I went to a memorial service this afternoon for a beautiful young woman, barely into her twenties, who passed suddenly. It was a packed church, several hundred there, and as the preacher said, a "celebration of a life" more than a sad occasion, though it was a very sad occasion.
The young woman's father was a drummer, and he and a tight little jazz combo played some music, the main song, along with several singers, being Bob Marley's "One Love" (I think that's the name of it, but you know the song—"One life, one love, let's get together and feel alright") which was an indication of the tone of the event and of the grieving father's response to it.
But after it was all over and I was wiping my tears away and people were leaving, a lone organist sat down at the altar and played, one note at a time, with one finger, a melody that was very familiar but I couldn't believe it was what I thought it was: the theme song to the movie Alfie. But it was. I asked the preacher, Who made that choice? And he said the deceased's father. Which made me go home and look it up to remember the lyrics to see why he chose it.
The movie version was Celia Black's, but the best versions were Dionne Warwick's and Nancy Wilson's. I chose a live version by Warwick from Youtube (that's Michael Caine's photo behind her, he played the role of "Alfie—I don't know who the Asian woman is at the end or why she's in there), but am printing the lyrics (by Hal David to Burt Bacharach's melody, with the latter declaring it his favorite of all his songs and the lyrics in his opinion the best of any song, which is a stretch, but damn they are good, better than I remembered so that's why I'm sharing them here) below it so you can see how beautiful a choice it was for a beautiful young woman who brought love to a lot of friends and family.
"What's it all about, Alfie? Is it just for the moment we live? What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie? Are we meant to take more than we give? Or are we meant to be kind? And if only fools are kind, Alfie, then I guess it's wise to be cruel. And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie, what will you lend on an old golden rule? As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie, I know there's something much more. Something even non-believers can believe in. I believe in love, Alfie. Without true love we just exist, Alfie. Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie. When you walk let your heart lead the way and you'll find love any day, Alfie."