Ritual Music: the Most Popular Rites of Passage Songs in the US (with videos)
A Rite of Passage is a ritual event that marks a person's progress from one social status to another. It is a universal phenomenon which shows what social hierarchies, values, and beliefs are important to a specific culture.
Such ceremonies include those surrounding birth (christening), puberty, coming of age, marriage, and death. Initiation ceremonies such as baptism, Confirmation, and bar or bat Mitzvah are also considered important rites of passage for people of their respective religions. Traditionally, there is specific music played or performed that adds to the air of the ceremony (some of which is ceremonial in and of itself). The following are the most popular songs played during these respective ceremonies in the United States .
(This is by no means an exhaustive list, merely those rites for which I could find documented statistics.)
*Most Popular Wedding Song: “At Last” (Made popular by Etta James)
"At Last" is a 1941 song written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren for the musical film Orchestra Wives, starring George Montgomery and Ann Rutherford. In 1960, it was covered by renown blues singer Etta James in a performance that improvised on Warren's melody. Though this now classic has been covered by dozens of female singers, it is James' version that remains the most popular. Not surprisingly, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
*Most Popular Funeral Song: “My Way” (Made popular by Frank Sinatra)
"My Way," based on a French song "Comme d'habitude" composed by Claude François and Jacques Revauxis, was written by American singer/songwriter Paul Anka but is best well-known as performed by Frank Sinatra. "My Way" is often quoted as the most remade song in music history.
*Most Popular Bat/Bar Mitzvah Song: “What a Wonderful World” (Made popular by Louis Armstrong)
"What a Wonderful World" is a song written by Bob Thiele (aka George Douglas) and George David Weiss. It was first recorded and released in 1968 by Louis Armstrong and remains the most popular version although there have been several remakes. Armstrong's recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
(Video Pulled by Copyright holder)
*Most Popular Quinceanera Song: “Vals de La Mariposa” (Ernesto Lecuona, 1910-1949)
*Most Popular Confirmation Song: "Ave maria" (Traditional)
The Angelic Salutation, Hail Mary, or Ave Maria (Latin) is a traditional biblical Catholic prayer asking for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Hail Mary is used within Roman Catholicism and has become the favorite for the confirmation ceremony.
*Most Popular Anniversary Song: “As Time Goes By” (Made popular by Dooley Wilson)
"As Time Goes By" is a song written by Herman Hupfeld in 1931 and became famous in 1942 when it was sung by Sam (Dooley Wilson) in the movie Casablanca. The song was voted #2 on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs special, commemorating the best songs in film, and is by far the most popular song played at anniversaries.
*Most Popular Graduation Song: “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” (Made popular by Green Day)
"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" is a song by the American rock band Green Day. Written by lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong in 1994, it appeared on Green Day's fifth album, Nimrod, in 1997. Since its release, it has become the hands-down favorite at graduation ceremonies and parties.
*Most Popular Birthday Song: “Happy Birthday to You” (Traditional)
"Happy Birthday to You,” also known simply as "Happy Birthday,” is a song traditionally sung to celebrate the anniversary of a person's birth. The melody comes from the song "Good Morning to All,” written by Patty and Mildred J. Hill in 1893. According to the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records, "Happy Birthday to You" is the most recognized song in the English language.
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