According to South Australia’s largest funeral provider, Centennial Park, an increasing number of people are choosing popular music over traditional hymns at funerals.
Classic ballads by crooners from the 1950s and 1960s are among the most popular music choices at funerals. Uplifting tear jerkers including My Way by Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World and Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable all feature on Centennial Park’s list of top 10 funeral songs.
Some more unusual funeral song choices include Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, AC/DC’s Highway to Hell and Hit the Road Jack by Willie Nelson.
Centennial Park’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Bryan Elliott, said the choice of funeral music was an opportunity for families to express the individuality of their loved one.
“Music played during a funeral service helps to set the mood, whether it’s emotive, humorous or bittersweet,” Mr Elliott said.
“One of the biggest changes we have seen at Centennial Park in recent years is a growing emphasis on celebrating a person’s life when they pass away. This has resulted in funeral services that are designed with personality in mind. This level of personalisation extends to music choices.”
“Some of the more unusual songs we hear actually work very well within the service, because they represent the person’s character,” he said.
Centennial Park’s Top 10 Funeral Songs:
1. My Way – Frank Sinatra
2. Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
3. Time To Say Goodbye – Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
4. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
5. The Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
6. Amazing Grace – Various artists
7. We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn
8. Over the Rainbow – Judy Garland
9. Abide With Me – Harry Secombe
10. Danny Boy – Various artists
Centennial Park’s Most Unusual Funeral Songs:
1. The Show Must Go On – Queen
2. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
3. Highway to Hell – AC/DC
4. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
5. I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead – Bon Jovi
6. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Monty Python
7. Ding Dong the Witch is Dead – The Wizard of Oz
8. Hit the Road Jack – Willie Nelson
9. I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred
10. Power, Crows and AFL team songs
What song would you like played at your funeral?
Although I have no plans to depart this world for the next any time soon, I have told my family to play ‘Gypsy’ by Fleetwood Mac (see below) at my funeral.
What song would you want played at your funeral?