Lisa Recommends: “The Funeral” by Band of Horses

If you ever watch ghost hunting shows like I do, you know the hunters will often place a recorder in a room and try to coax whatever is haunting the place to make some noise. Sometimes, they’ll even ask questions like “is anyone here?” Later, they’ll replay the tape and there will be some sinister sounding voice whispering “yeeeessssssss,” or a door slamming in the distance. I always wondered why they never tried to capture a ghost singing. And I wondered what that would sound like.

I think it would sound a lot like “The Funeral” by Band of Horses. It’s not all about the title, either. This song is truly haunting. Ben Bridwell’s beautiful, melancholy voice is like a startling, unexplained chill in the room. And the music will raise every hair on the back of your neck, like the whisper of someone, or something unseen. I have the song on my favorite Pandora station, and every time I hear those first few notes, I stop whatever I’m doing and sit down because a sudden heaviness comes over me.

And what would ghosts sing about?

I’m coming up only to show you down, for
I’m coming up only to show you wrong
To the outside the dead leaves, they’re on the lawn
Before they died, they had trees to hang their hope

It’s a mournful poem.

I read an article which said the song really isn’t as deep as it seems. That it’s actually about Ben Bridwell’s social anxiety. But I think he hit on something there. The irony that as humans, and maybe even as ghosts, we are social creatures by nature. We need other people. We need to reach out and we need others to reach out to us. We need to be held, heard, loved, remembered. At the same time, people can hurt us. Being around people can hurt us. Especially on so called “special occasions” when the pressure and expectations can be overwhelming. Those occasions when we just want to die, become ghosts, and fade into the dark corners.

At every occasion, I’ll be ready for the funeral

(Song recommendation by Lisa L. Weber)

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