Friday 3 May 2019 9:50 am

Hymns fall out of funeral charts as pop hits the right notes

Traditional hymns have fallen out of the top 10 most popular funeral songs for the first time ever, according to the latest chart figures.

The 2019 funeral chart, published by Co-op, shows religious favourites such as The Lord is my Shepherd and Abide with me have been shunned amid stiff competition from pop hits.

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The three hymns dropped out of the top 10 for the first time this year, while the wildly popular Ed Sheeran and Irish heartthrobs Westlife made their first appearances.

There was no change in the top three swansongs, with Frank Sinatra’s My Way a dead cert in first place once again. Time To Say Goodbye and Eva Cassidy’s Over The Rainbow came in second and third.

Ranking Song Name Artists Movement since 2016 Chart
1 My Way Frank Sinatra Non-mover
2 Time To Say Goodbye Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman Non-mover
3 Over The Rainbow Eva Cassidy Non-mover
4 Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Midler Non-mover
5 Angels Robbie Williams Re-entry
6 Supermarket Flowers Ed Sheeran New entry
7 Unforgettable Nat King Cole Up three places
8 You Raise Me Up Westlife New entry
9 We'll Meet Again Vera Lynn Down three places
10 Always Look on the Bright Side of Life Eric Idle – from Monty Python's Life of Brian Down two places

The charts reflect an ongoing shift away from religious ceremonies, as more and more people opt to bow out to secular songs.

But Brits still have a sense of comedy on their deathbeds, it would appear, as Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life remained in the top 10.

“We all live such unique lives and funerals should completely reflect that,” said David Collingwood, director of funerals for Co-op Funeralcare.

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“Each element of a funeral is a very personal decision which is why the music choice plays such an important and impactful role.”

The research also highlighted new entries to the chart, such as George Ezra, Wiz Khalifa and Stormzy, offering a glimpse of the artists hoping to breathe new life into funeral proceedings.