Adding music to a funeral is a great way to honor the deceased’s life with a song that demonstrated their love, inspiration, and even sense of humor to guests, helping you to say your farewells uniquely.
We’ve put together a list of 25 of the most popular funeral songs to help you find the perfect song for your loved one, no matter their style.
Classic Funeral Songs:
These are some of the more commonly played songs you are likely to hear at a funeral and are a great mix of beautiful songs to honor a loved one’s life.
- “Tears in Heaven” – Eric Clapton
“Would you hold my hand / If I saw you in heaven? / Would you help me stand / If I saw you in heaven?” These touching lyrics and slow, gentle melody make this a great choice for a funeral service.
- “You Can Close Your Eyes” – James Taylor
This soft, acoustic melody with uplifting and thoughtful lyrics makes this song one that serves as a beautiful tribute to the deceased.
- “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Between the cheerful melody of the ukulele and Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s comforting voice and the beautiful lyrics make this song a classic and thoughtful choice for a funeral service.
- “Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley
This is a popular choice for funerals. Buckley’s smooth voice, accompanied by beautiful lyrics makes this song a true classic for a funeral service.
Emotional Funeral Songs:
These songs are the type that will bring emotions to the surface and may help you and others in attendance to let their feelings out.
- “Asleep” – The Smiths
This song has a beautiful lullaby-style melody that is perfect for a funeral service. The lyrics also offer comfort to those at the services, “Don’t feel bad for me, I want you to know, deep in the cell of my heart, I really want to go. There is another world; there is a better world.”
- “Feels Like Home” – Chantal Kreviazuk
The bright sounds of the piano melody and Kreviazuk’s beautiful voice, make this an uplifting and emotion evoking choice for a funeral service.
- “Satisfied Mind” – Jeff Buckley
This song offers a reflection on the life lived and inspires others to live a life of compassion and love. “Money can’t buy back all your youth when you’re old, a friend when you’re lonely, or peace to your soul.”
- “Blower’s Daughter” – Damien Rice
This song has lyrics that are both sad and beautiful. “And so, it is just like you said it would be /Life goes easy on me / Most of the time.” With a slow melody and touching lyrics, this song serves as a beautiful, emotional tribute.
Funeral songs for the Hopeless Romantics:
These songs are perfect for a romance that was affected by the loss and are sure evoke beautiful emotions:
- “Only for You” – Heartless Bastards
This song is an acoustic love song with an indie style, with a gentle melody, perfect for those who want something different than the big love ballads.
- “Halo (Acoustic version)” – Beyoncé
This acoustic, stripped down version and the way Beyoncé delivers the lyrics to make this a beautiful, heart-touching song that perfectly expresses love.
- “I’ll Be Seeing You” – Billie Holiday
Played in the emotional movie, The Notebook, this song is a classic option for a love story and perfect for paying homage to a significant other who has passed.
Inspiring Funeral Songs:
After the tears have been cried, these songs are an excellent option for uplifting and inspiring others at the service.
- “Follow the Sun” by Xavier Rudd
Although this song is not about death or dying, the lyrics truly represents the celebration of life.
- “Everywhere” – Michelle Branch
These lyrics speak for themselves, sparking inspiration and comfort.
“Cause you’re everywhere to me / And when I close my eyes, it’s you I see / You’re everything I know / That makes me believe / I’m not alone.”
- “Wherever You Will Go” – The Calling
This song has an uplifting melody and lyrics that help to remind us that we can keep our loved ones close wherever we go.
- “Spirit in The Sky” – Norman Greenbaum
This popular song is loved by many and has lyrics that are sure to express a celebration of life and uplift others: “When I die, and they lay me to rest/ Gonna go to the place that’s the best/ When I lay me down to die/ Goin’ up to the spirit in the sky”.
Songs that Celebrate Life:
If you are hosting a celebration of life memorial, these songs are the perfect touch to uplift and inspire.
- “Forever Young” – Rod Stewart
This song has beautiful lyrics that will to speak to and uplift those affected by the loss: “May good fortune be with you, may your guiding light be strong, / Build a stairway to heaven with a prince or a vagabond. / And may you never love in vain. / And in my heart, you will remain. / Forever young.”
- “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
If you plan to have dancing at your celebration of life, this song is a true, popular classic featured in the movie Dirty Dancing.
- “Drops of Jupiter” – Train
If you plan to have a balloon release or confetti at your celebration of life, this song would be a great option to enhance that event.
- “Elephant Gun” – Beirut
The lyrics have nothing to do with dying or death, but the upbeat melody provides a joyous atmosphere that is perfect for a celebration of life event.
Unconventional Songs that will Provide a Good Laugh:
For those who are looking for a funeral outside of tradition, these songs are undoubtedly eccentric and are perfect for people who have a great sense of humor.
- “Keg on My Coffin” – The Push Stars
This song may have an unusual title, but it has a soothing melody with celebratory and comforting lyrics: “Drink up life like a river ’till the pizza man delivers/And smile and know I loved you ’til the end.”
- “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” – Willie Nelson
This classic song is a great option for a family that has a great sense of humor and will add a touch of fun to a celebration of life for the right crowd.
- “Dropkick Me Jesus” – Bobby Bare
This song is perfect for a celebration of life, especially for sports fans who have a sense of humor. Let the lyrics speak for themselves:
Dropkick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life / Bring on the brothers who’ve gone on before / And all of the sisters who’ve knocked on your door / All the departed, dear, loved ones of mine / Stick ’em up front in the offensive line.
- “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)” – Joe Diffie
Joe Diffie’s comforting and uplifting voice makes this the perfect option to get people to reminisce about the good times they had with the deceased and is sure to get a laugh. “Fix me up with a mannequin, just remember, I like blondes/ I’ll be the life of the party, even when I’m dead and gone.”
- “Highway to Hell” – ACDC
This may be one of the shocking songs on the list, but it is a perfect unconventional option for a classic rock fan looking for something different.
- “Ring of Fire” – Johnny Cash
This is another classic song that would work well, especially if you plan to have some dancing at your celebration of life event. Laughter is the best medicine, and this song is sure to help guests laugh and enjoy the memory of their loved one.
Contact Beinhauer Funeral Homes & Cremation Services today to learn more about our pre-planning services and how we can assist every step of the way with funeral planning.