Music is an important element that can bring comfort and solace at a funeral service. It can help create the intended mood and lasting memories at funerals, allowing the bereaved to remember the deceased and cope with their losses.
We have highlighted 25 tracks that can honor and reflect the personality of a decedent. These songs can serve as respectable tributes that would remind you of those who passed on and the memories you share with them.
The Best Songs for Funerals
“Amazing Grace” – Judy Collins
“Amazing Grace” is a popular song at funerals, not only for its fittingly melancholic tune but also for its gracious message.
The track describes God’s forgiving and relentless love, inspiring hope in the wake of tragedy.
It’s comforting and recognizable, and mourners can easily sing along if the funeral is held at a church.
“Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley
“Hallelujah” is another favorite at funerals. With a slow-paced melody and quiet vocals, it transcends our heartbreaks, concerns, and tears, bringing them to God instead.
Many covers of this song exist out there, but Buckley’s version feels more personal and relatable, especially with its gorgeous tune.
“Drops of Jupiter” – Train
This rock-ballad was written by the band’s lead singer Pat Monahan, inspired by his mother’s passing though the song can be interpreted in various ways.
The track can still suit funerals since it talks about acknowledging the longing you feel after losing someone.
“Abide With Me” – Audrey Assad
“Abide with Me” is a Christian hymn that originated in the 1840s by Scottish cleric Henry Francis Lyte.
Lyrically, it’s a plea to God to remain by the protagonist’s side through life and death.
It’s often sung at many kinds of events and covered by various artists over the years.
Assad’s version provides a pleasant yet poignant experience that could get mourners to participate easily at the service.
“I’ll Be Seeing You” – Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday has a way with capturing the essence of human connection and emotion, and you can tell with her rendition of this 1938 track.
The slow-paced melody combined with Holiday’s soft vocals give it a melancholic yet pleasing feel.
The song revolves around missing a loved one and can be featured at funerals to remind you of the memories you shared with them.
“If I Die Young” – The Band Perry
“If I Die Young” is a different take on the theme of death as it’s a pretty relaxing and upbeat track.
Released in 2010, the song describes the sadness of dying young and being grateful for a well-lived life.
Rather than seeing death as a bleak event, it makes it out as a beautiful journey that would help mourners cope with their loss.
“My Heart Will Go On” – Celine Dion
Just like how this song addresses the tragedy of the Titanic, it’s also a moving track to say goodbye to your loved ones.
This sweeping ballad captures both grief and hope and would stand as a testimony that you’ll live on for the people who’ve gone before you.
“See You Again” – Charlie Puth feat. Wiz Khalifa
This 2015 song might sound slightly upbeat for funerals, but it sets the right tone.
Featured on the soundtrack of the film Furious 7, it was originally commissioned as a tribute to actor Paul Walker, who’d passed on from a car accident.
This beautiful track depicts the strength of love even after death, and if that isn’t a fitting message, we don’t know what is.
“A Thousand Years” – Christina Perri
“A Thousand Years” might revolve around a love story, but its heartwarming lyrics and hopeful vocals lend itself well to funerals too.
It’s a song about eternal love and stands as a solid choice to say farewell to your loved one.
“Over the Rainbow” – Judy Garland
“Over the Rainbow” is another timeless classic that can be featured at a funeral.
The beautiful lyrics, tender melodies, and gentle vocals would soothe the hearts of those who hear it and help you focus on the service.
This song also inspires hope in the wake of death and gives it a graceful meaning.
“Make You Feel My Love” – Adele
Nothing might beat Bob Dylan’s 1997 original, but Adele puts a fresh, soul-crushing spin on this folk-rock standard.
Lyrically, the song is about the great lengths the protagonist would go for love. It’s a powerful feeling that people have when they think of their loved ones.
With simple instrumentals and passionate vocals, this track can hopefully capture your sorrows and heartache.
“Flying Without Wings” – Westlife
This poppy track still stands as a great classic you can never get tired of, even after its release in 1999.
The song is about cherishing and reminiscing over the beautiful moments and relationships in life.
It teaches us that knowing someone is better than not at all and would bring you some peace.
“Time to Say Goodbye” – Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
“Time to Say Goodbye” is a sweeping, majestic ballad that would serve as an amazing tribute.
With an emotional tune, it’s an incredibly lush track about moving on after your loss and feeling hopeful about seeing them again one day.
The vocal delivery by Bocelli and Brightman is also perfectly executed, capturing an intense feeling of sadness and hope.
“Supermarket Flowers” – Ed Sheeran
Sheeran didn’t intend to publish this song, but after some convincing from his grandfather, it appeared on his 2017 album Divide.
The song is a tribute to his grandmother and details how he feels after losing her.
The simple instrumentals and tender vocals are enough to bring comfort to the soul. As the song goes, “lasting love is in Heaven.”
“I Will Always Love You” – Dolly Parton
Many are familiar with Whitney Houston’s version, but Parton’s original rendition hits just as hard.
This heartbreaking ballad embodies deep and unbreakable love that never goes away, even after death.
If you’re unable to express yourself at funerals, this song will do the job for you.
“Nothing Compares 2 You” – by Sinéad O’Connor
This track was initially written and composed by Prince, and Irish singer O’Connor covered it in 1990.
Her version highlights the pain, loneliness, and longing when you lose something you never intended to.
It blends quiet instrumentals and O’Connor’s breathy delivery to create a graceful ballad that would fit a funeral despite being a love song.
“Candle in the Wind” – Elton John
Released in 1973, “Candle in the Wind” served as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe following her death. It was re-written in 1997 as a tribute to Princess Diana of Wales.
With melodious instrumentals and John’s tender delivery, it’s a heartwarming track for the decedents you didn’t have a chance to know better.
“Lay Me Down” – Sam Smith
Smith’s 2013 ballad renders us the perspective of someone with unrequited love and its accompanying pain.
The emotional tone, raw vocals, and powerful lyrics truly capture the longing and despair to be with someone whom you can’t have. Due to that, it has been embraced as a heartfelt funeral track.
“How Long Will I Love You” – Ellie Goulding
Originally recorded by The Waterboys in 1990, Goulding presents us with her own cover on her 2013 album Halcyon Days.
This track shows us that love can remain deep, strong, and intense even after one’s last breath.
It lends itself well as a funeral track for family, friends, and significant others.
“One More Day” – Diamond Rio
This 2000 country ballad has become a popular funeral song over the years. It’s especially used as a tribute to the victims of the September 11 attacks.
Though it was written as a love song, the lyrics describe what everyone wishes they had with their loved one who had passed on.
“I Wish Grandpas Never Die” – Riley Green
We all wish our grandfathers could live on without growing old.
Green’s 2019 track is a tribute to his grandfathers, detailing his longing for the good old days and his wish that his grandpas would be around forever.
The mellow rhythm and light vocals give it a comforting feel, making it a heartwarming choice to say goodbye to your grandpa.
“Dance with My Father” – Luther Vandross
This heartbreaking ballad was based on Vandross’s personal experience, centering on his memories of his father, who used to dance with him and his mother.
It became a highly requested song in 2003 and even won Vandross two Grammy awards.
The song features a soft tune, poignant lyrics, and gentle vocals that, perhaps, could help you come to terms with your loss.
“Tears in Heaven” – Eric Clapton
“Tears in Heaven” is a simple yet straightforward track about dealing with loss and death.
Published in 1992, it was a tribute to Clapton’s four-year-old son Conor.
With a warm guitar-driven melody and emotional vocal performance, it’s a good song choice for funerals.
“How Do I Live?” – LeAnn Rimes
Rimes’s cover of the 1997 classic encapsulates the feeling of missing and longing for someone dear to you.
The melancholic tone, soulful rhythm, and Rimes’s rich vocals could bring some comfort to mourners.
“Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd
This 1975 track is one of Pink Floyd’s most popular songs, especially on classic rock radio stations.
The track revolves around grieving the absence of someone close.
The simple instrumentals and melancholic vocals don’t just speak for you, but also guide you through the mourning process.