Elgar’s 'Nimrod' is the most popular classical piece for funerals

21 November 2014, 17:29 | Updated: 6 January 2017, 14:45

Elgar’s ‘Nimrod’ from his Enigma Variations has emerged as the most popular piece of classical music for funerals, according to Co-operative Funeralcare.

The highest-ranking hymn is ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’ (Psalm 23), followed in second place by ‘Abide with Me’.

Co-operative Funeralcare publishes a list of the most popular music at funerals every two years and ‘Nimrod’ has remained the most popular piece of classical music over the last ten years.

Pachelbel’s Canon is the second most popular piece of classical music, followed by ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ performed by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli.

In Wales, Katherine Jenkins's version of ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ is the most popular classical piece.

The top piece of music across all genres is ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ from the Monty Python film The Meaning of Life. The list also includes the Match of the Day theme tune, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’ and Puccini’s ‘Nessun Dorma’ from Turandot. The data is drawn from more than 30,000 funerals.

“Music plays such an important part in people’s lives that it now acts as the theme tune to their passing,” says David Collingwood, operations director at The Co-operative Funeralcare.

“Modern funerals are very much about personal choice, which can be reflected in the choice of music, dress, coffin, flowers, hearses or memorials. “Lyrics provide poignant words as well as a reminder of a hobby, pastime or sense of humour – the variety of songs played at funerals today illustrates how more and more people are choosing to personalise funerals, and celebrate their loved one’s life with a fitting farewell.”

Here is the full list of the most popular classical pieces to be requested for funerals:

1. ‘Nimrod’ from Enigma Variations (Elgar)
2. Canon in D (Pachelbel)
3. ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ (performed by Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli / Katherine Jenkins)
4. The Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
5. Ave Maria (Schubert)
6= ‘Nessun Dorma’ from Turandot (Puccini)
6= Adagio (Albinoni)
7. ‘Pie Jesu’ (Fauré)
8. Air on a G String (Bach)
9. Clair De Lune (Claude Debussy)
10. Cavalleria Rusticana Intermezzo (Mascagni)

The most popular hymns are:

1. The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23/Crimond)
2. Abide with Me
3. All Things Bright and Beautiful
4. How Great Thou Art
5. Amazing Grace
6. Jerusalem
7. Old Rugged Cross
8. Morning Has Broken
9= The Day Thou Gavest Lord Has Ended
9= I Watch the Sunrise
10. Ave Maria