Top funeral songs for a loved one

These days, almost anything goes when it comes to funeral music. New traditions are being forged as people opt for songs that reflect their loved one’s life – rather than the more emotional, traditional tunes that cause tears to flow.

From Dolly Parton to Jackson Browne, Jeff Buckley to Simon and Garfunkel, the musical options are endless and nothing’s deemed inappropriate – even Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ gets airplay at funerals these days.

Faced with all this choice, it can be difficult to settle on one or two songs. If you’re finding it hard – particularly if your loved one never indicated what type of music they’d like played at their own funeral – we’ve compiled lists of some of the more popular songs to play at funerals.


Family funeral songs

If you’re choosing a song to say goodbye to a close member of your family, then chances are you’ll have a good idea of what’s appropriate.

It might be a tune that you and your sister used to belt out on road trips; or a family favourite that was on high rotation around the barbecue. Here are some of the most popular family funeral songs.


Funeral songs for Mum

It can be hard to find a song fitting for a goodbye to someone as special as your mum. Think back to the songs that she hummed around the house, or the artists that she loved.

Or simply find a song that expresses how much she meant to you. Here are some ideas.

  • Because you loved me - Celine Dion
  • I'm your angel - Celine Dion
  • Hero – Mariah Carey
  • In the arms of an angel - Sarah McLauchlan


Funeral songs for Dad

Was your dad a Beatles man? Or a Frank Sinatra fan? Perhaps he loved Led Zeppelin?

Or maybe you want to find a song that speaks volumes about the special role he played in your life, always looking out for you and shaping the person you are today. Get some inspiration below.

  • My Way – Frank Sinatra
  • Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
  • Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  • Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
  • Across the Universe – The Beatles


Uplifting funeral songs

Some songs have a powerful way of making us feel good. By choosing an uplifting funeral song, you'll help everyone to enjoy wonderful memories of the life that was lived.

Sure, such songs might cause some people to shed a tear or two – but in a good way. Here are some suggestions.

  • Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
  • Ave Maria – Sarah Brightman
  • Beautiful Day – U2
  • Let It Be – The Beatles
  • Stand By Me – John Lennon


Modern funeral songs

You could scour the charts to see if there are any recent tunes that got your loved one’s toes tapping.

Or there might be something on the airwaves right now that really stands out. Just because it’s new, it doesn’t mean it won’t work.

  • Someone Like You – Adele
  • Angels – Robbie Williams
  • In the Arms of an Angel – Kelly Clarkson
  • I'll See You Again – Westlife
  • Say You Won't Let Go – James Arthur


Happy funeral songs

A happy funeral song will have everyone in your congregation smiling, and can really set the mood for a celebratory funeral.

If you’re aiming for celebration rather than mourning, then these songs could be good for you.

  • Over the Rainbow – Eva Cassidy
  • Let Her Go – Passenger
  • What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  • I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
  • Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper


Popular funeral songs

If you’re finding it hard to choose a song or two to play at your loved one’s funeral, you can’t go past any of these popular funeral songs.

Full of emotional power, these songs are sure to stir up feelings within the congregation.

  • Time to Say Goodbye – Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
  • You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
  • Better Be Home Soon – Crowded House
  • Satisfied Mind – Jeff Buckley
  • Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen


Funny funeral songs

Once upon a time, if you’d played one of the below songs at a funeral you’d be shooed out of the church.

But these days, such songs can provide some much-needed light relief at the end of a service – and will remind everyone of the deceased’s humour and joy for life.

  • Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
  • Stayin' Alive – The Bee Gees
  • Disco Inferno – The Trammps
  • Dancing Queen – ABBA
  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Eric Idle

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