Recommended Somber Songs of Mourning, Loss and Fond Remembrance:
When a near-and-dear one's depature from this mortal coil leaves you chasing Blue Moons with Bushmills, go all out with the cathartic experience by setting the mood with these expertly picked songs of mortality.
When you need this kind of tune, it's hard to beat REM's Automatic for the People in its entirety. If you don't have the full 45 minutes, a li'l dose of Warren Zevon always does the trick. The brilliant songwriter-singer-pianist was a longtime friend of David Letterman. Shortly before he succumbed to lung cancer, Zevon appeared on Letterman's show a final time. Letterman asked him how the illness grew so bad. Zevon explained that he feared doctors, and he resisted going until he absolutely needed to. "In retrospect," said Zevon, "it's one of those phobias that didn't pay off." If you gotta go, go with a smile.
Feel free to amend, abridge, or deviate from the following order. Most of these cuts will fit onto one CD. And if you're one of the civilized few that still uses cassettes, one UR-90 should git 'r done. While the Scene Music Department would have loved to provide these songs for you on one convenient podcast, we can't, due to complicated legal considerations regarding copyright law (and the fact that we're really busy).
- Warren Zevon, "Roland the Thompson Gunner"*
- Boston, "More Than a Feeling"
- The Highwaymen, "Jim, I Wore a Tie Today"*
- Allison Kraus, et. al, "I'll Fly Away"
- Dropkick Murphys, "Amazing Grace"
- R.E.M., "Sweetness Follows"
- R.E.M., "Try Not to Breathe"
- Johnny Cash, "Father and Son"
- Randy Newman, "Ragtime"*
- Sarah McLachlan, "When She Loved Me" (written by Randy Newman)*
- Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, "It's a Wonderful World/Over the Rainbow"
- Johnny Cash, "Give My Love to Rose"
- Danzig, "Lamenta Lilith"
- Sage Francis, "Jah Didn't Kill Johnny"**
- Cowboy Jack Clements, "Guess Things Happen That Way"
- Mike Ness, "If You Leave This World"
- Johnny Cash, "Like the 309"
- Down, "Stone the Crow"
- James Gang, "Ashes, the Rain and I"
- the Hothouse Flowers, "Home"
- R.E.M., "New Orleans Instrumental #1"
- Dropkick Murphys, "Green Fields of France"*
- Randy Newman, "When She Loved Me" (instrumental)*
- Pink Floyd, "Wish You Were Here"
- Warren Zevon, "Keep Me in Your Heart"
* Contains poignant piano
** May be somewhat goofy, but you'll need a laugh by this point.
If you're not a little weepy two songs in, you're some kind of prick. -- D.X. Ferris