A TOP ten chart shows Rotherham’s favourite funeral songs - with Frank Sinatra’s My Way the most played at services in 2019.
Pop songs have overtaken traditional hymns and classical pieces as the tunes to say goodbye to.
And Ol’ Blue Eyes’ 1969 classic topped the list of most commonly requested music for funerals at Rotherham Crematorium last year.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Eva Cassidy is Rotherham’s second top choice, followed by Time To Say Goodbye by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli.
Bette Midler and Nat King Cole are other popular choices, while a sign of changing attitudes to funerals is demonstrated by Ed Sheeran and Tina Turner making the top ten.
Traditional songs like All Things Bright and Beautiful and Abide With Me continue to be a part of services and can be played by the same audio-visual system, as can TV and film themes.
Crem manager Samantha Fletcher said: “We all live such different and unique lives now that it’s natural for people to want to make a funeral as individual as possible.
“The personification of the funeral through music is now an essential part of the service and a key way for a family to remember their loved one.
“Our specialist equipment ensures that mourners have access to thousands of pieces of recorded music from hymns and classical compositions to the latest pop or rock songs.”
Music at the East Herringthorpe chapel is provided by a modern audio system from sound specialists Wesley, installed in October 2018.
The new technology also allows services to include family photos during services, which can be recorded or webcast.
Gone are the days when crematoria would provide a CD player if a pop or rock song was requested, with the risk of scratched discs ruining the moment.
Communications manager Stuart Cox, from Dignity, which runs the crematorium, said: “My advice when choosing music is to stipulate the artist or orchestra as well as the song or composition.
“There are quite a number of versions of Bridge Over Troubled Water that don’t sound quite so harmonious as the Simon & Garfunkel version!
“As a crematorium operator or funeral director, you only get one chance to get the music right and it’s an important part of the ceremony, so the digital music system we now have provides a better service for everyone.”
1 My Way - Frank Sinatra
2 Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Eva Cassidy
3 Time To Say Goodbye - Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli
4 Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
5 Supermarket Flowers - Ed Sheeran
6 Unforgettable - Nat King Cole
7 Simply The Best - Tina Turner
8 We’ll Meet Again - Vera Lynn
9 You Raise Me Up - Westlife
10 What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong