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While people associate hymns with religious funerals, they are still sung at some humanist and secular services. You might think of them as traditional favourites but hymns are no longer the most popular options for funeral music. More mourners are opting for personalised tributes and contemporary songs.
Data from Co-op Funeralcare shows that music choices for final farewells have changed drastically. A lot of mourners reject the traditional idea of a sombre funeral, and instead want a more personal send-off.
The chart from the UK’s biggest chain of funeral directors shows that hymns are no longer in the top ten choices. People are now more likely to opt for modern songs. This is happening at the same time that religious services are on the decline. One in four people want music that will make others laugh at their funeral. Sometimes the best choices to help them grieve and remember are contemporary lyrics which act as the soundtrack of our lives.
In the past, strong contenders in the funeral chart included hymns like The Lord’s My Shepherd. These have been squeezed from the list to make way for more recent songs.
My Way by Frank Sinatra is still number 1 and has been for a while. This is apart from 2014 when it was Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, now in 10th position. Time to Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman came in 2nd position and Over The Rainbow by Eva Cassidy in 3rd.
There are some long-time favourites like Angels by Robbie Williams which came in at 5th as well as You Raise Me Up by Westlife at 8th. A new entry to the list is Ed Sheeran’s Supermarket Flowers at 6th. The others in the list were Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler in 4th, Unforgettable by Nat King Cole in 7th, and We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn in 9th.
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