Wednesday, October 29, 2014

25 greatest songs for a Funeral (actually at a Wake)

By no means am I a Christian person, but do I ever like the music played at Wakes. You know the services for the recently deceased. In our Reserve people come out and sing. Not everyone mind you but a few people and do they ever sound good. The songs are of the country and gosple type. You know the songs?  I saw the light by the great master Hank Williams Sr.  I'll have a new body, and so on.  There are the guitars playing and maybe a bass guitar as well. Usually it is acoustic guitars. Anyway, I have been to a number of Wakes in our Reserve and the music is something that I enjoy (as well as the food, treats and tea -- for some reason there are white mints there?) This got me thinking about what kind of music I would like to hear at my Wake (should there be one -- kind of leaning against one but you never know)

At first I thought I would list one hundred. One hundred? Who has time for that? So twenty five is not too overwhelming of a number.

I will start with what I think is the best Wake song out there. I would love for this to played at a Wake that I am part of (should there be one):

Boogie Wonderland by Earth Wind and Fire. If you watch this video, there is no way you can't say that is fun fun fun!  After this song, it doesn't go in order of what should be played next. The tone of the Wake has been set. 

Lust for Life by Iggy Pop, but if Iggy is not your thing, you can't go wrong with the Commodores when Lionel Richie was there. There 1977 Musical extravganza with Zoom. Their live Album was fantastic and just cool. The song just to be close to you is fun and groovy.

Zoom I did forget this one. From the Commadores live album. That album could be put on like it go for some time of the wake. Some funk and some ballads. Good mix. Lionel Richie sounds "Black" in the live version of Just to Be Close to you". Listen and you will see what I am talking about.  I had Rebel Yell by Billy Idol, but don't think he really should be on the list.

Whole Lotta Rosie  by ACDC or you can go with Let there be Rock. You can't beat Bon Scott. He was the man! 

Magnolia Wind with Emmy Lou Harris & John Prine, although Guy Clark version is awesome as well.   Originally had  Slow Ride by Foghat Now who can resist a Wake with this tune playing? But actually you can switch this one with Eurythmics, "would I like to you". Or one of Annie Lennox songs. Her Vocals are spectacular. Insanely good.  Why is a good song.

Wammer Jammer by the J. Geils Band "A little bit of chicken picken" Or Uncle Earl My Epitaph is a haunting and good song.

Got My Mojo Working by the Great Muddy Waters.  In this version you can see him signal his band to cool it down a bit as they started. Or you can switch this one with Mannish Boy.

 Dead Flowers by the Rolling Stones, of course the original by Towns Van Zandt version would be cool too. If you are not a fan then another Stones Song would be groovy.  I have always liked Emotional Rescue, but the best Stones ever is Gimme Shelter.

Nobody Knows Me by Lyle Lovett.  Of course anything by Lyle would make the list. So a nice ballad to let people rest after abit is cool. 

Come on Up to the House by Tom Waits. Shit if you're going to start with Lyle might as well get the master out there as well.  Tom and his Ballads kick arse. His lyrics are so damn cool.  "come down of the cross, we can use the wood"...

Bright Side of the Road.  No Wake is complete without Van the Man. Van Morrison.  Heck you could fill up the list with one album of Van.  Moondance is my all time favorite song. The Album is one of the best along with Pink Floyd's The Wall.

1999 by Prince.  Or one of his songs from Purple Rain.  If Prince doesn't do it for you and you want to cool it down for a bit and ponder life, put on Eva Cassidy. She's not well known but what an awesome voice. She's not Sarah Brightman but I like her still. Fields of Gold Eva Cassidy

YesterMe YesterYou by Stevie Wonder. I have been a long time Stevie Wonder fan. His song Superwoman is awesome. This song is a reflective song. You know you got to give them some ballads to soothe.


Illegal Smile by of course John Prine.  You could put any Prine song here.  He is a story teller and I like that.  "You may see me tonight with an illegal smile. Please tell the man I didn't kill anyone.  I'm just trying to have me some fun."  Funny how he can make a good story out of most anything.

Three Little Birds by Bob Marley.  Hell just put on his greatest hits cd and let it play.  You be Jammin'.  But didn't the U.S. force the Buffalo Soilders to kill Indians?  I don't know me.

Over the Rainbow by Israel IZ Kamakawiwo'ole.  I think this song is a classic and it is a real Wake song. One that could go in anyones home.  Just cool.  All I can say. It played at the Wake at my Boys.  Makes me sad and think of my Mom. So what is a Wake without a few tears. But mostly you want joy for the person.

Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash. Although Kristoferson is good, John played Kris's song to perfection.  

I'll have a new body  by the greatest white country blues player Hank Williams Sr. My Dad was a big fan so I heard lot of Hank as a Kid. I think lot of Indian homes playe Hank in the days. If you don't have this one, the favorite is I Saw the light. A real Wake Staple.

Life During Wartime. by Talking Heads.  One of my favorites by Talking Heads. Makes you want to just kick open the casket and start dancing.   A very cool tune.

Night time is the Right time by the sensational Ray Charles.  This is one of my favorites of Ray. He is of course just great. This song would make you move your head as you sit and visit at the Wake of your loved one (me).  You know what is a great song? but wouldn't make my 25 greatest Wake songs? A change is gonna come by Sam Cooke. It might be a good song for someone else's Wake. " It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky..."

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd. You can't have a Wake without Floyd. This song is special to me personally.  It reminds me of a son that I had. He's gone now. but I remember him in this song. Heck you could through on this live album and be cool with it as well.

In your Eyes by Peter Gabriel.I realized that I didn't have Peter Gabriel on this list so I took out David and David's Welcome to the Boomtown, an okay song but should not have been on here to begin with. Now that Peter Gabriel Secret World Tour album could be put on at my Wake and I would be happy. Paula Cole and Papa Wemba did an awesome tour with Gabriel. The song Don't give up is just heart breaking.

Never Ending Song of Love. Man how could I have forgotten this song. Its so fun and it has great memories of my Kookum for me. She lived across the road in a small little house and I used to go sit and visit with her. In the 1970s.  She died in 78.  She was a cool grandmother. This song has it all, lots of background vocals cheering and whooping. Had Omar and the Howlers here with their song Hard times in the Land of Plenty but its really not Wake material or wake worthy.

Copper Head Road.  By Steve Earle.  Of course we have to have this one on here. People love this song. Its a good one. I like his new style as well but you got to admit his old country rock was good.

Check it Out. by John Mellencamp.  Either this one or the Cherry Bomb. But I like this line "you can't tell your best buddy you love him".  Tells you a lot of society.  Reflective song, but not too sappy or I should say sad.  "Check it out, time to question my own behaviour".

Diamond Mine by Blue Rodeo could be on this list for sure. I think the guy makes it sound so cool.  The way he drags the song. Super Freak  This one should have been here for sure. I like this song. Its catchy and fun. That's what should be at all Wakes, fun and catchy.  I couldn't remember it before so I had this one on here   I'll Stand by You. by Chrissie Hynde. One of the sexiest women in the music industry (her and Mary Chapin Carpenter). 

If I should fall from Grace of God.  The Pouges. You just can't have a Wake without playing some Pouges. I am a fan and so was my boy.  I just love their Christmas song. best one out there.

There are many songs out there and singers but this list could be one to start of your Wake. So your arse won't get sore sitting around drinking coffee.

Miigwech

Steve











Monday, October 13, 2014

'Kia ora' - Maori are really loved by Indians.

'Kia ora tatou'

Maori are the tangata whenua.

We are fortunate to have met some Maori over the years.  When they come to Canada they are treated as Royality.
Actually they are treated better than royality they are treated like family - Cousins. That Which is better. I believe this to be true from the Indians I have seen interacting with the Maori.  Perry, Jigson, Ivy, and a host of other Reserve people. That is because they are our relatives. But we don't treat them like the cousins we see everyday. We treat them like the cousins that live a couple of Provinces over. Because when you see the same old cousins everywhere, you just give them the 'yeah yeah' treatment. (Smile and wave boys, smile and wave.) The cousins from aways away are treated a little better. You still tease the heck out of them and make fun of them, but you are more generous to them. Sure you will pull your everyday cousin out of the ditch in the middle of winter but you won't give him your last five bucks. If we treated our far away cousins  like royality they wouldn't be able to use the toilets. We would need to bring in a new toilet everytime they want to go take a dump.  I guess that is the gossip of what took place that time that Her Royal Highness came to Winnipeg.  The rumour was the Queen had to have a new toilet, one that was not used by anyone else. So the Maori can use the regular toilets in any Reserve home that they visit. They don't need to be treated like anything other than "cuz", our far away relatives. So that way we would give them our last five bucks. So we treat our far away relatives like our close relatives; with fun, kindness, happiness, generousity and openness. We don't treat them good to impress them. That is not the way. We treat them good because that is the way.

I like to think that Indigenous Folk like other Indigenous folk. Aroha
If you go to their home community, they will treat you with kindness and with an open home.

It was nice to meet new Indigenous people and it was also great to see an old friend, Carmine Heteraka. These Maori came to the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba as part of a get together (conference) on health.  I was not part of the conference at all.  I like to go to conferences to check out the trade shows. Lot of good information, lot of great craft and art. And to top it off you get to collect a lot of free pens. You can never have enough pens. There may even be a bag or two that you can score. I know, I know it is a Pa-chaak move. A Pa-chaak is (although I am not sure of the english translation) kind of a jerk. The jerk can be good or bad. You know the type, come into your home, doesn't take off their shoes, looks in your fridge, takes your last beer, jumps to the front of the line, mouches food for free at conferences. That's what I did. I am glad I did. I ran into our friend there from New Zealand - Aotearoa.   I also met a bunch of new relatives from New Zealand.  

I think there are many Natives out there that feel the same way. You may have met some great folk from other Reserves, different Tribes from different provinces or from different States or countries. That is what has generally been the experience I have seen. Other Indians will treat you pretty good when you go to their community.  I have gone to quite a few different Reserves in United States, Canada and in Manitoba (Cross Lake, Shoal Lake, Pukatawagan, Berens River, Bloodvein, Dog Creek, White Dog, Hazleton, Alderville, Fox Lake, Rocky Boy, etc) and the folk are good.  The close by Reserves are okay, but because they are close by they treat you like that, a close cousin (so no giving you their last five bucks, although some will).

For me I have some great feelings of comfort and happiness when I think of the  Maori and New Zealand. I was very fortunate to have gone there, thanks to a relative from Sagkeeng (Perry). At New Zealand we stayed at the home of Marlene and Mak Leuluai of Whangaruru.  They opened their home to a whole group of us. Fed us, shared their families and their culture with us. It was fantastic!  My Son was on the trip as well. He was about 12 or 14 at the time. I wish he were still here today. It is our hope, Suz, Chloe and I to go there one day. I have mixed feelings about that. The first time there was so wonderful, I am afraid that going there again may not be as I expect it to be. You know what I mean?  You don't want to be disappointed.  Weird I know. Its like that saying "you can't go home again".  "... took it to mean that things and you change, and that you can never recapture the feelings you had in the past. It will always seem different."  If and When I go to New Zealand I want to be treated like a God (not thee God but "a" god).  I want people to treat me as a long lost relative or a far away relative. Not like strangers. I guess that is what I am afraid of.



I was lucky this time around that I got to take a few people to visit my cousins. And I was happy because I knew my cousins would not disappoint, they would be good hosts. Because that is the way. They are open and kind.  Right away they looked for gifts for the visitors. My other friend in Sagkeeng I know him and he is the type to feed the people. So I am sure that when the Maori went to visit in Sagkeeng he would feed them.  I can guarantee that would happen.

That was one of the things I notice about Indigenous folk, they want to make sure you eat, you are fed. When I was at the conference, hanging around the people told me to eat. Make sure to eat.

That is a commonality amoung Indians, they want to make sure you are fed. It is important.

So if you ever get the chance to meet some Indians or Maori or other Indigenous folk, make sure to feed them. They know that is the way. 



Māori are the tangata whenua – the people of the land