In previous articles (links below) we’re highlighted several categories of popular songs to be played in a funeral or memorial setting. Here we present our favorites across all categories for your review. For our money, these are truly the best funeral songs. Some of these are situation specific so don’t limit your planning to these tunes.
The Best Funeral Songs of All Time
What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong – this is one of my favorite songs of all time. It’s both sad and joyful, which is a difficult balance to strike. Armstrong is masterful in this song and it brings a smile to my face every time I hear it and sometimes a tear. It’s also a short song which makes it perfect for a service.
Amazing Grace – Various Artists – This is one of my all time favorite hymns. I can’t count the times I’d sing it at night when I was a child and experiencing a little fear of the dark. It’s an inspired song that speaks of God’s incredible grace and love for us. That’s always a comforting message but especially during a time of loss.
Unforgettable – Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole – I love the original but the dual version is nice as well. At a time of loss we often steel ourselves to never forget the person we’ve lost. This song reinforces this point in a soft and encouraging way.
Always On My Mind – Willie Nelson – This one isn’t for everyone but it’s really quite a soulful song. The the purpose of a funeral it’s really a twist of the chorus that people gravitate towards.
Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton – This song has special meaning as it was written by Clapton upon the loss of his young son. That tragedy birthed a beautiful song and because it was so inspired by loss, it so perfectly feels an emotional void for us during our time of loss.
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston – Another beautiful song that can really touch our hearts while expressing our sentiments so well.
Go Rest High on That Mountain – Vince Gill – This song was played at the death of my grandfather. I recall listening so closely to each word and wondering if a more perfect story could be told.
My Way – Frank Sinatra – this one isn’t for everyone but for the right person, this one is perfect.
Love Without End, Amen – George Strait – this has strong country twang which may not be the best fit for everyone but an expression of never ending love certainly fits.
Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler – I know it’s Bette Midler and this song is a little cliche, but that’s so for a reason. This is a heartfelt song that so perfectly expresses the loss and hope we can draw from the loss.
Do you have a favorite funeral song? Please help someone else in their time of loss by sharing your selections and experiences in the comments below.
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