Funeral music can be a powerful way to celebrate the life of a loved one and to bring comfort to those who are grieving. The death of a loved one is difficult, and choosing the right funeral songs can be a way to honour their memory and comfort those grieving.
Many popular funeral songs are often chosen for their beautiful lyrics, moving melodies, and messages of hope, faith, and remembrance. It might also be possible that you prefer traditional hymns, while others prefer more contemporary songs.
Well, whatever the case, the following is my favourite list of top funeral songs. From honouring the deceased person to bringing comfort among the grievers, you can play one accordingly.
Top Funeral Songs
“Amazing Grace” (traditional hymn)
Amazing Grace is a Christian hymn penned in 1772 by John Newton, a one-time slave trader who turned to Christianity. The song is a powerful expression of hope and redemption, offering solace and reassurance with its powerful lyrics and uplifting melody, often performed at funerals to honour the deceased’s faith.
“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
Hallelujah is a song written by Leonard Cohen in 1984. Many artists, including Rufus Wainwright, John Cale, and Jeff Buckley, have covered this poignant and emotional song. It is a beautiful and moving song about love, loss, and faith, and it is often used at funerals to celebrate the deceased’s life.
“You Raise Me Up” by Brendan Graham
You Raise Me Up is a song written by Rolf Lovland and Brendan Graham in 2002. Known for its inspiring and uplifting lyrics, this song conveys feelings of gratitude and empowerment, reminding us of the impact someone had on our lives.
The song has been embraced by numerous artists, with over a hundred recordings to its name. Notable renditions include a heartfelt interpretation by American songwriter Josh Groban in 2003 and a chart-topping rendition by Irish boy band Westlife in 2005, resonating deeply with audiences in their respective countries.
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Yip Harburg
Somewhere Over the Rainbow is a song written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. The song is a captivating and evocative ballad about hope and dreams.
The poignant lyrics and the soothing timbre of Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole’s voice render this hymn a fitting choice for a funeral. Its melodic embrace gently allows for the release of tears, enabling a sense of emotional catharsis, thereby facilitating focused engagement in the farewell service.
This profound composition offers a beautiful perspective on mortality, transcending the traditional associations of sorrow and unveiling a more serene contemplation of life’s transition.
“Wind Beneath My Wings” by Jeff Silbar
Wind Beneath My Wings is a song authored by Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley in 1982. The song is a powerful expression of gratitude and appreciation for someone who has been a constant source of support and inspiration, often chosen to honour the memory of a cherished individual.
“Time to Say Goodbye” by Francesco Sartori
Time to Say Goodbye is a song written by Francesco Sartori and Lucio Quarantotto. Back in 1995, the Italian song gained widespread recognition thanks to the remarkable talents of renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli.
Notably, in 1996, Bocelli joined forces with English soprano Sarah Brightman to create a rendition of the song that featured a captivating blend of Italian and English vocals. The song is a beautiful and moving ballad about loss and farewell, and it is often used at funerals to say goodbye to a loved one.
“You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Oscar Hammerstein II & Richard Rodgers
You’ll Never Walk Alone is a song written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers for the 1945 musical Carousel. The song is an anthem of hope and strength, and it is often used at funerals to comfort those who are grieving.
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel
Bridge Over Troubled Water is a song written by Paul Simon in 1969. The song is a beautiful and moving ballad about love, support, and friendship, and it is often used at funerals to comfort those grieving.
In other words, this iconic song speaks to the idea of being a source of support and comfort during difficult times, symbolising the lasting impact of a loved one.
“I’ll Be Seeing You” by Irving Kahal
I’ll Be Seeing You is a song written by Irving Kahal in 1938. The song is a beautiful and evocative ballad about love, loss, and hope, and it is often used at funerals to celebrate the deceased’s life.
When bidding farewell to a cherished long-time soul mate or lover, this song is a poignant and exquisite addition to the event. It encapsulates the essence of romance, evoking cherished memories that offer solace and strength during the challenging moments ahead.
“Abide with Me” by Henry Francis Lyte
Abide with Me is a traditional Christian hymn written in 1847 by Henry Francis Lyte. During a funeral, this song helps you find solace in the knowledge that the Lord will steadfastly stand by your side, which can be deeply comforting.
Audrey Assad, a Christian singer with a soothing alto voice, imparts an additional layer of reassurance through her performance, elevating the comforting qualities of the song.
It is common for individuals to grapple with their faith when faced with the loss of a loved one, and this particular song has the potential to rekindle and restore one’s faith in such trying times.
“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” by Eric Idle
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is a comedic masterpiece penned by Eric Idle, a prominent Monty Python comedy troupe member.
Initially showcased in the film “Life of Brian”, this song has transcended its origins to become a popular sing-along anthem at diverse public gatherings, ranging from spirited football matches to the solemnity of funerals.
Many individuals in Britain desire to include this song in their funeral arrangements, perhaps as a final jest or a genuine endeavour to bring a smile to their grieving loved ones on what would otherwise be a sombre occasion.
The widespread appeal of this particular funeral song serves as a testament to the British inclination to gracefully embrace humour even in the face of loss, showcasing their innate ability to find levity and poke fun at themselves.
“Ave Maria” by Franz Schubert
Ave Maria is a sacred song written by Franz Schubert in 1825. A timeless classical composition, “Ave Maria” is a revered prayer set to music, often chosen for its serene and reverent atmosphere.
Ave Maria is a melodic masterpiece often embraced within the realm of funerals. Comparable to the tender beauty of flowers, this song delicately weaves a tapestry of tranquillity.
Its gentle presence offers solace, providing respite to those burdened with grief. With a sweet and soothing melody, Ave Maria has resonated through countless renditions by esteemed artists, its enduring appeal bringing solace time and again.