Funeral Songs: How to Choose Memorial or Funeral Songs

Funeral songs come in various categories, genres and moods. Here’s a list of popular funeral songs to help. Keep reading to learn more.
Funeral Songs: How to Choose Memorial or Funeral Songs

When making your funeral wishes known or planning a funeral for a loved one, it might be necessary to choose music for the service and reception. However, finding the perfect funeral songs to embody your or a loved one’s life is not easy. 

So to help you find the perfect funeral songs, we’ve put together a list of things to consider and funeral songs for those looking for something more uplifting or religious.

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Things to consider when choosing a funeral or memorial song 

When choosing a funeral song for you or a loved one, it’s important to consider a few things that might help make the process easier. 

1. Choose music based on the theme 

It’s no doubt that every funeral is sad. However, some people might make it known in their Will that they want to play uplifting and celebratory music at their funeral. This choice of music for a funeral is common when people want their loved ones to celebrate their life instead of mourn. 

2. Choose a song with a special meaning 

Whether you’re planning your funeral in your Will or your planning the funeral of a loved one, it’s common to choose songs that were loved by the deceased or reflects their personality. In some cases, the song may seem non-traditional, but it’s a great way to feel more connected to the deceased. 

3. Consider the location of the funeral 

If you prefer cremation and your ashes spread in a special place, you might want to choose music for this occasion that suits the location and atmosphere. Or if you prefer a burial and a ceremony in a church, you might choose more classical music. 

Popular Traditional Funeral Songs

Sometimes the best place to start when choosing music is with a list of popular funeral songs. Whether your choose one of these or not, it might inspire you or remind you of a particular song that your loved one would like played at their funeral. Here are several popular funeral songs:

  • My Way (Frank Sinatra)
  • The Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)
  • Amazing Grace (Various artists but Andrea Bocelli's version is particularly moving)
  • Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
  • Time To Say Goodbye (Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman)
  • Unforgettable (Nat King Cole)
  • We'll Meet Again (Vera Lynn)
  • Feels Like Home (Chantel Kreviazuk)
  • Angels (Robbie Williams)
  • Halo (Beyonce, but the acoustic version by Madilyn Bailey is also beautiful)
  • You Raise Me Up (Josh Groban)

Here's a a Spotify playlist of these popular traditional funeral songs and more.

Modern Funeral Songs 

There’s plenty of new music from the last decade that would make a great fit for more modern funeral songs, especially with more and more people choosing non-traditional funerals. Here is a list of modern funeral songs: 

  • Photograph (Ed Sheeran)
  • Lay Me Down (Sam Smith)
  • Forever Young (Youth Group)
  • I Love You (Billie Eilish)
  • Summertime Sadness (Lana Del Rey)
  • Body in a Box (City and Colour)
  • I’ll Be Missing You (Puff Daddy)
  • A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
  • See You Again (Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth)
  • Supermarket Flowers (Ed Sheeran)
  • I'll Never Love Again (Lady Gaga)
  • I'll Be Missing You (Diddy)

Here's a a Spotify playlist of these modern funeral songs and more.

Uplifting Funeral Songs 

If you choose to have a celebration of life or end-of-life service, uplifting funeral songs might be a good choice. These are great for reminding everyone of the good times they shared with the deceased instead of focusing on the loss. Here are some uplifting funeral songs: 

  • Good Riddance (Green Day)
  • Don't Worry Be Happy (Bobby McFerrin)
  • You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Stevie Wonder)
  • I'll Never Find Another You (The Seekers)
  • Always Look on the Bright Side (Monty Python)
  • The Show Must Go On (Queen)
  • See You Again (Wiz Khalifa)
  • Follow The Sun (Xavier Rudd)
  • Everywhere (Michelle Branch)
  • Here Without You (3 Doors Down)
  • Every Breath You Take (The Police)

Here's a a Spotify playlist of these uplifting funeral songs and more.

Spiritual and Religious Funeral Songs 

If you’re choosing or planning a more traditional funeral, then this list of spiritual and religious funeral songs could be a great place to start. Some of these songs are more modern and a great way to celebrate your faith and values. Here are eight spiritual or religious funeral songs:

  • I Will Rise (Chris Tomlin)
  • Broken Halos (Chris Stapleton)
  • Lord, I Need You (Matt Maher)
  • Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
  • What a Day That Will Be (Jim Hill)
  • Go Rest High on That Mountain (Vince Gill)
  • The Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)
  • You Raise Me Up (Westlife)

Here's a a Spotify playlist of these spiritual funeral songs and more.

Songs for Mums

As part of the proceedings, you might like to celebrate your mother by playing her favourite son, a song from her birth year or a song from her childhood. Whatever your relationship was like with your mum, there's likely a song out there to express it. Alternatively, you might like to play a song about being a mum. Here's a list of songs about mums.

  • Don’t Forget to Remember Me (Carrie Underwood)
  • How Long Will I Love You (Ellie Goulding)
  • Mama (Connie Francis)
  • Supermarket Flowers (Ed Sheeran)
  • I'll Always Love My Mama (The Intruders)
  • Nan's Song (Robbie Williams)
  • A Song for Mama (Boyz II Men)
  • Two of Us (Louis Tomlinson)

Here's a a Spotify playlist of these songs for mums and more.

Songs for Dads

Likewise, if you're planning a funeral for your father you might like to play a song that celebrates your relationship with him, and the influence he had on your life. Here's a list of songs to inspire you:

  • Dance With My Father (Luther Vandross)
  • Song for Dad (Keith Urban)
  • I Learned From You (Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus)
  • Thankyou For Being My Dad (Jon Barker)
  • Forever Young (Bob Dylan)
  • You'll Always Be My Son (Anthem Lights)
  • Father and Daughter (Paul Simon)

Here's a Spotify playlist of these songs for dads and more.

Choosing music for a funeral 

To help you decide on the perfect songs for your memorial, we have also compiled Spotify playlists of classic funeral songs, soft rock & country funeral songs, and funerals songs to celebrate life.

You can use this guide and lists of funeral songs to avoid feeling lost or overwhelmed when choosing music for the funeral of a loved one. Finally, start writing your Will online to make your funeral wishes known and guarantee that your loved ones play your music of choice. 

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