Songs To Die For: The Top 10 Weird Tunes Played At Funerals
Friday July 4, 2008
You may have heard the people on Breakfast Television talking about this earlier this week. But now the official countdown is out - and you may not believe some of the entries. It's the Top 10 of the last list you'd ever expect or, as it turns out, will ever need: the strangest songs played at funerals.
It turns out that many people are no longer satisfied with the traditional mournful send-offs and are opting to jazz up their long goodbyes with an appropriate tune or two. The trend appears to have started in Australia, where officials with the largest cemetery in that country - known as Centennial Park - began to notice more people requesting some odd music at their final farewells.
Some are emotional and speak to a person's impact on others - like Bette Midler's tear-jerking "Wind Beneath My Wings" or Judy Garland's "Over The Rainbow" from the "Wizard of Oz" (top left.)
"Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin makes a bit more sense. And Bon Jovi's "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" may be morbid, but at least it shows a sense of humour. So does "Hit The Road Jack" and "Another One Bites The Dust."
But other choices are downright baffling. How do you explain someone wanting to have another Oz tune, "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead," played at their funeral?
Cemetery officials say it's all part of the dearly departed's personality. "I know of some people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness so have planned their own funeral, even down to the song they want played when they go," Centennial Park chief executive Bryan Elliott explains.
That's why some funeral parlours have now added big screen TVs, sound systems and computers to their traditional mournful organ. "We've got to move with the times," Elliott adds. "In the context of celebration of life, some people say 'don't be sad at my funeral, celebrate the life that I had,' and if the music helps that, then why not."
Here's the list of the Top 10 most requested songs at his facility, followed by the more unusual choices.
Most popular funeral songs:
1 - My Way (Frank Sinatra)
2 - Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
3 - Time To Say Goodbye (Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman)
4 - Unforgettable (Nat King Cole)
5 - The Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)
6 - Amazing Grace (various artists)
7 - We'll Meet Again (Vera Lynn)
8 - Over The Rainbow (Judy Garland)
9 - Abide With Me (Harry Secombe)
10 - Danny Boy (various artists)
Most unusual funeral songs:
1 - The Show Must Go On (Queen)
2 - Stairway To Heaven (Led Zeppelin)
3 - Highway To Hell (AC/DC)
4 - Another Ones Bites The Dust (Queen)
5 - I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (Bon Jovi)
6 - Always Look On The Bright Side of Life (Monty Python)
7 - Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead (The Wizard of Oz)
8 - Hit The Road Jack (Willie Nelson)
9 - I'm Too Sexy (Right Said Fred)
10 - Australian Football League club songs of the South Australia.