Our 2016 #FuneralMusic Charts

We’re fascinated by funeral music choices, and have been compiling funeral music charts bi-annually since 2002. This year, our study, based on over 30,000 funerals in the UK, reveals our 2016 chart winner as…Frank Sinatra, My Way.

Frank’s no stranger to our charts and has come out on top in the past, but in 2014 we were surprised to see Monty Python’s comical ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ (now at number eight) knock him off the top spot. See the full top 10 below.

Other music categories and choices

We also took a look at specific genres of music, (download charts as pdf below), and spoke to people about what they’d like at their own funeral when the time comes. We interestingly found:

  • The Game of Thrones’ theme song may make it into future funeral charts, as 1 in 20 UK adults voted it as a song they would consider for their own funeral.**
  •  Humour is key as over 42% of UK adults said they ‘want to raise a laugh’ amongst guests at their funeral.
  •  1 in 10 UK adults said they’d consider having ‘Another one bites the dust’ (Queen) at their own funeral. 1 in 20 said they’d have ‘going underground’ (the Jam) and  1 in 15 said they’d go for ‘Highway to hell’ (ACDC).  Others said they’d consider ‘Stayin’ alive’ (The Bee gees) and ‘Disco inferno’ (Trammps).
  •  When looking 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.
  •  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.
  •  59% of our funeral directors and arrangers have had requests for music to be played via digital devices including smart phones, tablets and laptops with a further 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 their family a CD with our favourite songs on it.