March 2005 (v7 i5)
Sockin' it to You Since 1997
 Jump to Issue  

Buy Merchandise

AIM Buddy Icons

Desktop Backgrounds


'Time of Your Life' played at funeral
Friends, family deeply moved by inappropriateness
by Laura Schulman, Administrative Assistant

Why the grave face?
AUSTIN — Twenty-year-old James McFaul played Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" at his grandmother's funeral Thursday, in a performance that friends and family called "cliché but trite."

"I just think it's such a moving song," said McFaul, who has been a big fan of the song since it was released as a single in 1998. "It really makes everyone take a step back and focus on all the beautiful experiences they've had."

He added: "Especially if it accompanies a montage."

The three-minute ballad, a standard at graduation ceremonies, middle school dances and last days of summer camp since its 1998 release, has become a recurring marker in McFaul's life.

"He plays it for everything," said Laurie McFaul, James' mother. "When his sister's class picked that Vitamin C song as their anthem, he just couldn't handle it. He brought a boom box and played his song out of protest."

It came as no surprise, then, that McFaul would perform it live at his grandmother Jean's funeral. During his sentimental rendition, many family members sobbed with greater intensity — not just out of grief that their grandmother was gone, said one unnamed relative, but out of grief that their cousin was still alive.

After the performance, several family members took turns standing at the podium to give their remembrances of Jean. In his eulogy, McFaul mined "Good Riddance" for its lyrical poignancy.

"He kept saying her death was 'something unpredictable,'" said Rene Longoria, McFaul's cousin. "Which is odd considering she had been on life support for three months and the decision to pull the plug had been made a week before."

McFaul intends to keep the song central to his life, pointing especially to its role in inspiring him to be original in his use of language.

"Every time there's a turning point at a fork in the road that takes place at a new chapter in the road of life, I'll be playing that song," McFaul said. Specifically, he cited the loss of his virginity, his first apartment move-out, his wedding, any subsequent divorces and, of course, his college graduation.

"The coolest will be if they play it while I'm walking across the stage, with a photo slide show of my crazy college days playing on a projection screen," McFaul said. "If that happened, well... let's just say it would be the 'time of my life.'"
« Back to the March 2005 issue
©1997-2006 Texas Travesty | Copyright & Legalese | Issue Credits | Texas Travesty Archives Home