A Happy Little Post About Death Music*

I love lists, and I love making mix tapes. Therefore, I keep a list of songs that are to be played upon my death. It’s on my phone in the memo app, if needed. It’s right next to my long list of possible future pet names and the shorter list titled “ugly dudes that are actually hot.”

Super macabre? Whatever, we’re all heading there at some point, right? Too controlling? Maybe. But it will be up to someone else if the songs are played at my service or at the after-party.

I’ve thought of burning a few CDs, labeled with “do not play until I die”, and giving them to people I can torture beyond the grave.

Should I play this CD of mom’s death songs? It’s so sad I don’t want to listen to it; is that disrespectful? Will she haunt me? 


I have gone ahead and chosen the songs I want my loved ones to associate with me, or with death in general. I’ll be an earworm zombie. Most of the songs bring me to tears now, just thinking about my (hopefully far off) demise and how sad everyone else will be thinking about the songs after my death.

Some selections are meant to be funny, and I hope everyone gets that. My dark sense of humor doesn’t always translate. I get that from my mom. Come to think of it she would actually really dig this list, I suppose all the more if it wasn’t affiliated with her daughter’s future death.

I am procrastinating on writing a short story with a working title of The Eulogist. The eulogist is a woman who eulogizes people for a living, and one of the themes that keeps popping up is how much people (or –ahem, perhaps I) may want to control after their death, beyond their last wishes: what is said about them, what food is served at their service, who is allowed to attend, what people should wear, what music should play, etc.

All I care about is the music.

Here is a link to my death song playlist on Spotify and an incomplete sampling of my ever evolving list. If you have a song I should add to my list let me know in the comments.

Once in a Lifetime – Talking Heads

Dirt – Phish

Amazing Grace – ONLY the Rod Stewart version from Every Picture Tells a Story

I’ll Follow You Into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie

So much Dawes: All Your Favorite Bands/A Little Bit of Everything/We’re All Gonna Die

So much Cat Stevens: The Wind/Trouble/Miles From Nowhere/If You Want to Sing Out

Lazarus – David Bowie (duh)

Just the piano part at the end of Layla by Derek and the Dominoes

My Sweet Lord – George Harrison

Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue

Knocking on Heaven’s Door – ONLY the Guns n’ Roses version from Use Your Illusion

[Straight to Your Heart] Like a Cannonball – Van Morrison


*I am not sick, nor actively dying (to my knowledge.) I just think about the big questions a lot. Plus, I recently turned 40. You know how it works.


2 thoughts on “A Happy Little Post About Death Music*”

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