The Funeral/ could I miss anyone more than I miss my mother now?

The Funeral/ could I miss anyone more than I miss my mother now?

marthienel's picture



Could I miss anyone more than I miss my mother now?The Funeral-Marthie Nel Hauptfleisch-WomanOnFire


Liner Notes: 

Marthie: I tweaked the shape of it a bit, the end is my favorite and me personally would make that the chorus because it drives home the message of the song.
Whopping 6 minute song...

Stephen: On mobile until tomorrow, but will say for now that this was based on a Reddit post. My mother is still doing well.


The Funeral- Stephen Wordsmith

My mother died at home, because she loved its cracks and corners/ And I felt that it was not my given place/ To let her slip away in some old hospice full of sterile things/ And holes in every ceiling tile's face

My husband and I stayed there, locked behind the door that locked out/ All the kith and all the kin who loved her most/ I tried to steer the world, and tried to steal a moment's slumber/ In the battered rocking chair beside her ghost/ BUT I COULDN'T, SO I DIDN'T…

1. The carers came, to give me strength/ To feed my soul at four arms' length
I wanted so to hold them close/ But couldn't, so I didn't
2.Then the undertakers stopped on by/ To hang her final curtain high
I wanted so to shake their hands/BUT COULDN'T, SO I DIDN'T

3.Pre-chorus: Instead, it was my phone that said/ Each choice, and spoke each tear I shed
I longed to make them face-to-face/(BUT COULDN'T, SO I DIDN'T)

4.They said 'Of course, they can attend/ As long as they're her closest friend'
I tried to cut the list to ten/ BUT COULDN'T, SO I DIDN'T

5.And each of them asked 'Can we come/To see her at the funeral home?'
I yearned to tell them 'welcome, yes'/BUT COULDN'T, SO I DIDN'T.

6. Pre-chorus: The shops were under lock and key/A black dress not essential, see
Could I buy one to watch her go?/(I COULDN'T, SO I DIDN'T)

7. And paperwork for 'loved and lost'/Comes not without its paper cost
I tried to cover every cent/BUT COULDN'T, SO I DIDN'T
8.I'll sell the car to pay the debt/And see that every end was met
The law stepped in and stripped my pen/I COULDN'T, SO I DIDN'T

9.Bridge: And through it all, my mind would sing/Could I miss any one or thing
More than I miss my mother now?/I COULDN'T…
10.But could I drop my guard and let/ My actions spread the beast's sick net
And put another in my place?/I COULDN'T…AND I WON'T

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


Your songs this summer are really grabbing the heart strings and giving them a good workout, playing them like a harp and getting some amazing melodies out of them. It's coming up on ten years since my Mum died, and I still find myself thinking I'd just ring her up for a chat...

That revolving context of "But I couldn't, so I didn't" is brutally honest and frank. I hope that this song was a catharsis, because it's so full of pain it's almost unbearable. But it's also beautiful. I LOVE the bridge.

And right now I'm genuinely crying like a baby. Just so you know.

cindyrella's picture

I am crying too. I am not sure if this could be any more honest, raw, and real. It makes my heart ache so much. I'm not sure if I've ever head anything like this, and it is incredible. I'm very sorry Stephen.

kahlo2013's picture

Wow.. this is a brilliant collaboration - the words are so poignant and heartfelt and the tender compassionate delivery is perfect. It is such an emotionally powerful song and draws me in and holds me even well after the song is done. Brilliant collaboration!

AndyGetch's picture

A heart-rending write and delivery of an event, even if not personal, that is happening all too frequently around the world. Well done on the collab!

Stephen Wordsmith's picture

Despite my having written the piece, I still find this hard to listen to. You've made the experience palpable in a way that simply writing about them could not have. This is a beautiful song, and a very astute realisation of the lyric.

Also found it interesting that you circled back to the idea of how much the narrator missed her mother. I had intended to leave it on the note that, despite the tragedy and sacrifice, she accepted it as right in order to prevent more people suffering as she did. But the song instead leaves us with the singer's personal pain. And I think I prefer that. Makes it more like a song and less like something the Director-General of Health would leverage in a public service announcement.

tcelliott's picture

This is a very touching collaboration. The lyric is painful but it's sympathetic and makes me feel less alone. The music is gentle and somehow eases the pain.