Top Ten Funeral Songs

Music-focused Top Ten lists are not just for music magazines, knowledgeable record store employees, and David Letterman anymore. Now, even funeral homes are creating their own greatest hits list. Centennial Park, the largest provider of cemetery, crematorium, and memorial services in one of Australia’s aptly named states, South Australia, has just released its own top ten lists for the most popular and most unusual funeral songs.

Music-focused Top Ten lists are not just for music magazines, knowledgeable record store employees, and David Letterman anymore. Now, even funeral homes are creating their own greatest hits list. Centennial Park, the largest provider of cemetery, crematorium, and memorial services in one of Australia’s aptly named states, South Australia, has just released its own top ten lists for the most popular and most unusual funeral songs.

Songs on the most popular list range from traditional pieces like “Amazing Grace” (No. 6) and “Danny Boy” (No. 10) to two late sixties hits “My Way”( No. 1) and “What A Wonderful World” (No. 2). Songs on the unusual list are, as the name implies, non-traditional choices. Some examples include “Highway to Hell” (No. 3), “Always Look On the Brightside of Life” by Monty Python (No. 6) and team songs from the Australia Football League (No. 10). Despite South Australia’s reputation for its arid climate, “Dust in the Wind” was, interestingly enough, absent from either list.

In discussing the unusual song list, Centennial Park CEO Bryan Elliot notes that the recent trend in funeral music is to choose musical selections that are less traditional and more personal in order to tailor the service to match the individuality of the recently deceased. For those wondering how guests and family members accept the appearance of a classic rock song at a somber ceremony, Elliot states that, “Some of the more unusual songs we hear actually work very well within the service, because they represent the person’s character.”

The complete lists:

Most Popular
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
1. “The Show Must Go On,” Queen
2. “Stairway to Heaven,” Led Zeppelin
3. “Highway to Hell,” AC/DC
4. “Another One 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. “Power,” Crows and Australian Football League team songs