Funeral Music Chart 2019: ‘My Way’ or the highway

02 May 2019

PP CoOpFuneralCare 150419-17

  • ‘My Way’ keeps the number one spot in funeral music charts
  • Ed Sheeran breaks into the top 10 for the first time
  • Stormzy is now amongst the artists being played at funerals
  • First time traditional hymns haven’t made the cut

The UK’s leading funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare, has today released its 2019 Funeral Music Chart. The hot list, which first launched in 2002, sees Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ top of the funeral pops, followed by Andrea Bocelli and Eva Cassidy.

Based on data and insights from Co-op’s own funeral directors, who conduct up to 100,000 funerals a year, the latest top 10 reveals the non-movers, risers and new entries of 2019.¹

The full 2019 Funeral Music Chart is:

Full chart

Revealing a shift in music at final farewells, for the first time ever, no traditional hymns have made the cut. ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ and ‘Abide with me’, previously strong contenders in the funeral chart have been pushed out as Westlife and Ed Sheeran make their debuts.

New requests identified by Co-op’s funeral directors include George Ezra, Wiz Khalifa, Freya Ridings and Stormzy, perhaps tracks to look out for in future funeral charts.

Furthermore, research from the Co-op reveals a trend in more people keeping music in the family, as a third (32%) of people say they would consider asking a relative to do the honour of performing.²

Research also shows a shift in more people sharing their swansongs. A quarter (24%) of UK adults say they have already told loved ones which songs they want playing at their funeral, compared to just a fifth (19%) in 2016³.

When it comes to music genres, pop proves to be the most popular with a quarter (25%) of UK adults revealing they would want such music at their funeral. A further fifth (19%) would opt for rock, whilst a fifth (20%) would choose classical for their final farewell.

Contemporary / Pop top 10

Pop

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.’’

The research also reveals how music affects the mood at a funeral. Over half (55%) of UK adults say music at funerals makes people feel nostalgic. A third (34%) said it makes mourners feel sad and a further third (32%) said it makes people happy. Just a seventh (14%) said music makes people laugh.

Yet, when considering how UK adults want the music at their own funerals to make people feel, over a quarter (27%) agreed they’d want the music to make guests laugh, highlighting a trend of funerals becoming more of a joyful celebration in the future.

Commenting on the Funeral Music Chart, Sinitta, Singer and TV personality said:

“Music at funerals is such a personal choice and it’s interesting to see that whilst some classics such as ‘My Way’ are here to stay, there’s also a good mix of new music making its way into the chart.

“When it comes to my funeral, I’d choose the prayers, readings and create my own track list, so my children wouldn’t have to worry about it. I’d have Shout To The Lord and Always by Stevie Wonder. Always would be a love letter to my children, friends and family telling them I’ll continue to love them and leave them with my love.”

Ends

All the charts and other key findings:

Hymns:

Hymn

Rock top 10:

Rock

Sport top 10:

Sport

Indie top 10:

Indie

TV/ Film:

TV

Country chart:

Country

Classical:

Classical

RnB:

R&B

Jazz top 10:

Jazz

Notes to editors

Series of high resolution images and B roll footage available here

¹Research was conducted among Co-op’s Funeral directors and arrangers in April 2019 based on approximately 100,000 funerals conducted in the last 12 months
²Research was conducted among 2,000 UK adults with Atomik on behalf of Co-op Funeralcare in April 2019
³Research was conducted among 2,000 UK adults with ICM on behalf of Co-op Funeralcare in July 2016

For further information please contact:
Sarah Pyatt: Sarah.Pyatt@coop.co.uk or 07850 002 312
Emily Penkett: Emily.Penkett@coop.co.uk or 07738 621 201
Follow us @CoopUKpress on Twitter and Instagram
www.co-operativefuneralcare.co.uk/funeral-music-chart/

About the Co-op
The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives and has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of over £9 billion.

Home to the UK’s leading funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare conducts almost 100,000 funerals annually across over 1,000 funeral homes. Combined with its leading legal services business, the Co-op is also a national provider of later life products and services ranging from funeral plans, through to wills and probate