With the passage of time, the customs and beliefs held by people have started to shift towards a more modern mindset. Nowadays, it isn’t uncommon to see someone including a playlist or requesting one for their funeral service. People have also started to lean towards more modern, personal songs in favor of religious songs.
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 the popular ones.
But with the vast variety of modern 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 19 contemporary funeral songs to play at a funeral or memorial service.
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) Fix You (Coldplay)
This song deals with the regret of not being able to save someone when they were still alive. But at the same time, it’s optimistic about the person finally finding ‘home’.
3) Someone Like You (Adele)
No one is replaceable, and losing a loved one is one of the hardest things that a person goes through. Even if we may never get over the loss, this song serves as a sort of self-assurance that everything will eventually be alright.
4) You Are The Reason (Calum Scott)
Scott’s rendition of this song is a sweet yet sad version that combines the original’s hopeful lyrics with a heartfelt arrangement. One of the best memorial songs to show how much your loved one meant to you.
5) A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
Originally appearing in the Twilight movie, this song is about an eternal love that will stand the test of time.
6) Remember Me (Miguel)
A song that made its appearance in the animated film Coco, this 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. This makes it one of the best contemporary funeral songs for your elderly loved one.
7) Jealous (Josh Daniel)
A perfect example of how a song can be interpreted in a number of ways, this version of Labrinth’s song serves as a tribute to a loving friend that would make even the hardest of people shed a tear.
8) 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.
9) Wake Me Up When September Ends (Greenday)
Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong displayed his songwriting credentials through this song as he talks of moving on following the death of a loved one. The inspiration for the song came from Armstrong’s experience following the death of his father when he was 10.
10) Lay Me Down (Sam Smith)
A sad funeral song about coming to terms with the loss of a loved one, this Sam Smith ballad mourns their death, wishing that he too could be laid down with his beloved.
11) 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.
12) 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.
13) Goodbye’s the Saddest Word (Celine Dion)
A song for Mothers around the world, this song is about the importance of being there for the one person who has always been there for you no matter what. Your mother.
14) See You Again (Charlie Puth)
Released as a tribute to the late Paul Walker, See You Again is a song about hope. The hope of seeing each other again despite parting ways right now. This makes it one of the best funeral songs for a friend that might have passed away.
15) 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.
16) I’ll Be Seeing You (Billie Holiday)
Popularised by its appearance in The Notebook, Holiday’s jazzy vocals serve the ultimate ending to the perfect love story. For your other half, this could be the sending-off that both of you wish for.
17) 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 for a short while.
18) Believe (Adam Lambert)
Similar to You Are The Reason, this is another song where the upbeat original has been rearranged into a soulful ballad. While the latter was about cherishing your loved ones, Believe is about finding the strength to move on.
19) I’ll Be Missing You (Puff Daddy)
A timeless ode to everlasting friendship, this song reminisces about the good times we had with our friends.
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.