Ideas for choosing a memorial song

Memorials are a solemn time but they also share the joys of celebrating a loved one’s life. And what personifies someone’s personality and quirky tendencies better than the music they are drawn towards?

Choosing your ‘sonic’ character

Whether your music tastes are an eclectic mix or you’re a lover of rock and roll, classical music, blues, pop or sway towards the diverse genres offered in today’s modern society, there’s usually one or two songs that will typify you beautifully.

What’s more evident with contemporary memorials is that people want a send off that’s individual to them.  People take the time to plan their own service and choose elements that depict what has been important to them over the years – family, friends, supporting various causes close to their heart, involving a love of sport, favourite places and hobbies, possessions and of course … music.

Musical tastes do change from generation to generation so let’s take a quick look at the top five most popular current memorial songs based on research from over 30,000 funerals and charts:

No. 1 – A memorial song with humour

Remember the outrageous boys (and the odd gal) from Monty Python? Well, it appears that ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’ has tipped the scales to take the number one spot away from Frank Sinatra’s My Way. Would Eric Idle be your first choice for the procession?

No. 2 – A memorial song with tradition

Although many memorials are now conducted with less emphasis towards the traditional religious sermon, there’s still a strong inclination to maintain popular hymns. The number two spot sees ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’ from Psalm 23 confirm this.

No. 3 – A memorial song with meaning

With encouraging words, to the loved ones that remain and (on some level) the person who has passed, not to be frightened, ‘Abide With Me’ by Henry Francis Lyte offers a supportive musical hand.

No. 4 – A memorial song with sporting passion

Who’d have thought it but sporting fanatics have spurred a generation’s anthem to one of the top songs for memorials. The ‘Match of the Day’ spritely melody confirms that football will be with a true fan until the very end (and beyond).

No. 5 – A memorial song with power

We mentioned the king of tap dancing earlier and Mr Frank Sinatra himself still holds one of the top five positions with his buoyant solo of ‘My Way’.

If you are thinking about which special memorial song to choose for yourself, or a loved one, then you can find even more favourite memorial songs by reading the Telegraph’s overall round up or genre-based favourites or for a humorous contemporary pick, which sees the Game of Thrones’ theme tune growing in popularity, read the Co-operative Funeral’s take.

Which song would be your first choice? We’d love to know.