A survey of 5000 Britons carried out on behalf of The Bereavements Register has revealed the top 10 songs requested at funerals.
1. Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt
2. Angels - Robbie Williams
3. I've Had the Time of My Life - Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley
4. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
5. Pie Jesu - Requiem
6. Candle in the Wind - Elton John
7. With or Without You - U2
8. Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton
9. Every Breath You Take - The Police
10. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
If you would like something in a more traditional vein, Classic FM recommends:
PURCELL: Dido's Lament (from Dido and Aeneas) - a beautiful song sung by Dido as she mourns her lost love.
ELGAR: Nimrod (from the Enigma Variations) - this well-known tune is both distinguished and stately.
BARBER: Adagio - a poignant tune that's often been used at times of national disaster.
MAHLER: Adagietto (from Symphony No.5) - beautifully rich and indulgent.
TAVERNER: Song for Athene - this piece became particularly well known after being used at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.
MOZART: Ave Verum Corpus - aptly written in the last year of Mozart's life and just sumptuous. It's worth checking that the choir can handle it - not difficult but needs care and attention due to the pace, more than anything.
A Farewell to Stromness: MAXWELL DAVIES
The Ashokan Farewell: JAY UNGAR
Vissi d'arte (from Tosca): PUCCINI
The Lark Ascending: VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
FAURE - by far the most famous and rightly so. No more perfect a send-off.
MOZART - serious and a little dark. Would suit a very gothic church.
VERDI - very good for a grand send-off.
DURUFLE - an underrated gem.
RUTTER - a modern masterpiece.
JENKINS - again, a modern masterpiece.
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER- one of the best known among non-classical music fans.
It may also be worth considering:
"In Paradisium" - GABRIEL FAURE
"Requiem Aeternam" - VERDI
"I Was Glad" - HERBERT PARRY
"Four Last Songs" (Im Abendrot)- RICHARD STRAUSS
"Quintet in C" (slow movement) - FRANZ SCHUBERT
If you would like to listen to some of the music listed on this page, please click on: HMV music i-tunes download
If you are looking for hymns and psalms, here are some first lines that might remind you, you can then follow up:
'Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord'
'Abide with me; fast falls the eventide'
'Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy'
'All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small'
'Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation'
'O Worship the King, all glorious above'
'Praise my soul, the King of Heaven'
'The King of love my shepherd is, Whose goodness faileth never'
'Fight the good fight with all thy might; Christ is thy strength and Christ thy right'
'Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices'
'Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heaven, to earth come down'
'He who would valiant be, 'Gainst all disaster' (To be a pilgrim...)
'Fight the good fight with all thy might!'
'The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended, the darkness falls at thy behest;'
'Immortal, invisible, God only wise'
'Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways'
'We plough the fields and scatter, the good seed on the land'
'For all the saints who from their labours rest'
'Fight the good fight with all thy might, Christ is thy strength and Christ thy right;'
'Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, City of our God;'
'All people that on earth do dwell, sing to the Lord with cheerful voice;'
'Teach me, my God and King, in all things thee to see;'
'Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us o'er the world's tempestuous sea;'
'Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,' (...for those in peril on the sea).'
'The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended, the darkness falls at thy behest;'
'Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer, Pilgrim through this barren land;'
'Let all the world in every corner sing, My God and King!'
'I danced in the morning when the world was begun, and I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun.... Dance, then, wherever you may be; I am the Lord of the Dance, said he..'
'And did those feet in ancient time, walk upon England's mountains green?.... till we have built Jerusalem, in England's green and pleasant land.'
'Praise to the Holiest in the height, and in the depth be praise;'
'Ye holy angels bright, who wait at God's right hand,'
'I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above, Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love:'
'God be in my head, and in my understanding; God be in my eyes, and in my looking; God be in my mouth, and in my speaking; God be in my heart, and in my thinking; God be at my end, and at my departing.'
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; To be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of thy people Israel. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.
Psalm 23: (Crimond) 'The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want; he maketh me down to lie in pastures green, he leadeth me the quiet waters by'
Psalm 90: 'Lord you have been our refuge: from one generation to another. Before the mountains were born or the earth and the world were brought to be: from eternity to eternity you are God...'
Psalm 121: 'I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.'