Terminal Confusion: Why Are These the UK's Most Popular Funeral Songs?
If you're gonna go out to trashy music, you can at least go out in trashy style as well.
Recently, a survey conducted in the UK revealed the most popular songs played at funerals. The big news everyone seems to be talking about is that Adele's "Someone Like You -- a song all about how replaceable a person is -- made it to No. 22. But we here at Rocks Off find the Top 5 equally confounding.
Maybe it's just because we're Americans and therefore "Freebird" must be played at all our funerals by default. But some of these choices are just crazy. I mean, I get a song like ""I Will Always Love You," which came in at No. 12. Or even "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion, which was No. 9, since it's associated with one of the most iconic film deaths of all time and these days people tend to express their feelings through pop culture rather than intelligent thoughts of their own.
Since few of the survey's song choices make sense, we decided to try to come up with what sort of theme the families must have been going for when they picked these songs for their fallen kin. We also tried to figure out what the U.S. equivalent would be.
5. Robbie Williams, "Angels"
Theme for the Funeral: I guess the idea of this one would be that the person who has just died, you know, was like an angel. But really, this has to be some kind of sick joke. There's just no way anyone would seriously want to hear a Robbie Williams song, especially when someone they love had just passed on, and not to mention the person who's lying there spinning around in their casket over the offense being committed upon them. They say not to speak ill of the dead, but this is something akin to desecrating the corpse.
U.S. Equivalent: Warrant's "Heaven," for the exact same reason. Not even Jani Lane wanted to hear this at his funeral.
4. Eva Cassidy, "Over the Rainbow"
Theme of the Funeral: Well, of course, this is for all the many, many Wizard of Oz-themed funerals, all of which seem to feature some variation on a eulogy consisting of, "I had a dream you were dead. You were there! And you were there! And you were there too! And we were all standing in a church dressed like scarecrows and witches and tin men, and I was the cowardly lion..." About this time, the speaker looks down and sees he or she is wearing a lion costume, and breaks into tears. Cue song!
3. Bette Midler, "Wind Beneath My Wings"
Theme of the Funeral: Based on the iconic lyric, "Did you ever know that you're my hero," this one is often used for superhero-themed funerals. Some are for children, but the majority are for neck-bearded basement dwellers who finally succumbed to the infected bedsores from never leaving their computer chairs. This song is for them, buried in their ill-fitting Batman costumes.
U.S. Equivalent: Over here, we generally just reserve any song by Dream Theater for those people's funerals.
2. Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli, "Time to Say Goodbye"
Theme of the Funeral: Families clearly have been picking this one a lot because a lot of people just don't know when it's time to say goodbye. Through the "miracle" of modern science, our "beloved" family members are holding on longer and longer after they've become nothing more than a pointless burden on our lives. With this song, the family is rejoicing that it's finally really time to say goodbye.
U.S. Equivalent: "Die Die My Darling" by the Misfits. Because we lost that British guilt complex and fear of embarrassment sometime during the Revolution, we're not afraid to just say, "Get in the ground already, grandpa!"
1. Frank Sinatra, "My Way"
Theme of the Funeral: Obviously whoever is on the receiving end of this one was somebody who constantly pissed off everyone around him (or her) by having to have his (or her) own way about everything. The family decided to get one last dig in about it, so they chose the Sinatra classic for the funeral song. Considering this is the most popular funeral song in the UK and has been for seven years straight, that's a whole lot of assholes and spiteful families.
U.S. Equivalent: Kanye West's ""Can't Tell Me Nothing," which has the added bonus of being perfect for a Hangover-themed funeral. It's not just a funeral, it's a party no one will ever forget...or remember.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.