Pop and rock music is replacing hymns at Oxford Crematorium

Pop and rock music is replacing hymns at Oxford Crematorium

Pop or rock songs are increasingly being requested by mourners at Oxford Crematorium instead of hymns to say farewell to their loved ones.

The Crematorium and Memorial Group (CMG), which operates the crematorium in Barton, has revealed the most requested pieces of music for funerals during 2022.

Sad, moving or reflective songs that family members believe pay tribute to their loved one continue to dominate the ‘Funeral Top 10’.

However, there has been an increase in more recent years of families choosing more uplifting pop or rock songs.

‘My Way’ by crooner Frank Sinatra takes the top spot at Oxford Crematorium, but is joined in the top 10 most requested songs by the likes of Bette Midler’s ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Supermarket Flowers’.

Personal favourites of the deceased are also regularly selected for their send-off, with The Beatles and Elvis Presley and 80s and 90s R&B, new wave and indie songs by such varied artists as Tina Turner, Blondie, and Oasis all featuring.

Oxford Crematorium Business Leader Trish Smith said: “We all live such different and unique lives now that it’s natural for people to want to make a funeral as individual and personalised as possible.

“The importance of music in our lives is demonstrated by our research which shows it’s the third most common topic for a family to discuss prior to a funeral.”

The crematorium has recently installed a state-of-the-art audio system from specialist company Obitus which gives access to thousands of pieces of recorded music from hymns and classical compositions to the latest pop hits, while keeping a record of the number of times each song is played.

Ms Smith said: “Popular music is now a major part of many funerals and we’ve invested in specialist equipment to ensure we provide the highest quality service.”


Top 10 most commonly requested music for funerals at Oxford Crematorium in 2022:

1.     Frank Sinatra – My Way

2.     Bette Midler – Wind Beneath My Wings

3.     Nat King Cole – Unforgettable

4.     Eva Cassidy – Somewhere Over The Rainbow

5.     Vera Lynn – We’ll Meet Again

6.     Sarah McLachlan – (In The Arms Of An) Angel

7.     Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World

8.     Gerry & The Pacemakers – You’ll Never Walk Alone

9.     Ed Sheeran – Supermarket Flowers

10.  Nat King Cole – Smile



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