So far this year we've sung over 100 individual songs and hymns for funerals, burials and memorials services. As you would expect, this total includes some of the most popular items, including:
This song has surprised us by being a popular request for funerals. Not usual for opera.
Lascia ch'io pianga (Let me weep)
The composer is George Frederick Handel, and I never thought that a Handel aria would prove such a hit with people. I think it goes to prove if you have a great tune, then it doesn't matter when it was written it appeals to people.
Kevin Mayhew of Kevin Mayhew Publishing has started a debate on Hymn singing and the keys they are sung in. He says that many people say ‘We can’t sing up there’, and states that research shows the human singing voice has dropped over the last century.
One of the great joys of singing at funerals is hearing the eulogies - and discovering some amazing lives. We genuinely enjoy hearing of lives well lived, whether across the UK, abroad or within 5 miles of their final resting place. Of families raised, careers and jobs, and retirements enjoyed. Of battles fought both personal and medical, and not always won.
Statistics do make interesting reading, whether it's the number of votes politicians receive, or the number of songs we've sung at funerals!
Throughout the years we've been singing for funerals, no pattern for bookings has emerged. However, over the last months, one has emerged - bookings for the middle Friday of the month.
One of the skills you learn at music college as a student of singing is to suit your voice to the music, and that includes volume. Singing a song with piano is obviously different to singing an aria with orchestra, for example. However, it;'s only experience that teaches you the art of self-regulating and adjusting your voice to different spaces as well. And it's not always about the size of the space either.
Who exactly is a funeral for? This may seem an obvious question, but the answer isn't quite so straightforward. We believe a funeral service should celebrate a life well lived, offering the family and those who attend the chance to remember, to reflect as well as say goodbye. Therefore, the choice of music, readings and tributes should reflect their choices.
Over the last four years, we've started to notice the trends in music played at funerals, with Adele exiting stage left to be replaced by Lilly Allen and others, but some classic pop versions last way beyond their moment in the charts.
This is a new favourite of ours, a great funeral poem set to wonderful music. We knew of the poem, but the musical setting only came to our notice last year.
Follow a funeral singer