Back in 2008, Australia made headlines when more and more mourners began noticing that funerals have rock songs playing instead of the traditional funeral-type music. It was a new phenomenon that was, at the time, projected to begin making its way across the globe.
At the time, many people were surprised by the songs people would choose for their funeral. Some people who have terminal illnesses plan their own funeral. As a way to get “one last laugh,” they choose some odd choices, including Queen’s Another Bites the Dust or Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead from The Wizard of Oz. Other songs are fairly typical and expected, like Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s iconic Freebird and other popular heart-wrenching songs.
One of the largest funeral services in the United Kingdom, Thomas H Green, took a look at more than 30,000 funerals to find out which songs were topping the charts for the dead. Their admittedly unscientific but still entertaining survey revealed some interesting trends when it comes to funeral music. According to their study, some of the top songs chosen by people preparing for their last hurrah include:
- Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life (Eric Idle/Monty Python)
- My Way (Frank Sinatra)
- Canon in D (Johann Pachelbel)
- I’ll Be Missing You (Puff Daddy)
- Tears in Heaven (Eric Clapton)
- Nothing Compares 2U (Sinead O’Connor)
- Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
- Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper)
- What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
- Someone Like You (Adele)
But playing a person’s favorite rock song or songs isn’t the only way funerals have become modernized. In addition to the normal fare like shiny funeral cars and flowers, some more progressive funerals in Australia and abroad feature plasma screens and webcams to allow people from all over the world to attend a service. Others use large, interactive displays to create an atmosphere that’s more like a celebration of the person’s life rather then mourning.
If you could plan your own funeral, what are some songs you would like to play? Would you prefer the usual organ-type music or would you want your friends and family to remember you a different way? We’d love to hear your thoughts.