I have a recurring idea in my head of what my funeral would be like. Instead of speeches or ceremony, it would just a gathering of friends and family in a casual party setting, with decent food, drink, and — most importantly — an immaculately curated playlist. The playlist would include all the tunes I most enjoyed throughout my life. People would be given a copy of the tracklist and encouraged to find their favorites. It would be like I was DJing from the great beyond.
But of course that's incredibly self-indulgent and ridiculous. Who you are in life is much more than, and largely separate from, what music you listen to. And yet so many times at the end of a long night I find myself on a walk, or in the garage, or the back patio, or, if I'm lucky, at a gathering of friends, cuing up a favorite track and letting it speak for me, wishing I could dissolve into the music. My favorite songs — or new favorites I've never heard before but grip me instantly — express my own feelings, wishes, desires, hopes, laments, so much more eloquently than I ever could. Much more so than in writing. And yet the act of bringing language to music is an enjoyable pastime as well, especially when it serves to introduce someone to a new potentially favorite song.
Music is a common thread that runs through all of our lives. We may have the same favorite song and yet for totally different reasons depending on how we first heard it, where we were at the time, who we were with. So for fun this year I am setting out on a new project of going through a favorite personal song every day, not necessarily trying to curate a "best songs" list, just songs that made an impact, that are still stuck in my head years or decades after I first heard them, songs that shaped my life in one way or another and maybe shaped yours as well.
Thanks for reading and happy listening.