I went to Dave's funeral today. I knew him for over thirty years. For many of those years he was a regular at my local pub.All his working life was spent with Sheffield Council's Parks and Gardens Department. He even lived in the Victorian park keeper's house by the entrance to one of Sheffield's most popular parks. That is where he and his wife raised their three children.
Dave spent all of his working life outdoors and he was not religious in any way so it was fitting that the funeral farewells were said at Apperknowle Natural Burial Ground just beyond the southern limits of this great northern city.
It was a beautiful winter's morning with yet more blue sky and sunshine, the air as still as a painting. The view from Apperknowle over the hills of Derbyshire was so spectacular that I wished I had brought my camera along but of course taking photos at funerals is generally frowned upon.
There were around a hundred and fifty people there to say goodbye. His mortal remains lay in a beautiful basket coffin with an equally beautiful arrangement of flowers on top. One of his sisters delivered a simple eulogy with calm dignity and sororal love.
And all of this was out in the open air before his body was taken to its final resting place - a grave that had been dug in the top corner of the burial ground where an orchard is gradually forming around and from the dead.
Along with "Largo" from Dvorak's New World Sympathy, there were three songs . "Annie's Song" by John Denver, "The Circle of Life" by Elton John and one I did not know - "Something to Someone" by Dermot Kennedy. Have you ever thought about which music or song you would like at your funeral?
Farewell Dave. It was good to have known you my friend.
It sounds like a very nice funeral, fitting for the person and unpretentious.ReplyDelete
I went to funeral a couple of weeks ago where a man I took to be a friend of the bereaved family took photos and video. We all found it acceptable. Maybe you could do a re-think about the camera ?
It just would not fit in with English culture Kylie,Delete
Sounds like it was a good celebration of a decent guy's life. I like the songs they chose for the celebration.ReplyDelete
For your service I would pick, "When the RED RED robin comes bobbing along".Delete
Too funny. I will not be having any celebration.Delete
Dave was a handsome bugger, with a great smile and a twinkle in his eye.ReplyDelete
As for parting songs, yes I have chosen mine: "We'll Meet Again" sung by the incomparable Vera Lynn, to make people cry, and "The Lumberjack Song" by the Monty Python crew, to make people laugh.
I thought the Vera Lynn song was "Whale Meat Again" - presumably about eskimo school dinners.Delete
It sounds like his music and funeral arrangements were very fitting. We said at my late husband's memorial that he would have had the best time at his own service; we had excellent food, interesting memorabilia of his life, a slide show and LOTS of John Denver (his favorite) including our two daughters singing "On the Wings of a Dream." We also did a sing-a-long to Country Roads. It was at a beautiful golf course with a view of Mt. Rainier; he loved golf. I know for sure that I would want Samuel Barber's Adagio at my memorial.ReplyDelete
To hear your daughters singing "On the Wings of a Dream" must have been such a lovely thing to witness. I must investigate Samuel Barber's Adagio right now.Delete
Oh yes. I have of course heard that before. It is beautiful and so very appropriate for a funeral. It seems to speak of both the wonder of human life and the tragedy of its ending.Delete
I've never heard of that song and don't have a clue what I would like played at my funeral. Dave's funeral sounds lovely and simple.ReplyDelete
How about "Old Man River"? For "Man", "Woman" could be inserted.Delete
For those who are left behind, a funeral feels good when it fits the person they say good-bye to. As our Dad's funeral and his bird marker in the flock of birds gravesite fitted him perfectly, Dave's fit him.ReplyDelete
While nobody took pictures at the actual event, the next day O.K. and I went back and took pictures of the beautiful wreaths and flower arrangements, and of Dad's bird with the small heart-shaped flower arrangement underneath that the florist made to represent my Mum, my sister and me.
It sounds as if Dave will be sorely missed by many, including the other regulars at the pub.
The hard core of regulars has diminished with the passing years, Not all died, some just drifted away. Good that you took photographs of your dad's resting place the next day.Delete
My funeral song: Those Were the Days, My Friend.ReplyDelete
The Mary Hopkin version? She is still very much alive at 72 years old.Delete
A fitting send off it seems.ReplyDelete
I shall have to think about my funeral plans at some stage I suppose but I keep putting it off.
How about "The Birdie Song"?Delete
A very fitting farewell to a valued friend. Judging by the numbers attending his funeral, he was a man well liked.ReplyDelete
He was a pleasant, straightforward man and a keen supporter of Sheffield United - but I didn't hold that against him.Delete
I had to attend my Mum's funeral by video link during the COVID years. Quite a few funeral directors are providing a video link service now it seemsReplyDelete
I am sorry that you had to say goodbye to her like that Tigger.Delete
I expect Dave was quite a looker when he was young.ReplyDelete
I've thought a little about my funeral music. I want to make people cry with the aria from La Wally and then make them laugh as they leave the place of service with Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye.
Drunkenly R and I at the gay venue Pokeys leaning on 'Mary's' grand piano we sang 'It's a sin to tell a lie' together when we first met. Kind of our song. How to slip that into a funeral service, let alone a track to indicate Auntie Andrew wasn't always so boring. I am thinking Paris to Berlin.
How to combine all of that?
I don't know 'It's a sin to tell a lie' . I must google it.Delete
I just listened to it - performed by Vera Lynn. Lovely but I am not sure about the accompanying organ music.Delete
Condolences on the loss of your friend. As for funeral songs, I have no idea what I'd want played at mine. There's something to think about as I sip my coffee this morning...ReplyDelete
How about "Jennifer Juniper" by Donovan?Delete
Parisienne Walkways - Gary Moore would be my funeral send off song.ReplyDelete
For me it would be "Farewell, Farewell" by Fairport Convention with Sandy Denny singing.Delete
Farewell to Dave. It's good you could attend the service. I'm not sure I even want a funeral, but I've considered "Goodnight" by the Beatles.ReplyDelete
I thought I knew just about every song The Beatles ever recorded but I do not believe that I ever heard that one before.Delete
"Thunder Road" by Bruce Springsteen.ReplyDelete
Dave was a fine-looking man.
I often saw Dave driving around in park vehicles including ride-on lawn mowers. He was gentle and thoughtful and had a distinctive look about him.Delete
I won't be having a funeral but I hope some cheerful, upbeat songs will be played at a gathering for my friends and family. One song my family knows is a favourite is Led Zeppelin's, 'D'yer Mak'er'. I played it almost daily on my old turntable before heading off for high school 45 years ago. It always pumped me up. It still has that effect on me the rare time it comes over the radio.ReplyDelete
I can't say I have ever heard that song before but I am listening to it as I type this comment... "Baby please don't go" - a bit too late if you have already gone.Delete
My 'gathering' attendees will be singing "Baby, please don't go" while tears stream down their faces. Perfect! You reminded me I've chosen a good one.Delete
Maybe you will witness the scene from your heavenly vantage point with your halo glowing.Delete
I don't want a funeral.ReplyDelete
Sorry to say this Ellen but all of us have to die!Delete
A beautiful tribute. My condolences are offered.ReplyDelete
And gratefully received. He was 66 like my younger brother who died last July.Delete
A great honor, to an honorable man.ReplyDelete
I guess he lived a simple and rather unremarkable life but such men and women are the backbone of any country.Delete
I have waited for what people choose as their final music. But my one song always resonates with the complexities of the natural world I live in. The trouble is I would be dead and couldn't listen to it! But I had it for Paul's service, and it is called 'I'll Find My Way Home' by Jon and Vangelis. Perhaps it is the fragmentation of the photos on the video who knows.ReplyDelete
As the congregation enters I would like Barber's Adagio for Strings. As the curtain closes I've asked my beloved to have Don't Stop Me Now (Queen). Haven't yet decided on the exit music. Hey ho. Onwards and upwards (I hope).ReplyDelete
It is not obligatory to have a funeral service.ReplyDelete
I've been to many funerals and the music is so emotional.
Songs I've heard include:
Time to say Goodbye (Sarah Brightman)
Numerous songs by Johnny Cash
My way by Frank Sinatra
Another brick in the wall by Pink Floyd
(my best friend's husband who was a builder)
Various classical music pieces including Wagner for my late husband
A lovely Tribute Post to your Friend, my condolences, it's hard to lose those who've been a big part of our lives.ReplyDelete