That’s the name of one of my favourite playlists on my iPod. Requiem for a Drama Queen (me). I’m just sayin’…
Being of reasonably sound mind I blog/elaborate as follows:
Music, and quite a variety, too, has always been a big part of my life.So on this day when I’m feeling the weight of another chest cold descending upon me, combined with the levity of the upper octaves of bi-polar II (one seems to be balancing the other), I present this playlist with the bonus feature of some narrative explanations not programmed into the mp3 software.
A few caveats:
The order for the real occasion in question has not been determined. Maybe that should be left to the shuffle technology of the day.
Some of this music may be too long, and certainly superfluous. It is not all meant to be played, sung or performed at whatever memorial service may take place upon my death.
This brings me to another idea (which I should make sure those looking after my affairs are aware of).My estate will probably have very little money to distribute to worthy causes so I would like this music, and readings, and other artistic ideas, to be part of a commemorative fundraiser of some sort. Make an evening of it, raise lots of money for causes you know I support, and have a good time!
The reasons for some of the choices in this playlist will be self-evident.They may make you roll your eyes but each has some meaning to me. The lyrics are very important, in some cases, and it may be simply the tune in other instances. I think you’ll know what I mean.
So here – again, in no particular order – is da list.
1. Return to Gaia (from Missa Gaia/Earth Mass) by Paul Winter
–A local saxophonist like Kenny Kirkwood, combined with the pipe organ magic of someone like Brad Ratzlaff, could really pull this off. It would make for a great prelude or something by which to gather people to get them seated.
2. (and 3.) Ruckert Lieder, IV and V by Mahler
—Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (I have lost touch with the world) and Um Mitternacht (At midnight) evoke sentiments I have shared at times, like Mahler and/or Rückert, either in the midst of depression or illness or both.
Here are the translations.
I have lost touch with the world,
with which I used to waste much time;
it has heard nothing of me for so long,
it may well think I am dead!
And for me it is of no concern at all
if it treats me as dead.
Nor can I say anything at all against it,
for in truth I am dead to the world.
I am dead to the hurly-burly of the world,
and repose in a place of quietness!
I live alone in my heaven,
In my loving, in my song!
and looked up at the sky.
Not a star in the galaxy
Smiled at me
My thought went out
To the limits of darkness.
There was no thought of light
To bring me comfort
I paid heed
to the beating of my heart.
One single pulse of pain
I fought the fight,
Oh humanity, of your sorrows.
I could not decide it
For all my power
I gave my power
Into Your hands.
Lord! Over life and death
You keep guard
4. As the Deer Pants for the Water (based on Psalm 42:1)
5. Bridge Over Troubled Water
6. Chichester Psalms (III. Psalm 131, Psalm 133:1) by Bernstein
7. Climb Ev’ry Mountain
—in memory of Jim (1960-1994) who was one of the few friends I have ever had who could sing along with me to the entire soundtrack of The Sound of Music, adding a few bits of choice choreography as well.
8. Concerto for Clarinet & Strings (1st Movement) by Copland
9. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (from Les Miserables)
—dedicated to all friends lost to HIV/AIDS
10. Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye
–favourite recording of this is by Annie Lennox from “Red Hot + Blue – A Tribute to Cole Porter to Benefit AIDS Research & Relief”
11. I’ll Be Seeing You
12. Impossible Dream
13. In My Room (The Beach Boys)
— the lyrics meant so much to me as a kid
14. Irish Blessing
15. Liebesträum No. 3 (Pt. III) by Liszt
16. Neiges by André Gagnon
–a melancholy something I nearly always play, no matter the weather, when I leave Perth (Smiths Falls) on the train
17. On Eagle’s Wings (based on Isaiah 40:31)
18. Over The Rainbow
–go figger…but jazz it up; give it something more than the usual treatment!
19. Poses by Rufus Wainwright
–a clever satire of gay life (or is it life in general?)
20. Thank You For Being A Friend (theme from “Golden Girls”)
–originally recorded by Andrew Gold
21. The Entertainer (from “The Sting”) and The Homecoming (by Hagood Hardy)
–dedicated to my siblings (see here for a little context )
22. What I Did For Love (from A Chorus Line)
23. The Long & Winding Road
24. (& 25.) Lacrimosa (from Mozart’s Requiem) & Sanctus (from Fauré’s Requiem)
–two sure pick-me-ups to insert somewhere in the programme
26. You’ll Never Walk Alone
–A song I have always loved, which I more recently discovered is the anthem for the Liverpool Football Club. (The Boys Choir of Harlem produced an excellent recording of this!)
There you have it.
Just to reiterate, or clarify: I have no reason, other than the clock ticketh for all of us, to believe that my death is imminent.
And another thing…which would make 27… a piece de resistance if ever there was one: Mahler’s 5th Symphony in C Sharp Minor, IV. Adagietto (Sehr Langsam).
One problem: it’s about 11:15 long! Something for hired mourners to dance to maybe.
Remember: take this list, line up some great musicians, and raise lots of money!