Grieving relatives can give their loved ones the ultimate musical send-off thanks to new technology at Carlisle Crematorium.
The Wesley Music system has replaced the resident organist and offers a choice from thousands of recordings, which are stored on a computer hard disk.
They include hymns and classical works performed by the likes of Katherine Jenkins, Harry Secombe, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.
Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and The Beatles are represented, along with more contemporary artists from Daniel O’Donnell to Celine Dion, Susan Boyle, Westlife and Lady Gaga.
There are no fewer than four versions of the hymn Abide with Me, eight of Amazing Grace and Danny Boy, and four of Nessun Dorma from the Puccini opera Turandot.
You can even dispatch your nearest and dearest to the strains of the Eastenders TV theme or Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries.
Five other unusual options include Another One Bites The Dust by Queen, The Prodigy's Firestarter, Good Riddance by Green Day, Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield and The Drugs Don't Work by The Verve.
The system cost £8,800 and started working in April last year.
Councillor Ray Bloxham, the Carlisle City Council executive member responsible for the crematorium, has hailed it as a success.
His report to councillors says: “It has now been [more than] six months since we started using the Wesley Music system at the crematorium instead of a resident organist. The system ensures that the correct music is played at each and every service and our library is being added to each day – up to a maximum of 150,000 pieces of music.
“All service users are impressed with the new system.”
Wesley Music, based at Kettering in Northamptonshire, describes itself as a “specialised music service to the bereavement community”.
It is possible to request music not on its system by giving at least 72 hours of notice.
Requests for hymns and organ music will be specially recorded if not available in Wesley’s library.
The full list of recordings for Carlisle Crematorium can be viewed online at www.wesleymusic.co.uk/musiclibrarylists/carlisle.php.