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Bob Bledsoe
07-16-2016, 05:54 AM
Hey guys,
This is a bit of a downer post. I've been asked to play ukulele at the memorial of my friend's 3 year old child.
I'm planning to do an instrumental medley but need to figure out what songs to include. I want the songs to be happy and kid friendly. I definitely don't want to go with songs like "tears in heaven".
Even though it's a bit over played, I will probably include an arrangement of "Over the Rainbow". I have ideas for a couple other options but I'm looking for suggestions. Since it's instrumental, the lyrics aren't as much a consideration. The general theme of the song just needs to be appropriate for a memorial service. Any suggestions are very much appreciated!

Croaky Keith
07-16-2016, 07:06 AM
Perhaps Lara's Theme & Scarborough Fair, they are pleasant tunes of moderate speed without being over the top.

Choirguy
07-16-2016, 07:46 AM
Religious or non-religious?

jollyboy
07-16-2016, 07:49 AM
What a sad occasion. And tough to get the music right - you don't want to end up making people feel even worse than they already do but at the same time you don't want anything jarringly upbeat. Maybe other songs that have a lullaby feel (like Over The Rainbow) would work. Hushaby Mountain comes to mind. Another, although not strictly a children's song, would be Golden Slumbers.

Futurethink
07-16-2016, 08:17 AM
That will be a tough thing to do, and the songs will be hard to select. Even though you’ll just be playing instrumentals, you’ll want to be aware of the lyrics, because some there will be hearing the lyrics in their head while you play. Have you asked the family for any music preferences? How many pieces do they want you to play?

In addition to Over the Rainbow, these come to mind. I don’t know whether you know them (I haven’t learned them yet). You may, or may not, think they are appropriate. I assume they asked you to play 'ukulele because the child liked 'ukulele music?

Beyond the Sea

Come Sail Away

Dream a Little Dream of Me

I Will

My Favorite Things

Planting Rice

Time After Time

You’ve Got a Friend in Me


I also found this link:
http://www.creative-funeral-ideas.com/childs-funeral-songs.html

bacchettadavid
07-16-2016, 09:16 AM
Bob, I'm sorry for your and your friend's loss.

I suggest "Inchworm" for the children, perhaps a simplified arrangement of "Waltz for Debby" (secular) or Neil Diamond's "Be" (spiritual) if you want a longer, more cathartic song for the family.

Whatever you choose, it's going to be a difficult gig in the midst of a difficult time.

JJFN
07-16-2016, 10:01 AM
I was thinking of,
1 - Amazing Grace
2- I'll See You In My Dreams

Good luck.

Joyful Uke
07-16-2016, 10:05 AM
I'm sorry for the loss. What a sad occassion.

At the tribute concert for George Harrison, Joe Brown, (playing ukulele), played "I'll See You in My Dreams", so that came to mind. He did it as a vocal, but you could arrange it as an instrumental, perhaps.

DaveY
07-16-2016, 10:08 AM
I can't think of any not-mentioned songs (except "I'll Fly Away," but it's religious/Christian, so that would depend on the family -- although you could modify it some if needed). But it might work well to move from slower-tempo songs to increasingly faster ones. People of course with be so grief-stricken, and starting slow might meet them where they are. Then you can try to lift them up somewhat by moving towards, and ending with, up-tempo tunes. In fact, you could return to the first song you play, and play it faster (not fast, but not dirge-like).

Chopped Liver
07-16-2016, 10:31 AM
Definitely ask the family if they have songs they want - or don't want. Funerals are emotionally charged situations (of course) and especially in this case. The family asked you to play so it is totally appropriate to ask if they have particular songs in mind.

Blessings to you as you minister to the family through your playing.

acmespaceship
07-16-2016, 01:02 PM
You are a good friend to take this on. Do you play any classical pieces? Any of the Bach preludes or chorales would be lovely and for the most part there are no lyrics, or if there are lyrics few people will know them.

Even in a secular setting, an old spiritual like Poor Wayfaring Stranger might be appropriate. Of course it's best to ask the family if you can.

Ukejenny
07-16-2016, 02:42 PM
Wow, what an amazing thing to do. What heart. Because it is for such a young child, you can't really ask what favorite songs were, but maybe there is a song that was significant with the parents and the children. A slow, mellow version of You Are My Sunshine might be sweet.

good_uke_boy
07-16-2016, 03:04 PM
Sorry for your friend's loss. How about: The Rainbow Connection, from The Muppet Movie. There's a nice instrumental uke tab available, transcribed by Chris Coleman.

lakesideglenn
07-16-2016, 03:57 PM
Sorry for your loss.
"i'll See You In My Dreams" maybe a good one?

Farp
07-16-2016, 04:57 PM
"The Love of God" is an easy song to play and you can do a lot of things with it, from slowing down to bringing it on brightly. It has a beautiful melody and timely message.

Booli
07-16-2016, 06:23 PM
Sorry for your loss.

Maybe one or more of these:

Greensleeves
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
one of the 3 parts from Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, "Summer" (L'estate) from Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Choirguy
07-16-2016, 06:40 PM
I "get" why Over the Rainbow is so loved--the problem is that I had my 8th graders sing it (with ukulele accompaniment) and several students were unable to sing with us because the song had been played at funerals of loved ones.

Over the Rainbow and The Rainbow Connection seem to be a good mashup.

Religiously, I think Amazing Grace is wonderful--perhaps with the tie-in of 10,000 Reasons (Tomlin), and "It Is Well With My Soul."

I wish you the best as you prepare to support the family in this time.

coolkayaker1
07-17-2016, 04:17 AM
http://www.creative-funeral-ideas.com/childs-funeral-songs.html

Some ideas from this website. Includes Iz, Bob, just as you planned. I thought Goodnight My Angel by Billy Joel was a particularly nice idea, and slightly more modern a tune than most.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcnd55tLCv8

Might be nice to ask the parents or contact other performers as to what they are playing; might me a little off-putting to be the third player of a song after the pianist and then the harpist did it fifteen and and again five minutes before your rendition, Bob.

Peace.

sculptor
07-17-2016, 08:29 AM
Hey guys,
This is a bit of a downer post. I've been asked to play ukulele at the memorial of my friend's 3 year old child.
I'm planning to do an instrumental medley but need to figure out what songs to include. I want the songs to be happy and kid friendly. I definitely don't want to go with songs like "tears in heaven".
Even though it's a bit over played, I will probably include an arrangement of "Over the Rainbow". I have ideas for a couple other options but I'm looking for suggestions. Since it's instrumental, the lyrics aren't as much a consideration. The general theme of the song just needs to be appropriate for a memorial service. Any suggestions are very much appreciated!

If it had been an adult I'd have suggested John Dowland's Lachrimae but for a kid I'd say Eric Idle's Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. This will probably cheer up the adults more than it will any children present.

-- Gary

Luke El U
07-17-2016, 09:08 AM
Good luck to you. That must be a very challenging thing to do.

How about Edelweiss?

Bob Bledsoe
07-17-2016, 11:31 AM
Hey everyone, thanks so much for these suggestions! I posted this yesterday and haven't been back on until now to look at these great ideas. This is really helpful. I think I have enough in my back pocket to do a few classical and a few modern tunes and probably have enough time to work on an arrangement of another one of these suggestions. Thanks so much for your input! It's going to be a tough gig, but hopefully I can put a nice medley together, relax and just play. Thanks again! -Bob

plunker
07-17-2016, 01:24 PM
Very sad. The Lords Prayer has been set to music. I think alot of the Disney movies have very nice songs.

Nickie
07-17-2016, 02:25 PM
Good luck Bob.
I used to be able to play for hospice patient's memorials, but "can't" anymore, because I'm not a Certified Music Therapist. It's strictly political.
Course, your situation is different.
I've used SOTR, Amazing Grace, (instrumental) and even 3 Little Birds. I like the idea of Rainbow Connection.

PTOEguy
07-18-2016, 06:27 AM
Ashoken Farewell is well suited to funerals, although it has a huge range and might need a low-G arrangement.

Cornfield
07-18-2016, 09:32 AM
We Become Birds by Michael P. Smith. It iseems a beautiful song

mvinsel
07-18-2016, 11:00 AM
-Pachelbel canon, and maybe roll it into the Beatles' Let it Be.
-Turn,Turn, Turn
-Depending on the person being celebrated, Young at Heart (if they were).

-Vinnie in Juneau

siauke
07-18-2016, 11:04 AM
Nice of you to do this for your friend.
I've played at a couple of funerals. Amazing Grace is always a nice tune. I've done Happy Trails and Aloha Oe, too.

good luck