The comfort of music

My emotions will be running high the next few days as I head back to Powell County for the visitation and funeral of my friend Norman, who died early Sunday morning following a battle with cancer. As usual in times like this, I’ll turn to my favorite counselors to help guide me through. I’ll be relying on names like Springsteen and Tweedy, Lennon/McCartney and Earle.

A new band, though, will definitely get more than a few listens as I make the drive back to my hometown. The Gaslight Anthem has quickly become my favorite young group, and their most recent album, American Slang, has pretty much stayed on repeat in my car’s CD player.

The band’s previous record, though, will likely be the one I play most often the next few says, particularly the title track, “The ’59 Sound.” It tells of a man dealing with the unexpected loss of a friend and how he hopes she got to listen to her favorite song one last time before she crossed over into the afterlife.

I find this thought beautiful and comforting. When my time comes, I’d love to hear the opening piano notes from Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” before I lose consciousness. I hope others get to experience something similar.

So, today, as many of us are grieving (I had two other friends lose family members to cancer over the past few days), I ask that you play your favorite song and just reflect on your life and that of your loved ones. I hope they, too, heard their favorite song, one last time.

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2 thoughts on “The comfort of music

  1. I am very sorry about your friend. Makes me appreciate those that are close to me right here and now.

    Also, interesting – just last week I put together a “When I’m Dead” playlist on my iPod to be played at my funeral or on the way to spreading my ashes at the Gorge. Never thought about playing it at the end of consciousness, if I know it’s coming.

  2. Sorry about everything you’ve been going through. As for comfort music, I suppose it’s a little different for everyone since it’s such a personal thing. But one of the comfiest (I’m talking sherpa slippers, sweatpants, tshirt comfy! and not just any tshirt, a really old, thin one that you can basically see through cos it’s so worn out comfy tshirt kinda comfy) of all is Veeden Fleece by Van Morrison. Check it out.

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