At a funeral the music played can set the mood for the service. It is also a way for the family of the deceased to convey their feelings about their loved one and their loss. There are an infinite number of choices when it comes to music, and you might want to find a unique song that perfectly represents your feelings. However, sadness and loss are universal emotions. These songs have proven to be very popular, with some standing the test of time over several decades.
10 popular funeral songs that have stood the test of time
1. "Wind Beneath my Wings" by Bette Midler
This beautiful piece is perfect for all generations, it's a song that just sticks with you.
2. "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd
The song makes a great connection between life and death and, with its classic tune, it can unite people in the service together.
3. "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" by Eric Idle from "Monty Python’s Life of Brian"
This somewhat cheerful song lifts the mourners up by believing that it's not as bad as it could be and that there is always good in the bad.
4. "Over The Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo
This simple rendition of “Over The Rainbow” can put a smile on peoples faces when they need it most, and it can be used to motivate others to express their desires.
5. "You'll Never Walk Alone" – Gerry & The Pacemakers
This emotionally driven song shows us that when all hope seems lost you are never alone and that your actions have a wider impact on your community as well.
6. "See You Again" – Wiz Khalifa feat Charlie Puth
This modern tune can relate to younger generations with a correlation to bonds that will never be broken, and that memories will never fade.
7. "You Raise Me Up" by Westlife
This inspirational tune refers to people in your life that raise you up, with connotations of power and staying strong through tough times.
8. "Candle In The Wind" by Elton John
This song was written in tribute to the late Marilyn Monroe, representing her short yet eventful life. It was then sung at the late Princess Diana’s funeral. This message explains that we all are vulnerable and compares us to “Candles In The Wind”
9. "My Way" by Frank Sinatra
This song is an “American Anthem” of self efficacy alluding to the way that people live their lives. “My Way” is a metaphor for defiance, with people living their lives the way that they want to.
10. "Hallelujah" by Bon Jovi
This rendition of “Hallelujah” is a beautiful modernised version of the Leonard Cohen original. “Halle” refers to praise joyously and “Yah” a shortened name for God. With correlations to love and loss this song is universally played during times of celebration, mourning and reconciliation.
If you haven't heard these songs before, we've compiled a playlist on Spotify here.
With so many tunes to choose from, selecting the perfect songs to play at a funeral can seem like an overwhelming choice. This list of most played funeral songs is a good place to start.
If you have specific wishes around the music at your funeral, it’s best to note them in your legal Will.