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.

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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’!”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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’.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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!”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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Ice T – “any new school hip-hop”

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.”

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Emily Kokal, Warpaint – ‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police

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.”

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