Royal London’s National Funeral Cost Index report 2020 found that the average cost of a funeral in 2020 is £3,837.

In the report, Julie Dunk (Chief Executive at Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management) mentioned that ‘the cost of providing burial and cremation services continues to rise, and fees therefore continue to rise to offset such costs… Investment in equipment is also required to meet customer expectations, for example music and sound systems, and screens to show photos during a funeral service. Webcasting and/or recording of services are also now much in demand, requiring investment in suitable systems’, showing where some of these price increases are coming from.

This got us thinking about funerals and the songs that we choose to play when saying goodbye to our loved ones. Read on to find out more…

Using Google Suggest and Spotify Data

Just over 50 songs were chosen for the research using Google’s top suggestions for the search term “funeral songs”. Then the number of plays for each song was collated using Spotify (for the song’s top result) before ordering the songs by most to least plays to allocate each song’s final ranking position.

As of 29/12/2020, the data showed that:

Rank

Song name

Artist

Year

Spotify plays 29/12/2020

1

Supermarket Flowers

Ed Sheeran

2017

4,541,919,234

2

See You Again

Wiz Khalifa

2015

1,129,818,248

3

Another One Bites the Dust

Queen

1980

911,909,189

4

Highway to Hell

AC/DC

1979

681,636,724

5

Stairway to Heven

Led Zeppelin

1971

506,688,822

6

Lay Me Down

Sam Smith

2014

472,785,716

7

Knockin' on Heaven's Door

Guns N' Roses

1987

331,771,710

8

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

Green Day

1997

331,290,481

9

Take Me Home, Country Roads

John Denver

1971

315,494,924

10

My Heart Will Go On

Celine Dion

1997

287,072,949

Click here to see the rest of the top funeral songs of 2020 according to our research...

11

Free Bird

Lynyrd Skynyrd

1973

286,538,441

12

I'll Be Missing You

Sean Combs

1997

280,974,861

13

My Immortal

Evanescence

2000

274,519,233

14

Spirit in the Sky

Norman Greenbaum

1969

263,917,488

15

Angels

Robbie Williams

1997

252,784,706

16

(I've Had) The Time of My Life

Bill Medley

1987

231,015,763

17

If I Die Young

The Band Perry

2010

187,796,813

18

Over the Rainbow

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

1990

180,490,365

19

In My Life

The Beatles

1965

158,851,710

20

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Simon and Garfunkel

1970

139,931,409

21

Broken Halos

Chris Stapleton

2017

139,197,694

22

Angel

Sarah McLachlan

1997

113,732,565

23

One Sweet Day

Mariah Carey

1995

95,938,908

24

Candle in the Wind

Elton John

1973

88,638,118

25

Tears in Heaven

Eric Clapton

1992

82,986,845

26

You Raise Me Up

Josh Groban

2003

69,230,435

27

You Raise Me Up

Westlife

2005

61,584,177

28

Who Wants to Live Forever

Queen

1986

57,971,012

29

You'll Never Walk Alone

Gerry

1963

46,537,027

30

Dance with My Father

Luther Vandross

2003

39,265,187

31

Wind Beneath My Wings

Bette Midler

1988

38,960,350

32

I'll Be Seeing You

Billie Holiday

1944

38,234,563

33

I'm Already There

Lonestar

2001

37,230,926

34

Wish You Were Here

Pink Floyd

1975

29,411,342

35

When I Get Where I'm Going

Brad Paisley

2005

27,173,390

36

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Monty Python

1989

23,376,931

37

We'll Meet Again

Vera Lynn

1943

20,694,570

38

To Where You Are

Josh Groban

2001

19,581,554

39

Go Rest High on That Mountain

Vince Gill

1994

14,356,048

40

Keep Me in Your Heart

Warren Zevon

2003

13,672,575

41

Who You'd Be Today

Kenny Chesney

2005

9,665,048

42

I Will Remember You

Sarah McLachlan

1993

7,586,495

43

Jealous of the Angels

Donna Taggart

2013

7,062,983

44

Mama

Il Divo

2004

6,178,280

45

I'll See You Again

Westlife

2009

5,706,516

46

Goodbye's (The Saddest Word)

Celine Dion

2002

4,349,814

47

Heaven Was Needing a Hero

Jo Dee Messina

2010

3,233,967

48

Bring Me Sunshine

Morecambe and Wise

2000

1,696,112

49

Nothing Compares to You

Sinead O'Connor

1990

1,632,419

50

Song for Dad

Keith Urban

2002

1,504,205

51

Goodbye My Friend

Linda Ronstadt

1989

1,231,723

52

Time to Say Goodbye

Sarah Brightman

1995

949,549

53

Thank You for Being My Dad

Jon Barker

2019

230,269

54

A Celebration of Life

Funeral Music

2012

75,600

The analysis found that 2017 hit Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran took the top spot, with 4,541,919,234 plays. Following Supermarket Flowers, See You Again by Wiz Khalifa claimed the silver. Interestingly, Another One Bites the Dust by Queen, Highway to Hell by AC/DC and Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin also featured in the top 5.

Looking at the wider top 50, Queen, Westlife, Josh Groban, and Sarah McLachlan appeared multiple times. Mariah Carey, Elton John, The Beatles, and Celine Dion also featured.

Lyric Analysis

To gather more insight into the topic, we also analysed the lyrics of the top 10 songs to discover which specific words featured most regularly. 53 words were repeated 5 times or more amongst the 10 songs, with “one” (39), “door” (27), and “heaven” (26) as the most common words used.

The top 10 words included:

  1. One – 39
  2. Door – 27
  3. Heaven – 26
  4. Another – 24
  5. See - 22
  6. Highway – 20
  7. Dust – 19
  8. Time – 15
  9. Again – 13
  10. Heart – 12

“Highway” and “dust” appeared due to heavy repetition in the respective songs ‘Highway to Hell’ and ‘Another One Bites the Dust’.

A life insurance pay-out can help out your loved ones with the funeral costs. We are committed to providing customers with the cheapest route to buy life insurance, and here at Cavendish Online there are a couple different options to help you find the best policy for you.

You can either get a quote yourself, which takes just a few minutes of your time; just complete this form here. Or, if you want some human interaction, you can choose to speak with one of our specialists over the phone, who are extremely friendly and will be able to help you choose the best cover for you and your loved ones. Call us on 01392 241 850 to reach one of our helpful consultants, and tick another task off of the ‘to-do’ list!

Disclaimer: Cavendish Online are not liable or responsible for the accuracy of the advice provided by third party experts, nor for the content or operation of any third-party websites, webpages, or resources which have been linked to within this article. *Information correct as of 29/12/2020

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