2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life

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Top Tunes for mourners in UK

figures_carrying_casket_1600_wht_13761I’ve posted on this before but it’s good to get an update.

Co-operative Funeralcare has carried out a survey of families’ needs. It seems half of all funeral directors have been presented with playlists on various media platforms in the last year and they are updating sound systems in crematoria and other venues to cope with this.

The idea seems to be that music that was particularly meaningful to the deceased is played during the service.

Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” has been on the top spot again or the last couple of years overtaking the Monty Python’s “Always look on the bright side“.

Time to say goodbye” by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli was the second most popular song followed by Eva Cassidy’s version of “Somewhere over the rainbow“.

Religious music was represented by Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd” in fifth place.

Other songs include Bette Midler’s “Winds beneath my Wings“, Vera Lynn’s “We’ll meet again“, and Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable

Traditional hymns like “Abide with me” and “All Things bright and beautiful” are also represented in the favourites.

I can’t say I’m over impressed by the list which is not much different from the last time I posted on this , except the sports themes have dropped off the list and I’m surprised Robbie Williams “Angels” isn’t still on the list.

I think the songs show a distinct lack of imagination. What about Stairway to Heaven or Knocking on Heaven’s door? Endless Sleep or Back to Black?

Or songs that actually meant something to people not songs other people thought they should have. Where are the Stones or Beatles songs for example.

The funeral service is also keen to point out that it’s not only music that can be personalised but also caskets, hearses and memorials. The mind boggles.



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42nd Worsthorne Arts & Crafts Fair

For the third year running we were invited to perform at the annual festival and did so on two evenings.IMG_0524 IMG_0523

The acoustics in the church are always an advantage in embellishing our sound. P1030782

We performed a range of songs, old and new, from the war-time nostalgia of  “A nightingale sang...” and a song from War Horse to commemorate the great war on the 100th anniversary of the Somme offensive “Only remembered“.

We also performed “Things“, “Budapest“,  “Lucky Old Sun“, “Besame mucho“, “Tequila Sunrise” and a song lamenting the end of the Wild West, the Highwaymen’s “The last cowboy song”. We also included a medley of three Ricky Nelson songs and finished with “Dance the night away“.

Thank you all for being appreciative audiences!

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Top two photographs courtesy of Ken Stott.

Featured charity was Pendleside Hospice.

And here are the posts from 2014 and 2015


Parkinson’s Disease Society Xmas Dinner

We were pleased to be asked to entertain Parkinson’s Disease Society members at their Xmas Dinner this year held at the Burnley Boys and Girls Club (formerly known as the Burnley Lads Club which predates WWI – but that’s another story).

We performed a mixture of our regular songs from the 1940s to the present day, interspersed with some Xmas songs. We were helped out by David who sang “Fly me to the moon” for us. A very enjoyable evening.P1030175P1030178































41st Worsthorne Arts & Crafts Fair

The festival theme was the 60s as demonstrated in the many displays in the church.P1020870

Of course being the sixties Burnley FC had to be featured!P1020868

And as musicians we were delighted to see reminders of the swinging sixties when British pop music ruled the world.P1020872

And with that in mind our set was very much 1960s flavoured.P1020884 P1020917

We kicked off with Chuck Berry’s “Memphis Tennessee” and the classic “Save the Last Dance” followed by a couple by the  Everlys, the second a duet with our friend Tony Cummings.P1020890

We were then joined by Caroline Taylor for that old Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood classic “Summer Wine”.P1020897

Then with both Caroline and Tony we performed that great Phil Ochs’ song “There but for fortune” (I love that three-part harmony at the end) and the Bobby Darin classic “Things“.P1020903

Barrie rounded off the first half with a great rendition of Tom Rush’s song – made famous by Scott Walker – “No Regrets“.P1020915

The second half was a 1960s medley with a quiz for the audience to identify the singer and the song.

So we rounded the evening off with songs from the Kinks, the Beach Boys, Sam Cooke, Little Eva, the Mindbenders, Cliff Richard, Herman’s Hermits and the Beatles.P1020923

Those were the days my friend!

A great evening enjoyed by everyone.


You can read a slightly different take on the festival here.

Last year’s Festival


Top songs for that final farewell

tombstone_message_11293After a decade Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” has been knocked off the top spot for music requested of funeral directors. It always seemed an odd choice to me as if the recently departed had some choices.

Anyway the top spot has been replaced by “Always look on the bright side of life”. This was the song from Monty Python’s Life of Brian and a jaunty reflection of life and death.

The Top 10 funeral songs in the UK now according to the Cooperative Funeral Service are:

1  Always look on the bright side of life from Monty Python’s Life of Brian

2  The Lord is my Shepherd. Psalm 23 Crimond

3  Abide with me

4  Match of the Day theme

5  My Way by Frank Sinatra

6  All things bright and beautiful

7  Angels by Robbie Williams

8  Enigma Variations Nimrod by Elgar

9  You’ll never walk alone by Gerry & the Pacemakers

10 Soul LimboBooker T & the MGs Test match special theme

figures_carrying_casket_1600_wht_13761I don’t know at what point in the service these requests are played. I’m guessing at the end when the coffin is disposed of behind the curtains. If you could choose your music what would it be?  How about “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” for when they carry the coffin in?

The Daily Telegraph has produced a list of the top 30 songs most played at funerals and it includes Eric Clapton’ s “Tears in Heaven”, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, Vera Lynn’s “We’ll meet again”, “Ding Dong the witch is dead” from The Wizard of Oz, Pink Floyd’s “Wish you were here”, and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”.

I think it’s the song title and the tune that does it, not the actual words some of which seem highly irrelevant if not irreverent.