While most people have some idea about what song they want played at their funeral, chances are their musical choice is something sombre or serious. For Monty Python star Eric Idle, that isn’t the case.
The 75-year-old actor appeared on a recent episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert where he revealed the X-rated song he wants played at his service when he dies.
Idle was on the popular late-night talk show to discuss the release of his new book, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. Fans of Monty Python will know it’s also the name of a popular song and final track on the 1979 Comedy Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
Host Colbert described it as “one of the best songs you ever wrote” and explained that the track has taken on a life of its own and become an anthem of sorts for funerals. In the film, the song is sung during a comical crucifixion.
“It was interesting because you saw a parody of a war song. If you’re being crucified, there’s not much of the bright side of life left,” Idle explained. “But then in the Falklands War, all the sailors were bombed on the Sheffield and they sang it for three hours while they waited to be rescued by the rest of the Navy.”
He claimed it became a war song sung by real people in dangerous situations and that decades later, it’s now the “number one song sung in English funerals.”
Colbert questioned whether the song was played as the body was lowered down into the ground.
“Or whatever they’re doing, into the flames,” Idle joked. “They sing ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ and they have done for 10 years and it knocked [Frank] Sinatra off that role.”
Before the humorous track took over, it was actually Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ that was the most popular funeral song.
Colbert then asked the British actor what song he wanted played at his own funeral.
Without missing a beat, the comedian revealed the very naughty song he’d play, revealing it would be ‘Sit on My Face’. The audience burst into laughter, although Colbert didn’t quite know what to make of the admission.
The track appeared on one of the Monty Python albums and is an ode to a sexual act, but we’ll let you use your own imagination as to what it’s all about.