The latest survey of funeral music by the Co-operative Funeral Care reveals that two thirds of funerals feature pop music rather than classical or religious music. Only 30% of funerals featuring hymns as opposed to 41% in their 2005 survey.
The Co-op's survey draws on music choices from 30,000 funeral services conducted by their funeral service between September 2011 and September 2012.
Top of the pop music charts is Frank Sinatra's "My Way", and despite the statistic that only 4% of mourners ask for classical music, at number 2 in the chart is "Time to say Goodbye", as sung in Italian by opera singer Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman and on a couple of occasions in 2012, our own soloists too!
Another interesting change is the rise in popularity of Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again", which is a favourite at traveller funerals in our experience, and "Over the Rainbow", which caused one clergy in Winchester to sniff in derision until our soloist wowed the congregation and he had to admit, it sounded OK!
The really good news for funeral singers and musicians alike is that over 53% of funeral homes (funeral directors) were asked to arrange live music for funerals, up from 39% in 2009. Long may that trend continue.
The top funeral music lists from the Co-operative Funeralcare Survey 2012 are as follows:
Top ten hymns for funerals
Abide with Me *
The Lord is my Shepherd *
All Things Bright and Beautiful *
The Old Rugged Cross *
How Great Thou Art *
Amazing Grace *
Morning Has Broken *
The Day Thou Gavest Lord Has Ended *
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace *
Top ten pieces of classical music for funerals
Nimrod – Elgar
Canon in D – Pachelbel
Ave Maria – Schubert *
Nessun Dorma – Puccini *
Pie Jesu – Faure *
The Four Seasons – Vivaldi
Adagio – Albinoni/Bizet
Air on a G String – Bach
Largo – Handel *
Clare de Lune – Debussy
Top ten pop music tracks for funerals
My Way – Frank Sinatra *
Time To Say Goodbye – Sarah Brightman/Andrea Bocelli *
Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
Over the Rainbow – Eva Cassidy *
Angels – Robbie Williams
You Raise Me Up – Westlife *
You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry & the Pacemakers *
We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn *
My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
Unforgettable – Nat King Cole *
All items marked with * have been sung by our experienced soloists here at Singers for Funerals.
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