Music gives comfort, inspires and uplifts the family and friends celebrating the life of their loved one. A great playlist is crucial for a funeral. You should try and pick songs that reflect the loved one you are honoring. To help you choose, we have compiled a list of the 51 best songs for funerals.
1. Amazing Grace – Judy Collins
The Amazing Grace song is traditionally for funerals. It has a message of salvation and peace after death. The last part of the song comforts mourners by talking about the afterlife. You shouldn’t miss playing the song at a farewell because it can be uplifting as well.
2. You Can Close Your Eyes – James Taylor
This James Taylor song has everything a funeral song should have. It’s thoughtful, soft, uplifting, and acoustic. It is a little sad but not very sad that it makes you want to cry and feel bad. It fits the mood in farewell events. You don’t want a song that is too hype because it can be confusing.
3. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
Christina Perri delivers a beautiful love message on the song that can be incredible for a funeral. The pace of the song is also very fitting for a farewell party. Most people know the song and can relate to the lyrics. It will create a unison mood.
4. Abide With Me – Audrey Assad
At a funeral, it will be nice to know that the lord will always remain beside you. Audrey is a Christian singer with a soothing alto voice that makes the song even more comforting. Most people question their faith when they lose a loved one. This song will help you restore your faith.
5. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
This song is a powerful funeral hymn; it has been used countless times. The lyrics are very touching, and the tone of the song is right for the occasion. It gives you something to hold on to in times of trouble.
6. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
A funeral will not be complete without Hallelujah playing at least once. Many artists have redone the song over the years. But the original song and this version are amongst the best funeral songs. Learn more about the meaning and story behind Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” here.
7. I’ll Be Seeing You – Billie Holiday
If you are saying farewell to your long-time lover or soul mate, this song is a beautiful addition to the occasion. The song embodies romance and can bring back good memories to get you through the tough time.
8. Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross
This is also one of the best songs for funerals, especially for dads. It’s a selfless song; once you listen to the lyrics, you will know it’s the best choice. Saying goodbye to a loved one is difficult; you need such songs to remind you of the love you shared.
9. Drops Of Jupiter – Train
This is the best song if you are having a dove, balloons, or a confetti release at the funeral. It’s a classic song that most people love; they can all participate in the release.
10. How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
This is a contemporary song with a message that can perfectly fit a funeral. Ellie Goulding says love can go deeper, faster, further, last longer, and be more intense than words can ever describe. Even after death, the love you have for the people in your life never goes away.
11. Supermarket Flowers – Ed Sheeran
Since the Supermarket Flowers song was released, it has been used in many funerals; it’s a perfect farewell piece for moms. It highlights all the great memories you probably shared with your mom. It gives you hope that she is in a better place. You will appreciate the life she had even if it’s over sooner than you would like.
12. Time to Say Goodbye – Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli
From the title of the song, you can already tell the song has incredible funeral lyrics. It’s a very emotional song that will bring all the feels. It makes people cry even outside a funeral, and the two singers executed it perfectly.
13. How Great Thou Art – Carrie Underwood
The song was originally a Swedish poem, but it has been translated into many languages. The Carrie Underwood version has all the vibes. The instruments are amazing, and the religious lyrics will comfort your heart.
14. I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton
The song is not written for funerals or death, but it still expresses deep care and love for someone close you have to bid goodbye to. It’s an old song with a classic message that is timeless.
15. Go Rest High On That Mountain – Vince Gill
This is one of the songs that openly acknowledge grief. It gives hope for a peaceful and better afterlife for the one who is dead. It was released after Vince Gill’s brother died. The memorial service could use a song like this that talks about the situation at hand.
16. One More Day – Diamond Rio
One More Day is one of the most popular songs for funerals. Everyone wishes they had more time with their loved one who has passed on. That is why this song is fitting for funerals. It talks about what you will do if you have extra time with your loved one.
17. I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack
Sometimes when you are grieving, you get consumed by the loss that you forget to celebrate life. This song celebrates life; it will make you appreciate the life the deceased lived. It will also help you think of a life beyond the dark times.
18. Temporary Home – Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood again displays her faith in this song by reminding everyone that the earth is a temporary home. Instead of focusing on the sadness, insecurities, and uncertainty of death, you can look forward to the joy that comes with the afterlife.
19. If I Die Young – The Band Perry
Funerals are sad, but they are even sadder when you say goodbye to someone very young. It’s a non-traditional funeral song, but it addresses all the chronicles of dying young.
20. Candle in the Wind – Elton John
If you were not lucky to know or meet the family member before they passed on, you would relate to this Elton John song. It was written for Princess Diana, and it became an iconic funeral song, especially in the 20th century.
21. Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole
The beautiful lyrics plus his soothing voice make this an appropriate funeral hymn. It will help you get the tears out of the way so that you can focus on the farewell service. It’s a beautiful way to think about death without all the ugliness associated with it.
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22. If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away – Justin Moore
You can play this Justin Moore song at any funeral. Most people at the funeral are always thinking of the loved ones that are gone. The lyrics are about wishing to visit Heaven, where all the ones you lost are.
23. Live Like You Were Dying – Tim McGraw
The song reminds you to live every moment to the fullest like you were dying. Although the message is mostly directed to the living, it’s still great for funerals. You should cherish and enjoy the time you have with your loved ones before it’s over.
24. I Wish Grandpas Never Die – Riley Green
If you have lost your grandpa, these lyrics are for you. It may help you come to terms with the tremendous loss. The song talks about things Riley wishes were true, especially that grandpas would never leave.
25. If Tomorrow Never Comes – Garth Brooks
If tomorrow never comes, addresses all the fears parents have about leaving their children before It’s time. You wonder if the love you gave them will be enough to last their whole lives. This love letter from a father to a daughter is moving.
26. Ave Maria – Schubert
Ave Maria is mainly sung at funerals. Much like flowers, the song is soft and delicate. It can be relaxing, which will help lighten the mourner’s burden. It has a sweet melody as well that is soothing. The song has been sung over and over again by many established artists.
27. Everywhere – Michelle Branch
You can lose a loved one, but they will always be with you, and this song says it beautifully. Even if they are gone, when you close your eyes, you can still see them. The lyrics are inspiring and uplifting; it brings some hope after losing someone close to you.
28. Forever Young – Rod Stewart
This song says it all, in your heart, the deceased will remain forever young. It conveys a beautiful and positive message, especially to close family and friends. Everyone can use some uplifting in a funeral, which is why you need such songs.
29. My Immortal – Evanescence
This is another song that says even when someone dies, they still possess every part of you. It’s comforting to know that the loved one is not gone in every aspect. The memories and connection between you make them immortal.
30. The Old Rugged Cross – Alan jackson
If you have a religious memorial service, you should consider playing this song. It talks about how you should be happy to serve the Lord once He calls you home. When you listen to the song from Alan Jackson, you can’t help but feel spiritual and comfort that your loved one is with the lord.
31. See You Again – Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth
See you again is one of the biggest modern funeral songs due to the death of a celebrity. It was for the Fast and Furious family after losing one of their actors. However, the message is powerful enough to fit any funeral. It’s a bit sad but still beautiful.
32. Angels Among Us – Alabama
This song reminds mourners that everyone you interact with on earth are angels, and when their time is up, they will go to Heaven. It means the angel you knew has gone back to Heaven where they came from.
33. How Do I Live – LeAnn Rimes
This is a love song, but it can be interpreted to fit mourners wondering how they will push through without their loved ones. It talks about someone’s life with the one they loved. You can translate the lyrics to fit your occasion. It’s perfect if you are singing at the funeral.
34. Go On Without Me – Brett Eldredge
The loved ones who have died would want you to go on living without them. That is what the Brett Eldredge song speaks about. If you feel like you can’t go on, this song may be the push you need to get back on your feet.
35. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
This is a heartfelt funeral song, especially the first opening lines. It speaks to all the fears you have after losing someone close to you and if you are struggling with a loss of faith.
36. Broken Halos – Chris Stapleton
The song is about loved ones who die too soon. Death always feels sudden; that is why most people can relate to the song’s lyrics. All mourners are dealing with broken halos.
37. Satisfied Minds – Jeff Buckley
This beautiful song will take your breath away. It inspires people to live a complete life filled with love rather than focusing on material things. You will reflect on the life lived by the loved one who has left you. The lyrics say money won’t buy you peace, a friend, or your youth when you are old.
38. Halo – Beyoncé
The queen of pop has an angelic voice that can move you and make you feel sad, happy, and everything in between. Beyoncé sang the acoustic version for a terminally ill kid at the hospital. You can feel the love ooze out of her. It will be a great addition to your loved one’s family service.
39. When September Ends – Green Day
This is a rock-inspired funeral song from Green Day. The song captures the feelings of introspection, longing, and sadness. If the deceased had a rock star edge, this would be a beautiful dedication.
40. Don’t Forget To Remember Me – Carrie Underwood
The song address the process of departure. It reminds you to always be there for your mom, even at the end. Carrie Underwood said the song reminds her of her mother. If you are saying goodbye to your mother, these lyrics will be relatable.
41. One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men
The loss of close friends inspired the song. It’s not only a great tune but also the best dedication for your departed loved one.
42. 50 Ways to Say Goodbye – Train
There are plenty of ways to say goodbye to the people you love. The song is the articulation of all the different ways you can tell your family or friend goodbye. Even if the lyrics are not addressing death, they can still apply to a funeral.
43. Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle
Butterfly kisses song is very popular in funerals and weddings. It’s appropriate for memorial services for grandfathers and fathers because the song is about a father-daughter relationship. But you can also use it for a daughter’s funeral. It ends with the lyrics, “I know I’ve gotta let her go.”
44. A Picture Of Me (Without You) – George Jones
George Jones talks about the hurt of losing someone through the song. Anyone feeling extreme grief will find some form of comfort from the song. It helps you confront all the hard feelings so that you can get through grief.
45. The Dance – Garth Brooks
The lyrics are about having one last moment or dancing with your loved ones before they die. The dance also celebrated life; it will be honoring the departed and the kind of life they lived. It should be part of the memorial playlist.
46. Wherever You Will Go – The Calling
Suppose you need a little reminder that you can always keep your loved ones with you always; put on The Calling song. There are times during funerals where you are going through memories and pictures; that’s when you should listen to it.
47. Drink A Beer – Luke Bryan
Don’t let the title fool you; the touching ballad helps mourners cope with an unexpected death. It’s a country song; you could dedicate it to them if the deceased loved country songs.
48. Spirit In The Sky – Gareth Gates
This song has been widely played in funerals. It openly talks about death; the lyrics say the dead will go up to the spirit in the sky. It also says they will go to have a friend in Jesus.
49. Only Time – Enya
This is the type of song that lets the mourners in the funeral let out their emotions. The insightful lines sung by Enya will provoke your thoughts. It’s the best inspiration when you are trying to write a eulogy for your loved one.
50. In The Arms of an Angel – Sarah McLachlan
This song has been used as an accompanying song for many emotional moments, including funerals. The solemn and emotional tone of the song is what makes it perfect for a funeral. Its lyrics are about the tragic life of musicians that got addicted to substances.
51. Life Is Eternal – Carly Simon
This meaningful song will also make a great funeral song. It’s best for funerals when your loved one died of old age or natural causes because of the lyrics.
These are the best funeral songs that never go wrong. Select a few and create a funeral playlist.
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.