There are plenty of instances when your family may display slideshows of loved ones. Your photographs don’t need to be boring. With the right music, you can create slideshows that tell compelling stories. Family songs will make your tributes and slideshows more entertaining. Here are 31 of the best family songs for slideshows and tributes:
1. Celebration – Kool & the Gang
“Celebration” by Kool & The Gang has been the music for millions of slideshows. You can use it for the slideshows of your aunt dancing at your cousin’s wedding or your grandma blowing out 80 candles on her birthday. Everyone seems to adore it.
2. Just Another Day in Paradise – Phil Vassar
Who better to celebrate faulty washing machines and bad milk other than country music singers? Use the song for photos of normal life, like your family working together, your house renovation project, or your mum preparing pancakes for breakfast.
3. Holiday Road – Lindsey Buckingham
The song “Holiday Road” is from the film National Lampoon’s Vacation. You can’t hear it without seeing Chevy Chase punching a moose or consuming a meal dipped in dog feces. In fact, you could be hoping to bring back those memories by including this music in your presentation of family photos. It is a nostalgic song that will elevate your slideshows.
4. Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross
This is, without a doubt, one of the most used songs about a parent’s passing. Luther Vandross’s “Dance With My Father” is a heartfelt ode to our love for our fathers.
The song Vandross co-wrote with Richard Marx centers on his experience with loss. When he was a young boy, his father died suddenly from diabetes-related complications. This was one of Vandross’s best songs and is a fan favorite.
5. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
This is a heartfelt song by Louis Armstrong. It is about connection and love in spite of all the suffering in the world. When you are going through grief and heartache while supporting one another, this song is very appropriate to include even in a funeral slideshow.
6. Can’t Stop The Feeling! – Justin Timberlake
Did you know that this song was intended to be the lead single for the film Trolls? It would make wonderful background music for a collection of images when you are happy.
7. Man On The Moon – R.E.M.
This is one of R.E.M.’s most popular songs. It challenges you to open your mind and trust more. It encourages you to be vulnerable even though the world may be a scary place. While the lyrics may appear to be simple, they hold a lot of weight. There is a lot of philosophy at its core.
8. The House That Built Me – Miranda Lambert
When you hear this beautiful music, it instantly tugs at your heartstrings. Even though Miranda Lambert didn’t write the song, she connected to it as a performer who has experienced many of the things that the lyrics discuss. Many people who have left their homes feel an emotional connection to the depth of the music they’ve left behind.
9. Dear Mama – 2Pac
This song by Tupac Shakur is a passionate dedication to his mother and the tremendous sacrifices she made while raising him and his younger sister on her own. Shakur doesn’t express any bitterness toward his missing father in it. “Dear Mama” shows a family’s resilience in the face of hardship, especially for single mothers.
10. Daniel – Elton John
This lovely ballad explores the widening emotional gap that develops between brothers when one of them returns from the Vietnam War. Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s songwriting partnership on it is among their best.
This song remarks on the relationship between military veterans and their communities in general. The song has enjoyed continued popularity more than 50 years after it was first played. Its emotional impact is still felt today.
11. Oh Mother – Christina Aguilera
This 2007 song is pretty depressing. The singer had fantasies of living in a fairytale before her marriage. She talks about dealing with an abusive spouse to protect her kids. It takes her husband hitting the kids for her to finally leave.
Christina Aguilera performs this song to convince her mother that divorcing her husband was the best decision because it would spare them from having to suffer physical abuse. The mother and daughter have a close relationship since she has witnessed her mother endure pain for them. She expresses gratitude for everything she has done.
12. Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud – Elliott Smith
The popular Elliott Smith song ‘Wouldn’t Mama Be Proud’ was released in 2000. It has always received fantastic reviews. Smith was pleased with his success as a singer-songwriter. He felt that his mother would be proud of him for excelling despite his shyness.
13. Candle In The Wind – Elton John
The piano ballad’s initial 1973 rendition was written in honor of Marilyn Monroe. In 1997, Elton John resurrected it to honor the untimely passing of close friend Princess Diana.
It held the no. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks starting on October 11, 1997. It continues to be the most popular physical single of all time in the United States after selling more than ten million units in the country alone, allowing it to reach diamond status.
14. A Day Without Me – U2
Martin Hannett was meant to be the producer of U2’s 1980 debut album Boy. However, he had to withdraw due to the suicide of Ian Curtis of Joy Division, with whom he had previously collaborated closely. However, Bono and his bandmates promised to honor Curtis’ legacy and created this song about the worth of every person’s life.
15. Missing You – Diana Ross
The 1985 song “Nightshift” by the Commodores was a great tribute to Marvin Gaye, but it would also be impossible to ignore Diana Ross’ touching pop tribute as well. The heartfelt dedication from 1984, written by Lionel Richie, brilliantly illustrates Ross and Gaye’s enduring friendship.
16. Better on the Other Side – The Game Featuring Chris Brown, Diddy
When Michael Jackson passed away, this group of artists went straight to the studio and poured their hearts out in a group lament. In the song, posted by Diddy on Twitter less than 24 hours after M.J. tragically died, The Game sings “we all Michael Jackson.”
17. Coldest Winter – Kanye West
Kanye West reinvented himself in his 2008 album. It was heavily influenced by the passing of his mother, Donda West. He lamented both her passing and his split from fashion designer Alexis Phifer in his newfound Auto-Tune avatar, singing, “Goodbye my friend I won’t ever love again, Never again.”
18. Free As A Bird – The Beatles
John Lennon first recorded this song as a demo in 1977. However, after his passing in 1980, it was repurposed as a homage to him. For the Beatles’ Anthology 1 album in 1995, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr collaborated with producer Jeff Lynne to redo the song for Lennon.
19. American Pie – Don McLean
This song may be eight and a half minutes long, but it topped the Billboard Hot 100 list. The song debuted in 1971 and featured an album with the same name. The phrase ‘The day the music died’ is repeated several times. It refers to the 1959 plane crash that killed several rock and roll stars.
20. Happy Birthday – Stevie Wonder
Even though Stevie Wonder’s 1981 song was released 13 years after the passing of Martin Luther King Jr., it was, nonetheless, a fitting memorial. The song demanded that M.L.K.’s birthday be declared a national holiday, and in 1986, that wish came true.
21. Angel – Sarah McLachlan
This is a sad piano ballad about Jonathan Melvoin, who passed away in 1996 from a heroin overdose while on tour as the Smashing Pumpkins’ keyboardist. Sarah McLachlan made it one of her longest-lasting hits.
22. Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton
Conor, a 4-year-old boy, sadly died in 1991 after falling from a New York apartment window. He left his father, Eric Clapton, mourning and in pain. With this moving reflection on seeing his kid again, the great guitarist emerged from a time of loss and created one of his signature compositions.
23. Miss You – Aaliyah
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001, leaving behind unfinished music that was largely included in the posthumous 2002 album I Care 4 U. The lead single “Miss You” included a number of special guests, including D.M.X., who sings, “you truly were an angel on earth.”
24. They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) – Pete Rock & CL Smooth
This is one of the most heartfelt songs to Troy. CL Smooth thinks back on various family and friends, including Troy who died in a fall in 1990, over a saxophone and bass sample from Pete Rock.
25. Life Changes – Wu-Tang Clan
Ol’ Dirty Bastard passed away in 2004 from a drug overdose, and the remaining Wu-Tang Clan members came together to pay him a moving homage. They used part of Freda Payne’s “The Road We Didn’t Take.” Method Man raps, “Now I’mma swallow this whole bottle for Ol’ Dirty.”
26. See You Again – Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth
This single is not your normal funeral song. It is a cutting-edge mashup of Charlie Puth’s lovely ballad and Wiz Khalifa’s potent hip-hop vocals. “See You Again” has become one of the most well-known tribute songs thanks to this surprising combination.
The song was originally written in tribute to the late actor Paul Walker. It quickly became popular among both young and old people who had suffered the loss of a loved one.
27. I Can Only Imagine – MercyMe
This has become one of the top songs at religious funerals, and for a good reason. The song has a tune that will make you want to stand up and raise your hands to the sky. The words will hit you square in the gut with emotion and love. This song would provide the ideal contemporary touch to a traditional religious funeral. It is also perfect for family tributes.
28. You’ll Be In My Heart – Phil Collins
This Disney smash is much more than just a children’s song from Tarzan. Anyone who may be grieving the loss of a loved one may find it to be a profoundly moving and beautiful representation. This song is a potent tribute whether you’ve suffered the death of a child or any other kind of loss that arrived unexpectedly.
29. Keg on My Coffin – The Push Stars
Although this song is a little unconventional (and definitely not for the super traditional), one thing is for certain: it will make you grin! It’s the ideal way to remember the person who didn’t take themselves too seriously and who is undoubtedly watching you from above, hoping that you will organize a drinking party in their honor rather than a standard funeral service.
30. I’m Alive – Céline Dion
This is one of the best songs to mark your important family events. It has been featured in many movie soundtracks and gained worldwide popularity. The mid-tempo, happy song celebrates life and all that comes with it.
In the song, Céline Dion speaks of her life as a mother and a woman in love. Dave Meyers directed the video in May 2002. It premiered in June 2002.
31. Amazing Grace – LeAnn Rimes
This is one of the most popular music choices for funerals. “Amazing Grace” was a good addition to tributes and slideshows over the years. It captures the complex feelings of losing a loved one and everything that comes with it. Hundreds of artists have covered the song over the years.
The message of the song focuses on redemption, love, and forgiveness. It suggests that the mercy of God is available to everyone. You can always receive forgiveness when you need it. No wonder it is one of the world’s most recognizable songs.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other 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.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.