Funeral Music charts: Brits face the final curtain ‘their way’

31 August 2016

  • ‘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 

The UK’s leading funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare has today released its 2016 funeral music charts, based on a study of over 30,000 funerals in the UK.*
 
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 chart for 2016 is as follows:

No. Song name Artist Movement since last chart
1 My Way Frank Sinatra Up 4 places
2 Time to say goodbye Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman Up 12 places
3 Over the rainbow Eva Cassidy Up 15 places
4 Wind beneath my wings Bette Midler New entrant
5 The lord is my shepherd Psalm 23/ Crimond Down 3 places
6 We’ll meet again Vera Lynn New entrant
7 All things bright and beautiful Traditional Down 1 place
8 Always look on the bright side of life Monty Python  Down 7 places
9 Abide with me Traditional Down 6 places
10 Unforgettable Nat King Cole New 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.** 
 

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 charts are as follows:

No. Artist Track
1 Robbie Williams Angels
2 Westlife You raise me up
3 Wiz Khalifa See you again
4 Westlife Flying without wings
5 Ellie Goulding How long will I love you
6 Westlife I’ll see you again
7 Adele Hello
8 Rihanna Diamonds
9 Sam Smith Lay me down
10 Boyzone No 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.

 

[Ends]

 

All the charts and other key findings:

Rock Top 10:

No.  Song name Artist
1 Stairway to heaven   Led Zeppelin
2 Bat out of hell Meatloaf
3 Live forever Queen
4 Wish you were here Pink Floyd
5 Highway to hell ACDC
6 Another one bites the dust Queen
7 Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
8 Don’t wanna miss a thing Aerosmith
9 Knocking on heaven’s door  Guns and roses
10 Spirit in the sky Norman Greenbaum

 

Sport Top 10:

No. Song name Artist Movement since last chart
1 You will never walk alone Gerry and the Pacemakers Up 1 place
2 Theme tune Match of the day Down 1 place
3 Soul Limbo / Cricket Theme tune  Booker T and MG Non mover
4 The Chain Fleetwood Mac Up 2 places
5 I am forever blowing bubbles West Ham United Up 3 places
6 Z Cars Theme Everton FC  New entrant
7 Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur  New entrant
8 Grandstand theme BBC Up 2 places
9 World in Union Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Down 5 places
10 Dance of the Knights  Sunderland FC New entrant

 

Indie Top 10:

No. Song name Artist
1 Chasing Cars Snow Patrol
2 Wonderwall Oasis
3 Don't look back in anger Oasis
4 Arabella Arctic Monkeys
5 Live Forever Oasis
6 Hymn for the weekend Coldplay
7 One day like this Elbow
8 Yellow Coldplay
9 Iris Goo goo dolls
10 Champagne Supernova Oasis

 

TV/Film Top 10:

No. Song name Artist Movement since last chart
1 Coronation Street Theme tune Up 4 places
2 Last of the Summer Wine Theme tune Up 2 places
3 Only Fools and Horses Theme tune Up 1 place
4 Always look on the bright side Monty Python Down 3 places
5 Eastenders Theme tune Up 3 places
6 My heart will go on Celine Dion Down 5 places
7 Emmerdale Theme tune Up 1 place
8 Going home Hovis theme tune New entry
9 Dad's Army Theme tune New entry
10 Bring me sunshine Morecambe and Wise Down 4 places

 

Hymns Top 10:

No.  Song name Artist Movement since last chart
1 Lord is my Shepherd Psalm 23 / Crimond Non mover
2 Abide with me Traditional Non mover
3 All things bright and beautiful Traditional Non mover
4 How great thou art Traditional Non mover
5 Amazing grace Traditional Non mover
6 Old rugged cross Traditional Up 1 place
7 Jerusalem Traditional Down 1 place
8 Morning has broken Traditional Non mover
9 The day though gavest lord ended Traditional Non mover
10 Ave Maria Traditional Non mover

 

New Country Top 10:

No. Song name Artist
1 I will always love you Dolly Parton
2 Islands in the stream Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers
3 Country roads Jon Denver
4 I love you because Jim Reeves
5 Annie’s song Jon Denver
6 Over the rainbow Eva Cassidy
7 Ring of fire Johnny Cash
8 My best friend Don Williams
9 If tomorrow never comes Garth Brooks
10 Blowin' in the wind Bob Dylan

 

Classical Top 10:

No. Song name Artist Movement since last chart
1 Time to say goodbye Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman Up 2 places  
2 Nimrod Elgar Down 1 place
3 Nessun Dorma Lucianno Pavarotti Up 3 places
4 Cannon in D Pachelbel Down 2 places
5 Four Seasons Vivaldi Down 1 place
6 Adagio Bizet/Albinoni Non mover
7 Ave Maria Various artistes Down 2 places
8 Moonlight Sonartz Beethoven New entry
9 Pie Jesu Faure Down 1 place
10 The Lark Ascending Ralph Vaughan Williams New entry

 

RnB Top 10:

No. Song name Artist
1 I'll be missing you Puff Daddy
2 Dance with my father again Luther Van Dross
3 One sweet day Boys 2 Men
4 I will always love you Whitney Housten
5 Fly R Kelly
6 Halo Beyoncé
7 Turn back the hands of time R Kelly
8 Bye Bye Mariah Carey
9 World’s greatest R Kelly
10 Running Beyoncé

 

Jazz Top 10:

No. Song name Artist
1 What a wonderful world Louis Armstrong
2 Moonlight serenade Glenn Miller
3 Stranger on the shore Aka Bilk
4 Smile Nat King Cole
5 In the mood Glenn Miller
6 A place in the sun Stevie Wonder
7 Fly me to the moon Frank Sinatra
8 Sitting on the dock of the bay Otis Reading
9 Mr Bojangles Robbie Williams
10 Come fly with me Frank 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.

Notes to editors


Research was conducted among 300 of Co-op’s Funeral directors and arrangers in July 2016 based on funerals conducted in the last 12 months
*Research was conducted among 2,000 UK adults with ICM on behalf of Co-op Funeralcare in July 2016
  http://www.co-operativefuneralcare.co.uk/funeral-music-chart/

 

For media enquiries please contact:

Emily Dalton: Emily.dalton@co-operative.coop / 07738621201
Lauren Hoult: Lauren.hoult@co-operative.coop / 07702505626