Pop music now outplays hymns two to one at funerals, according to the leading funeral provider in the UK.
The Co-operative Funeralcare report showed that pop music is now the number one request at 30,000 funerals in the last 12 months.
Only four per cent of mourners ask for classical music to be played.
The study shows the demise of hymns: in 2005 they accounted for 41 per cent, but now that figure has fallen to 30 per cent of all musical requests.
Frank Sinatra’s My Way remains a firm favourite, holding the number one spot for the last seven years.
While the majority of these final services feature emotive or sombre music, others buck the trend with a humorous approach to death being visible.
Eric Idle’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is the 13th most requested popular music song, from the 1979 Monty Python film The Life of Brian.
Regionally its popularity increases, with the research showing that it reaches number six in the South East and North East charts.
The novelty Ying Tong Song, by Spike Milligan, which features the infamous lines ‘I told you I was ill’, was played at seven funerals.
A third of all funeral homes have reported receiving ‘quirky’ requests, including the theme tune of Countdown.
Abide with Me is the most popular hymn request, pushing The Lord is my Shepherd to number two since 2009.
Head of Marketing for The Co-operative Funeralcare Lorinda Robinson said: “Hymns were once the mainstay of a funerals service but pop music plays such an important part in people’s lives that it now acts as the theme tune to their passing.
“Modern funerals are very much about personal choice, and this is often reflected in the choice of music.”