Scots favour traditional funeral hymns

April 16, 2009

While the English and Welsh are asking for more pop songs to be played at funerals, the Scots are bucking the trend and opting for more religious music.

Fifty-six percent of Scots chose hymns during the past 12 months, a rise of 2 percent on 2005, according to a survey carried out by Co-operative Funeralcare.

In the rest of the UK, only 35 percent selected religious music, a fall of 6 percent on the same period – reflecting an increasingly secular society.

The most popular hymns remained “The Lord is My Shepherd”, “Abide with Me” and “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, while the top songs were Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” and Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings”.

The Co-op, which gathered the information from 242 of its funeral homes, put the contrast down to a different attitude to change.

“I do not think we are so different from our cousins in the south,” said John Williamson, operations manager for the Co-op in Scotland.

“The Scots are not more prone to be church members, but they have a more traditional approach to funeral services in general. We are slower to change, but change is coming”.

Those who opted for non-religious funerals chose music they could identify with, the Co-op added.

That could include anything from the TV theme music for Channel 4 Horse Racing to Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”.

“Ultimately the funeral service reflects the life of the individual, which is of great benefit to the bereaved,” the Co-op said in a statement.

Below are tables of the Co-op’s findings:

Non-mover Up the chart Down the chart Newcomer


2009 2005 SONG ARTIST
1 1 My Way Frank Sinatra/Shirley Bassey
2 2 Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Midler/Celine Dion
3 9 Time To Say Goodbye Sarah Brightman/Andrea Bocelli
4 3 Angels Robbie Williams
5 8 Over The Rainbow Eva Cassidy
6 You Raise Me Up Westlife/Boyzone/Josh Grobin
7 4 My Heart Will Go On Celine Dion
8 6 I Will Always Love You Whitney Houston
9 7 You’ll Never Walk Alone Gerry and the Pacemakers
10 Unforgettable Nat King Cole


2009 2005  
    1 1 The Lord Is My Shepherd
2 2 Abide With Me
3 3 All Things Bright And Beautiful
4 4 Old Rugged Cross
5 5 Amazing Grace
6 7 How Great Thou Art
7 6 The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended
8 8 Jerusalem
9 Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace
10 9 Morning Has Broken

QUIRKY CHOICES – A selection

TV/Radio themes TV/Radio themes contd Song Artist
Songs of Praise Radio 4 Shipping Forecast Another One Bites the Dust Queen
Only Fools & Horses  Channel 4 Horse Racing  Disco Inferno The Trammps
Z Cars Emmerdale Bat Out of Hell Meatloaf
Benny Hill Coronation Street Spirit in the Sky Doctor & The Medics
Top Gear   Ring of Fire Johnny Cash

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Posted by SharperIron » Scots favour traditional funeral hymns | Report as abusive

This information is good for me.There’s a lot of songs written in the words of those left behind.It is really a very beautiful song.This is a list of some of the people who will be helping you after the death of a loved one…..its not a glossary but its similar….i think!

Posted by alice | Report as abusive

Thanks for this great information. I am very happy to your nice article. It is very useful for funerals. I like it. Hope you will doing well……..

Posted by Alice Jones | Report as abusive