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funeral music

Top Funeral Music Some Ideas To Consider

Top Funeral Music – What is Top of The Pops?

What is top funeral music these days? Pop music has become the soundtrack to peoples’ lives – and now deaths.  Over 66% of today’s funerals are accompanied by pop music says research by The Co-operative Funeralcare, the UK’s biggest chain of funeral directors.

Just one in twenty five asked for classical music.

Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” remains top of the funeral pops, the longest running number 1 by holding on to the number one spot for 7 years. Only in 2002 did Bette Midler edge ahead briefly with “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

The research shows a steady decline in singing or even playing hymns at funerals: seven years ago, hymns were over forty per cent of all funeral music but this year they have fallen below thirty per cent.

Top of the Hymns was “Abide With Me.”

The favourite classical piece was “Nimrod” by Elgar.

Most funerals featured sombre or emotive music, but a more humorous approach is becoming popular with Eric Idle’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” at number 13 in the pop funeral charts.  It’s even more popular regionally, reaching number six in the South East and the North East, and number nine in London.

The  Ying Tong Song by Spike Milligan, whose engraved headstone famously reads “I Told You I Was Ill,” featured at several funerals.

Less conventional requests included Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, and the clock from Channel Four’s Countdown marking the seconds as the curtains closed at the crematorium.  Variety is not just the spice of life it seems wehn it comes to top funeral music.

Lorinda Robinson, Head of Marketing, The Co-operative Funeralcare, said: “Hymns were once the mainstay of a funeral service but pop music plays such an important part in people’s lives that it now acts as the theme tune to their passing. Modern funerals are very much about personal choice, and this is often reflected in the choice of music.

“Song lyrics now provide the poignant words to remember a loved one’s life, either to acknowledge how much they were loved and will be missed or as a reminder of their favourite hobby, pastime or humour.”

Key findings:

• My Way becomes the UK’s longest running number one song – as requested at 15 per cent of funerals – while six of Sinatra’s hits feature in the charts, making him the most popular artist of all.
• A quarter of funeral homes have had to refuse to play a piece of music on the grounds of taste, usually because clergy conducting the ceremony feel the choice is inappropriate. An example is John Lennon’s Imagine which features the line ‘Imagine there’s no heaven.”
• Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings continues a slow slide down the charts from number one in 2002, to number two in 2005 and 2009 but down to number three in 2012.
• Adele’s worldwide chart success sees her enter the funeral music charts at number 22 with Someone Like You while there is no place for Take That in the top 30.
• A third of funeral homes have received unusual or quirky requests, including the theme tune to Countdown.
• Over half (53%) of funeral homes have been asked for live music, ranging from pipers and choirs to steel bands and rock groups. This is up from 39 per cent in 2009.

Top ten contemporary songs
1. My Way – Frank Sinatra
2. Time To Say Goodbye – Sarah Brightman/Andrea Bocelli
3. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
4. Over the Rainbow – Eva Cassidy
5. Angels – Robbie Williams
6. You Raise Me Up – Westlife
7. You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry & the Pacemakers
8. We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn
9. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
10. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole

I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston and Dolly Parton have dropped out of the top ten since 2009, replaced by We’ll Meet Again.

Top ten hymns
1. Abide with Me
2. The Lord is my Shepherd
3. All Things Bright and Beautiful
4. The Old Rugged Cross
5. How Great Thou Art
6. Amazing Grace
7. Jerusalem
8. Morning Has Broken
9. The Day Thou Gavest Lord Has Ended
10. Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

The Lord is My Shepherd has been replaced by Abide With Me at the top of the charts.

Top ten pieces of classical music
1. Nimrod – Elgar
2. Canon in D – Pachelbel
3. Ave Maria – Schubert
4. Nessun Dorma – Puccini
5. Pie Jesu – Faure
6. The Four Seasons – Vivaldi
7. Adagio – Albinoni/Bizet
8. Air on a G String – Bach
9. Largo – Handel
10. Clare de Lune – Debussy

Jesu Joy of Mans Desiring (Bach) and Going Home from Dvorak’s New World Symphony have been replaced in the top ten by Clare de Lune and Adagio.

The most popular TV theme tunes were:
Match of the Day
Pot Black
One Foot in the Grave
Last of the Summer Wine
Dr Who
The X Files
Red Dwarf
Top Gear
Six Feet Under
The Muppets Theme Tune – It’s Time to Face the Music

More top funeral music.

Top Funeral Music

“Going Underground’ buries the opposition as top music for funerals

Top Music For Funerals: research from Sun Life Direct reveals that for men, the top music for funerals is the comical “Going Underground” as the song to play at their funeral, Ladies chose (from the film Dirty Dancing) “I’ve had the time of my life”.

Music for funerals.

Funeral Plan Quotes

The days of traditional hymns are being replaced with lighter pop songs, as an upbeat celebration of life.  Womens’ top music for funerals is the chick-flick favourite of ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ while men go for the comical factor and opt for The Jam’s ‘Going Underground’ with the aim to make their loved ones smile.

Top music for funerals

1.Going Underground – The Jam1.I’ve had the time of my life – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
2.Football club anthems2.Angels – Robbie Williams
3.Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen3.Fields of Gold – Eva Cassidy
4.The Show Must Go On – Queen4.Over the Rainbow – Judy Garland
5.You’ll Never Walk Alone – from the musical Carousel5.Going Underground – The Jam
6.My Way – Frank Sinatra6.Time to say Goodbye – Andrea Bocelli
7.I’ve had the time of my life – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes7.Wind Beneath my Wings – Bette Midler
8Lean on me – Bill Withers8.The Show Must Go On – Queen
9.Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum9.I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
10.Angels – Robbie Williams10.Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum

‘Going Underground’ takes the overall top spot with over a third of people (37%) wanting their farewell song to raise a grin from family and friends, while a further 12% want the song to be a talking point of the future, something to help their loved ones to remember them fondly.

The desire to raise a wry smile at our passing also appears in our top choices of people to read our eulogy, with three out of the top five being comedians. If we could choose someone famous, ‘QI’ presenter Stephen Fry would be the man of choice with almost a quarter (21%) opting for a witty farewell, closely followed by an ‘Aufwiedersehen Pet’ style goodbye from ‘X Factor’ judge Cheryl Cole (11%) or a cheeky cheerio from funny man Russell Brand (9%).

Celebrity of choice for eulogies

  1. Stephen Fry
  2. Cheryl Cole
  3. Russell Brand
  4. David Beckham
  5. Alan Carr
  6. Smithy (James Cordon)
  7. David Mitchell
  8. Sean Connery
  9. The Queen
  10. The Prime Minister

Mark Howes, managing director, Sun Life Direct said: “Our research confirms that funerals really are a celebration of a person’s life.  Being able to make our own choices and express ourselves to those we love when we say goodbye is clearly important. With such different sentiments identified between men and women, it is essential to talk to our loved ones so we are sure they receive the truly personal send off they want.”

Some more music for funerals.

Top Music for Funerals

How to Multiply Cash ISA Returns

With pathetic returns on cash ISA investments affecting millions of investors, many look around for a better alternative.  And that is not easy without taking substantially higher risks – just the thing that older folk (like me!) don’t want.

Some recent PR by Dignity pointed out what the comparative returns of investing in an ISA and buying a boring but essential funeral plan. The “tax-free” easy access cash ISA has averaged around 2% but is now just 1.3%.  Funeral Plans don’t really offer access, but they have returned, over the same period since 2011, around 5.45%.   The difference is extra money for your family in savings on funeral costs – not to mention the advantage of simplicity and the fact that YOU have made the arrangements, so there is little for the family to quarrel about (and they all know what you would have wanted, and they are all certain that it isn’t what everyone else thinks).

Someone is going to be stuck with the bill for your funeral, and it will be a lot cheaper and more straightforward if you sort it out in advance.  Just don’t think that all plans are the same – all sorts of (in our opinion) sneaky tricks are used to sell plans which are funeral plans – but leave out vital parts.  Some don’t pay for the funeral at all!!

That is why we exist, to offer sound independent advice. We do not send round well-trained salespeople to sit in your living room until you agree that their product is best (when it is far from best.)  So why not have a chat, work out what you want and how you want to pay for it, and we will send you a written recommendation to consider?

Apparently, over 200,000 funeral plans are sold each year now: we recommend that you use us to BUY the right plan and not just buying from a salesman.

An independent report by Fairer Finance concluded that, because they lock into the cost of a funeral at the time of purchase, funeral plans can offer a good financial investment

So while in 2017 the average funeral cost £4,086, if that price continues to increase at the same rate that it has for the last seven years, then it will reach £5,924 by 2024 according to the Dignity Funeral Cost Calculator.   This suggests that anyone investing that money in an ISA today could be left £1,171 short for the average funeral by 2024, because if they were to put their money into a Funeral Plan, they would be covered.

“The Fairer Finance report acknowledged that while Funeral Plans represent good value for money, a lack of regulation and consumer protection in the industry means consumers should do their research to avoid getting stung says the article in Global Banking And Finance Review. Research is the key word of course, and it is something we do every day, but we fear that very, very few of the 200,000 buyers will have done any significant research and nearly all won’t fully understand the options – so call us on 0800 0588 240

  •  Find a safe provider which protects your money.

All UK based plans SHOULD be either invested in a regulated insurance company OR have an independent Trust Fund which is regularly checked by highly qualified Actuaries to make sure that the funds match the requirements to pay for the funerals.

Membership of the Funeral Planning Authority is not greatly significant yet, as they have only recently changed from being a providers Club to offering a form of independent Regulation.  This means that many companies have seen no need to suffer the extra costs of Regulation, but we always encourage them to join – but it is neither easy nor cheap, so you can understand their reluctance to join an unproven Regulator voluntarily.

  • Read through the fine print.

We always send our recommendations out in writing, together with the full Terms and Conditions of Business of the firm we recommend.  Some firms sell over the phone in the hope that you won’t cancel the plan when you see the Ts & Cs – and as most people never read them, they are on safe ground.

  • Will the Plan move with me?

Not all plans are flexible – some will allow you even to move abroad, never mind a hundred miles or so which could put you outside the area some very small firms cover.

  • Costs

Clearly an important issue – some companies have MUCH higher cancellation charges than others. The difference in cost for essentially identical plans can easily reach £1,000.

Low-cost funeral plans with no service can be right for some but you certainly need to read the small print really carefully and check that you have understood it – even we have trouble with some.

  • Interest Free

instalments are available commonly for 1 year, but some will offer 2 or even 3 years.  If you need to pay over a longer period the extra costs will have a substantial impact on monthly payments.

We recommend avoiding Over50s insurance plans if at all possible.

  • Other Features

Some firms will allow a single plan for a couple, and the first to die uses the plan, leaving the second funeral to be paid out of the estate when it is less financially crippling.

Other firms will allow you to donate your plan in the event of a friend or family member being unable to afford a funeral.   This can be especially useful if a younger person dies leaving dependents both grieving and facing a big bill with reduced income to pay it from.

  •  Sharing your final wishes

All providers will allow you to document how you would like to have your funeral conducted, including music, type of service, dress etc.

If you would like a copy of our Final Wishes document (even if you can’t afford a funeral plan) just use the form to the right and ask for it.

In summary Cash ISAs have some benefits and should not be discounted entirely – the right one is great for savings you are likely to need access to.  But prepaid funeral plans are MUCH better than cash ISAs for that portion of your savings intended for your funeral.



Baby boomers bucket list

Baby boomers bucket list sees the ‘Planet Earth’ effect.


  • Taking a safari, trekking the jungle and visiting the Artic amongst life goals at 50 plus
  • Seaside living and skydiving  high up on the wishlist for over 50’s whilst Sir David Attenborough pips the Queen to the crown of ‘most inspiring’ older Brit.

As some 6.4million over 50’s admit to having a bucket list, data released by Co-op Funeralcare reveals that TV hit ‘Planet Earth’ is having a major influence on our later life goals.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

The top 40 bucket list for over 50’s compiled by the nation’s leading funeral provider reveals that ‘Planet Earth’ inspired activities such as visiting the artic (7), going on safari (8) and a trek in the jungle  (23) all feature prominently.  A love of water is also a trend for the top 10, with living by the sea (1) taking a cruise (2), and swimming with dolphins (6) all high up on the list.

The top 10 Bucket list for over 50’s is:

1Live by the sea27%
2Take a cruise23%
3Road trip across the USA17%
4Live abroad16%
5Write a book16%
6Swim with dolphins16%
7Visit the Arctic/Antarctic16%
8Go on safari16%
9Learn a new language15%
10Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant12%

As a further nod to the popular nature documentary, when asked which of their peers inspired them most, veteran broadcaster and wildlife campaigner, Sir David Attenborough (aged 90) came out on top. Closely followed by none other than Her Majesty the Queen and Ab Fab actress and fashion icon, Joanna Lumley.

The top 10 inspirational public figures over 50:

No.Inspirational figure over 50
1Sir David Attenborough
2The Queen
3Joanna Lumley
4Helen Mirren
5Stephen Hawking
6Julie Walters
7Mary Berry
8JK Rowling
9Carol Vorderman
10Sir Rod Stewart


The top 40, also reveals the nation’s aspirations remain adventurous at 50 plus. Amongst some of the more unusual bucket list entries are sky diving, which at number 20 could see 1.4 million adults in this age group leaping from a plane, and skinny dipping which in 31st place equates to a possible 850,000 taking a dip.

Toyah Wilcox (58), pop icon and actress said:

“My career reads almost like a bucket-list. It’s been very varied and a bit crazy at times but I’ve been lucky to experience some incredible adventures along the way. From my time as a punk rocker to a movie actress and more recently, jumping off a diving board in front of millions of people to eating bugs in the Australian jungle – I can relate so some of the more extreme items on the nation’s bucket list!

“I love to push my own boundaries and defy people’s expectations – especially since turning fifty – and experience all that life has to offer, which is why my bucket-list keeps adapting as I get older. But it’s also so important to think about more serious plans too such as making a will or considering funeral wishes. That’s why I’m already planning for after I’ve gone, putting plans in place to create a music school as part of my legacy”

David Collingwood, Head of Funeral Operations at the Co-op said:

“Living for the moment is very much on the agenda after 50 plus. Our over 50’s bucket list demonstrates an increasing ambition to experience a life well lived and create good memories both for ourselves and with those we hold dear.

“Though many of the achievements on our bucket list are a once in a lifetime opportunity, often we see that it is the everyday memories which can trigger a smile and lead families to still speak our name long after we are gone.”

Top Funeral Tunes 2016 by Category

2016 Top Funeral Tunes

  • ‘My Way’ tops the charts after a break in 2014.
  • Wiz Khalifa, Rihanna and Adele tracks are new entrants for the Contemporary Pop #FuneralMusic charts.
  • Game of Thrones theme could make future charts as UK consider it for their funeral.

Co-op Funeralcare has today released its 2016 funeral music charts, based on a study of over 30,000 funerals in the UK.

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

The charts, which first launched in 2002 and have been released bi-annually since, see Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ top of the funeral pops,  knocking off Monty Python’s ‘Always look on the bright side of life’, now placed at number eight.

The full #FuneralMusic top funeral tunes for 2016 is as follows.

No.Song nameArtistMovement since last chart
1My WayFrank SinatraUp 4 places
2Time to say goodbyeAndrea Bocelli and Sarah BrightmanUp 12 places
3Over the rainbowEva CassidyUp 15 places.
4Wind beneath my wingsBette MidlerNew entrant
5The lord is my shepherdPsalm 23/ CrimondDown 3 places
6We’ll meet againVera LynnNew entrant.
7All things bright and beautifulTraditionalDown 1 place
8Always look on the bright side of lifeMonty PythonDown 7 places
9Abide with meTraditionalDown 6 places
10UnforgettableNat King ColeNew entrant.


Kate Thornton, Broadcaster and former Smash Hits Editor commented:

“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.”

A further study conducted by Co-op Funeralcare among UK adults, reveals the popular TV series Game of Thrones’ theme song may make it into funeral charts, with 1 in 20 UK adults voting it as a song they would consider for their own funeral.

Humour is a key consideration for UK adults when choosing their funeral music. Over two fifths (42%) said they ‘want to raise a laugh’ amongst guests at their funeral.

This holds true as 1 in 10 UK adults said they would consider having ‘another one bites the dust’ (Queen) at their own funeral. 1 in 20 said they would have ‘going underground’ (the Jam) and a further 1 in 15 said they’d opt for ‘Highway to hell’ (ACDC).  Others said they would consider ‘stayin alive’ (The Bee gees) and ‘disco inferno’ (Trammps).

When delving further into specific music genres, new entrants to Contemporary Pop funeral music charts include Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See you again’ dedicated to the late Paul Walker, now placed at number 3, Adele’s ‘Hello’ (from the other side) now placed at number 7 and Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ now placed at number 8.

The full Contemporary Pop top funeral tunes.

1Robbie WilliamsAngels
2WestlifeYou raise me up.
3Wiz KhalifaSee you again
4WestlifeFlying without wings.
5Ellie GouldingHow long will I love you
6WestlifeI’ll see you again.
9Sam SmithLay me down
10BoyzoneNo matter what.

Just outside of the top 10 is David Bowie’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’, Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ and Justin Bieber’s ‘love yourself’.

David Collingwood, Head of Funeral Operations 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.

“Whilst ‘My Way’ is back at number one, it’s really interesting that the passing of celebrities and artists is having an effect on the music charts. Wiz Khalifa’s track ‘See you again’ dedicated to the late Paul Walker has made it into the Contemporary Pop charts whilst, the late David Bowie’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ has also been requested by clients in the last 12 months.”

Oasis have stolen the show in the Indie group charts, with four of their tracks including ‘Wonderwall’, ‘Don’t look back in anger’, ‘Live forever’ and ‘Champagne Supernova’ securing places.

Liverpool FC’s ‘You’ll never walk alone’ is top of the sport category having overtaken the Match of the Day theme tune and popular TV Soap Coronation Street’s theme tune is top of the funeral TV charts.

All the charts and other key findings:

Rock Top Funeral Tunes 10:

No.Song nameArtist
1Stairway to heavenLed Zeppelin
2Bat out of hellMeatloaf.
3Live foreverQueen
4Wish you were herePink Floyd.
5Highway to hellACDC
6Another one bites the dustQueen
7Bohemian RhapsodyQueen
8Don’t wanna miss a thingAerosmith.
9Knocking on heaven’s doorGuns and roses
10Spirit in the skyNorman Greenbaum.


Sport Top 10:

No.Song nameArtistMovement since last chart
1You will never walk aloneGerry and the PacemakersUp 1 place
2Theme tuneMatch of the dayDown 1 place.
3Soul Limbo / Cricket Theme tuneBooker T and MGNon mover
4The ChainFleetwood MacUp 2 places
5I am forever blowing bubblesWest Ham UnitedUp 3 places.
6Z Cars ThemeEverton FCNew entrant
7Glory GloryTottenham HotspurNew entrant
8Grandstand themeBBCUp 2 places
9World in UnionDame Kiri Te KanawaDown 5 places.
10Dance of the KnightsSunderland FCNew entrant


Indie Top 10:

No.Song nameArtist
1Chasing CarsSnow Patrol
3Don’t look back in angerOasis.
4ArabellaArctic Monkeys.
5Live ForeverOasis
6Hymn for the weekendColdplay.
7One day like thisElbow
9IrisGoo goo dolls
10Champagne SupernovaOasis.


TV/Film Top 10:

No.Song nameArtistMovement since last chart
1Coronation StreetTheme tuneUp 4 places.
2Last of the Summer WineTheme tuneUp 2 places
3Only Fools and HorsesTheme tuneUp 1 place
4Always look on the bright sideMonty PythonDown 3 places.
5EastendersTheme tuneUp 3 places
6My heart will go onCeline DionDown 5 places.
7EmmerdaleTheme tuneUp 1 place
8Going homeHovis theme tuneNew entry
9Dad’s ArmyTheme tuneNew entry
10Bring me sunshineMorecambe and WiseDown 4 places.


Hymns Top 10:

No.Song nameArtistMovement since last chart
1Lord is my ShepherdPsalm 23 / CrimondNon mover
2Abide with meTraditionalNon mover.
3All things bright and beautifulTraditionalNon mover
4How great thou artTraditionalNon mover
5Amazing graceTraditionalNon mover.
6Old rugged crossTraditionalUp 1 place
7JerusalemTraditionalDown 1 place.
8Morning has brokenTraditionalNon mover
9The day though gavest lord endedTraditionalNon mover
10Ave MariaTraditionalNon mover.


New Country Top 10:

No.Song nameArtist
1I will always love youDolly Parton
2Islands in the streamDolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers.
3Country roadsJon Denver
4I love you becauseJim Reeves
5Annie’s songJon Denver.
6Over the rainbowEva Cassidy
7Ring of fireJohnny Cash
8My best friendDon Williams
9If tomorrow never comesGarth Brooks.
10Blowin’ in the windBob Dylan


Classical Top 10:

No.Song nameArtistMovement since last chart
1Time to say goodbyeAndrea Bocelli & Sarah BrightmanUp 2 places .
2NimrodElgarDown 1 place
3Nessun DormaLucianno PavarottiUp 3 places
4Cannon in DPachelbelDown 2 places.
5Four SeasonsVivaldiDown 1 place
6AdagioBizet/AlbinoniNon mover
7Ave MariaVarious artistesDown 2 places.
8Moonlight SonartzBeethovenNew entry
9Pie JesuFaureDown 1 place
10The Lark AscendingRalph Vaughan WilliamsNew entry.


Top Ten Funeral tunes RnB Top 10.

No.Song nameArtist
1I’ll be missing youPuff Daddy
2Dance with my father againLuther Van Dross.
3One sweet dayBoys 2 Men
4I will always love youWhitney Housten
5FlyR Kelly
7Turn back the hands of timeR Kelly
8Bye ByeMariah Carey
9World’s greatestR Kelly


Jazz Top 10 Funeral Tunes.

No.Song nameArtist
1What a wonderful worldLouis Armstrong
2Moonlight serenadeGlenn Miller.
3Stranger on the shoreAka Bilk
4SmileNat King Cole
5In the moodGlenn Miller
6A place in the sunStevie Wonder.
7Fly me to the moonFrank Sinatra
8Sitting on the dock of the bayOtis Reading
9Mr BojanglesRobbie Williams
10Come fly with meFrank Sinatra.


Other stats:

  • Pop is now the most requested music genre.
  • Over half (54%)of funeral directors and arrangers stated that hymns are declining in popularity the quickest.
  • Almost two thirds, (59%) of Co-op’s funeral directors and arrangers have had requests for music to be played via digital devices including smart phones, tablets and laptops with further tenth (11%) saying they expect to see more of these types of requests in the future.
  • 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.