The “Not So Traditional” Funeral Song Choices
16 July 2014 by Amy Burton
It seems somewhat distasteful to open this article with the memory of Dorothy throwing a bucket of water over the Wicked Witch of the West at the end of the ‘Wizard of Oz’, but with such a memory, one will recall the famous “Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead” being sung throughout all of Emerald City (which is where I believe it should stay). However this song, along with hits such as “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC were amongst the songs chosen to be played to grieving friends and families at funerals last year.
According to Charles Saatchi, only 25% of all funeral songs were hymns and only 4% were classical pieces of music. This left pop classics such as “Angels” by Robbie Williams and Westlife‘s “You Raise Me Up” to comfort those grieving for their loss.
It is true that the aforementioned pop songs would comfort grief-struck attendees of funerals with their beautiful lyrics and soft melodies, but I get the impression that “Another One Bites The Dust” wouldn’t quite fit the mood. Nevertheless, this Queen hit was the third most popular ‘unusual choice’ of 2013.
In some way I can see the attraction – why does a funeral always have to be such a sombre occasion? It is increasingly common to see ‘No Black Dress’ funerals, where attendees are instead invited to dress in vibrant colours rather than traditional blacks. Often these ceremonies are referred to as ‘Celebrations of Life’ in an attempt to remember someone’s life rather than mourn their death.
Of course I am not suggesting that we throw parties at funerals, however I can imagine that “I’m too Sexy” by Right Said Fred would bring a smile to everyone’s face, and sometimes that is all the comforting we need.