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Rock classics like Led Zeppelin’s 'Stairway to Heaven' become funeral hits in Australia

Hymns are being replaced at funerals in one Australian city by popular rock classics like Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" and AC/DC's "Highway to Hell," a cemetery manager said Wednesday.

At Centennial Park, the largest cemetery and crematorium in the southern city of Adelaide, only two hymns still rank among its top 10 most popular funeral songs: "Amazing Grace" and "Abide With Me."

Leading the funeral chart is crooner Frank Sinatra's classic hit "My Way," followed by Louis Armstrong's version of "Wonderful World," a statement said.

The Led Zeppelin and AC/DC rock anthems rank outside the top 10, but have gained ground in recent years as more Australians give up traditional Christian hymns.

"Some of the more unusual songs we hear actually work very well within the service because they represent the person's character," Centennial Park chief executive Bryan Elliott said.

Among other less conventional choices were "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" by the Monty Python comedy team, "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead," "Hit the Road Jack," "Another One Bites the Dust" and "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead."

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