Saturday, May 06, 2006

One last song please....

Funerals are becoming less solemn in Western society, as greater numbers of those making final arrangements for themselves or loved ones choose to make the ceremonies less about comforting ritual and more about the individuals being said good-bye to. Pop songs have become an increasingly common component of final services, both because the lyrics of many of them so well express the sadness of parting, and because of a growing lack of familiarity with the musical funerary standards of a previous age: hymns.

According to a 2002 poll of co-op funeral directors in Britain, the ten most requested pop songs at funeral services are:

1. Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)
2. My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion)
3. I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston)
4. Simply the Best (Tina Turner)
5. Angels (Robbie Williams)
6. You'll Never Walk Alone (Gerry & the Pacemakers)
7. Candle in the Wind (Elton John)
8. Unchained Melody (The Righteous Brothers)
9. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon &Garfunkel)
10. Time to Say Goodbye (Sarah Brightman)

However, it doesn't end there. The deliberate working of humor into the funerary rites is a growing trend, with a number of popular music offerings that would previously have been regarded as irreverent for such use being very deliberately made part of the ceremonies. That same 2002 poll of co-op funeral directors in Britain identified the following as the ten most-requested quirky pop songs:

1. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (The Platters)
2. Another One Bites the Dust (Queen)
3. Theme from ITN's Ten O'Clock News
4. She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain (Various)
5. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (Wham)
6. YMCA (Village People)
7. I Wanna Be Like You (from the Disney film The Jungle Book)
8. Run Rabbit Run (Flanagan & Allen)
9. Firestarter (The Prodigy)
10. Atmosphere (Russ Abbot)

What would have at your funeral??

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