Just so you know, if there’d been a ceremony, this is the music we would have played:
- Sorry by Bix Beiderbecke featuring Don Murray on clarinet.
- My Buddy by Jimmy Rowles featuring Stan Getz on tenor.
- Look for the Silver Lining by Jake Hanna featuring Jack Sheldon on vocal and trumpet.
- Tell Me Your Dream by Bunk Johnson’s Brass Band.
And here is a poem by Louis MacNeice which meant a lot:
The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was Spawning snow and pink roses against it Soundlessly collateral and incompatible: World is suddener than we fancy it. World is crazier and more of it than we think, Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion A tangerine and spit the pips and feel The drunkenness of things being various. And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes – On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands – There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.
Conrad felt his own epitaph was captured in this line from a poem, The Civil Servant, by Michael Longley:
“…The books he had read, the music he could play…”
I agree with him. Ali