Sorting through songs to play for a funeral in your grief is emotionally exhausting in what feels like an unending well of emotions. Finding just the right set of songs to both honor someone’s life and express sorrow in their death takes time.
We hope that these songs can bring you some peace. Perhaps some may point you on a path of inspiration to build the perfect mix of self-expression, respectful deference to tradition, and celebration of life.
|1||Seasons of Love||Rent||Video|
|2||Somewhere Over the Rainbow||Israel Kamakawiwo’ole||Video|
|3||Time After Time||Eva Cassidy||Video|
|4||May It Be||Enya||Video|
|5||Bridge Over Troubled Water||Simon and Garfunkel||Video|
|6||In Loving Memory||Alter Bridge||Video|
|7||Fields of Gold||Sting||Video|
|8||N Fly||Celine Dion||Video|
|9||Wind Beneath My Wings||Bette Midler||Video|
|10||My Way||Frank Sinatra||Video|
10. My Way by Frank Sinatra
My Way is for a person who possessed a strong personality during their life. Maybe they held firm to their beliefs or blazed their own trail in spite of everything. This song honors their courage. It’s an unapologetic reminiscence of a life thoroughly lived. Almost a celebration of a job well done. A fearless salute to someone who chose the road less traveled.
It ranks top 10 as a tribute to everyone who lived their life on their own terms. Not everyone fits a strong statement like this. But for someone who does, My Way is a way to respect the impact they had on every life they touched along their journey.
9. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
Wind Beneath My Wings is the opposite side of the coin from My Way. It honors the person who may not have taken center stage but made everything possible. It’s for a person who was always there to offer support. A subtle presence that made everything possible.
Bette Midler’s version spills over with passion. Her voice takes the lyrics to a level that both feel the loss and retains every ounce of love for that person. It’s a beautiful song done classically.
8. Fly by Celine Dion
The soft beginning moves through the grieving process. It starts off painful and builds into a powerful culmination of hope.
This is one of the most tender pieces that still evokes an emotional response. Its subtlety sneaks up on the listener with an unassuming beginning, grabbing their attention in the middle. The versatility of Fly lends itself to either taking center stage or softly playing in the background.
7. Fields of Gold by Sting
Fields of Gold celebrate the memories of someone deeply loved. Sting’s imagery evokes the joys of love in the light that is no longer something we can touch. It celebrates and mourns a special relationship.
This ballad makes the top 10 list as a celebration of a love that has passed. It reminds us that love makes life worth living. Even in times of sorrow, holding on to the love will help the healing process.
6. In Loving Memory – Alter Bridge
An alternative rock song about the little memories that trigger at random when someone passes. When you come home to someone who is no longer there. When you hear a few notes that remind you of them. Throughout In Loving Memory, the singer struggles with the loss of a loved one. The changes we get used to. The little memories. Then the strength to carry on.
Alter Bridge’s song makes our top 10 list because it’s a beautiful piece in a modern 4 piece band. It’s rare to see modern bands take on songs about grief with tenderness building to hope. Not everyone takes the traditional path. This piece honors people who took alternative trails in life.
5. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
Everybody has heard Bridge Over Troubled Water, but it takes on new meaning with the loss of someone close to you. The song takes you on a journey from pain and suffering in the beginning. Then it builds up hope as it moves toward the final verse and chorus.
Bridge over Troubled Water is a classic. Its popularity has spanned decades, and it continues to touch the hearts of each new generation.
4.May It Be – Enya
May It Be is as gentle as a feather without losing any of its emotional strength. It’s about finding your way in the darkness. Holding on to hope for the years to come.
Enya’s voice touches hearts struggling with darkness. She brings the promise of a path to hope and light out of the darkness of loss and loneliness. She has many songs that would all be appropriate for a funeral. May It Be is, in our opinion, the most poignant.
3.Time After Time – Eva Cassidy
The gentle guitar combined with Eva Cassidy’s voice is a deviation from the more popular versions of Time After Time. But the way she handles the lyrics gives the loneliness of the song hope. It’s a treasure if you have not heard it before.
Cassidy’s version sings of a loss that you can’t do anything about. It’s impossible not to feel moved.
2. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
At the end of grief, there is always hope. No matter how bad it gets, hope pushes us through to the other side. Israel Kamakwiwo’ole’s version of this classic song is indisputably beautiful. No matter how you feel at the moment, the person who has passed will want you to still feel the joys of life.
A funeral is a time for grief. It’s a time to take strength from one another and give the hope for happier days. Someone you loved is gone, but they’ll always be somewhere in your heart. This pick evokes exactly that.
Best Funeral Songs
We are sorry for your loss. Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, and we wish you our best condolences for you and your family.
It is our hope that this list of the best funeral songs may make it easier for you to get through the grieving process and plan for your loved ones funeral.