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Redditor Unsure Whether They Should Honor Late Mom’s Request For Comedic Song At Funeral

casket at a funeral
RubberBall Productions/Getty Images

Redditor Safe-Criticism-8500 recently lost their mother.

Now the Original Poster (OP) is finding themselves tasked with planning their mother’s funeral.

While traditionally a sad affair, the OP’s mother had an explicit dying wish regarding her funeral song choice.

The song is unconventional at the least, leaving the OP curious if they should change the song to better suit the guests.

However, the OP doesn’t want to disregard their mother’s final wish.

This conundrum drove the OP to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

They asked:

“WIBTA if I play the song that my mom chose for her funeral, knowing it might offend some attendees?”

They went on to explain:

“My mom recently passed away, and our family (primarily me) are making the arrangements for the upcoming funeral.”

“My mom always had a really excellent sense of humor, and before she passed she told not only me but all of the palliative care staff at the hospital…”

“…that the song she wanted played at her funeral was ‘Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead’ from The Wizard of Oz.”

“(I managed to at least talk her out of the soundtrack version sung by the Munchkins and got her to agree to the classier jazz version by Ella Fitzgerald.)”

“Now, I agree with my mom that this would be a really funny thing to play at a funeral and would showcase her sense of humor to a tee.”

“However, I’m also VERY aware that not everyone that’s going to come to the funeral is going to take the joke in the same spirit…”

“…and I think that some of the more religious friends and family members might be extra upset because there’s a certain repeated line that implies she’s going to hell.”

“Plus, we’re explicitly having a non-religious service and one of said family members has already expressed disappointment with that.”

“So on the one hand I think it’s my mom’s funeral and I should respect her wishes above anyone else’s opinions.”

“But on the other hand I realize that funerals are for the living, and it’s pretty disrespectful to do something that’s going to upset those actually in attendance…”

“…when obviously my mom isn’t going to know one way or the other.”

“WIBTA if I still play the song my mom picked?”

“(If it matters my alternate choice would be Landslide by Fleetwood Mac, which was her favorite song and what we all listened to in the hospital together after she passed.)”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

“NTA. And you introduce the song with something like ‘Now, you all know my mom had a quirky sense of humor, and this was the one song she requested.'”

“‘If you’re offended, well, you’ll have to take that up with her.'” – EleriTMLH

“Why not put it in the program? There’s usually a little folded paper thing with info in it for mourners.”

“You could also have the person who is leading the funeral to say something like ‘and at the request of [Mom’s Name], here’s a song she chose to say goodbye with'”

“I’m so sorry for your loss, and I hope you find a way to honor your mom and the haters can stuff it.” – botswa

“One time, during dinner, my daughter said she’d like the closing theme song to, ‘The Bear in the big blue house,’ played at her funeral if she were to ever die.”

“Well, she did die, and that’s what we had played during the service.”

“Edit: added, ‘closing theme.'” – stargill70

“I am sorry for your loss. NTA but maybe give a preamble about honoring her sense of humor and the joy she found in life.”

“If you only play the song without an explanation, people will think you are a dick (who is happy the witch is dead…)” – csiddiqui

“YWNBTA. I would almost say Y W B T A if you DIDN’T follow her wishes. lol” – Mysterious_Fudge_743

“NTA. Your mom was deliberate in her choices. Your religious relatives can have religious funerals when it’s their time.”

“They don’t get to choose for other people. I haven’t heard Ella Fitzgerald’s version of the song your mom chose, but personally, I think the munchkin version would be hysterical.”

“Your mom knew who she was. You’re celebrating who she was. What’s most important is- if you don’t honor your mom’s wishes, how will YOU feel about this years later down the road?”

“Because those religious relatives won’t think about this again. But you will” – SubstantialQuit2653

“Anyone who really knew your mother would love it. It would be a wonderful way to honor her memory.”

“Make an announcement before playing it, something like ‘Mom specifically requested this be played. Please do not take it was disrespectful or that it implies she’s going to hell.'”

“‘The line is she’s gone to where the goblins go, below…we see this as simply below the ground, not hell.’ I looked up the lyrics to be sure, there’s no mention of hell.”

“Then if she was really against a religious type of funeral you could play ‘Going Home’ a version of Dvorak’s 5th symphony which is just gorgeous and can be heard either way.”

“‘So on the one hand, I think it’s my mom’s funeral and I should respect her wishes above anyone else’s opinions.'”

“This is right on and you should go with that. Funerals ARE for the living but her surviving children and spouse are most important.”

“My condolences for your loss.” – cordelia1955

“Nta. Id Play the song. Funerals are for the living but to celebrate the person who passed. Therefore honor them how they want.” – 06shuu


“But I would inform people beforehand somehow that this is something she specifically asked for, I wouldn’t want it to be a surprise.”

“If they loved her for her, then they should really know; this is her exact type of humor and something she’d ask for.”

“It COULD be upsetting, but it could also make people laugh because it is just so her to not take even her death that seriously.” – EnergyThat1518

“NTA. If you’re worried, you can precede it with something like”

“‘As you all know, my mother had a wicked sense of humour. She asked that I play a very special song at her funeral.'”

“‘Now I know not everyone has her sense of humour, so if you have objections, please feel free to discuss them with her after the funeral.'”

“‘She’ll be happy to discuss it with you if you’d like to visit her for a chat at XYX Cemetery.'” – occultatum-nomen

“One of our best friends died in his 30s from brain cancer. He was adamant about having ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ played at his funeral.”

“So at the very staid and stuffy Methodist church in front of a very large crowd, his casket was processed in with a lovely instrumental version of it! I still miss him.” – theflyinghillbilly2

“Im going with YWNBTA”

“your mom’s wish was for it to be played, either as a good sendoff or to lighten the room.”

“You WILL have people who would call you insensitive, but i see it as its your mom’s wish, and should be respected” – 0megaTempest

“NTA Put a note in the program, make an announcement before the song if need be.”

“And if your relatives complain that the funeral wasn’t to their taste, just smile and tell them it’s what your Mom wanted but you’ll keep that in mind when you’re attending theirs.” – EJ_1004

“My mum passed in November. She wanted cotton eyed Joe as a song. She just liked the beat and always had a dance when it was on .”

“My sister said in the eulogy that mum had a sense of humor, as you all know, and will realize when the song she requested is played .”

“Devastating day but I’m so glad we honoured her wishes !” – Gloomy_Object_3757

“NTA- but I would recommend doing some sort of announcement of forward that explains that this was your moms wish…”

“…something with a wink and a nod to her sense of humor so people don’t think you just hate your mom.” – clevermuggle22

“You would not be the ah. Your mom made her wishes clear. Anyone who would be offended is probably someone who didn’t know her very well.”

“I went to a funeral for a farmer years ago, and they had a loop of 4 songs going the whole time. You could get through the first three songs…”

“…but as soon as ‘she thinks my tractors sexy’ by Kenny Chesney came on, everyone was laughing.”

“My dad has secured a promise from me since childhood to play ‘Highway to hell’ by AC/DC at his funeral.”

“My great aunt has made me swear to throw the flowers from her casket to see who will be next 😂 these are the funerals.”

“Some people have a sense of humor, some don’t. Your mom had one and this is her wish. Honor it” – Weird-Jellyfish-5053

Verdict: definitely would not be the a**hole.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)