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Swan Songs: Music For Your Final Exit

Slash performs his epic guitar solo in the Guns And Roses video "November Rain."
Youtube screenshot by NPR
Slash performs his epic guitar solo in the Guns And Roses video "November Rain."

Chances are your life story can be told in a series of songs — a mix of the music you heard and loved at various stages in your life, from infancy through your teen years, on into adulthood and beyond. This is true all the way up to the final chapter of your life, after you've shuffled off this mortal coil. As your friends and family gather somewhere to say their goodbyes, you get one last chance to memorialize yourself with a final song. This is the song that defines who you were or how you want to be remembered. Or it's a final, parting thought you want to plant in the hearts and minds of the people left behind.

On this edition of All Songs Considered we share some of the songs and stories listeners told us they'd like to have played at their funeral. Some of the songs and the thoughts behind them are heartbreaking. Some are funny. But all are heartfelt and meaningful.

You can hear the full discussion and song excerpts via the play button at the top of the page. You can also listen to an epic Spotify playlist below featuring a whole bunch of the songs listeners told us they want played at their funeral.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.
In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.