Top 10 raves at the grave

AS SONGS one might choose to play at a funeral go, Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" is perhaps not the most obvious. Still, each to their own. Last year this was one of the top 10 tunes played as people were buried or cremated.

It was placed ninth behind, perhaps more suitable, songs such as "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan and "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin.

But in 1999 it appears there is no place for the jaunty theme tune from the Pythons' film Life of Brian. Figures released yesterday by the Co- Operative Funeral Service revealed that Celine Dion is more in tune with those passing on. Her song, "My Heart Will Go On", from the film Titanic, is the most popular song played at funerals in Britain. In second place is "Candle in the Wind", by Elton John, last year's number one.

While traditional songs such as "Abide with Me" remain popular, they are increasingly being replaced by pop songs. A spokeswoman for the Co- Op said: "We are finding that the majority of people request modern songs out of choice."

One old-timer still proving popular for funerals is Frank Sinatra, who himself died last year. He appears twice in the 1999 top 10, which is as follows:

1, "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion; 2, "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John; 3, "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler; 4, "Search for the Hero" by M-People; 5, "My Way" by Frank Sinatra; 6, "You'll Never Walk Alone" by Gerry and The Pacemakers; 7, "Release Me" by Engelbert Humperdinck; 8, "Memory" by Elaine Paige; 9, "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra; 10, "Bright Eyes" by Art Garfunkel.