Often when I’m driving around Calgary, I find myself “accidentally” tuning into (pre-programmed) Hot Country 105 FM. Yesterday, a song came on that struck me. I had to go home and Google it to make sure I heard it correctly. The band is called “The Band Perry”. Now, don’t get me wrong, they’re great. And too cute for words; I could figuratively chew the faces off all three band members. And it really is a beautiful song. What got me was the chorus:
If I die young, bury me in satin,
Lay me down on a bed of roses,
Sink me in the river at dawn;
Send me away with the words of a love song.
But I guess I was in a pretty pragmatic mood when I first heard it. Sure, had this song struck me during an illogical/romantic mood, I would have (while poorly singing along through a contorted, ugly-cry face), thought, “ahwmmagawd, yes, bury me in satin… awwgawd, *cry-choke-cough* yes, on a bed of wild, wild roses…ugh, of course, only at dawn…to the words of a love song… Ahwmmagawd, my death is going to be so beautiful…” [Ugly-cry face.]
But no. I was feelin’ pretty logical. I still am.
I’m pretty confident that when the lead singer’s parents first heard the song, their initial reaction of pride and affection was whisked swiftly away and replaced by sheer horror. Not just at the thought of their daughter’s hypothetical, untimely passing (though that would be part of it, no doubt), but of her lavish posthumous demands.
A few weeks ago I was clearly going through a “how-can-I-make-my-room-look-more-like-a-porn-set?” phase and bought red, satin sheets (made from the purest of shiny polyesters claiming to be satin) from Walmart. They were on sale for $40. Perfectly acceptable. Had The Band Perry requested to be buried in Royal Opulence “Satin” Sheets from Walmart? Reasonable. Unfortunately, it just comes with too many syllables and minimal romantic value. Real satin? That’s gonna cost their mourning folks a pretty penny.
[I’m gonna be honest, I just did a brief Google search and its results are not really reinforcing my argument. I think there must be a lot of sales on right now.]
Point is, you’re dead (God rest your soul). It couldn’t possibly matter what you are buried in. Could it? If it’s a religious thing, does your God really care how adorned you are in fancy fabrics, jewels and floral arrangements?
[He/She does? Oh, well…carry on, I guess.]
And if it’s just a superficial thing… Come on. Your dead.
[God rest your soul.]
And roses. They’re not cheap. Even just the one is gonna make you break a $10. So a whole bed of them? Shit. Once again, “lay me down in paper roses from Leisure World”? Death-management on a budget.
And it wasn’t even just the financial unfeasibility thing that got me about the song. It was imagining the whole production they’re requesting.
Don’t picture it poetically. Picture it literally…
You’re dead. Your buddies wrap you in Royal Opulence “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Satin” satin sheets and hope that your spirit doesn’t haunt them for their thrifty deception. Then, I don’t know, your folks remortgage the house to afford to strap you to your rose-laden bed. That’s sad. Then what was it? Oh right, “sink you in a river”. Just imagine the moment, the silent exchange of glances when your family and friends have to carry your satin swaddled, florally furbished body down to a river. Being from western Newfoundland, I picture this being the Humber River somewhere between Steadybrook and Corner Brook. And I guess, then, the blast off point would have to be where several other half-cut folks are setting off with their Blue Star cans for a tube ride; accessibility of the spot and all. Which sets the whole scene up for a mixed mood.
Then, I imagine, weighting you would be somewhat awkward. Knowing your family’s luck thus far since your death (God rest your soul) they’ve managed to concoct a perfectly buoyant raft of a rose-bed casket. Awkward. The tubing kids have now turned down their Pearl Jam beats to “casually” watch what’s about to go down.
[This is so much better then a tube-ride rub-down from your hot new girlfriend!]
So, I don’t know, I guess your loved ones drop large rocks onto your bed of roses until it sinks or overturns or causes them so much discomfort that they just walk away and hope for the best. But not before one of your buddies quickly reviews your “request list” and realizes one of your wishes has yet to be satisfied. Ah yes, the words of a love song. Just what your devastated, river-soaked loved ones want to be busting out at this point.
With noble desperation, your buddy belts out the first thing that comes to mind. And so the last words of “I Want to Know What Love is” by Foreigner fill the autumn air as your half submerged, Royally Opulent body makes its way to the end of the river. To settle just behind the Corner Brook paper mill.
You should have thought this through.
So I’ve taken the liberty of re-writing The Band Perry’s well intended will/song. I hope that this will bring my own loved ones some guilt-free solace should I prematurely kick the salt-beef bucket.
[The great thing is, it’s totally on pitch and sounds nothing like Kermit She-Frog with laryngitis.]
You’re welcome. Please feel free to sing along.
[Note: Mom, put the arrow over the title and click the left mouse button once. No, that was twice. Now you’ve opened it twice. Just the once. Great. Love you.]
If I die young, wrap me up in burlap
Take me down by your uncle’s cabin
Chill and have a campfire and beer
I’ll be fine waiting in the shed, here.
Uh oh, uh oh
Lord we’re out of red wine
And where the hell is mudder?
She’s leading quite the sing-along
Around the blazin fire; ohh yeah.
No point in dwelling on the fact that I am dead, no,
It’s almost dusk you should be ordering the pizzas.
A sharp knife, cuts a mean slice.
Well, who’s turn is it to get ice?
If I die young, do not grieve the departed,
Laugh about funny words like “sharted”,
Sure I’m in a tool shed
But my soul is drinking wine and jumping on the guest bed
A sharp knife, cuts a mean slice
Well, who’s turn is it to get ice?
And I’ll be fuckin’ nude
when they stuff me in the oven
It might be super sweet if you act like we’re a coven, I’ve
Always felt like Jacob was the man but
I picture, when I’m dead, Edward’s holding my hand. Stuff me
in your mom’s vase when I’m burned down to the ashes.
Bet I made you smile when I said “stuff me in your mom”
A sharp knife, cuts a mean slice.
Fuck tears, that my dead advice.
So wear what you’re wearing and gather my vase,
Don’t think that this party’s done
A-sprinkle in the bay – oh no, you say that there’s a bylaw –
Then a lake or a ditch or a hole shaped like a bear-paw, and
maybe you’ll re-read this blog that I’ve been running.
I hope that when I’m dead, my posts are way more funny.
If I die young, be sure to take some pictures,
If you can post them on this blog,
Laugh about what I’d say if I could write a post
from inside your mom’s vase.
“The Ballad from a Vase”,
Best blog post in days.
Gather up your beers, keep this party bumpin’,
Kick it old school with Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping”,
A sharp knife, cuts a mean slice; Plus,
bring skates if the pond’s ice.
So wear what you’re wearing
And gather my vase.
Your (hypothetically) dead HOAR
Ha!! Genius and sounds so much better than my version. Please delete all evidence that I even have a version in existence :p xo
I love how you even made yourself laugh at “Fuck tears…” HAHAHHAHHAHA! Brilliant, Heather!