Thursday, July 10, 2008

Death: Stairway to Heaven or Highway to Hell?

If the Aussies are doing it, is America far behind? Not at all. We're increasingly adding personal elements to funerals and memorial services—or inhumations and celebrations of life. The Associated Press reported the contemporary funeral song trend in Australia. Our resident Australian by marriage, Joanne West, confirms the trend to oddities.

AP reports from Adelaide that Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" and AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" haven't made it into the top 10 funeral songs but are crowding "Amazing Grace" and "Abide With Me." Perennial favorites are Frank Sinatra's "My Way" and Louis Armstrong's version of "Wonderful World."

Myself, I've long designated—long before the Broadway show—Peter Allen's "Quite Please, There's a Lady on Stage" for my service or visitation, preferably with mourners joining in a rousing sing along on the chorus. Allen was, of course, Australian.

Read the AP story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at

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