Changing sounds for our changing tastes

I don’t want to cast a black cloud of gloom over your sunny lives, but have you chosen what song(s) you’d like played at your funeral?

Don’t go!

You’ll find this interesting – and not a bit morbid.  Apparently, there’s a “Funeral Song Top 10” chart, which shows that hymns are being replaced by popular songs on those sad occasions when we say our final farewell to friends and relatives.

According to Co-Op Funerals, a quarter of people in the U.K have already told their families what song they want played at their funeral . . . and they’re not hymns.

As the older generations (many of whom were regular church-goers) pass on, religious funeral services are making way for non-religious services, reflecting the secular society we’re becoming.

In churches, funeral parlour chapels and crematoriums, the old stalwarts like “Abide With Me” and “All Things Bright And Beautiful” – a perfectly pleasant song but so lightweight it comes across as a “Oh, this’ll do!” choice by people with no real interest in music – are slipping down the charts to make way for Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” and “Time To Say Goodbye” by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli.

While I can understand those choices, I was more than a little surprised to learn some funeral songs are by Stormzy and somebody blessed with the name Wiz Khalifa.

I’ve never heard of him/her either.

To those of you who regret this modern trend, I’d say that while many Victorian hymns define gravitas and solemnity, well-crafted popular songs can touch people’s hearts in a personal way the old hymns can’t achieve today.

Songs like “Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton and “In My Life” by the Beatles, resonate with individuals who appreciate beautiful lyrics and haunting melodies.

When Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood” was played at Peter Sellers funeral, the mourners, including Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan, started laughing, aware Peter loathed the tune and deliberately chose it to amuse his friends after he’d gone.

I hope I’ve left you with a smile this week, too!