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Adele's 'Someone Like You' One of Top Songs Played at Funerals

Pop music has replaced hymns at two-thirds of funerals, a study finds

Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ might have been an international chart success, but it’s now entered at number 22 of the funeral music chart.

The track, which in July 2011 became the first single of the decade to sell a million in the United Kingdom, has entered the Co-operative Funeralcare‘s chart of the top music played at funerals.

‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra topped the poll for the seventh year running with the track requested at 15 per cent of funerals, while Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli’s rendition of ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ and Bette Midler’s ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ came in at second and third place.

The study also found that a quarter of funeral homes refused to play a track on the grounds of taste – usually because the clergy disagreed with the choice – for example John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, with the lyrics “imagine there’s no Heaven.”

Figures show that pop music has replaced traditional hymns at two-thirds of British funerals. In 2005, hymns accounted for 41 per cent of funeral music requests, but in the past 12 months the figure has fallen to 30 per cent. Only 4 per cent of mourners requested classical music.

The Co-op study was based on requests made at 30,000 services over the last 12 months.

The Top 20 pop songs requested at funerals in 2012 are:

1. Frank Sinatra – ‘My Way’
2. Sarah Brightman/Andrea Bocelli – ‘Time To Say Goodbye’
3. Bette Midler – ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’
4. Eva Cassidy – ‘Over The Rainbow’
5. Robbie Williams – ‘Angels’
6. Westlife – ‘You Raise Me Up’
7. Gerry & The Pacemakers – ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’
8. Vera Lynn – ‘We’ll Meet Again’
9. Celine Dion – ‘My Heart Will Go On’
10. Nat King Cole – ‘Unforgettable’
11. Tina Turner – ‘The Best’
12. Whitney Houston/Dolly Parton – ‘I Will Always Love You’
13. Monty Python – ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’
14. Luther Vandross – ‘Dance With My Father’
15. Louis Armstrong – ‘Wonderful World’
16. Daniel O’Donnell – ‘Danny Boy’
17. Eva Cassidy – ‘Fields Of Gold’
18. Righteous Brothers (and various) – ‘Unchained Melody’
19. Westlife – ‘Flying Without Wings’
20. Eva Cassidy – ‘Songbird’

What song would you choose for your funeral?

Source: NME blog

Ryan Thogmartin

Ryan Thogmartin is founder and CEO of two innovative companies. Connecting Directors LLC (www.connectingdirectors.com) and Disrupt Media Group, LLC (www.disruptmg.com). ConnectingDirectors.com is the premier progressive online publication for funeral professionals. ConnectingDirectors.com is a thriving global publication with a reader base of over 15,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the industry.

Disrupt Media Group, LLC is a social media marketing solutions firm. Disrupt MG focuses on proficiently assisting small businesses in creating engaging social media marketing strategies. Without a social media marketing strategy companies and brands are just aimlessly posting without any coherent direction. Social media marketing is more than just having a Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube page; businesses have to have a strategy to telling their story, one that opens the door and starts the conversation.

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  • Colin Firth

    Great piece Ryan.

    Personal music choices will only only grow in popularity as Boomers continue to impact funeral life celebrations, that is why we created the “world’s first” funeral Life Celebration Songbook with video links to youtube and legal downloading of songs at iTunes. During an arrangement meeting Funeral Directors can access the list from mysendoff.com to make suggestions to families and even register with us (it’s free) to let them hear a sample of the song. These days, the more services and value that funeral professionals can provide the better and music certainly is a factor in the trend towards more personalized life celebrations.

    BTW, our list is a starting point and we are interested in growing and adding to it, so if you have any suggestions, please send them to us at music@mysendoff.com

  • Colin Firth

    BTW, Here is a story about our songbook that contains links to our list.

    https://mysendoff.com/2012/10/creating-the-songbook-of-your-life/

  • Johannes

    The Diamond Rio song One More Day is one of the most heartfelt songs ever written and very approriate for funeral goodbye. Nice to see it on the list from mysendoff