As It Happens

'My dear, what a surprise' N.L. woman gets band to re-record favourite song for her funeral

The Newfoundland band Buddy Wasisname & The Other Fellers got an odd request from a big fan: to re-record one of their songs for her funeral. Eleanor Parrott tells us about her song of choice.
Eleanor Parrott, 80, from Random Island, N.L. got one of her favourite bands to record a special version of a song to play at her funeral.

Eleanor Parrott had ironed out all the details for her funeral. The only thing left to figure out was the music.

The 80-year-old from Random Island, N.L. is a huge fan of Buddy Wasisname & The Other Fellers, a Newfoundland band. They have a song called "Carry Me," which Parrott loves. But the tune is a little too upbeat for a funeral setting — so Parrott decided do something about it.

She reached out to the band to record a special version. And that's exactly what they did. As It Happens host Carol Off got the whole story from Eleanor Parrott herself.

Wayne Chaulk of Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers gives a CD to Eleanor Parrott at her home last Saturday. Parrott asked the band if they could re-record a slower version of the song "Carry Me." (Submitted)

Carol Off: Eleanor, why do you want this song, "Carry Me," played at your funeral?

Eleanor Parrott: Because that's the most wonderful song that I heard for that purpose. [It goes] "Carry me, take my footprints from the sand." I thought it was a beautiful, beautiful song to sing to me when they're bringing me out of church.

CO: Now why are you arranging your funeral?

EP: Perhaps it's funny for me to say. We're one of those close families. And I didn't want them to have the pressure of arranging everything after I'm gone. Because it would be hard enough on 'em when the time comes for me to go. Let alone having to arrange everything. So I just thought I'd do it myself.

CO: Now, Buddywasisname and the Other Fellers, they have a recording of this song. Why can't you just use that recording?

EP: [The song starts] off soft and mellow. And when [Wayne Chaulk, member of the band] got part way through the song, he speeded up fast. So I just asked the question, "Could he make a disc for me, with just that one song on it?" And [Wayne] did that. And he done it exactly like I wanted it. 

CO: And so how did you let it be known to Wayne that you needed a new recording of that song?

EP: I called in the studio, told them what I want. They passed the message onto Wayne. I never heard no more talk of it. So I forgot all about it. Thursday night passed and the phone rang. And when I looked, the name on the phone was Wayne Chalk.

(St. John's Arts and Culture Centre)

EP: The next day, my daughter was here. She was out on the bridge and I thought I heard her speak to somebody. I looked out and here was Wayne and his wife, God love the two of them. And I opened the door and I said "Oh my God. Come on in." And the two of 'em came in. My dear, what a surprise and what a beautiful, friendly evening we had.

CO: Tell us about the evening you had.

EP: Well, we were chattin', and he brought me the disc I asked for. He brought me a poster. And he brought me a DVD. And he never charged me a cent. 

CO: I hope you're not going to be using these funeral plans anytime soon...

EP: I hope not. But whatever it is my dear, we've got no control. And I'm ready.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. For the full version, listen to our interview with Eleanor Parrott.


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