Music tastes are so personal. Families often know what are the best songs to play at a funeral or memorial service because of the personal tastes of the deceased. However, sometimes their loved one may not have had a strong connection to music, or families are a little lost with what to choose. So here are a few ideas for some suitable songs for an end-of-life service.

To listen to any of these songs, click on the Spotify playlists below, or simply type the names into YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, or your chosen music listening program.

Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends. 

― Alphonse de Lamartine

Funeral songs (general)

  • We’ll Meet Again, Vera Lynne
  • I Still Love You, Isla Grant
  • Songbird, Eva Cassidy
  • Fields of Gold, Eva Cassidy
  • What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong
  • My Way, Frank Sinatra
  • You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban
  • Unforgettable, Nat King Cole
  • Lullaby, Billy Joel
  • Dancing with Angels, Monk and Neagle
  • Footprints in the Sand, Leona Lewis
  • In the Arms of an Angel, Sarah Mclachlan
  • Time to Say Goodbye, Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli
  • Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen or Jeff Buckley
  • Jealous of the Angels, Donna Taggert
  • Even Though You Are Gone, Angelis
  • Goodbye My Friend, Linda Ronstadt
  • Angels, Robbie Williams
  • Imagine, John Lennon
  • As Tears Go By, Marianne Faithful
  • Keep Breathing, Ingrid Michaelson
  • Into the West, Annie Lennox
  • I’ll Be Seeing You, Bing Crosby
  • You Can Close Your Eyes, James Taylor
  • You’ll Never Walk Alone, Gerry & The Peacemakers
  • Into My Arms, Nick Cave
  • One Sweet Day, Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
  • Asleep, The Smiths

You can also find and follow this playlist on Spotify here with this link.

Funeral songs for a dad

  • True Blue, John Williamson
  • Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin
  • Danny Boy, Peter Hollens
  • Heaven Was Needing a Hero, Jo Dee Messina
  • Song for Dad, Keith Urban
  • Thank You for Being My Dad, Jon Barker
  • The Impossible Dream, Andy Williams
  • Hero, Mariah Carey
  • My Father’s Eyes, Eric Clapton
  • Country Roads, John Denver
  • Mama I’m Coming Home, Ozzy Osbourne
  • Wish you Were Here, Pink Floyd 
  • Blackbird, The Beatles

You can also find and follow this playlist on Spotify here with this link.

Funeral songs for a mum

  • Mama This One’s for You, Beth Hart
  • Supermarket Flowers, Ed Sheeran
  • Mama, Ill Divo
  • Mama, Connie Francis
  • Candle in the Wind, Elton John
  • Like a River, Carly Simon
  • Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler
  • Dream a Little Dream of Me, Ella Fitzgerald
  • Gillian, The Waifs
  • There You’ll Be, Faith Hill
  • I Will Remember You, Sarah McLachlan
  • A Mother’s Prayer, Celine Dion
  • Eternal Flame, The Bangles

You can also find and follow this playlist on Spotify here with this link.

Modern funeral songs for a young person

  • Forever Young, Youth Group
  • I Love You, Billie Eilish
  • When the Party’s Over, Billie Eilish
  • Halo, Beyonce
  • Summertime Sadness, Lana Del Rey
  • Time of Your Life, Green Day
  • Body in a Box, City and Colour
  • See You Again, Wiz Khalifa
  • My Immortal, Evanescence
  • Calling all Angels, Train
  • Slipped Away, Avril Lavigne
  • Gone Away, The Offspring
  • Ave Maria, Beyonce
  • Hear You Me, Jimmy Eat World
  • I’ll Be Missing You, Puff Daddy (feat. Faith Evans & 112)
  • Breathe, Moist
  • Misguided Ghosts, Paramore
  • Photograph, Ed Sheeran
  • Lay Me Down, Sam Smith
  • Everybody Hurts, R.E.M
  • Gone Too Soon, Daughtry
  • Sandcastles, Beyonce
  • Sonny, New Found Glory
  • My Chemical Romance, Cancer
  • One More Light, Linkin Park
  • Wake Me Up When September Ends, Green Day

You can also find and follow this playlist on Spotify here with this link.

Funeral songs for children

  • Over the Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwo
  • Tears in Heaven, Eric Clapton
  • Lullaby (Goodnight My Angel), Billy Joel
  • Fly, Celine Dion
  • Beautiful Boy, John Lennon
  • Bright Eyes, Art Garfunkel
  • Small Bump, Ed Sheeran

You can also find and follow this playlist on Spotify here with this link.

Funeral songs: Instrumental pieces

  • Only Love, Andre Rieu
  • Funeral March, Beethoven
  • The Four Seasons (Winter), Vivaldi
  • Adagio for Strings, Samuel Barber
  • Canon in D, Pachelbel
  • The Armed Man, Karl Jenkins
  • Ode to Joy, Symphony No. 9, Beethoven
  • Clair de Lune, Debussy

Funeral songs: Spiritual and religious

  • Abide With Me, BYU Noteworthy
  • Amazing Grace, Various versions available
  • Ave Maria, Sarah Brightman
  • You Raise Me Up, Westlife
  • The Prayer, Andre Bocelli and Celine Dion
  • Spirit in the Sky, Norman Greenbaum
  • The Lord’s my Shepherd, Stuart Townend
  • Be Thou My Vision, Nathan Pacheo
  • Pie Jesu, Angelis
  • Morning Has Broken, Cat Stevens
  • How Great Thou Art

How to choose songs for funerals or memorials

Music creates a certain atmosphere and sets the scene for a funeral or memorial, so think about the feelings and mood you want in the service with your choice of music.

You may like the sound of a piece of music but ensure you take the time to listen to the words – are they appropriate?

If you are having a more formal structure to your service, the opening piece of music has another task of settling people before the service begins, so keep that in mind when making choices.

Music to go behind a photographic reflection should reflect life, happy memories, joys of living – this is a time which highlights the deceased’s LIFE so keep that in mind and don’t make this selection too sad.

Funeral songs: Consider the music you want to set the scene for a funeral or memorial.
Music creates a certain atmosphere for a funeral or memorial, so think about the mood you want to set.

A theme song from a favourite movie, TV show, football team, or event is often a lovely way to add a personalised touch.

For your closing song, choosing something a little lighter or upbeat may be appropriate if you don’t want people leaving too overwhelmed with sadness.

For some inspiration, take a look at your loved one’s personal music library – you may be surprised by what you find.

We hope this list has given you some inspiration on music options for a funeral or memorial. For more ideas on ways to personalise a memorial, read our articles How to personalise an end of life service and 10 Alternatives to a Traditional Funeral Service.

If you have any further questions or to get a quote for a cremation visit the Bare Cremation website or call 1800 071 176.

About Bare Cremation

Bare Cremation is Australia’s best direct cremation service. Our mission is to ensure every Australian has the option of an affordable, seamless and stress-free funeral service that can be arranged online or over the phone in minutes, at a fraction of the price of traditional funeral homes. We’ve cut out the need to go to a funeral home and made a complicated process simple by offering an affordable, transparent and easy alternative. Find out more by visiting the Bare Cremation website.