|By Nick Woodside||Monday, 13 Apr 2009|
“Good-Evil; The Soundtrack” is a weekly feature that showcases an editor’s song pick complete with a small write-up and a YouTube video or streaming version of the song. This week’s selection by Nick is “Beirut – Postcards from Italy”. I’m not going to sugar coat it: 2009 has been pretty much the world’s biggest shitburger so far. My hands have been ridiculously chapped all year, I lost out on Victor Martinez in my main fantasy baseball league (.320, 2HR, 3 RBI and 5R so far) …oh and my Mom died. So naturally I haven’t been listening to Bobby Goodtimes’ Party Polka 12 so much. In the process of helping to plan a funeral, I started to think about what I would want played at my own. In my opinion, there are a few characteristics a good funeral song needs: 1. It can’t suck. This song is going to stick in people’s memories, so choose wisely. You don’t want them humming Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” as they clutch a tear stained photograph of you. Mostly because that song would probably make them start thinking about the last episode of Seinfeld and THAT’S NOT
KEEPING YOUR MEMORY ALIVE, NOW IS IT!? 2. It can’t be overly depressing. Sure you don’t want Van Halen’s “Panama” (unless of course, you do. It’s your funeral) but you also don’t want some plodding Gothic march either. Personally, I’d like my funeral to be more a celebration of my life rather than a mourning of my death. 3. There’s got to be a part that “brings down the house” so to speak. A line, a passage, or a riff of some sort that’s packed with emotion. Sure, my mourners should be celebrating my life, but goddammit they should really, REALLY miss me too. For me, the song that has all that is Beirut’s “Postcards from Italy”. Sure it’s probably about young love and marrying a girl, but it’s vague enough to apply to just about anything, like my tragic demise. Check out that first verse: The times we had/Oh, when the wind would blow with rain and snow/Were not all bad/We put our feet just where they had, had to go. Oh man, that’s gonna get the waterworks going. The clincher is the part that begins at 2:03 when it drops down to basically trumpet, drums and ukulele, then builds back up to the crescendo at 2:55. If you’re not crying by now, join me in the ground because you have no pulse. I joke about it, but this is seriously one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. I would love for this song to accompany some important moment in my life, whatever that moment may be. Maybe it’s all the emotional trials I’ve been slogging through recently, but this song just hits me perfectly. It makes me want to pour a glass of bourbon and think about what I’ve got in life and what I’ve lost. During those times, I honestly can’t play this song loud enough.