Funerals are about mourning your loved ones. But that’s not all that they’re about. It is also to celebrate the life they lived. And also to let them know that you will be able to carry on. Choosing some happy songs for a funeral playlist is always advisable. This helps in improving the moods of those gathered while also giving them the strength to carry on.
When choosing the funeral songs to include in the 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 popular songs.
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 top 20 funeral songs to bid your loved ones a hearty farewell.
1) Forever Young (Rod Stewart)
Stewart has said that Forever Young was one of his favorite songs due to the fact that it was a song about his children. For most parents, their children are a big part of their lives and are always on the back of their minds.
2) Remember Me (Miguel)
An upbeat, yet tearful song that is about remembering your loved ones no matter how far away they are. Because despite the distance, they will always be by your side.
3) You Raise Me Up (Josh Groban)
Dedicated to all parents worldwide, this song serves as a Thank You to all the parents who kept striving to keep their children going through the tough times.
4) How Long Will I Love You (Ellie Goulding)
In this modern pop track, Goulding talks of how love extends beyond any boundaries; both physical as well as metaphysical. Words cannot describe her love or its eternal nature.
5) If I Die Young (The Band Perry)
The death of younger ones is always painful due to their often unexpected nature. This song is about being grateful for living their best albeit being short.
6) What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
Another classic and uplifting song, What A Wonderful World never fails to give you the hope that you would require following the death of a loved one. For all its flaws, humanity still has a way of redeeming itself. And that is the wonderful world that Armstrong is singing about.
7) Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Israel Kamakawiwoʻole)
There’s a certain magical charm to this song that brings a smile to anyone’s face when they hear it. Perhaps it’s Israel’s singing, perhaps it’s the simple ukelele, or maybe it’s the beautiful lyrics. But what’s certain is that this song will remind you that it’s not all doom and gloom. It never is.
8) 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.
9) Don’t Worry, Be Happy (Bobby McFerrin)
The iconic whistle, the straightforward, almost too simplistic lyrics, McFerrin’s jovial voice. This song was meant to lift moods, and it does a very good job of doing that. No matter how bad things may get, just weather through it because good times will come.
10) You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Stevie Wonder)
For all the jazz lovers out there, this timeless Wonder song encapsulates what many parents considered their children to be. As such, this song could be the perfect reminder of the happy times you shared with your loved ones.
11) My Way (Frank Sinatra)
Being your own person is the central theme of the song, and that could exactly be the send-off that your loved one needs and deserves.
12) 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.
13) Believe (Brooks and Dunn)
A beautiful song that involves a man reassuring his loved ones that he won’t be alone when he dies because he’ll finally get to catch up with those who died before him.
14) There'll Be You (Faith Hill)
Throughout our lives, there are some people that we grow to rely on. These people are with us throughout thick and thin and they could be your friend, parent, better half, or even your pet. This song is a ‘Thank You Note’ to those who have always been there for you.
15) Live Like You Were Dying (Tim McGraw)
A song that was inspired by McGraw’s relationship with his father, Live Like You Were Dying is about living life to its fullest by treating every day like it was your last.
16) 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.
17) Sleep Tight (Celine Dion)
Written following the death of her niece, Sleep Tight is Dion’s way of finding peace through the song. It’s a hopeful song that details her niece’s journey to heaven.
18) A Song For Mama (Boyz II Men)
For many people, their mothers are the most important people in their lives. And that isn’t without good reason. This song is to cherish the memory of your loving mother.
19) A Song For Dad (Keith Urban)
Fathers are often the supporting pillar that silently takes on all the hardships for the sake of their families. Urban’s song is a tribute to all the fathers who always put family first.
20) Live Forever (Oasis)
This is a song that reminds us that our loved ones never truly leave us, for they live on through our memories of them.
21) Amazing Grace (Jennifer Hudson)
While Amazing Grace is an uplifting song in and of itself, this rendition by Jeniffer Hudson takes the cake for her masterful technique in conveying the beauty of the song.
22) I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston)
A timeless classic, I Will Always Love You is yet another song about the eternal nature of love, and how love transcends everything.
23) In My Life (The Beatles)
A song about introspection, In My Life talks of how everyone leads different lives that ultimately has some meaning.
24) Bye And Bye (The Georgia Mass Choir)
Sometimes, you just need a good gospel song to start moving on from the loss of your loved one. And which song would be a better candidate than Bye and Bye?
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.