Popular songs and reflective music for funerals

When you are making funeral plans it’s a good idea to consider whether you are going to play a piece of music at any point. The music is a simple way to personalise the ceremony and often sets the tone for the entire service – joyful, sad, uplifting. Don’t forget, a funeral should be a celebration of life and music can be an important part of this celebration.

If you need some musical inspiration, here are some favourites:

Classical music for funerals

  • Ave Maria – Schubert
  • 1812 Overture (conclusion) – Tchaikovsky
  • Cello concerto (3rd mvt) – Elgar
  • Grand March (AIDA) – Verdi
  • Greensleeves – Mantovani
  • Land of my fathers – Band of the Welsh Guards
  • Hymn to the fallen – Katherine Jenkins
  • Jerusalem – Blake

Popular music for funerals

  • Angels – Robbie Williams
  • Candle in the wind – Elton John
  • Let it be – The Beatles
  • See you again – Wiz Kalifa
  • Someone like you – Adele
  • Supermarket flowers – Ed Sheeran
  • I’ll be missing you – Puff Daddy and Faith Evans
  • Somewhere over the rainbow – Eva Cassidy
  • You raise me up – Westlife

Sad/reflective music for funerals

  • A million love songs – Take That
  • Bitter sweet symphony – The Verve
  • Bring him home (Les Misérables) – Colm Wilkinson
  • 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
  • If I could turn back time – Cher
  • Kiss from a rose – Seal
  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s door – Bob Dylan

Uplifting music for funerals

  • California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and Papas
  • Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  • Brown eyed girl – Van Morrison
  • Come on Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  • Don’t rain on my parade – Bobby Darin
  • Fly me to the moon – Frank Sinatra
  • Good vibrations – The Beach Boys
  • I wanna dance with somebody – Whitney Houston
  • I say a little prayer – Aretha Franklin

Funny music for funerals

  • Always look on the bright side of life – Monty Python
  • Another one bites the dust – Queen
  • Big Spender – Shirley Bassey
  • Bring me sunshine – Morecambe and Wise
  • Dancing Queen – Abba
  • Dad’s army theme – Bud Flanagan
  • Don’t worry be happy – Bobby McFerin
  • Highway to hell – ACDC
  • Match of the day theme song

What music is played at funerals?

Some people ask us: is any music suitable for a funeral? The answer is simple. If it’s a true representation of your loved one and it won’t cause offense to their family or friends, there is no music that’s off limits.

Genres can vary from pop songs, classical music, TV theme songs, heavy metal music – and plenty more. A funeral service is a celebration of life and if there is a song(s) that encourages this, music can be a central part of any ceremony.

How to choose funeral music?

When you are thinking of songs to play at your loved one’s funeral, try not to limit yourself to what other people say is a good choice for a funeral song. To start, it can be a nice idea to think about your loved one’s favourite songs and consider if any of them would be appropriate to play during the service.

Alternatively, think of songs that you believe represent them as a person. Don’t be deterred from playing happy songs, a funeral is a celebration of life.

How many pieces of music do you have at funerals?

Most funerals have at least two music slots – one for entering and one for leaving – but this can be the same song. If you are choosing to include a slideshow or something similar, this can be another chance to add music throughout the funeral.

Should a funeral director sort out music for the service?

For services at a crematorium, the family choose the music and inform the funeral director, who will then organise it with the crematorium. If the service is being held at a church, the family will usually deal with the minister directly.

Popular funeral hymns

When you are making funeral plans it’s a good idea to consider whether you are going to play a piece of music at any point.

Famous funeral poems

A remembrance poem or funeral reading can be a wonderful way of saying your final goodbyes to a loved one.

Bereavement support

We are glad to be able to offer help and support at this difficult time.

Further Reading: Arranging a funeral

Read about how funerals are arranged and what services you can expect to get.