Monty Python’s “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life,” the jaunty singalong that first appeared in the comedy troupe’s 1979 film The Life of Brian, has long been a staple at funerals for its optimistic tone, bubbly melody and lyrics about one’s own demise. But in a new survey of funeral directors, the track has become the most popular song to play at British funerals, according to the Telegraph.
The survey, based on more than 30,000 funerals, found the song beating out Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” Robbie Williams’ “Angel” and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” alongside more traditional hymns.
“We wonder if it’s the people who were young in the swinging Sixties, who are now in their 70s and 80s, and if that’s informing this trend,” David Collingwood, operations director at the Co-operative Funeralcare, told the outlet. “Monty Python, for example, is of a certain age.”
While Collingwood said this represents a “generational shift in attitudes towards funerals,” there are still some songs that have been rejected by funeral homes as being inappropriate. Alongside songs by Eminem and Sex Pistols, some of the verboten tracks include Meat Loaf’s “Bat out of Hell,” Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” and Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax.”
“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” functioned as a different final song in July, when the comedy troupe ended their run of reunion shows with the number. The comedians dressed in white suit jackets, with four of the members conducting the London audience with batons as the song’s writer, Eric Idle, played guitar.
Earlier this year, the group re-released the song during the World Cup as the “Unofficial England Football Anthem.”