Reach For The Sky - Social Distortion

by Stephen
(Modesto)

Had to write an essay for class about the song I wanted for my funeral. But that doesn't make this not true.





Because My Tomorrow Never Came
From the moment a person is born, they are doomed to die. As sad as it may be to those left behind, dying is a part of life. Society tries to help ease this pain with the ceremony of a funeral. A funeral is a time for people to reflect on a person's life through sermons, quiet contemplation and music. Of all these I believe that the most powerful is music. Music in a way combines beautiful sound, personal reflection, and a sermon. Therefore I want to make sure that the song I have for my funeral is perfect.

Usually, when one attends a funeral they will hear sad slow songs, or songs meant to bring peace to those behind. Sometimes, a song that seems fitting for a funeral that was also a favorite of the deceased will be played. I want my funeral to not be about me. Yes, of course people will be gathered there because of me, but I want all sermons and music to focus on them. I don't want sad music to be played, because I will be dead and thus won't be sad. I do not want people to who were able to stay strong to break down at my funeral, that is just plain mean. So no really sad music. That leaves us with uplifting music. I will probably have some of that, songs like Amazing Grace will work. But those songs just comfort people and help them not be sad. That's good, but not really my goal either. I don't want people to recover from my funeral, or just stay happy like they were before. No, what I want is for people to be better off because of my funeral. This is why for my funeral I want the song "Reach For The Sky" by Social Distortion to be played.

For those who know this song it might strike them as strange to imagine it being played at a funeral. And I must admit myself that it probably would catch some people by surprise at first, and some of my more conservative, narrow-minded family members might even be offended. Why would this be? It might offend some people because the song starts off with a rocking, earsplitting guitar riff which then leads into a verse sung by someone who sounds awfully like a singer of the infamous genre of punk rock. That would be because Social Distortion is a punk rock band, and the song is also has a distinct punk rock sound. So why play it at a funeral? Well to find this answer one must first delve deep into the lyrics and second have an open mind.

This song is really a beautiful, motivating, inspiring piece of music. Besides the actual musical beauty found in the vocals and musicianship, it carries one of the best messages ever found in a song. One that is perfect for my funeral. Like I said before, I want people to walk away from my funeral with a sense of gaining something not losing something. What I want them to gain is the same message found in Reach for the Sky. This song (as the title implies) is about reaching for the sky in the figurative meaning. The chorus of the song as simple as it may seem really says it all, "Reach for the sky, because tomorrow may never come." Yes, this song really would be perfect for my funeral. Both my death and the song combined makes the message come together perfectly. Live for the moment and be all that you can be, because you don't know if you will be alive tomorrow. With this song blaring and the fact that my tomorrow is not going to come, I am positive that my message will get through to people at my funeral.


I want all to be reminded through my death that life is short and that everyone is going to die, meanwhile the song will encourage them to do something about that fact. Like the bridge says, "So if you'll please take this moment. Try if you can to make it last. Don't think about no future and just forget about the past, and make it last."
Hopefully everyone at my funeral will remember to do this throughout their whole lives. For in doing so they can live truly happy lives up until the point when they have a song playing at their funeral.


Aside from all the meaning behind my funeral and song of choice, I guess there is another, maybe slightly more selfish reason for playing this song. It is definitely an unconventional song to play at a funeral, but that's what I want my funeral to be, different. I want it like this for two reasons. Firstly because people will remember it. I want people to remember my funeral as long as they live, because in doing so they will hopefully remember the message as well. I also don't want them to get my funeral mixed up with someone else's ten years down the road, because well, that's just rude! I can't think of a better way to accomplish this than have my punk rock song with meaning blaring from loudspeakers at an obscene decibel level. My second reason for wanting my funeral to be different, with an unconventional song is because it reflects how I was. I am unique, an individual if you will. So why would I want my funeral to be the same as every other funeral out there? I want it to be different just like I was. The song "Reach for the Sky", which will define my death, also defined my life, which makes it a perfect match for me.


I hope to accomplish something with my death. I do not want leave friends and family in sorrow. I want them to walk away from my funeral thinking, "Wow, I'm glad I went to that."
Sure, it might be an unconventional thought after a funeral. Just like playing a punk rock song may seem unconventional at a funeral. But hey, after all its my funeral right? If my funeral song happens to offend anyone or makes someone feel strange I won't care because I'll be dead. But hopefully people will understand and appreciate what it is that I am trying to accomplish with my chosen song at my funeral. Because if they don't then that means they won't be getting my message. I hope that people can listen to the lyrics and be reminded that tomorrow just might not come for them and they should live life to the fullest. I mean after all, my tomorrow never came, what to say that theirs will?




Lyrics
When I was young I was invincible
I found myself not thinking twice
I never thought about no future
It's just a roll of the dice

But the day may come when you got something to lose
And just when you think you're done paying dues
You say to yourself "Dear, God What have I Done?"
And hope its not too late cause tomorrow may never come

Reach for the sky cause tomorrow may never come
Reach for the sky cause tomorrow may never come

Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery
But baby right now,
It's just about you and me

You can run you can hide
Just like Bonnie and Clyde
Reach for the sky
ain't never gonna die
And I thank the Lord for the love that I have found
And hold you tight cause tomorrow may never come

Reach for the sky cause tomorrow may never come
Reach for the sky cause tomorrow may never come

So if you please take this moment
Try if you can to make it last
Don't think about no future
And just forget about the past
And make it last

Reach for the sky cause tomorrow may never come
(reach for the sky I ain't never going down)
Reach for the sky cause tomorrow may never come
(reach for the sky I ain't never coming down)
Reach for the sky cause tomorrow may never come
(reach for the sky I ain't never going down)
Reach for the sky cause tomorrow may never come


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