Entertainment & Arts

Monty Python tune tops funeral songs

Eric Idle, at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Monty Python's Eric Idle performed the 1977 track at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony

Monty Python's Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life has become the most popular tune to play at a UK funeral.

A study by a chain of funeral directors found the 1979 Life of Brian song had overtaken Frank Sinatra's My Way as the preferred choice of music.

David Collingwood, of The Co-operative Funeralcare, suggested the findings represented "a generational shift in attitudes towards funerals".

"Modern funerals are very much about personal choice," he added.

"The variety of songs played at funerals today illustrates how more and more people are choosing to personalise funerals, and celebrate their loved one's life with a fitting farewell."

Monty Python's irreverent song - which Eric Idle sang at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London - rose from 13th place three years ago, to become the most popular funeral song this year.

"We wonder if it's the people who were young in the swinging '60s, who are now in their 70s and 80s, and if that's informing this trend," a spokesman told the Telegraph.

"Monty Python, for example, is of a certain age."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Robbie Williams' 2004 hit Angels also appears on the list of popular funeral tunes

Hymns The Lord Is My Shepherd and Abide With Me are the second and third most popular choices.

However, more than 84% of funeral directors say hymns or classics are declining in popularity quicker than any other music type.

A study of 30,000 funerals found only nine songs in the top 20 choices were traditional or classical pieces.

Popular choices in the top 10 include Angels by Robbie Williams and Queen's Who Wants To Live Forever.

Television theme tunes, such as Match of the Day, Coronation Street and the Only Fools and Horses theme, also made the top 20.

However certain songs were refused on the grounds of taste or inappropriate language include Relax, by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, God Save The Queen, by the Sex Pistols and John Lennon's Imagine.

"We will accommodate any individual request - no matter how unusual, providing it is legal and decent," said Mr Collingwood.


Top 20 songs played at a UK funeral

1. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - Eric Idle

2. The Lord is My Shepherd - Traditional

3. Abide with Me - Traditional

4. Match of the Day theme

5. My Way - Frank Sinatra

6. All Things Bright and Beautiful - Traditional

7. Robbie Williams - Angels

8. Enigma Variations (Nimrod) - Elgar

9. You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry and the Pacemakers

10. Cricket Theme/Soul Limbo - Booker T & the MG's (test match TV theme)

11. Canon in D - Pachelbel

12. My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion

13= Last of the Summer Wine theme

13= Only Fools and Horses theme

14. Time to Say Goodbye - Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli

15. Four Seasons - Vivaldi

16. Ava Maria - Schubert

17. Coronation Street theme

18 = You Raise Me Up - Westlife

18 = Over the Rainbow - Eva Cassidy

19. World in Union (Rugby Theme) - Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and other versions

20= Nessun Dorma - Puccini

20= Adagio - Bizet/Albinoni

Source: The Co-operative Funeralcare


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