Hymns no longer most popular funeral song, as people favour of Frank Sinatra and Ed Sheeran

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Sarah Young
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Traditional hymns are no longer being regularly requested at funerals as new research reveals not a single one made this year’s top 10 most popular list.

When it was first compiled in 2016, the list featured hymns such as "The Lord Is My Shepar", "All Things Bright and Beautiful", and "Abide With Me".

However, for 2019 all three were replaced with modern day pop songs like Ed Sheeran’s "Supermarket Flowers" and "You Raise Me Up" by Westlife which both made their debut.

The top three funeral songs this year have remained in the same spot since 2016, with "My Way" by Frank Sinatra at number one, followed by "Time to Say Goodbye" by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman, and "Somewhere over the Rainbow" by Eva Cassidy.

Other songs which made it into the top 10 include "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler, "Angels" by Robbie Williams, and "Unforgettable" by Nat King Cole.

The survey of 2,000 adults by Co-op’s funeral directors also reported a shift in the number of people telling their families which songs they want played at their funeral.

A quarter (24 per cent) of UK adults say they have already told loved ones which songs they want playing at their funeral, compared to just a fifth (19 per cent) in 2016, it found.

The data also showed that one in four people want music played at their funeral which will make loved ones laugh including "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" by Eric Idle – the popular song from Monty Python's Life of Brian.

David Collingwood, director of funerals at the Co-op said: “We all live such unique lives and funerals should completely reflect that. Each element of a funeral is a very personal decision which is why the music choice plays such an important and impactful role.

“We’re always encouraging people to be more open about their funeral wishes, making it clear to their loved ones what they would want for themselves when the time comes.

“Even knowing what song someone would have wanted can bring such comfort at an incredibly hard time.”

Top songs at UK funerals, 2019:

  1. My Way - Frank Sinatra (non-mover)

  2. Time To Say Goodbye - Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman (non-mover)

  3. Over The Rainbow - Eva Cassidy (non-mover)

  4. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler (non-mover)

  5. Angels - Robbie Williams (re-entry)

  6. Supermarket Flowers - Ed Sheeran (new entry)

  7. Unforgettable - Nat King Cole (up three places)

  8. You Raise Me Up - Westlife (new entry)

  9. We’ll Meet Again - Vera Lynn (down three places)

  10. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - Eric Idle, from Monty Python's 'Life of Brian' (down two places)

New research from Macmillan Cancer Support recently revealed that 60 per cent of people in the UK have not spoken to their family or friends about their wishes when they die.

The poll found 62 per cent of people have avoided talking about the subject entirely, while 36 per cent have done no planning for their death.