In a traditional Nawlins funeral, this song is played slowly on the way out to the gravesite by a makeshift brass band or jazz combo composed of the deceased's friends, symbolizing the feeling of loss. Other than the tempo, there aren't really any rules. Don't have an instrument? Sing along, or sob. Let your grief pour down.

Depending on what goes on at the gravesite, the band stops playing, or drops down to pianissimo, or everyone simply sets down the casket and leaves the burying for later.

Nonetheless, the best version of this song you will ever hear is when the pallbearers and the band can't see the grave anymore. The deceased is no longer in the coffin; he or she is in HEAVEN! Hallelujah! The tempo is picked up, the weeping is forgotten, and the very same song is played as a rollicking, joyous, ad lib celebration jam: a closer walk with Jesus, after all, is what the song is about, and that is a wonderful thing for our dear departed friend! Improvised counter-melodies and descants are the norm, and "cutting loose" is the theme.