Hymns have officially dropped off the list
Songs by Ed Sheeran and Frank Sinatra are more popular at funerals than traditional hymns, according to a new poll.
Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ topped the latest chart drawn up by the UK’s biggest chain of funeral directors, but for the first time since the biennial exercise began in 2002 not a single traditional hymn made it into the top ten, according to data from Co-op Funeralcare.
‘Supermarket Flowers’ – Sheeran’s tribute to his late grandmother, written from the perspective of his mother – enters at Number 6, while Westlife also jumps into the top 10 with ‘You Raise Me’ up at Number 8.
‘My Way’ has held the Number 1 slot for a number of years apart from in 2014 when ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’ from the Monty Python film Life Of Brian was the most popular. Edward Elgar’s stirring Nimrod was the most popular classical choice overall, although it failed to make the top 10.
Other popular choices included Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ and Meat Loaf’s ‘Bat Out Of Hell’, while ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams is the most requested pop tune, said the Co-op.
“What people want more than anything at a funeral is a combination of the personal and the familiar,” Rev Dr Jeremy Brooks, a member of a Church of England focus group working on funerals, told The Guardian.
“Contemporary lyrics, classical music and songs that have been the soundtrack of our lives are all valuable in helping people remember and grieve. For a family to be able to choose particular songs for a funeral led by a church minister – whether the music is expressly religious or not – is an important part of any service.”
Sheeran’s 2019 world tour, meanwhile, will head to Europe next month, and will eventually round off in August with six outdoor UK dates: two in Leeds’ Roundhay Park, and four at Ipswich’s Chantry Park. See Sheeran’s UK tour schedule for this year below.
16 – Roundhay Park, Leeds
17 – Roundhay Park, Leeds
23 – Chantry Park, Ipswich
24 – Chantry Park, Ipswich
25 – Chantry Park, Ipswich
26 – Chantry Park, Ipswich
Earlier this month, the fate of Sheeran’s character on Game of Thrones was finally determined during the show’s ongoing final season.