The final curtain

TRADITION still holds the greatest sway when it comes to choosing hymns for funerals, according to a survey conducted by Huntingdonshire s undertakers. The invention of the CD and the iPod has seen the use of modern, more personal music greatly increase a

TRADITION still holds the greatest sway when it comes to choosing hymns for funerals, according to a survey conducted by Huntingdonshire's undertakers.

The invention of the CD and the iPod has seen the use of modern, more personal music greatly increase at funerals.

However, research carried out by St Neots-based TL Cobbold, together with more than 30 other family-owned funeral directors, has revealed hymns are still the music of choice.

And the most popular hymn for a funeral service is, unsurprisingly, The Lord's My Shepherd, followed in popularity by All Things Bright and Beautiful and Abide With Me.


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Beverley Lodge, owner and director of TL Cobbold, of New Street, said the popularity of hymns against modern music varied depending on where the person had lived.

"In many cases, mainly in urban rather than rural areas, religion plays a less significant role than in the past," she said. "We find fewer hymns are asked for and favourite CDs play a bigger part in planning a funeral service.

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"We are also involved in more humanist and civil ceremonies."

Some of the top choices for personal musical tributes include: My Way by Frank Sinatra and Yours by Vera Lynn. Current recording artists such as Celine Dion and Robbie Williams are also becoming more popular.

However, the research also found a surprise entry in the list of personal favourites: Spirit in the Sky, by one-hit-wonder Norman Greenbaum which was in the charts in 1970.

Choices of music also reflected people's interests and hobbies, and covered everything from ballet, opera, classical and jazz right through to military bands.

TOP TEN HYMNS

1 Psalm 23 (The Lord's My Shepherd)

2 All Things Bright and Beautiful

3 Abide With Me

4 The Day Thou Gavest Lord is Ended

5 Praise My Soul the King of Heaven

6 Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

7 Morning Has Broken

8 Jerusalem

9 The Old Rugged Cross

10 Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer

POPULAR SONGS in the UK:

1. Angels, Robbie Williams

2. My Way, Frank Sinatra

3. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Monty Python.

Europe

1. The Show Must Go On, Queen

2. Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin

3. Highway to Hell, AC/DC

Source: Music Choice, digital TV channel.

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