Dying to music

noteWALKING THROUGH the living room the other day, the FM station was playing a nice classical work, and I thought, “That would be good to die to,” and I envisioned falling forward onto the ceramic floor, dead as that doornail.

I was in a good mood when the thought struck me, and dying in a good mood is desirable. Dying to music is common in movies, but I wonder how often it happens in real life. Not much, I think.

A sudden death, which is how I want it, would reduce the chances of dying to good music, something that likely requires planning. Which is best? Dying suddenly to no music or a prolonged demise to good music. The sudden death wins out because you want to go fast, music or not.

Good mood, fine music, healthy and sudden. That’s how I want to sail away. Of course, a sudden death contradicts the notion of healthy, but let’s imagine it was an unknown heart problem that brought down the curtain. Just thinking you’re healthy till the final moment is enough.

But if a sudden death isn’t in the cards, I would like some good music playing on Departure Day. Kitaro’s Light of the Spirit is the top pick, something I’ve loved since the late 1990s. Downing some ecstasy and turning on that Kitaro tune is a religious experience in itself.

Try it. You’ll see.

A close runner-up would be one of a number of songs by the appropriately named Dead Can Dance. A real standout is their Host of Seraphim, a fine piece to shuttle you off into that distant space where resides whatever God or Goddess you put your money on.

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(A close runner-up to Host of Seraphim is Yulunga. About the 3:18 mark on the video, it moves into high gear visually, going multicultural in a spectacularly fine way.)

35 thoughts on “Dying to music”

  1. I’ve always thought that Joe Green’s (Hat Tip Victor Borge) Triumphal March from Aida would be nice. But then, I was career Army.

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    1. Steve: I like Aida in general. It would be a different sort of send-off music, but certainly serviceable. Did you know that Aida was commissioned for the inauguration of the Suez Canal? Verdi did not finish it in time, so it was performed somewhat tardily.

      Don’t know why your comment was sent to the moderation file. The link might have caused it.

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  2. Gee, Feilpe,
    We do have a lot in common. I have enjoyed New Age music for decades, and in fact was privileged to enjoy listening to him in a live performance once. He is a resident of Sonoma County from where I settled for my adult lifetime.

    Nothing better than lying on the floor next to the fireplace with Kitaro or Himakame playing their melodies. When I am having difficulty falling asleep I will listen to Deuter in order to float me to sleep. You can subscribe to Pandora and build a Kitaro radio station and enjoy tons of his and similar music to die, dream or discover.

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    1. Tancho: I like Deuter very much, but as for Kitaro I find him a one-note wonder. Light of the Spirit is superlative, but I’ve never found another of his songs even slightly bearable. They grate on me. So, we differ in that.

      Never even heard of Himakame.

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  3. You forgot the classic by Queen — “Another one bites the dust”. That would be a great song to die to. (Who says dying can’t have some humor.)

    I hope you are having a nice, relaxing day, Felipe. Saludos to your lovely wife!

    Mike

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  4. My favorite classical music is by Czech composer Bedrich Smetana in his piece “Die Moldau,” whose central theme bears striking similarity to the national anthem of Israel.

    I was fortunate to have heard it performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Georg Solti in the early 1970s.

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  5. This is not music to accompany death but a mourning song for a loved one’s departure. It is beyond great. Vocal versions of this song generally are far superior to instrumental versions.

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    1. Angeline: I thought about that sad song as I was writing the post. I do wish he were not blind. But if he’d been normal, perhaps he would be driving a cab in Rome today instead of singing.

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  6. A few years ago a well known Dallas musician, a drummer, died immediately after playing a solo on “The Saints Go Marchin In.” Musicians think about this sort of thing a lot. What tune do I want to be playing when I go? I always pray that it’s not Proud Mary, or Kansas City, or In The Mood. I really don’t want to drop dead on the bandstand. It’s a real mood killer for the customers.

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  7. Music? I hope I die in my sleep.

    My grandfather had the perfect death in my view. Though he wasn’t in great health, he wasn’t in terrible health either. One day after breakfast, he went to sit in his favorite arm chair, dozed off and never woke up.

    That’s the way to go.

    The singing of the angels will be sufficient for me when I’ve crossed to the other side. I don’t need a soundtrack for the event.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where time does seem to be hurtling past at an alarmingly increasing rate.

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    1. My parental grandfather died in his own bed after a brief bout with leukemia at the good old age of 92. He was asking for more ice cream when he died as my mom left for the kitchen to fetch his dessert. He died on his own terms, choosing to not be treated after one round of tranfusions. I remember that he said in his last tired and feverish days, which lasted a very short time, that he often felt he was between heaven and earth in his dreams, and he wasn’t sure where he was when the song came in the night, How Great Thou Art. Of course, that’s what was used at his funeral.

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      1. Laurie: Dying while waiting for a dish of ice cream at 92 sounds good. He sounds like he was a smart man. Opting out of endless cancer treatment at that age makes sense. Doing otherwise would have been nuts.

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  8. I am watching a series on Netflix from France, The Revenants, which translates as The Returned. A few dead people come back to their French village, and they seem quite normal, on the whole, and wholly unaware that they died some time ago. If you like to think on death, it’s a good series. Not too witchy, not too devilish, but quite delightfully morbid.

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    1. Laurie: Just found your comment languishing in the spam file. Got no idea why.

      Thanks for the Netflix tip. I’ll look for it. However, the Mexican Netflix does not have all shows available on the Gringo version and probably the other way around too. With luck, it will have this one. Delightfully morbid has appeal.

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      1. I liked it. I just finished the entire first season. However, the last episode went over to the dark side a bit too far for my tastes. C’est la vie. I understand/speak a bit of French so there was that appeal, too. 1/2 of the characters seemed to have names of dead relatives that are in my family so the morbidity of it was a notch more appealing in that regard, too.

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