Monday, August 05, 2002

TEN, RIP: According to the Co-Op, who bury more corpses in the UK than anyone else, this is the top ten chocies of music for funerals in Britain:
1. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
2. My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
3. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
4. The Best - Tina Turner
5. Angels - Robbie Williams
6. You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry And The Pacemakers
7. Candle In The Wind - Elton John
8. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
9. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon And Garfunkel
10. Time To Say Goodbye - Sarah Brightman

Well, I guess if you're forced by the deceased to listen through that lot, at least you won't be beset by misplaced affection for the dead. Bridge Over Troubled Waters apart, perhaps, why on earth would anyone want such bland, mass-produced pap to mark their last moments before decomposition sets in? This is your last chance to request a tune, people - use it wisely.
And as for the stinking arrogance of Candle In The Wind - regardless of which version you go for, having your coffin eased off the shoulder to that is akin to building a little Taj Mahal on your gravesite, don't you think? Frankly, unless you can get Elton to rewrite the tune for you, it's best to leave it alone altogether.
Likewise the lack of humility in having Tina Turner's the Best almost eclipses the lack of any taste at all in the selection. The song that is the automatic default for soundtracking any regional advert on ITV; the song that gets wheeled out at every dreary would-be motivational planning meeting for second string companies - is that what you want your life to be compared to? A Brentford Nylons sale or the September sales conference for Mole Valley Valves?
There are quirkier choices - someone apparently went gently into that good night to the News at Ten theme; we presume the person who elected for Firestarter was being cremated - but on the whole, it's same old same old. The Co-op's Lorinda Sheasby reports "We are receiving more and more requests for popular music as people attempt to personalise funerals and choose songs that are relevant to them." Personal and relevant are wonderful for a farewell to a loved one; this chart, however, reads like the bloody Capital Gold playlist. And do you really want Tony Blackburn in charge at your funeral?

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