Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral takes place at Westminster Abbey
Rather incredibly, back in 2014, the most requested song at UK funerals was Monty Python’s hilarious singalong anthem Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, following four years in the top twenty.
It was followed that year by the rather more serious The Lord Is My Shepherd, but hymns would soon slip out of the top ten altogether
However, the announcement of this year’s most popular songs played at funerals appears to show the influence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s solemn and stately ceremony.
For the first time in seven years, two hymns are in the top ten: All Things Bright and Beautiful and Abide With Me, at eight and nine respectively on the list.
The rest of the list still contains some surprises, even so.
While the top ten is filled with pop stars past and present the final spot is taken by a little-known Canadian duo.
Vancouver twins Dani and Lizzy’s song Dancing In The Sky is directly about missing a loved one and clearly touched a chord with mourners worldwide.
Elsewhere, Gerry and the Pacemakers’ perennial You’ll Never Walk Alone is at number seven.
It’s followed by three more ever-popular funeral songs, Eva Cassidy’s Over The Rainbow, Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings and Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again.
The only recent song on the list is Ed Sheeran’s Supermarket Flowers.
It’s no wonder Frank Sinatra’s My Way is so highly placed every year since the heartbreaking ballad opens with the particularly appropriate lines, “And now, the time has come, to face the final curtain…”
The song has actually been the most popular UK funeral song eleven times in the past twenty years.
This year, the wider list also includes rockier classics like Queen’s Who wants To Live Forever and, rather pointedly, Another One Bites The Dust.
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The data released by Co-Op Funeralcare from over 93,000 funerals reveals that broader tastes also include Diddy’s I’ll Be Missing You, Beyonce’s Break My Soul and TV themes tunes from Only Fools and Horses and Match of the Day.
But this year, the most popular song to serenade loved ones for the final time is Time To Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman.
The popera classic was a worldwide smash hit in 1996 and soon became a well-loved choice at funerals. However, the direct translation of the Italian lyrics actually speak of loved ones not being separated like the English version but journeying together with the title Con te Partiro meaning “I will leave with you.”
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