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The Most Popular Songs & Music For Funerals

Picking songs for events and special occasions is never simple, but perhaps no music choice is more difficult than choosing music suitable for the funeral of a loved one.

Therefore, music can be a really important way of personalising a funeral service, it can provide a powerful and meaningful part of the ceremony especially if your loved one had a song they held dear, maybe a song they used to sing, or which marked a special occasion. Music will give you a chance to pay tribute to their personality, their hobbies, or simply say farewell with one of their favourite songs.

While classical music or hymns have traditionally been the funeral music of choice, pop ballads, TV theme tunes and happy funeral songs have been rising in popularity in recent years.

Most funeral services have at least two slots for music – one for entering and one for the exit. However, there might be other opportunities to play music, such as during a slideshow of images or a moment for reflection.


Below is a list of appropriate times within the service that music can be played.

Processional.... As the coffin and mourners make their way into the service

During the Service... To compliment a reading or poem you have chosen

Replacement of Hymn... Whilst grieving, this can be hard for the congregation to sing a hymn and could be an opportunity for you to ask a funeral singer to help.

Recessional... As the coffin and mourners are exiting the service.

If you’re not sure which songs to play at a funeral service, take a look at the suggestions below. The list is not exclusive and there are no right or wrong songs. Whether you prefer contemporary and uplifting funeral music or beautiful, classical music for a funeral, choose your favourite from my list.

Popular Funeral Songs

  • Angels – Robbie Williams

  • Candle in The Wind – Elton John

  • Can’t help falling in Love – Elvis Presley

  • Diamonds - Rihanna

  • Dignity – Deacon Blue

  • Flying Without Wings - Westlife

  • Hello – Adele

  • How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding

  • Lay Me Down – Sam Smith

  • Let it Be – The Beatles

  • My Way – Frank Sinatra

  • Someone like you – Adele

  • Supermarket flowers – Ed Sheeran

  • Somewhere over the Rainbow – Eva Cassidy * (in rep)

  • Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton

  • The Best – Tina Turner

  • Time to Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro) *

  • Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler

  • Wonderwall – Oasis

  • You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers

Fun, Film & TV Funeral Music

  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Eric Idle (Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’)

  • Another one bites the dust – Queen

  • Big Spender –Shirley Bassey

  • Bring me sunshine – Morecambe & Wise

  • Coronation Street – Theme Tune

  • Dancing Queen – ABBA

  • Dad’s army theme – Bud Flanagan

  • Don’t worry be happy – Bobby McFerin

  • Last of the Summer Wine Theme Song

  • Match of the Day Theme Song

  • No Matter What – Whistle Down The Wind

  • Soul Limbo / Cricket Theme – Booker T & The MGs

Sad / Reflective Funeral Music

  • A million love songs - Take That

  • Bitter sweet symphony – The Verve

  • Bring Him Home (Les Miserables)

  • Can you feel the love tonight – Elton John

  • Every breath you take – The Police

  • Come away with me – Norah Jones

  • How am I supposed to live without you – Michael Bolton

  • I will Always Love You – Dolly Parton *

  • If I could turn back time – Chere

  • Kiss from a rose – Seal

  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s door – Bob Dylan

  • Memories - Barbara Streisand

  • My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion *

Classical Funeral Music

  • Adagio – Albinoni

  • Air on a G String – Bach

  • Ave Maria – Schubert *

  • Canon in D – Pachelbel

  • Cello concerto (3rd movement) Elgar

  • Lascia Ch’io Pianga – Handle *

  • Nimrod from Enigma Variations – Elgar

  • Panis Angelicus – Cesar Frank*

  • Pie Jesu – Andrew Lloyd Webber *

  • The Four Seasons – Vivaldi

  • 1812 Overture (conclusion) – Tchaikovsky

Uplifting Funeral Music

  • California Dreamin’ – The mamas and Papas

  • Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

  • Good vibrations – The Beach Boys

  • I wanna dance with somebody – Whitney Houston

  • I say a little prayer – Aretha Franklin

  • You Raise Me Up – Westlift *

For information - songs marked with an asterisk ( *) are some of my performance pieces. If your favourite song is not on this list or it is not marked with an asterisk and you are interested in me potentially performing it please contact me.

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