Love Will Tear Us Apart

Thea QT, 36
Seattle/San Francisco

Your songs, why, and where/when?

There are two songs I would choose, because they are perfect and can never be covered (even if they *have* been covered endlessly, I refuse to acknowledge any derivatives). As the child of a narcissist, I’ve long feared any such tendencies, but if I’m dead then who cares? These songs, like me, are irreplicable. They are:

“Love Will Tear Us Apart,” Joy Division

There’s no romance here, and yet it’s a song that captures everything simultaneously thrilling and devastating about relationships, and sex, and death, and living. If you ever wanted to get a sense of my worldview and didn’t want to go through the trouble of reading my natal chart, this would tell you what you needed to know. For the purposes of post-death group listening, I’d prefer the Martin Hannett Sessions version or the 12″ single version, though any version sung by Ian Curtis would do.

This would need to be played at a new wave karaoke party where no one is allowed to sing along to this one song- it would just have to play all the way through, but you’d be asked to dance. [And I would laugh from beyond the grave, watching folks trying to move to it].

“Last Goodbye,” Jeff Buckley

After the awkwardness of silent dancing to Joy Division, I figure some people may want to mourn in a more traditional fashion, with the crying and such. Jeff Buckley’s songs are good for that, especially this one, his first breakthrough single. I remember watching the premiere of this video on MTV’s 120 Minutes when I was trapped in Florida during my high school years, and imagining I was back in New York for college and my adult life, creating things that would make people feel and see their world differently. In some ways, this song and others like it saved my life, reminding me what I needed to do to escape all kinds of terrible situations.

More importantly, I think this song would be great for a public funeral situation, as it would be really easy to drum up some tears listening to Buckley’s operatic falsetto, and pretend you’re crying for me. I know I’ve sometimes had trouble crying in public, and so if you *needed* to cry to fit in at my funeral– here’s a bone I am throwing you.

Your “no-go” songs?

For music no-gos, I love so much music across genres and eras, so as long as it wasn’t some jam band / Jimmy Buffett/ acoustic singer-songwriter that you’d see on a Bonnaroo lineup, I’d be pretty happy with that. I left Florida for a reason, and I would haunt the hell out of anyone that tried to take me back there, even sonically.