Co-operative Funerals ran a ‘most popular songs played at funerals’ story this week http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2217734/One-seven-funerals-feature-Frank-Sinatras-My-Way.html – only 16 years after I first came up with the idea for them whilst at Communique PR.
Back in 1996 it was relatively rare to hear popular music tracks blaring out of crematoria and chapels, so we knew we were on to a winner with the story – we were right; it grabbed a lot of coverage.
While we repeated the top ten idea for the following five years, I don’t think anyone really expected it would be running nearly twenty years later. Some would accuse the Co-op of a total lack of imagination in their annual recycling of this old story, but isn’t the main point that a funerals top ten is still ‘news’? – it chimes with the public’s understanding of bereavement now probably even more than it did back in the 1990s.
Having said that, I wonder how much of the Co-operative’s 2012 top ten is actually based on statistics ‘from 30,000 funerals’ – we, shall we say, tended to be more ‘creative’ in our compilations in order to get in more comedy value (I mean, has anyone ever actually heard ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ or ‘Knock on Wood’ at a funeral?) Mind you, we made sure ‘My Way’ and ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ were always in there.
In writing AMOLAD I knew from the outset I wanted to use song titles that could be played at funerals for chapter headings. I also wanted to avoid the over-obvious, so selected songs that had resonance to the action as well as being poignant and stirring in their own right. Not one of my chapter headings makes the current Co-operative chart.
Which songs would I have played at my own funeral? I think it best to just stick the AMOLAD playlist on random shuffle and see what pops up.