Music is an essential and beautiful part of most celebrations, and more than ever, that’s becoming true for funerals and farewellings. As it should be! Choosing songs that reflect the person you’re honoring (or specifying what you want for your own!) is a great way to personalize the funeral service and any other gatherings. We call this list of funeral songs a farewelling playlist, and we think it’s pretty darned cool to have (at least) one.

 

The right funeral music can add to the experience of grieving and remembering, which is why this is one area of planning you won’t want to skimp on. Here, we’re bringing you some of our favorite tips for choosing the best funeral songs. But we’ve also included a comprehensive list of funeral music you can browse through, to hopefully find the tunes that work best for the farewelling you’re planning.

 

3 Simple Tips for Choosing Funeral Songs

Depending on your tradition, funeral music may be more or less important. And deciding on the best funeral songs to play will depend on a variety of elements. Since this is a time when you’ll no doubt be dealing with lots of emotions as well as coordinating people and details, it may seem challenging to create a playlist. Here are some suggestions to help you. 

 

1. Set the Right Mood with the Music You Choose

Where will you celebrate? If the funeral service will take place in a religious space, you’ll want to work with your funeral celebrant to create a soundscape that “harmonizes” spiritually, be it more traditional funeral hymns or something unexpected. But if you’re hosting a wake or a home farewelling, or perhaps a post-service gathering, you might want to design a playlist filled with your loved one’s favorite tunes. The music you choose will help people know what mood you’re hoping for. Do you expect it to be quiet and somber? Well then, funeral songs in a classical or acoustic singer-songwriter style might be perfect. Do you want to encourage a celebratory vibe? Upbeat funeral songs in the rock, disco, electronic dance music, pop, rap or jazz genres could be just the thing. 

 

2. Design Different Music for Different Parts of the Celebration

If you’ll host more than one gathering, feel free to choose a fitting song list for each event. For example, you may feature more traditional funeral music at the service but choose an unexpected favorite tune for the moment the service ends and folks will mingle or file out. Or maybe you’ll load up the jukebox (or your smartphone) at your local bar with classic rock for when friends and family arrive.

 

3. Personalize Your Playlist

If you know what kind of music the person you’re honoring preferred, including that style of music at the funeral can be a lovely way to personalize it. If you’re not sure, reach out to others for ideas. If you’re still left questioning, take a look at their music collection (whether on their phone, their collection of CDs or maybe even old-school vinyls!). Do be mindful that some pop music features explicit lyrics, which may or may not be right for you. If not, look for “clean” versions to download. Finally, remember that your funeral home may need licensing rights to play your preferred songs, so clear your choices with your funeral director in advance just to be sure.

 

Best Funeral Songs by Category

Still stumped? We get it—choosing the funeral music that will be just right for your event is no easy task. Here, we’ve broken down some of the best, go-to funeral songs into categories for easy reference. That way, you can take the guesswork out of finding good funeral songs. 
 

In this article: 

Most Popular Funeral Songs

Best Funeral Songs for Mom

Best Funeral Songs for Dad

Country Funeral Songs

Modern Funeral Songs

Upbeat Funeral Songs

Rock Funeral Songs

R&B Funeral Songs

Best Songs to Sing at a Funeral

 

 

Most Popular Funeral Songs

Funeral music is such a personal choice, but if you’ve attended a memorial or funeral lately, you may have heard at least one of these popular funeral songs. Most of the below funeral songs are rooted in Western tradition, sometimes performed by a more modern artist. 

 

Amazing Grace” – Judy Collins  

You Raise Me Up” – Josh Groban 

Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley 

Time to Say Goodbye” – Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli 

Supermarket Flowers” – Ed Sheeran 

In My Life” – The Beatles

Over the Rainbow” – Israel Kamakawiwoʻole 

How Great Thou Art” – Carrie Underwood 

Ave Maria” – Schubert 

Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” – Susan Boyle 

 

 

Best Funeral Songs for Mom

When it comes time to choose a funeral song for your beloved Mom, you’ll want a tune that strikes at the heart of the relationship you shared and how you feel about her. These ballads will bring the tears, for sure, but they’re a step toward expressing your feelings. Looking for funeral songs for Grandma? Many of these will make a great choice for her as well. 

 

Wind Beneath My Wings” – Bette Midler 

Because You Loved Me” – Celine Dion 

Mama” – Connie Francis 

Pie Jesu” – Hayley Westenra 

A Song for Momma” – Boyz II Men 

A Mother’s Love” – Jim Brickman and Mark Masri

If Heaven Was Needing a Hero” – Jo Dee Messina 

Unforgettable” – Nat “King” Cole 

Don’t Forget to Remember Me” – Carrie Underwood 

 

 

Best Funeral Songs for Dad

Whether he was the strong, silent type or the life of the party, your dad influenced your life deeply, and he’ll never be forgotten. Honor his memory with one of these funeral songs for Dad that will seem like it was meant just for him. 

 

Dance With My Father” – Luther Vandross 

You Will Always Be My Son” – Anthem Lights 

A Song for Dad” – Keith Urban 

A Love Without End, Amen” – George Strait 

Hero” – Mariah Carey 

I’m Already There” – Lonestar 

The Dance” – Garth Brooks 

Spirit in the Sky” – Norman Greenbaum 

Tears in Heaven” – Eric Clapton 

Bridge Over Troubled Waters” – Simon & Garfunkel

Daddy’s Hands” – Holly Dunn 

In the Living Years” – Mike + The Mechanics 

 

 

Country Funeral Songs

There’s no tear-jerker like a country song, which is why they’re often the perfect ballads for a funeral setting. These country funeral songs will fit right in to any farewelling, but will be particularly poignant if the person who’s died was a country music fan.

 

Go Rest High on That Mountain” – Vince Gill 

When I Get Where I’m Going” – Brad Paisley 

There You’ll Be” – Faith Hill 

How Can I Help You Say Goodbye” – Patty Loveless 

Remember When” – Alan Jackson 

Temporary Home” – Carrie Underwood 

Help Pour Out the Rain (Lacey’s Song)” – Buddy Jewell 

Believe” – Brooks & Dunn 

Broken Halos” – Chris Stapleton 

 

 

Modern Funeral Songs

If you don’t want to hold a ceremony that’s too steeped in tradition, opt for a modern funeral song. Sentimental and touching, but still timely and cool, these songs make great choices for funeral music. 

 

See You Again” – Wiz Khalifa 

Courtney’s Song” – James Blunt 

I Will Remember You” – Sarah McLachlan

When September Ends” – Green Day 

Only Time” – Enya 

A Thousand Years” – Christina Perri 

Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd 

You Are Not Alone” – Michael Jackson 

 

 

Upbeat Funeral Songs

Who says a funeral has to be sad from start to finish? If you’re looking to shake things up a bit, you could stick with traditional funeral music during the service but play one of these beautiful, uplifting funeral songs at the end. It’ll leave guests with a feeling of peace as they depart, while still serving as a beautiful and respectful way to honor your loved one. 

 

Beautiful Day” – U2 

Keg on My Coffin” – The Push Stars

What a Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong 

Three Little Birds” – Bob Marley & The Wailers

Over the Rainbow” – Judy Garland 

Don’t Worry, Be Happy” – Bobby McFerrin 

You Are the Sunshine of My Life” – Stevie Wonder 

 

 

Rock Funeral Songs

If the person who has passed was a die-hard rock and roll fan, then playing one of these rock funeral songs is a total no-brainer. If your loved one’s favorite song isn’t on this list, go ahead and play that! When it comes to funeral music, there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules, so don’t be afraid to play something your loved one would enjoy. 

 

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” – Bon Jovi 

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” – Bob Dylan 

Shadow of the Day” – Linkin Park 

See You On the Other Side” – Ozzy Osbourne

Hallelujah” – Bon Jovi 

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” – Green Day

Say Hello 2 Heaven” – Temple of the Dog

Mama, I’m Coming Home” – Ozzy Osbourne 

Calling all Angels” – Train 

 

 

R&B Funeral Songs

Break out the tissues and pass them around. Heavy on the emotional aspect, these R&B funeral songs will have everyone in their feelings. Often penned by artists who have experienced loss, these lyrics will cut right to the heart of the event, and serve as a beautiful way to honor the dead. 

 

I’ll Be Missing You” – Puff Daddy

Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There” – Jennifer Hudson

I Miss You” – Beyoncé

One Sweet Day” – Mariah Carey with Boyz II Men

These Three Words” – Stevie Wonder

Miss You” – Aaliyah

Love Me Now” – John Legend

Spirit” – Beyoncé 

 

 

Best Songs to Sing at a Funeral

If you’re one of the intrepid souls who’d like to attempt singing a song at a funeral, here’s a list of some of the best funeral songs to consider. Not only are these tunes totally funeral-appropriate, but they’re also relatively easy to sing, without requiring an expansive vocal range or difficult accompaniments. 

 

Wind Beneath My Wings” – Bette Midler

In the Arms of An Angel” – Sarah McLachlan  

If Tomorrow Never Comes” – Ronan Keating

You Can Close Your Eyes” – James Taylor

One Call Away” – Charlie Puth  

 

Despite having so many choices, remember that your job when selecting funeral music is simply to put something together that properly memorializes the person who has died. Choose their favorites or simply go with songs that make you think of them. Either way, doing so will honor your loved one while keeping guests in the mood you’ve chosen for the day.