16 Best Rock Songs For A Funeral

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Rock and roll has been around for some time. From iconic bands like Led Zeppelin and Guns ‘N’ Roses to solo acts like Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, there’s quite a collection of timeless rock artists and songs. However, rock is no longer the beast it once was. But even then, the genre still has a passionate fan following and there truly are some songs that are capable of tugging at your heartstrings, despite the hardcore image rockstars give off.

If your loved one was a fan of rock songs, or there were just some rock ballads that they were fans of, you might think of including them amongst the rock funeral songs for a funeral playlist. 

When creating a rock funeral playlist for your loved one, it’s important to keep in mind that the song selections should be in accordance with your loved one’s tastes, rather than just playing the popular ones. If there were any songs that were precious to them or describe them, be sure to include them in your playlist.

But with the vast variety of songs that exist, coming up with a mere 10 or 20 songs can seem like a daunting task. Which songs to include? Which ones would be apt? Well luckily for you, we’ve made a list of the 16 best rock songs for a funeral.

1) Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N Roses)

Originally written by Bob Dylan, it’s this version with Axl Rose’s ripping voice and Slash’s slick solos that make the list about pondering over the lives we live.

2) Stairway To Heaven (Led Zeppelin)

One of the most popular songs of all time, Stairway To Heaven starts off slow and keeps the pace until the guitar solo. From there on, it’s classic rock and roll. Due to its mystical lyrics and shifting tones, it has become a popular choice for upbeat funeral songs.

3) Yesterday (The Beatles)

One of their most-covered songs, Yesterday is a song about how we’re always longing for times when things were simpler, a time when our loved ones were still in our lives.

4) Candle in the Wind (Elton John)

Perhaps the most well-known funeral song given its context, Candle In the Wind was written in memory of Marilyn Monroe, who had died 11 years prior. It was re-written and released 25 years later following the tragic death of Princess Diana.

5) The Show Must Go On (Queen)

Written by the frontman Freddie Mercury nearing his death (meaning it was following his diagnosis of AIDS), the song is a testament to his determination to move forward in life. And that is exactly what he sings of through the song. Whatever happens, the show will go on.

6) Who Wants to Live Forever (Queen)

As the mercurial frontman of Queen was suffering from AIDS, this song was written by lead guitarist Brian May. It discusses the innate human fear of death, while also asking the question of who would actually want to live forever.

7) Tears In Heaven (Eric Clapton)

This ballad by Clapton was written following the death of his 4-year-old son, Conor. Despite his loss, Clapton is hopeful about seeing his son again in heaven. 

8) Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley)

Originally sung by Leonard Cohen, it is Buckley’s melancholic rendition of the song that truly conveys the sadness buried in the lyrics. Accompanied by a single electric guitar, you can feel Buckley’s pain as he sings the song.

9) Good Riddance [Time of Your Life] (Green Day)

Contrary to the unfriendly sounding title, the song is all about making the most of what little time we have on earth by cherishing every little moment.

10) November Rain (Guns ‘N’ Roses)

One of the longer entries on the list, November Rain is a rock ballad that offers a certain degree of closure. As Axl Rose sings ‘..nothing lasts forever..”, it’s a reminder to cherish what we had and be happy that it happened.

11) In My Life (The Beatles)

A song about introspection, In My Life talks of how everyone leads different lives that ultimately has some meaning. But no matter what happens, it’s the people we have in our lives that truly gives life some meaning.

12) Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)

Sometimes, you really don’t know how important someone was until you lose them. Wish You Were Here is a song about longing for that person who’s no longer in your life.

13) Everybody Hurts (R.E.M)

While no one likes being sad, it’s one of the things that reminds us that we’re all humans. No matter how tough you are, it’s alright to feel pain and just cry it out once in a while.

14) Shadow Of The Day (Linkin Park)

They say that if you love someone, you should be capable of letting them go. While it’s always a hard thing to do, sometimes it’s the best thing that you can do for both of your sakes.

15) I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing (Aerosmith)

From the soundtrack of the movie, Armageddon, this song is about how you always want to stay by the side of your loved one. You never want to miss a moment with them.

16) Funeral for a Friend (Elton John)

John himself has said that this song is what he wishes the music at his funeral sounded like, this song is about the fast-paced life he had to live as a rock icon.

Funerals can be somber affairs, and it should be noted that creating a playlist and playing it is done in accordance with the deceased’s wishes from when they were alive. For a more comprehensive guide on creating a general playlist, check out the Top 30 Funeral Songs of All Time.