first thing I did was sing it as often as I could ahead of time, for friends who knew her. I did my crying then. The best piece of advice was "Rita, you will be singing this for the other people who are there. A lot of people may cry while you are singing it, but You can not cry. You are there for them." It was what I needed to hold in my mind.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Susan A-R
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 10:46 PM

Janie, I'm sorry to hear about your granny, it's never easy. I've sung at friend's memorial services, and find that its important for me to pick my timing, if there's a chunk of silence while I get my breathing together, that's fine.

Just think about singing in the Mudcat cabin at the getaway and you'll be fine.

Susan A-R


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Little Robyn
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 07:17 PM

Just don't look at the faces of the crying people - we sang a farewell song at a Dave Jordan memorial concert recently and I was doing fine until I looked up and saw the tears streaming down his friend's faces. That nearly finished me. I had to bite my lip and think of something totally different, just to get through.
They all loved it tho'.
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: karen k
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 11:26 PM

Janie,
I'm just seeing this for the first time. My condolences for your loss. Granny's are special people. My thoughts are with you, your family and your granny. I wish I knew her. Maybe I do, just a little since I know you. You will do just fine.

love,
karen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Janie
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 10:31 AM

Well, I'm flying out today for the service tomorrow. Thanks again to all of you for what should be some very useful tips. If they don't work, it will be beacause I didn't implement them very well. I'll let you know how it went when I get back home.

Janie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 11:40 AM

There are some very good tips in this thread. We are preparing for my mother's death as I write this, from cancer. I will not be singing at her memorial service, but doing a recitation, and possibly the eulogy. However, my kids and the other grandkids will be singing at the service, so we've already been rehearsing.

The "rules of thumb" (there are some) for getting though the emotions to deliver the sort of speaking or singing performance you want to deliver to honor your loved one aren't universal in the sense that "one always does A, B, C". However, there are definitely rules of thumb to follow that are pretty much the same as performing when you are super nervous about a performance that is really important to YOU as opposed to being nervous about a performance that isn't personal to you and your loved ones.

I agree with whomever it was who said it is just as common to falter when speaking as it is with singing in these circumstances, and the the beginning is most often the "shaky" part for most people. So I find rehearsing the song by really hitting the first few lines hard with a lot of "oomph" power gets nearly everyone through that part, and then they do fine. I learned this trick many years ago from my high school choir teacher, and it's never failed me, whether I am speaking or singing in any setting.

BTW, this doesn't mean that you necessarily sing loud or bold or anything like that. This is a mental trick of the trade, it is how you mentally "go in strong" and push yourself into performing to get through the beginning shakes. It is pretty rare, in my experience, for singers especially, to falter once the song is well underway, because then it is over before you even know it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Cats
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 12:25 PM

Good Luck, Janie. Thinking of you,

Cats
xx


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Joybell
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 05:29 PM

Yes from me too Janie. Good Luck. Joy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Janie
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 03:05 PM

Well, as it turns out, I did cry, but not until the last verse, and by then everyone else was crying. I knew I was going to have trouble when I saw the program. They called it the "farewell to Granny" and it was immediately after the eulogy at the very end of the service. It also happened to be my dead sister's birthday, and a song that she had chosen for her own funeral. When I started singing that last verse...

Then we'll walk the streets of the City
With our loved ones gone before
And we'll sit on the banks of the river
Never to depart no more

...the tears just started flowing. I sang through them and managed to stay on pitch, if a bit strangled, and it really was a perfect song with which to end a beautifully done memorial service. From start to finish it was a wonderful celebration of my grandmother's 97 years of life. She would have absolutely loved it! There were something like 42 of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, siblings, cousins, neices and nephews who traveled to Sarasota to say our last goodbyes.

All the great advice I got here really helped me keep it together until that last little bit--and as I indicated above, by then, it was OK to cry.

Hugs and kisses to all of you.

Janie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: KT
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 03:11 PM

Ah, Janie, your Granny's proud! You blessed everyone there with your music and your tears!
Love,
KT


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 06:35 PM

Well done, Dear Sister. Your wonderful heart comes shining through. I can see your beautiful face as you sang. Condolences to you and Annie, I wish I could be there to hug you.

For those that haven't had the pleasure of our friend's company, I must tell you that she sinks into the music. I love watching her at song circles as she listens with her heart to the music.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Peace
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 06:59 PM

Good on yer, Janie. Good on yer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I have to sing at Granny's Funeral
From: Janie
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 08:21 PM

Dear Guest of 11/12,

May all of you feel that are you are surrounded by love and light as you walk together through this time.

Janie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 25 February 6:33 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.