The UK’s leading funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare has today released its 2016 funeral music charts, based on a study of over 30,000 funerals in the UK and research into what people would pick for their service.
The charts, which first launched in 2002 and have been released bi-annually since, see Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ top of the current funeral pops but in future we are going to see Adele conquer funeral services too. The British superstar entered the top ten twice, with worldwide smash Hello and the James Bond theme song to Skyfall.
Westlife’s You Raise Me Up topped the funeral pop song wishlist, while David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes and the Oasis 90’s classic – Half A World Away, which is also the theme tune to TV comedy The Royle Family made the top ten.
Former Smash Hits Editor, Kate Thornton said of the results “There’s a lot of surprises on the chart, and it’s a real chart with a difference but it’s good to see that people are putting so much thought and personality into what will be their swansong, as a way of making loved ones smile, shed a tear or laugh out loud.
I’ve been agonising over what song I’d choose, but the one I keep going back to is my favourite song of all time, ‘Love and Affection’, by Joan Armatrading, simply because it’s beautiful and a lovely open letter to love in all its guises.”
Humour is a key consideration for UK adults when choosing their funeral music. Over a tenth (11%) said they would consider having ‘another one bites the dust’ (Queen) at their own funeral. Others said they would consider ‘stayin alive’ (The Bee gees) ‘going underground (the Jam), Highway to hell (ACDC) ‘disco inferno’ (Trammps).
In fact, according to the research 42% say they want to raise a laugh amongst guests at their funeral, while 60% say they simply want a song that reminds guests of them showing that personalising the service is important to many.
David Collingwood, Head of Funeral Operations at the Co-op said: “Funerals are very much about personal choice and reflecting the personality, hobbies and interests of a person. More so than ever we’re seeing people pre-plan their funeral music and in the last 12 months, 42% of our funeral directors and arrangers have received ready-made pre-planned funeral playlists.
Personalisation doesn’t stop with the music; hearses, flowers, coffins and memorials can all be uniquely personalised to ensure a funeral reflects the unique personality of a person.”
The poll, conducted by the UK’s largest funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare, coincides with the release of their actual chart of the most popular songs of the last 12 months which saw My Way top the list, ahead of Time to Say Goodbye (Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman) and Over the Rainbow (Eva Cassidy).
More than a fifth of people who have actually arranged a funeral say they were given explicit instructions from their loved one on what music they wanted, while almost 30% plan on giving our family a CD with our favourite songs on it.
But funeral music is already going high-tech with more than one in ten planning on creating an iTunes or Spotify funeral playlist, while one in 20 will use an iPad during the ceremony to play music from.