X Factor winner Alexandra Burke’s cover of the Leonard Cohen classic Hallelujah is proving a surprise hit at funerals, a poll has revealed.

A survey of more than 30,000 funerals last year found that hymns are declining in popularity, with popular music now accounting for more half of the songs played – except in Scotland, where hymns still hold sway.

Alexandra’s Hallelujah was 25th in the chart of popular songs – the first time a reality TV star has appeared on the list.

Frank Sinatra’s version of My Way is the most popular funeral piece, followed by Wind Beneath My Wings and Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman’s warbling duet Time To Say Goodbye.

More unusual choices include AC/DC’s Highway To Hell, Doctor And The Medics’ Spirit In The Sky and Another One Bites The Dust by Queen.

TV and radio themes are also proving popular – music from Emmerdale, Only Fools And Horses and even the Radio 4 Shipping Forecast have all been used to send loved ones to the great beyond.

Lorinda Sheasby, from Co-operative Funeralcare, which commissioned the survey, said it showed trends in funerals were changing.

“As more people choose non-religious funerals, so they incline towards contemporary songs with which they closely identify,” she said.

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