25 Best Funeral Songs (2023)

Table of Contents
Best funeral songs 1. “Time to Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman (Lyrics) 2. “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban (Lyrics) 3. “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John (Lyrics) 4. “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler (Lyrics) 5. “Dance with My Father” by Luther Vandross (Lyrics) 6. “You Can Close Your Eyes” by James Taylor (Lyrics) 7. “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan (Lyrics) 8. “Tears in Heaven” By Eric Clapton (Lyrics) 9. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Gerry and the Pacemakers (Lyrics) Modern funeral songs 10. “Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran (Lyrics) 11. “Waiting For You” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Lyrics) 12. “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (Lyrics) 13. “Beam Me Up” by Pink (Lyrics) 14. “Hero” by Mariah Carey (Lyrics) 15. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth (Lyrics) 16. “Angels” by Khalid (Lyrics) Country funeral songs 17. “I’ll Fly Away” by Johnny Cash (Lyrics) 18. “When I Get Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley ft. Dolly Parton (Lyrics) 19. “Who You’d Be Today” by Kenny Chesney (Lyrics) Uplifting funeral songs 20. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (Lyrics) 21. “You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins (Lyrics) 22. “Life Without You” by Stevie Ray Vaughan (Lyrics) 23. “The Parting Glass” by The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem (Lyrics) Religious funeral songs 24. “The Prayer” by Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli (Lyrics) 25. “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley (Lyrics) FAQs Videos
25 Best Funeral Songs (1)

Music is an essential part of any funeral service. “It has a way of going deeper emotionally and spiritually,” explains Daniel Symonds, a funeral director atSymonds-Madison Funeral Homein Elgin, Illinois. The right songs can honor and celebrate the life of the deceased, and create a sense of comfort and connection for the grieving.

While hymns and instrumental pieces once were the standards for funeral music, more modern songs have gained popularity in recent years.

“Different generations bring different styles of music, and in this changing religious and spiritual landscape, more secular music is making its way into the funeral service,” Symonds says.

The type of service also shapes music choices. A funeral service may lean on more traditional music, while a celebration of life may share favorite songs of the departed.

“Music is also a great transition between the different sections of a funeral service, preparing hearts for the words being spoken,” Symonds notes.

If you’re struggling to decide what song to play at a funeral, remember: There is no “wrong” choice, Symonds says. Think about what your loved one enjoyed most and select music that best memorializes and celebrates his or her life. Also, don’t forget to carefully read the lyrics to ensure they fit the mood of the ceremony.

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Best funeral songs

This selection of 25 funeral songs that covers various epochs, genres, and sentiments will help you plan the perfect send-off for your loved one.

1. “Time to Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman (Lyrics)

A powerful and soaring duet, “Time to Say Goodbye” is a classic exit song and a good choice to honor a deceased partner.

2. “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban (Lyrics)

Remembering a loved one for the help, support, and encouragement they gave is always a wonderful way to honor them, and this song does just that.

3. “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John (Lyrics)

Written by John and legendary songwriter Bernie Taupin, “Candle in the Wind” mourns the passing of someone while they were in the prime of their life.

4. “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler (Lyrics)

Midler pays tribute to the deceased as someone who has empowered others to “fly higher than an eagle.” A song that is similar in sentiment to “You Raise Me Up.”

5. “Dance with My Father” by Luther Vandross (Lyrics)

Vandross wrote this song, along with Richard Marx, based on his own childhood. Ideal for honoring a father, grandfather, or father figure, it speaks to fond memories and a longing to relive those moments again.

6. “You Can Close Your Eyes” by James Taylor (Lyrics)

Often described as a lullaby, “You Can Close Your Eyes” is soft, peaceful, and quietly uplifting. While it may not meet the true definition of a “funeral song,” it’s been widely used as one since its release in 1971.

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7. “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan (Lyrics)

Dylan wrote this as a wish for his son, Jesse, with lyrics that tug at the heartstrings: “May you always be courageous / Stand upright and be strong / May you stay forever young.”

8. “Tears in Heaven” By Eric Clapton (Lyrics)

“Tears in Heaven” is a powerful tribute to love’s long-lasting powers. Clapton wrote the song, along with Will Jennings, after the death of his 4-year-old son.

9. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Gerry and the Pacemakers (Lyrics)

After loss, it’s common to feel alone. The lyrics of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” offer a sense of hope and companionship, making it one of the most popular funeral songs of all time.

Modern funeral songs

This selection of funeral songs comes from contemporary artists, but the titles listed still contain classic and timeless themes.

10. “Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran (Lyrics)

With a soft melody and thoughtful lyrics, Sheeran’s tribute to his grandmother speaks to the heavy, emotional days immediately following the death of a loved one.

11. “Waiting For You” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Lyrics)

Starting slow and swelling emotionally toward its end, this song speaks of waiting for a loved one to return. Cave wrote it after the death of his son, and it may be a meaningful choice for those who have lost a child.

12. “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (Lyrics)

This powerful and heart-tugging ballad is about losing a friend and waiting patiently to see them again.

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13. “Beam Me Up” by Pink (Lyrics)

Pink wrote “Beam Me Up” for a close friend who lost a child. In it, she imagines a parallel universe where those left behind can talk to their loved ones again and “nothing breaks and nothing hurts.”

14. “Hero” by Mariah Carey (Lyrics)

A powerful tribute to a mother, father, or another important role model, “Hero” conveys the power of inner strength.

15. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth (Lyrics)

An excellent choice for paying tribute to a friend, this collaboration recounts shared memories and closes with a longing to see the person who has left us again.

16. “Angels” by Khalid (Lyrics)

This is the closing track on the singer’s 2017 debut album. On it, Khalid speaks about seeing angels who give hope for better days ahead.

Country funeral songs

It should come as no surprise that some of the biggest country artists of all time are responsible for some of the most inspiring and soulful funeral songs ever recorded.

17. “I’ll Fly Away” by Johnny Cash (Lyrics)

Written by prolific composer Albert E. Brumley, “I’ll Fly Away” is a classic hymn performed at New Orleans jazz funerals. Cash’s rendition is slower than the original but just as uplifting.

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18. “When I Get Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley ft. Dolly Parton (Lyrics)

By describing what heaven will be like, Paisley and Parton attempt to bring solace to the bereaved. It’s a comforting choice for those who have lost partners, siblings, parents, or grandparents.

19. “Who You’d Be Today” by Kenny Chesney (Lyrics)

When someone dies young, we often wonder what their life might have looked like. “Who’d You Be Today” mourns this loss and the person they might have become.

Uplifting funeral songs

If you’re looking to set a more inspirational tone at a funeral, these songs offer a message of optimism and hope.

20. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (Lyrics)

Perfect for a celebration of life, this medley of two classics has a more uplifting melody than traditional funeral songs. It paints an image of a better place “where troubles melt like lemon drops.”

21. “You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins (Lyrics)

This song, written for the Disney movieTarzan, reminds us that our loved ones will always live inside us, even if we cannot be with them.

22. “Life Without You” by Stevie Ray Vaughan (Lyrics)

Despite its name, “Life Without You” is an uplifting choice to play at a funeral. Vaughan wrote the song after after the untimely death of friend and mentor Charley Wirz, and it contains touching, heartfelt lyrics such as “Fly on, fly on, fly on my friend.”

23. “The Parting Glass” by The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem (Lyrics)

Commonly sung at an Irish funeral, “The Parting Glass” is a toast to a life well lived. For a more contemporary version, consider the rendition byIrish singer Hozier.

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Religious funeral songs

Death can test people’s faith and cause them to seek out spirituality, and these songs can help provide solace during a difficult time.

24. “The Prayer” by Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli (Lyrics)

While this duet is most popular around the holidays and for weddings, its inspirational message about asking God for guidance can be comforting in the wake of grief.

25. “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley (Lyrics)

Originally composed and sung byLeonard Cohen, “Hallelujah” has gained immense popularity in recent years due to Buckley’s soothing and touching rendition.

FAQs

What is the number 1 funeral song? ›

“My Way” by Frank Sinatra. “Time To Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli. “Over The Rainbow” by Eva Cassidy. “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler.

What are the 10 most popular songs at a funeral? ›

Popular funeral songs – top ten
  1. My Way – Frank Sinatra. ...
  2. Time to Say Goodbye – Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. ...
  3. Over The Rainbow – Eva Cassidy. ...
  4. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler. ...
  5. Angels – Robbie Williams. ...
  6. Supermarket Flowers – Ed Sheeran. ...
  7. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole. ...
  8. You Raise Me Up – Westlife.
4 May 2022

What is a beautiful funeral song? ›

Popular funeral songs
  • My Way – Frank Sinatra.
  • Angels – Robbie Williams.
  • The Best – Tina Turner.
  • Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler.
  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Eric Idle (Monty Python's 'Life of Brian')
  • Time to Say Goodbye – Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli.
  • You'll Never Walk Alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers.

What is a happy song to play at a funeral? ›

Blessed by Rachael Lampa. Bring Me Sunshine by Morecambe and Wise. Don't Stop Believin' by Journey. Don't Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin.

What is the saddest song for a funeral? ›

Best Sad Funeral Songs
  • "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton. ...
  • "Right Here Waiting for You" by Richard Marx. ...
  • "We'll Meet Again" by Vera Lynn. ...
  • "Pie Jesu" by Celtic Woman. ...
  • "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd. ...
  • "How Do I Live?" by LeAnn Rimes. ...
  • "Unchained Melody" by Righteous Brothers. ...
  • "Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston.
14 Dec 2021

How do you choose a song for a funeral? ›

HOW TO CHOOSE FUNERAL MUSIC
  1. Think about the person you are memorializing. Did he or she have favorite songs or a type of music they were particularly fond of? ...
  2. Decide what type of tone you would like to set. ...
  3. Ask others for suggestions. ...
  4. Take a look at the person's own music library. ...
  5. Listen to the lyrics carefully.

What is a good song for a celebration of life? ›

Uplifting funeral and memorial songs

If you want to raise everyone's spirits, play one of these uplifting memorial songs: “Simply the Best” by Tina Turner. “Always Look at the Bright Side of Life” by Monty Python. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.

How many songs should I pick for a funeral? ›

Usually 3-5 songs are played throughout the service. Think about which song you want to be played first and last. Usually the last song should be the one that people will remember, so choosing their favourite song is a perfect send off.

What song should not be played at a funeral? ›

1. "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen. Unless the deceased is a die-hard Queen fan, it's best to avoid this song.

What is a good song to say goodbye? ›

Best Sad Goodbye Songs
  • “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLauchlan. ...
  • “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John. ...
  • “Careless Whisper” by George Michael. ...
  • “If You Leave Me Now” by Chicago. ...
  • “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. ...
  • “Goodbye My Friend” by Linda Ronstadt. ...
  • “Seasons in the Sun” by Westlife. ...
  • “Who You'd Be Today” by Kenny Chesney.
8 Aug 2022

What is the most popular funeral hymn? ›

Here are seven of the most popular hymns for funerals:
  1. Jerusalem. And did those feet in ancient time. ...
  2. The Lord's My Shepherd (Psalm 23) The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want; ...
  3. Abide With Me. Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; ...
  4. Amazing Grace. Amazing grace! ...
  5. How Great Thou Art. ...
  6. The Old Rugged Cross. ...
  7. Lord of All Hopefulness.

What is a good song to dedicate to your mom at her funeral? ›

1- “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

This classic song always seems to find its way into funeral playlists. It's a beautiful tribute to the kind of love that never leaves our hearts. Our mothers will always be in our hearts. Lyrics: “Love can touch us one time and last for a lifetime.

What are the most common songs played at funerals? ›

20 popular funeral songs in 2022
  • Lay Me Down by Sam Smith. ...
  • Diamonds by Rihanna. ...
  • How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding. ...
  • Flying Without Wings by Westlife. ...
  • See You Again by Wiz Khalifa. ...
  • You Raise Me Up by Westlife. ...
  • Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz. ...
  • Time to Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman.
20 Jun 2016

What is the number 1 saddest song? ›

  1. 'Nothing Compares 2 U' by Sinéad O'Connor. ...
  2. 'Hurt' by Johnny Cash. ...
  3. 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' by Neil Young. ...
  4. 'Teardrop' by Massive Attack. ...
  5. 'I Know It's Over' by The Smiths. ...
  6. 'No Distance Left to Run' by Blur. ...
  7. 'The Boxer' by Simon & Garfunkel. ...
  8. 'No Name #5' by Elliott Smith.
5 Jul 2022

What song is most likely to make you cry? ›

Below, 20 Reddit users share the life-changing songs that make them tear up every time.
  • "When She Loved Me" — Sarah McLachlan. ...
  • "Fix You" — Coldplay. ...
  • "Wish You Were Here" — Pink Floyd. ...
  • "What a Wonderful World" — Louis Armstrong. ...
  • "Living Years" — Mike and The Mechanics. ...
  • "The Book of Love" — Peter Gabriel. ...
  • "Hurt" — Johnny Cash.
12 Oct 2018

What song talks about memories? ›

20 Best Songs about Memories
  • Maroon 5 - Memories. ...
  • Green Day – Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) ...
  • Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men - One Sweet Day. ...
  • Richard Marx - Hold On To The Nights. ...
  • Sarah McLachlan - I Will Remember You. ...
  • Bryan Adams - Summer of '69. ...
  • Van Morrison - Brown-Eyed Girl. ...
  • John Cougar Mellencamp - Jack and Diane.
2 Aug 2020

What are some songs to play at my dad's funeral? ›

20 popular funeral songs for Dad
  • Tears in Heaven — Eric Clapton. ...
  • Dance with My Father — Luther Vandross. ...
  • Wake Me Up When September Ends — Green Day. ...
  • Song for Dad — Keith Urban. ...
  • Hero — Mariah Carey. ...
  • Thank you for being my dad — Jon Barker. ...
  • Old man — Neil Young. ...
  • The Living Years — Mike & the The Mechanics.

What is the music called at the end of a funeral? ›

After the committal when the service concludes, a piece of music is often played as the mourners leave (referred to as 'exit music').

What colors are not allowed at a funeral? ›

Wearing dark grey or deep blue is just as appropriate as black, while brown and lighter greys are suitable for the vast majority of funeral services. However, unless specifically requested by the deceased or their family, you should avoid any bright colors such as yellows, oranges, pinks, and reds.

Who sits in front row at funeral? ›

Friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and others typically sit on the left. The front rows are reserved for close relatives. If you are a member of the immediate family and there are step-parents or step-siblings, you must take into account where everyone will sit.

Which song is used to mourn the death of loved ones? ›

1. “Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton. A reminder that it's okay to cry and grieve the loss of a loved one.

What songs are comforting? ›

Arts Playlist: Comforting Songs
  • “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens. ...
  • “Slow Burn” by Kacey Musgraves. ...
  • “seven” by Taylor Swift. ...
  • “I Like Giants” by Kimya Dawson. ...
  • “This Will Be Our Year” by The Zombies. ...
  • “Clay Pigeons” by Michael Cera. ...
  • “Sunflower” by Rex Orange County. ...
  • “Self” by Noname.
15 Nov 2020

What are two common funeral hymns? ›

The King of Love My Shepherd Is actually ties in closely with another popular funeral hymn, The Lord Is My Shepherd. They both derive from different versions of Psalm 23, with this being based on the Welsh version and set to music written by John Bacchus Dykes. And he is mine forever.

What is the easiest hymn to play? ›

Volume One includes these hymns arranged for the early/late beginner:
  • “What Can Wash Away My Sin”
  • “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”
  • “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross”
  • “Come, Thou Almighty King”
  • "Jesus, What A Friend for Sinners"
  • “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
  • “O Worship the King”
  • “Be Thou My Vision”

How do you honor your mother who passed away? ›

Write them a letter

Writing a goodbye letter can be a healthy way to process your feelings and honor parents who have passed away. You can share your emotions, look back at your favorite memories, and process the influence they had on your life.

What is a good song to dedicate to your family? ›

Listen here.
  • Avicii, “The Nights” ...
  • Sister Sledge, “We Are Family” ...
  • John Mayer, “Daughters” ...
  • Drake, “Keep the Family Close” ...
  • Lukas Graham, “7 Years” ...
  • Christina Aguilera, “Oh Mother” ...
  • JP Cooper feat. ...
  • Kenny Chesney, “Don't Blink”
1 Apr 2022

What is the most beautiful melody of all time? ›

The Most Beautiful Classical Melodies
  • Adagio in G Minor.
  • Air (Air On The G String)
  • Andante.
  • Andante Cantabile.
  • Ase's Death.
  • Ave Maria.
  • Ave Maria, Op. 52, No. ...
  • Ave Verum (Jesu, Word Of God Incarnate)

What is the oldest popular hymn? ›

The Hurrian Hymn was discovered in the 1950s on a clay tablet inscribed with Cuneiform text. It's the oldest surviving melody and is over 3,400 years old. The hymn was discovered on a clay tablet in Ugarit, now part of modern-day Syria, and is dedicated the Hurrians' goddess of the orchards Nikkal.

What is the most well known hymn of all time? ›

1. 'Amazing Grace'. Published in 1779, this is one of the best-known hymns in the English language, with words by John Newton.

What is a good song for celebration of life? ›

Uplifting funeral and memorial songs

If you want to raise everyone's spirits, play one of these uplifting memorial songs: “Simply the Best” by Tina Turner. “Always Look at the Bright Side of Life” by Monty Python. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.

What is the classic funeral song called? ›

Ave Maria – Franz Schubert

This famous religious song is often sung at funerals. There are many different versions of Ave Maria, but Schubert's composition is arguably the most famous. Pop artists like Celine Dion and Beyonce have also covered this beautiful funeral song.

What is a great goodbye song? ›

Hit the road, don't look back, and remember that sometimes you're better off alone.
  • Bo Burnham, "Goodbye" (2021) ...
  • Lewis Capaldi, "Before You Go" (2019) ...
  • Supertramp, "Goodbye Stranger" (1979) ...
  • Porter Robinson, "Goodbye to a World" (2014) ...
  • Sam Smith, "Too Good at Goodbyes" (2017)
10 Aug 2022

What songs have made you cry? ›

Below, 20 Reddit users share the life-changing songs that make them tear up every time.
  • "When She Loved Me" — Sarah McLachlan. ...
  • "Fix You" — Coldplay. ...
  • "Wish You Were Here" — Pink Floyd. ...
  • "What a Wonderful World" — Louis Armstrong. ...
  • "Living Years" — Mike and The Mechanics. ...
  • "The Book of Love" — Peter Gabriel. ...
  • "Hurt" — Johnny Cash.
12 Oct 2018

What song will make a man cry? ›

Sentimental R.E.M ballad Everybody Hurts has been voted the song most likely to make men cry. In a survey by songwriters and musicians group the Performing Right Society for Music, published online, the 1992 hit topped the list of men's top tear-jerkers, followed by Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven at number two.

Videos

1. I'll Never Love Again (from A Star Is Born) (Official Music Video)
(Lady Gaga)
2. Elton John - Candle in the Wind/Goodbye England's Rose (Live at Princess Diana's Funeral - 1997)
(Philip Anness)
3. Kenny Chesney - Don't Blink
(Kenny Chesney)
4. Glee - Seasons of Love (Full performance) 5x03
(Glee Scenes)
5. Colm Wilkinson - Bring Him Home (Les Misérables) [720p]
(engchi93)
6. Bee Gees - Don't Forget To Remember
(EddieAlda)
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