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25 Best Funeral Songs For The Older Generation

Saying goodbye to a loved one is one of the hardest things anyone will have to do in life. It’s additionally stressful because you aren’t just going through a terrible loss, you also have to plan the best send-off you can for them and deal with everything else while you’re still grieving for them.

Hopefully, this article can alleviate just a tiny amount of the extra stress that comes with planning a funeral. We’ll be going over the 25 best funeral songs for the older generation you can play as you and your loved ones are saying your final goodbyes. 

1. Amazing Grace 

Amazing Grace - Bagpipe Master

There might not be a more iconic funeral song than Amazing Grace. It’s one of the perfect sendoffs for a religious service, but it’s become a fairly standard funeral track for older generations and one that’s still used quite often for the younger ones. Playing it on bagpipes seems to give it the most emotion, though a jazz band from New Orleans will undoubtedly bring a different side to it if you prefer that. 

2. Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton

Ever since Eric Clapton released Tears In Heaven decades ago, it’s been one of the most popular funeral songs out there. He wrote the track after the death of his four-year-old son, and it would go on to not only become a bestseller but it would also be noted as one of the greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.

It’s a beautiful track about how difficult it can be to move on from the pain of a lost loved one, but it also carries a message of hope that even though it can be hard, it’s still possible to find peace in the aftermath.

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3. My Way – Frank Sinatra

My Way (2008 Remastered)

Frank Sinatra’s My Way might not be the first song that comes to mind when you’re thinking of planning the soundtrack at a funeral, but it is a great option. His upbeat style in the track delivers a message about living life the way you want to.

For many, it’s a song that accurately describes their loved one and a track that will help you fondly remember them instead of just being sad about them being gone. It may be more of a song for a celebration of life, but it’s one the older generation truly does love and appreciate.

4. Go Rest High On That Mountain – Home Free

Home Free - Go Rest High On That Mountain (Official Music Video) - Vince Gill

This one is a personal favorite funeral song more than just one that is popular. Both versions by Home Free and Vince Gill are utterly beautiful as well. Go Rest High On That Mountain is a touching tribute for a lost loved one that’s all about them finally being able to lay down their burdens and find peace.

The track has just enough of a somber gospel tone to it to fit perfectly into any kind of funeral you happen to be planning, and while it’s sure to bring a few tears to your eyes, it’s a song that will remind you that your loved one is finally at peace. 

5. Broken Halos – Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton - Broken Halos (Official Audio)

Broken Halos by Chris Stapleton is another one of those songs that help us remember the impact that our loved ones had on our lives and find some small bit of comfort after they’ve passed on. His music is very much in the vein of older country tracks, making it more inclined for older generations, but the message of the song is what makes it perfect for funerals. It approaches the loss as an opportunity in a way. You might have lost an important figure in your life, but they’ve moved on to help someone else now. 

6. The Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler

Bette Midler - Wind Beneath My Wings (Official Music Video)

Several of the songs on this list might seem a bit overplayed at funerals because of their popularity, but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful. Bette Midler’s The Wind Beneath My Wings is an amazing track, extolling a loved one who has been nothing short of a source of strength for you.

In our context, while it may be played for someone who has already passed on, their support has given you a foundation that will be able to keep you going. It’s a perfect way to say thank you to someone who has helped you so much as you say goodbye. 

7. Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross - Dance With My Father

Dance With My Father is all about wanting one more moment with a person who has passed on. If he could have one more glance or one more dance, he would never want the song playing to end. And that’s something that a lot of people can relate to, as you never want to say goodbye to someone you love.

In the end, this track is one that will bring all sorts of emotions up as you remember the good times you had with the person who has passed on and help you deal with the regrets you may have about wanting to spend more time together.

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8. Angel – Sarah McLachlan

Sarah McLachlan - Angel [Official Music Video]

Sarah McLachlan’s Angel is a song that often gets joked about or turned off quickly thanks to its use in terrifyingly sad ASPCA commercials. But that doesn’t take away anything from this classic track. The song is all about the grief associated with the loss of a loved one but finds hope that they’re now resting in heaven and that angels will comfort you as you deal with the loss. It’s meant to give the grieving just a bit of hope and to reassure them that their loved one is being taken care of in the other world. 

9. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah (Live In London)

For many, faith and religion are a huge comfort in a time of loss, and that’s what Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen is all about. The song discusses how powerful faith can be when you’re grieving and that it can not only reassure you of where the lost loved one has gone but help you find reasons to go on without them. It is meant to comfort you and everyone else at the funeral, a song to remind you that while it’s difficult right now, everything is going to be okay. 

10. You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry & the Pacemakers

Gerry & The Pacemakers - You'll Never Walk Alone [Official Video]

Even if your loved one has passed on, they haven’t really left you. You still have all the memories of time spent with them and the lessons you learned from them along the way to lean on. You’ll Never Walk Alone is a reminder of those principles, and that no matter what happens, God will be there to provide strength and comfort in times of trouble. Even though your loved one may be gone now, they will always be with you and you will always remember them. 

11. Walk On – U2

U2 - Walk On (Official Music Video)

Walk On is a song that’s meant to help you begin to move on after the pain of losing a loved one sinks in. The track is all about how they will live on in your heart and you can still live life to the fullest despite them now being gone. Overall, it’s a reminder to appreciate all the days you have and make the most of your time with your loved ones because one day you’ll have only their memories. 

12. Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver

John Denver - Take Me Home, Country Roads (Official Audio)

Ignore the fact that this song became a viral hit on social media in recent years. Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver is a beautiful track and a wonderful send-off to your dearly-departed loved one. It’s a soft song that has a soothing yet soaring chorus and the themes of going home are perfect for any funeral service. It’s also a track full of nostalgia, bringing up memories of all the good times you shared with the deceased and helping you find a bit of comfort in saying goodbye. 

13. If I Should Fall Behind – Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen - If I Should Fall Behind (Official HD Video)

If I Should Fall Behind is an amazing song for both the people grieving the loss of a loved one and the departed soul. It’s a reminder that they will live on in you, even if they’ve gone on ahead and you no longer will be able to see each other. Our legacies live on long after we are gone in the hearts and minds of those we cared for, and this track can help remind people of that and help them get through the process of dealing with their loss. 

14. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel

Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water (Audio)

Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water is an all-time classic. It speaks to how rough life can be and all the hardships and difficulties that will be thrown your way. But the song isn’t meant to bum you out, it’s a reminder to be hopeful. Love and faith are the two things that can carry you through any tough time and provide a bit of hope when you’re feeling the worst. 

15. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole perfectly captures how a person’s memory lives on after they’ve passed in Unforgettable. While your loved one might have gone on to their next adventure, the memories you have of them will last forever and all those good times will keep them alive in your heart. This one is an amazing song to give comfort to those grieving and is meant to help remind people that despite their significant loss, their loved one is an unforgettable person who will live on within them.

16. In My Life – The Beatles

In My Life (Remastered 2009)

We’ve talked a lot about how our memories keep those who have passed away alive in our hearts, and we will continue to do so. The Beatles’ In My Life is all about how powerful those memories are and serves as a reminder to cherish them. Even if someone is no longer around you, you can hold onto their memories to feel as though they are present. This one is a huge comfort to those struggling with loss and a great way to remember those who have gone on. 

17. Passing Through – Ronan Tynan

Ronan Tynan‘s Passing Through is a poetic tribute to a woman in your life who helped make you the person you are today. It’s all about how much you love and miss the person who has gone on, but reminds listeners that they live on inside of them. All the courage, love, and lessons imbued into them came from that person, and if your loved one had that kind of impact on your life, this song is the perfect choice when you’re remembering them. 

18. Let Her Go – Passenger

Passenger | Let Her Go (Official Video)

We don’t always do the best job of appreciating things while we have them; sometimes, it’s only when we lose something or someone that we know what’s missing. Let Her Go by Passenger is a song about those regrets, reminiscing on the feeling of missing someone and wishing you had done more with the time you had with them. It isn’t a track that will bring a lot of comfort to people at the funeral, but it’s a song that speaks to a lot of people and will help them go through their grief. 

19. Hold Back The River – James Bay

James Bay - Hold Back The River

If you’re just looking for a relatable song about missing someone, it’s hard to go wrong with James Bay’s Hold Back The River. Though the track isn’t exactly talking about holding back a river of tears, funeral-goers will be hard-pressed to hold back the rivers in their eyes when this song comes on. 

20. Well Done – Deitrick Haddon

Deitrick Haddon - Well Done (Official Video)

Gospel songs are very popular at funerals in the Western world and those that speak to faith in heaven are among the most popular. Deitrick Haddon’s Well Done is one of the best choices here, playing on hearing God say “Well done, good and faithful servant” when you reach Heaven’s gates.

The triumphant tone is meant to help lift the mood at a funeral, finding comfort and peace in the fact that your loved one has gone on to their promised reward. It’s an uplifting song for the faithful and one that can help those in attendance find some measure of comfort.

21. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban

Josh Groban - You Raise Me Up [Official Music Video]

You Raise Me Up is another very popular funeral song that deals with the impact your loved one had on your life. The track is meant to help you remember them fondly, discussing the way they helped you figure things out in life and succeed. Overall, it helps you find strength in times of loss and can help bring you some level of comfort as you soak in the powerful atmosphere created by the song. 

22. You Are So Beautiful – Joe Cocker

You Are So Beautiful

While you might know Joe Cocker’s You Are So Beautiful from The Little Rascals film, the actual song is hauntingly beautiful. The lyrics discuss the beauty of life and how important the deceased was, praising them for their impact on other people and telling them how much they will be missed. Life itself is beautiful, but death doesn’t make it any less so. In fact, the fleeting nature of life is one of the things that makes it such a precious thing. 

23. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion

Céline Dion - My Heart Will Go On (from the 2007 DVD "Live In Las Vegas - A New Day...")

Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On is another song about keeping a loved one alive in your heart. No matter how far apart you are, what separates you, or even if you’ll never see each other again, they will still be with you. 

24. Unchained Melody – Righteous Brothers

Unchained Melody (Remastered)

The two things that help us heal most after a loss are time and love. Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers speaks to how important those things are and reminds people to have hope. No matter what troubles come your way, love is an amazing source of strength, and gathering together can help you deal with your loss. 

25. See You Again – Wiz Khalifa Feat. Charlie Puth

Wiz Khalifa - See You Again ft. Charlie Puth [Official Video] Furious 7 Soundtrack

Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again isn’t exactly what you expect for the older generation, but it remains a viable option. It’s a touching song about parting ways with a loved one but carries the message that you’ll be carrying on until you can see each other again and talk. It became very popular after being used in The Fast And The Furious franchise as a send-off for Paul Walker, but it should work for you as well if you want something a little more up-tempo for a funeral.

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