Bad Playlists

Which of these songs is the worst pick for your funeral?

August 21, 2017
Paul Natkin Archive
Paul NatkinFreddie Mercury of Queen on 9/19/80 in Chicago, Il. (Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage)

No matter your background, heritage or history, I think we can all agree that, when it comes to funerals, the worst part is planning the music. Untold amounts of time are spent with family members gathered around a solemn meetingplace, hands folded, heads down, everyone wondering the same thing: What are going to do about the sick beats?

Apparently, Twitter does this, because Twitter is full of terrible people, and as such Twitter last week assembled a list of Very Bad Songs to Play at Your Funeral. But what makes a song truly bad for a funeral? Isn’t there a gray area involved here? And who’s to say one person’s “Sunrise Sunset” isn’t another person’s “Free Bird?” (Look, I lived in Jacksonville for like a year, things are different there.) To that end, a few humble thoughts on Twitter’s worst-ever funeral songs. (Incidentally, at my funeral, please just play GNR’s “Don’t Cry” on repeat — the one from “Use Your Illusion I” NOT “II.” That’s very important.)

“The Final Countdown” - Europe

Pro: Epic. Dramatic. Powerful. Plus, your aunt will recognize it from that insurance commercial, so you’ll have something to talk about for 15 seconds.

Con: Tough to get timed fireworks to shoot off around an indoor casket.

“Another One Bites the Dust” - Queen

Pro: Yeah, I know, but I have at least 12 relatives who would find this hilarious.

Con: As ironic funeral songs go, it’s a little on-the-nose. Generally speaking, satire works best when there’s a little angle on it, so obviously that goes double for when you’re trying to be hilarious in a funeral home. Maybe try a little bit of a deeper-cut Queen selection, like “I Want to Break Free,” or maybe “Tie Your Mother Down”?

“Let’s All Go to the Lobby” - Every drive-in movie theater in the ‘70s

Pro: No idea how this ended up on Twitter’s list, and it might be a little zippy for a funeral, but on the plus side, it might encourage people to actually go to the funeral home lobby, which is where they have mints and a water fountain.

Con: You’ll have this stuck in your head the whole time you’re kneeling next to an open casket.

“Peanut Butter Jelly Time” - The Internet In 2002

Pro: You can mix your nostalgia for good times with the deceased with nostalgia for the internet before it was ruined by all the very bad humans.

Con: Hard to feel appropriately sad with the whole room getting down.

“Cold as Ice” - Foreigner

Pro: There are worse things that turning your funeral into the drive-time non-stop rock block on 105.9 Milwaukee’s Classic Rock Station.

Con: If you accidentally get the music stuck on a Foreigner playlist, your funeral is gonna suck.

“Ice Ice Baby” - Vanilla Ice

Pro: Come to think of it, this is preferable to Foreigner. Is Vanilla Ice preferable to Foreigner? Now there’s something I’ve never previously considered.

Con: Not as good as “Ninja Rap”.

“I Think We’re Alone Now” - Tiffany

Pro: All the older folks will recognize the original; the only-slightly-less older will recognize Tiffany.

Con: When everyone gets into fistfights about which version is better.

“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” - Wham!

Pro: Come on, this would be super-fun! Bonus points if you show up in CHOOSE LIFE shirts.

Con: You’d have to start mourning George Michael too, and that would be distracting.


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