Charles, 35
New Orleans

Your song, and why?

Eulogy, Ben Kenney.

Very specifically, it’s this one hook. The hook says, “I want my eulogy to say he was the kind of friend no one could replace and I want my family to know I love them more than words will ever show.” And that’s what I thought about, because, um, mainly that part about family stuff. Our family is not a family that talks about love, you know– we don’t say it like, “All right, I love you, see you later.” We don’t hug, we don’t do any of that stuff, you know. Never have.

So…I guess, ideally as an adult I get to a place where I can express that love to them. Just like without whatever that barrier is. Because it’s not like we’re a distant family. We just don’t…say that word. I never said that word until I was in relationships. And I guess with friends we say it now, but–I felt like if I could sum up my life and I only had a little bit, I would just want my friends to have felt like I was actually present for them, and for my family to know I actually love them. Either even though we never had a lot of words, or if we did have those words, there’s so much more love than those words could ever convey.

So the lyrics are very important. How to share them?

They could print the words in the program or something, so people could understand. And I’d just want them to play it like really loud, like– I would want people to almost rock out to it, ‘cause it’s a rocker, you know? It’s a sad subject matter but only because it’s talking about dying. Otherwise it’d be a happy piece; it would make you pumped. The music isn’t sad.

Where will this happen?

Whatever they do for me, if they do it in a church, they’re doin’ it for themselves, ‘cause I ain’t set foot in a church in so long, so…I mean, I kind of feel like funerals are for the living, anyway. So I can have a request but it’s not like it’s gonna matter to me, you know. Y’all can cremate me or whatever…fly out to somewhere and let me go.

My mother was like, “No, we’re not cremating you.” I was like, “It’s not really your decision (but hopefully also you’re not around to cremate me).” If it was to be in a church, I hope it was a fun funeral and not sad, cause I feel like I was a fun person. You know? I don’t want people to be sad ‘cause I’m gone. I’ll probably be a ghost and haunt them all anyway.

Your “absolutely not” song?

Uh…I mean presently, like…no…no…Kanye. I don’t know who would decide to play Kanye at my funeral, but there would have been a point in time where’d I’d have been like, “Shoot, you can play any Kanye and I don’t care, I love it all”. So let’s just say, no post-Kim Kardashian Kanye.

And I don’t want anything by Nicki Minaj. Justin Timberlake, either. So corny. Those are my top three.

Oh, and no Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift is top of the list.
No Taylor Swift, then Kanye, then Nicki Minaj. Then Justin Timberlake.

Other songs you would want?

I think anything from Bon Iver because that’s just…that’s like funeral music. Anything by them.

And anything by Donny Hathaway. Because he just has such sadness in his voice, even on happy songs. He has this song called “A Song For You”. First time in my life I heard this song, it was at a funeral. One of my older cousins die, and one of his daughters was a dancer. And he liked that Donny Hathaway song, and they played it, and she danced–up the aisles and around the front. It was incredibly emotional.

And he died young, too. So it was very sad. So I don’t know if I’d want that song because that was already such a specific moment for me but…it would work.