By Sam Tyrer, Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare

Music plays such a big part in all of our lives so it’s no surprise that our favourite songs play a significant role in the way we say goodbye to our loved ones.

For the last 20 years, Co-op Funeralcare have created a music chart based on data and insights from our own funeral directors and arrangers. The songs we choose for a funeral all hold unique and personal meaning for ourselves and loved ones but naturally, some songs remain more popular than others and we’re delighted to unveil this year’s music chart.

This year’s top 10

NoSongArtistMovement since 2019*
1You’ll Never Walk AloneGerry and the PacemakersNew entry
2My WayFrank SinatraDown 1 place
3Always Look On The Bright Side Of LifeEric IdleUp 7 places
4Simply The BestTina TurnerNew entry
5Supermarket Flowers Ed SheeranUp 1 place
6Time to Say GoodbyeAndrea Bocelli and Sarah BrightmanDown 4 places
7The Chain Fleetwood MacNew entry
8Somewhere Over the Rainbow Eva CassidyDown 5 places
9We’ll Meet AgainVera LynnNon-mover
10This is Me The Greatest ShowmanNew entry

Gerry and the Pacemaker’s emotional melody ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ has hit the top spot this year – knocking perennial favourite, Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ from the number one position.

The Gerry and the Pacemakers hit, which spent four weeks at number one in 1963, captured the nation’s Covid-stricken heart last April when it was covered by Michael Ball, Sir Captain Tom Moore and the NHS Voices of Care Choir last April to raise money for charity. The evocative anthem is also famously the team song for both Liverpool F.C. and Celtic F.C. meaning its appeal spans across all the generations. 

In another shift, the top ten features a number of surprisingly upbeat new entries including Tina Turner’s feel good hit ‘Simply the Best’ at number four and Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’ – whose electric riffs are used in Grand Prix television packages – at number seven.

Meanwhile, The Greatest Showman’s rousing theatrical showstopper ‘This Is Me’ enters the chart for the first time at number ten, proving that for many, sad downbeat and melancholic songs could be falling out of favour.

Planning ahead

Each element of a funeral is a very personal choice and with the launch of our 2021 music chart, we’re hoping to encourage the nation to be more open about their funeral wishes. Choice of music is something everyone has an opinion on and provides a more light-hearted and accessible way to start the conversation with loved ones.  

A funeral plan has never been easier to arrange and pay for in advance than it is today. By putting a plan in place, clients can protect their loved ones against unexpected costs and help remove any uncertainty about their final wishes. If you’re interested in finding out more, check out our website and start the planning today.

*Restrictions imposed on funerals due to the pandemic meant the way music was played at funerals needed to change in some instances.