5 min read

How to Choose Funeral Songs

The funeral music you choose plays a big part in setting the mood and tone for the rest of the funeral service. Funeral songs can offer a sense of peace for those who have just lost their loved one, and it's a great way to maintain a celebration of life to honour the deceased. But with countless funeral songs to choose from, and different tone preferences to set- it's easy to feel lost on choosing which funeral music to play. In this blog post, we cover what to consider when choosing funeral music, as well as a list of popular funeral songs that you can choose from.

Sheet music

Things to Consider When Choosing Funeral Songs

1 – Tone of the funeral service

Have a think about what funeral songs would be a good fit for your loved one's service. It all depends on the type of funeral service you're holding and the venue where it's being held.

Celebration of life

Whether it's a celebration of life requiring uplifting funeral songs to keep celebration at the forefront, a personal favourite of the deceased, or it's a more peaceful opportunity to mourn- which requires something more mellow.

Religious memorial service

For some people, funeral music also reflects their religious beliefs. Especially if the funeral service is taking place at a church or any religious space, you may want to play spiritual funeral songs as opposed to rock, disco, or pop songs.

Funeral music for at home

If the funeral is taking place at a home, or a more casual location, you may choose a more modern funeral songs playlist, to pay tribute to your loved one with their favourite songs. In trying to pick the perfect funeral music, think about what best reflects your loved one's life, the tone you want to set and what will bring you the most comfort.

2- Ask a close family member for funeral song suggestions

Once you have made a list of potential songs, get feedback from close family and members of the deceased. Play the songs for them and find out their thoughts. You can also ask for song suggestions from funeral directors or a special family member as well.

3 – Listen to or read the lyrics

The lyrics to the songs are also very important in choosing what to play at a funeral service. You want to make sure that you're listening to every lyric of the song and see if the lyrics match the message you're trying to convey. Even if an awesome song feels fitting, sometimes what makes a great funeral song is more the meaning of the lyrics, rather than just the song itself.

4 – Choose different funeral music for different parts of the funeral service

If you are having more than one gathering (for example, you're having a traditional funeral where there are three components), you may also want to create different fitting playlists of funeral songs for each one. Or you could even choose different funeral songs for different parts of the celebration.

For example, at the beginning of the service you may put more modern funeral songs, but then towards the end you might select classic rock for a more celebratory feel.

Again, the funeral music you choose varies depending on the tone you want to set and the funeral services you've planned.

5 – Pay tribute with personalised funeral music

It is really important that your playlist of funeral songs is personalised and best reflects the person you're honouring. If you are still unsure, reach out to the deceased's close friends and loved ones for ideas.

You can also look at the music your loved one regularly listened to. Just be mindful of the lyrics and the mood the music sets. Ultimately, you can always speak with your funeral director for some inspiration from the most popular funeral songs, as well as seek approval for the songs you choose.

Popular Funeral Songs

You can find these songs by typing the title and artist into YouTube, Spotify, or any other streaming service.

  1. Angels – Robbie Williams

  1. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel

  1. Calling All Angels – Train

  1. Candle in the Wind – Elton John

  1. Farewell My Friend – Dennis Wilson

  1. Free bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd

  1. I'll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy (Sean Combs)

  1. I Will Remember You – Sarah McLachlan

9. Keep Me in Your Heart – Warren Zevon

10. Knockin' on Heaven's Door – Bob Dylan

11. My Immortal – Evanescence

12. My Way – Frank Sinatra

13. Over the Rainbow – Eva Cassidy

14. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole

15. Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton

16. Time to Say Goodbye – Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli

17. To Where You Are – John Groban

18. Satisfied Mind – Jeff Buckley

19. See You Again – Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth

  1. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler

Funeral songs for dads

Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross

Fathers and Daughters (Never Say Goodbye) – Michael Bolton

Hero – Mariah Carey

Song For Dad – Keith Urban

Funeral songs for mums

A Mother's Love – Jim Brickman and Mark Masri

A Song for Momma – Boyz II Men

Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion

Mama – Connie Francis

Funeral Songs for Both Parents

Like a River – Carly Simon

Supermarket Flowers – Ed Sheeran

When I Get Where I'm Going – Brad Paisley

You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban

Country Funeral Songs

Go Rest High on That Mountain – Vince Gill

How Can I Help You Say Goodbye – Patty Loveless

Remember When – Alan Jackson

Temporary Home – Carrie Underwood

There You'll Be – Faith Hill

When I Get Where I'm Going – Brad Paisley

Modern Funeral Songs

A Thousand Years – Christina Perri

Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley

Halo (Acoustic Version) – Beyonce

See You Again – Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth

Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

You Are Not Alone – Michael Jackson

To Wrap Up

Playing music at a funeral is an important way to reflect, honour and celebrate your loved one. Incorporating funeral music into a memorial service can help maintain focus on the desire to celebrate life, or it can make tribute videos that bit more sentimental.

Whether your funeral playlist includes a timeless classic from Robbie Williams, uplifting funeral songs from Jeff Buckley, or love song from James Taylor- it's up to you.

What is typically a perfect funeral song might not be right for you, so thinking about the song's lyrics and the tone of your loved one's funeral can help in this choice to decide on the best funeral songs.

How Safewill Can Help

Safewill Cremations offers compassionate, affordable support in planning meaningful funeral services. Whether it's for yourself or a loved one, our team of experts are here to support you in all the big logistics, and small funeral songs details in between.

Reach out for support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on1300 730 639, or via livechat now.

Last updated 12th January 2022
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Lauren Barrientos
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