The Killers, Foals, Metallica And More On The Songs They'd Have At Their Funerals

What song would you have played at your funeral? We asked NME favourites including St Vincent, Miles Kane, Nile Rodgers and Warpaint what their funeral songs would be.

  • For the last six months, we've been asking our favourite artists which songs they'd want played at their funeral. To kick off, the legendary Nile Rodgers, who went for Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' – which, of course, he features on. "I hope there’s a fucking party! I’d want one of my own songs. Play 'Get Lucky'!"

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 03 Mar 2014

  • Dee Dee Penny – The Smiths, 'Sweet And Tender Hooligan'. "I knew the second I heard this that I wanted it at my funeral. I love The Smiths and this lyric is just classic Morrissey: “In the midst of life we are in death, etcetera etcetera etcetera”. The way I see it, there’s no better way to bring in the big sleep than this song."

    Photo: Press

    Added: 10 Oct 2011

  • Lars Ulrich – Oasis, 'Live Forver'. "It’s just a phenomenal melody and sentiment. I’m actually not sure I want a funeral though. I think I’d rather people light a candle for me and do things there own way. I’m not that kind of guy."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 10 Apr 2014

  • Tinie Tempah – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, 'Over The Rainbow' . "Israel’s version of this song is such a beautiful one and listening to it always puts my mind at ease. I remember, the first time I heard it, I just fell completely silent. Definitely strikes the right mood for a funeral."

    Photo: Laura Palmer

    Added: 05 Jul 2014

  • Fucked Up's Damian Abraham – The Hot Nasties, 'The Secret of Immortality'. "It questions why we’re here. It’s written by a bunch of 19-year-olds and it’s really melancholy for people of that age. It looks at life and death and I also think that playing an obscure Canadian punk song at my funeral would make sense. They’re aren’t a lot of truly beautiful punk songs."

    Photo: Ben Cannon/NME

    Added: 28 Aug 2011

  • Yannis Philippakis – Henryk Gorecki, 'Symphony No.3' . "I want something really over the top. This is 40 minutes of sheer pathos. There won’t be a dry eye in the house. Word on the street is when you listen to that piece of music it changes you molecular structure. People will leave the funeral with extra limbs and four eyes."

    Photo: Amy Brammall/NME

    Added: 17 Apr 2014

  • Gary Numan – An unwritten Gary Numan song. "It might be one of mine. Not because I’m big-headed, but because a funeral is for the people who are there, not for the person who died. I think I honestly will write a song specifically to play at my funeral."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Aug 2014

  • Katy B – Alicia Keys, 'Prelude To A Kiss'. "I didn’t just LOVE Alicia Keys when I was younger, I wanted to BE Alicia Keys! I even used to save up and by the piano scores for her songs from Chappell, the music shop on Bond Street, and teach myself to play them. She has so much emotion in her voice, so much soul."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 21 Jul 2014

  • Marky Ramone – Sid Vicious, 'My Way'. "I guess a lot of people say Frank Sinatra but I’ll go with Sid Vicious’ version. The sentiment is perfect. There’s a good reason everyone says they’d have this song played at their funeral."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Aug 2014

  • Brandon Flowers – The Mormon hymn 'God Be With You Till We Meet Again'. "It’s a nice sentiment. Mormons believe in an afterlife and there’s just no doubt that’ll we’ll see each other again. We sing it at funerals, sometimes at regular congregation meetings too, but it’s a nice one."

    Photo: Ed Miles/NME

    Added: 08 Nov 2013

  • Ray Davies – A new Ray Davies song. "I want the greatest gospel song every written. Maybe it’s yet to be written? You know, maybe I’ll write my own. It’ll be the world premiere and I won’t get to hear it."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 30 Apr 2014

  • The Naked And Famous' Alisa Xayalith – Max Richter, 'Lullaby From The Westcoas'. "I love all of his album ’24 Postcards in Full Colour’, but if I had to pick one song it would be this. I would love to have someone play it on the piano for me. It’s sad but kind of uplifting, so it’s not just a misery-fest. Failing that, I’d just have ‘MMMBop’."

    Photo: Press

    Added: 28 May 2013

  • Chrissie Hynde – Pearl & Dean, 'Asteroid'. "I’d kick off with ‘Asteroid’, the Peal & Dean theme you hear in the cinema, because that always gets me on my feet. Then I want Morrissey’s ‘Sing Your Life’, before ‘Jerk’ by Iggy and The Stooges. When I see those beautiful black horses carrying a coffin, I think, ‘Wow, that’s how I want to go’."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 23 May 2014

  • Matt Berry – The Merrymen, 'Hot, Hot, Hot'. "It would be a terrible joke, and you need a joke at a funeral. I want to make a mark, because it’ll be kind of sombre anyway. Especially if it’s before my time."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 11 Mar 2014

  • Wild Beasts' Tom Fleming – David Bowie, 'Changes'. "I definitely want something cheery – I want all the people there at my funeral to be laughing. I think ‘Changes’ is appropriate – it’s cheery without being Paul McCartney with his thumbs in the air. Funerals are about change. Everyone dies. So what? 'Time may change me, but I can’t trace time'… that’s kind of perfect really."

    Photo: Emilie Bailey/NME

    Added: 16 Feb 2012

  • Conor Oberst – REM, 'It’s The End Of The World As We Know it (And I Feel Fine)'. "Just because it would be funny and I love REM-they’re one of my favorite bands. I hope people keep it upbeat at my funeral, you know? No tears and maybe some dancing."

    Photo: Press/Butch Hogan

    Added: 01 May 2014

  • Miles Kane – Oasis, 'Live Forever'. "It’s self-explanatory really. You feel a connection with the lyrics: ‘Maybe I just want to fly/I want to live I don’t want to die/You and I we’re gonna live forever.' I would live forever if I could. I’m having too much fun!"

    Photo: Alexander Jordan/Press

    Added: 23 May 2013

  • Kevin Parker – King Crimson, 'The Court of The Crimson King'. "I was about to say something hilarious and ironic, like ‘Start Me Up’ by The Rolling Stones, but I’m going to go with epic. Let’s say ‘The Court of The Crimson King’ as I’m lowered into the fire! It’s probably the most epic song I know. It’s seven minutes long, and just when you think it stops, it starts up again."

    Photo: Pooneh Ghana/NME

    Added: 21 Jul 2014

  • Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor – Robert Wyatt, 'Memories Of You'. "It was the B-side of his classic ‘Shipbuilding’ single, it’s a cover version of an old standard and I think it speaks for itself, really."

    Photo: Press/Brian De Ran

    Added: 02 Apr 2014

  • Brett Anderson – Brian Eno, '1/1' (from 'Music For Airports'). "Having spent much of my life listening to that piece of music, it’d be fitting for it to usher me towards non-existence. I used to be flippant about my death, but after having children, it terrifies me. The thought of leaving them behind, unable to help them through life, keeps me awake through the small hours."

    Photo: Dan Kendall/NME

    Added: 27 Feb 2013

  • 'Game Of Thrones' actor Finn Jones – The Special AKA, 'Free Nelson Mandela'. "‘I’d hope to have something uplifting and soulful. Maybe something along the same vibe as ‘Nelson Mandela’ by The Special AKA, but obviously with it being about my life, not his!"

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Aug 2014

  • Ian McCulloch – Elvis Presley, 'How Great Thou Art'. "I want my funeral to be dead sad. I’d make mourners more miserable with crap food – shit butties with cheese and no butter, like they do in Europe. I might need the Lurpak where I’m going."

    Photo: Press

    Added: 15 Apr 2014

  • Jagwar Ma's Jono Ma – A Guy Called Gerald, 'Voodoo Ray'. "I’ve had this discussion with close friends before and told them to make sure this gets played at my funeral. It’s just so joyous, but it also has that slightly twisted, bittersweet thing to it. Ultimately though, it’s pure joy, and my funeral will be so gloomy, you want to have a bit of hope."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Aug 2014

  • Example – James Brown, 'It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World’. "I think it will have everyone in tears. At a funeral, you either want to go for the comedy or the tearjerker – and ‘It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World’ is a proper Kleenex song. I hope everyone would get fucked and go mad and enjoy themselves at the wake."

    Photo: Emilie Bailey/NME

    Added: 23 Jun 2012

  • St Vincent – John Coltrane, 'Aisha'. "I wouldn’t want anybody to be too bonkers sad, so I’d pick this. My funeral’s going to be the most epic party. [Artist] Marina Abramovic wants Anthony Hegarty to sing ‘My Way’ at her funeral, which would be incredible. If Antony sang anything at your funeral, it would be the most beautiful thing."

    Photo: Shamil Tanna/NME

    Added: 12 Feb 2014

  • Mac DeMarco – Led Zeppelin, 'Stairway To Heaven'. "You’ve got to get your money’s worth. My friend’s dad passed away a couple of years ago and they played the extended version of ‘Free Bird’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd. He knew!"

    Photo: Jenn Five/NME

    Added: 31 Oct 2013

  • Olympic hero Bradley Wiggins – The Stone Roses, 'Fools Gold'. "It’s not the gold connection. When the Olympics was on, I was invited to the small gig The Stone Roses did at Village Underground in East London. I was stood, pissed out of my head, with Miles Kane, Paul Weller and Andy Crofts from The Moons, thinking 'I've arrived'."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Aug 2014

  • Courtney Barnett – The Beatles, 'Here Comes The Sun'. "I can’t say ‘Perfect Day’ again! There’s ‘Ripple’ by the Grateful Dead….Or ‘Here Comes the Sun’- it’s so peaceful. I don’t really know what the lyrics are about but it’s just do gentle. I want to make people feel sad."

    Photo: Jenn Five / NME

    Added: 13 Feb 2014

  • Metronomy's Joe Mount – Sly And The Family Stone, 'Que Sera Sera'. "I’d probably play this at my wedding for the first dance too. That would give it an unbearable poignancy. My poor wife."

    Photo: Roger Sargent/NME

    Added: 12 Feb 2014

  • Anton Newcombe – JS Bach, 'Aria De Jesu'. "Man, it is beautiful. It’s very short, but it’s so good. It’s really just one of the most amazing pieces of music-it’s thoughtful and reflective and it has these flutes, but it’s more baroque. It’s something that I listen to once or twice a month."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 13 Mar 2014

  • Jimi Goodwin – Ernst Reijseger, 'Libera Me, Domine''. "This is a Latin mass with a Sardinian male voice choir which totally floored me, as it’s so absolutely beautiful. I’d want people to take a pause and shed a tear while this was playing, but then let the party begin. Tip me in the ocean and just get on with it."

    Photo: Press/Matt Norman

    Added: 09 Dec 2013

  • Slash – None. "I’m sorry but I can’t name one. Not even as a joke. I know someone’s going to read this and be all like, ‘But You Said…’, and then I’m gonna have to spend the rest of my life telling everyone in interviews that, no, I probably don’t want that song played at my funeral. It’s too big a choice, too big a responsibility."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 03 Jun 2014

  • Mark Foster – The Clash, 'Rock The Casbah'. "What’s that song that goes. ‘Celebrate good times, come on?’ [it’s ‘Celebration’ by Kool & The Gang.] I’d have that. Something upbeat. Actually, I’d have ‘Rock The Casbah’. It’s one of my favorite songs, and the people that are closest to me would know why I’d chosen it."

    Photo: Andy Ford/NME

    Added: 14 Jul 2014

  • Phoenix's Thomas Mars – Chopin, 'Nocturnes'. "One of Chopin’s ‘Nocturnes’ would be good. I think my friends can pick because they’ll have to listen to it, not me. Sometimes they have better taste than me anyway! But I would want something short and classical."

    Photo: Jordan Hughes/NME

    Added: 07 Jul 2014

  • Jamie Reynolds – Supergrass, 'Time To Go'. "I’ve thought about this for years. It’s a very simple song on an acoustic guitar; it’s saying thanks to everyone for everything you’ve done but now it’s time to go. I skip it on the record [‘I Should Coco’] now because I feel connected to the idea that playing it at my funeral is a possibility."

    Photo: Press

    Added: 03 Feb 2014

  • Steve Lamacq – Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, 'The Impossible Dream'. "I’ve got two; ‘Balthazar, Impresario’ by Frank Turner and Carter’s version of ‘The Impossible Dream’. I’ve told Jim Bob from Carter that if I go first he has to turn up and play it live."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Aug 2014

  • Danger Mouse – The Fifth Dimension, 'One Less Bell to Answer'. "It’s touching enough to make people cry. Because it’d suck if there was no-one crying at me not being around anymore. But I’d want something funny, too. So the wailing doesn’t get out of hand, and the song is about how there are fewer chores to do when someone isn’t around."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 24 Mar 2014

  • Angel Haze – Kirk Franklin, 'Stomp'. "Kirk Franklin is this amazing gospel singer with a huge, happy gospel singe with a high, happy voice. Which is great, ‘cos I want my funeral to be a joyous occasion. I want people to be up on their feet dancing and having a great time. Good music, maybe some good food, just an all-round fun occasion."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 05 Jun 2014

  • Danny Brown – The "hottest song of the moment". "Whatever the hottest song is at the moment, that would be cool. Whoever the new hot rapper is, whatever is cracking. At the end of the day, death is something that should be celebrated – I want them to be having fun, not sitting listening to [Nas] ‘The World is Yours’. Don’t nobody want to hear that shit."

    Photo: Jenn Five/NME

    Added: 20 Jan 2014

  • James Bagshaw –Francis Lai, 'Skating In Central Park'. "It’s quite a sombre love song from the film Love Story. I haven’t actually seen the film and I want to leave it that way because I like the music so much."

    Photo: Jordan Hughes/NME

    Added: 09 Jun 2014

  • Ice T - "any new school hip-hop": "If I died tomorrow, just play some terrible new school hip-hop and say: 'Now we know he's dead.' I'm disillusioned by the hip-hop they play on the radio - it's cynical, materialistic club music. Underground hip-hop is still prolific, but unless kids hear it on the radio, they think it's not good."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 21 Mar 2014

  • Emily Kokal, Warpaint - ‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police: “Because it’d be so creepy! 'I’ll be watching you...' No, I’m only joking. I definitely don’t want something sombre and sad. I don’t know. I’ll let my loved ones decide for me.”

    Photo: Laura Palmer/NME

    Added: 28 Jun 2014