The Saddest, and yet Proudest Song Ever

music musings, beaverdamusa.comYeah, I’ve been gone for a while. Part of it has been writer’s block and part has been that my personal life has taken up a lot of my time and energy. You see, my parents have been ill and in and out of various medical facilities over the last few months. Like my blog host and dear friend, I am an only. So, it has all been on me

Without going into details that many of you already know, let’s just say it has been a race on which parent was leading the dementia train. Well, my father won because he passed away on April 18 due to a fall and subsequent brain injury. It is okay. I know he is in a better place and like I keep saying – “if we believe what we say we believe, it was a glorious day for him.”  Grief is for those who are left behind. In all honesty, I lost Dad about a year and a half ago when dementia took over.

To tie this event in with music, I had to pick the music for my father’s funeral. Do I pick songs with meaningful lyrics or his favorites?  In the end, I went with both and decided to have the attendees sing with us. I chose these hymns:

  • Blessed Assurance – because this is a song about hope and security.
  • How Great Thou Art – because it was one of Dad’s favorite hymns. 
  • Amazing Grace – because it is Amazing Grace. 

Standing and singing these hymns with those in attendance uplifted the entire family. It also warmed the cockles of my heart to look over and see my 85 year old mother singing these as well. It warmed my soul to see her singing these songs that she has sang for decades. 

However, the saddest, yet proudest, tune was still to come – Taps. I’ve always heard folks say that the song takes on a completely different meaning after a loved one passes. It is true. Dad was a Navy veteran of the Korean War. As part of the service, I chose to have the military honors performed at the end of the service. This included Navy personnel folding the flag in the most perfect way that had been on Dad’s casket and presenting it to Mom on behalf of the President, the Navy, and a grateful nation. Regardless of your politics it gets you. After that, taps is played. You could have heard a pin drop during the flag ceremony and Taps. 

Taps is saddest because it reminds us of death, yet proudest because not everyone gets to have it played at their funeral. It is reserved for those that have selflessly served their county. It will now hold an even more special place for me for years to come. 


P.S. – if you are interested, here is Dad’s obit. 

About Zach Clayton

Zach Clayton started Music Musings in 2013, but isn’t a stranger to music. While he may be a mild mannered accountant by day, he always has tunes going and forces his staff at work to play music trivia when they enter his office. He is a self-proclaimed lover of all music genres with over 3,500 songs in his iPod. Zach’s first concert was Eddie Money in Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym in 1979 and claims to have seen Van Halen (all three incarnations) over 25 times. There have only been one or two years since 1979 that Zach hasn’t been to a concert. He also has the uncanny knack of getting to know several folks in the music scene – both out front and behind the scenes. Zach is in the process of indoctrinating his two boys into the rock and roll way by exposing them to concerts and various music while holding them hostage in his truck screaming the mantra – “rap is crap!”

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