The 50 Best Funeral Songs for Dad is part of our series on the best and most popular songs for funerals. You can read the main article here, which includes a list of the top 100 songs played at memorial services and much more.
What’s the right music to play at Dad’s funeral? For some families, that’s easy – he has an absolute favorite song, or a track that was just “him.” Or maybe your father even told you all what song he wanted at the service. If that’s your situation, go with it – you already have your own collection of “best funeral songs for dad.”
But for many people there’s not just one song. For others there are some great songs but they just don’t feel right for a funeral – too perky, to thrash-metal, to depressing, or they don’t have the “it” factor that make them the right funeral songs for dad.
So we’ve curated this list of meaningful and apt music to help you celebrate your father’s legacy. Each tune has fitting words, a beautiful recording, and a melody that hits all the right notes.
The selections span a wide range of popular genres, from country to Christian to rock to pop to old big band standards. We’ve even added more ideas at the end to help a son or daughter choose the most appropriate tunes for the service.
We hope you will find the perfect funeral song for your father as you peruse this list.
Top 17 Funeral Songs for Dad
- All Must Be Well by Matthew Smith (2007)
- Bye Bye by Mariah Carey (2008)
- Fathers and Daughters by Michael Bolton (2015)
- Footprints in the Sand by Leona Lewis (2007)
- Hero by Mariah Carey (1993)
- Homesick by Mercy Me (2004)
- I’m Already There by Lonestar (2001)
- In Loving Memory by Alter Bridge (2004)
- My Way by Frank Sinatra (1969)
- Satisfied Mind by Johnny Cash (2004)
- Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (1971)
- Thank You For Being My Dad by Jon Barker (2010)
- The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want (Psalm 23, Traditional) by New Scottish Hymns (1650, 2012)
- We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn (1939)
- What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong (1967)
- You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban (2003)
- You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell (2016)
Listed in alphabetical order by title. See below for videos, descriptions, and links to download.
1. All Must Be Well by Matthew Smith (2007)
For those who trust in Jesus, All Must Be Well conveys the hope to be found in the Gospel and in God’s sovereign, gentle, shepherding hand.
Part of the “retuned hymns” movement in which old hymns are set to new music, this updated Christian hymn is perfect to represent your father’s faith while proclaiming a true hope for the future. It’s easy to sing for congregational use and the recording would easily work well played over a slideshow.
Listen to the hope in Christ expressed in the final stanza:
We expect a bright tomorrow; All will be well
Faith can sing through days of sorrow; All is well
On our Father’s love relying
Jesus every need supplying
Yes in living or in dying
All must be well
2. Bye Bye by Mariah Carey (2008)
The opening line to Mariah Carey’s 2008 hit dedicates the song to anyone who has lost someone dear to them. A steady rhythm underscores the gentle, contemplative lyrics that express the pain of losing a loved one and the confidence that they are now at peace.
Related: Modern Funeral Songs
3. Fathers and Daughters by Michael Bolton (2015)
This song is an ode from a father to his daughter, a promise that he will always be there for her in the way he invested his love into her life. A beautiful tribute to a dad who had a great impact on your life.
4. Footprints in the Sand by Leona Lewis (2007)
Leona Lewis is an incredible singer. This emotional funeral song takes the theme from the popular “Footprints in the Sand” poem to illustrate how a father is there for those around him.
5. Hero by Mariah Carey (1993)
For many people, their dad is their hero. Mariah Carey’s Hero is the anthem for the “everyday” hero inside each one of us. A wonderful way to honor your father – and your hero – at his funeral service.
6. Homesick by Mercy Me (2004)
MercyMe unpacks the trite and almost meaningless phrase that people say about someone you love being “in a better place.” For those who are in Christ, if they have died then they truly are in a better place, and we will be reunited again someday.
But until that day comes, we are “homesick.” Homesick for dad, for those who have gone on before us, for heaven, and to be face to face with the Lord. This song beautifully expresses that longing to be reunited with those we love, looking forward to that day when there are no more goodbyes.
Related: 21 Christian Songs for Funerals
7. I’m Already There by Lonestar (2001)
I’m Already There tells a tale of a man on the road, away from his family but missing them dearly as he says how much he loves them. It’s a poignant song that has been used in many settings of absence and tragedy, often associated with the 9/11 attacks, soldiers on deployment, and, increasingly, at funerals.
8. In Loving Memory by Alter Bridge (2004)
This powerful song tells your father “thank you” for all he has done for you. The words are ideal for the kind, caring dad who was always there for you no matter what.
9. My Way by Frank Sinatra (1969)
A defiantly upbeat tune, Sinatra’s classic big band hit has been tapped by many families as the ideal funeral song for their father. I Did It My Way is all about the unique twist a person puts on their life, leaving an imprint on all they leave behind.
10. Satisfied Mind by Johnny Cash (2004)
Johnny Cash knows how to draw deep emotion from simple words set to a simple tune. Satisfied Mind is an old-school ballad that compares the riches of this world to the peace found in contentment. For the father who lived with confidence and compassion, this is a beautiful funeral song to pay tribute to his life, death, and legacy.
11. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (1971)
The classic rock song is also a great funeral song for your dad.
12. Thank You For Being My Dad by Jon Barker (2010)
Jon Barker’s underrated and relatively unknown gem of a song puts words to the things that are rarely said by sons to their fathers. It’s a simple “thank you for being my dad,” but the simple things are sometimes the most powerful. If you choose this as your father’s funeral song, there won’t be a dry eye in the place.
13. The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want (Psalm 23, Traditional) by New Scottish Hymns (1650, 2012)
New Scottish Hymns does a lovely, contemplative version of this traditional funeral hymn. A metrical version of Psalm 23, The Lord’s My Shepherd rehearses some of the most famous lines in Scripture as the shepherd-king David expresses his confidence in the Lord.
The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want;
he makes me down to lie
in pastures green; he leadeth me
the quiet waters by.
Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale,
yet will I fear none ill,
for thou art with me; and thy rod
and staff me comfort still.
This hymn has been sung at thousands of funerals as generations of faithful Christians have been laid to rest. As such, it is ideal for a dad whose heritage is one of faith, hope, love, and trust in Jesus the True Shepherd.
14. We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn (1939)
A mournful jazz standard crooned perfectly by Vera Lynn. When you know in your heart that you’ll meet again – but you don’t know how or when that will happen – this song gives a voice to the longing you feel. Though originally a romantic song, families love the hopeful vibe this song provides at the funeral of a family member.
Related: 21 Best Jazz Funeral Songs
15. What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong (1967)
Louis Armstrong’s deep gravel tones crooning about the joys of flowers and blue skies and growing babies makes this recording of What a Wonderful World one of the most popular funeral songs of all time.
It’s an ideal memorial song for anyone, but especially dads. This is because fathers are often the ones that inspire their children to appreciate the beauty of the world. And further, if you find your life was better for knowing your dad, you can appreciate that this world truly is a wonderful place for having him in it.
16. You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban (2003)
You Raise Me Up was originally a mildly popular song on the UK pop charts by the Irish/Norwegian duo Secret Garden. It was then covered in a more “classical” style by Josh Groban, which sent it to the top of the Adult Contemporary charts and has been a staple of funerals ever since, being covered well over 100 more times by artists like Westlife, Selah, Celtic Woman and many more.
There is good reason for how popular this song is at funerals. Groban’s soaring vocals take you on an emotional journey, married flawlessly with the refrain “you raise me up.”
It’s the perfect song for a dad who was always there for you to share your burdens, the one who loved to encourage, help, teach, guide, and just simply be with you.
17. You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell (2016)
This touching song acknowledges that life is still beautiful, life can still be enjoyed, but it’s simply different when your dad is not there.
With all your heart you feel like there is something wrong with a world in which those you love can die and leave you behind. Yes, you should be here.
Modern Funeral Songs for Dad
Winner of the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Country Song and CMA’s Song of the Year plus a host of other awards, Broken Halos has become a modern standard at funerals. Chris Stapleton himself has said that the song is about people who pass on before their time has come.
When listening to it you get the sense that the person who has died has had such a great impact on those around them, yet now they are gone – why? We may never know the reason they died when they did, we just know that they were like an angel to us while they were here. A powerful and beautiful tribute.
More modern tunes to honor your father:
- Abide With Me by Audrey Assad (2016)
- Daddy Lessons by Beyoncé (2016)
- Dancing in the Sky by Dani & Lizzy (2016)
- Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head) by Powfu featuring Beadadoobee (2020)
- Fade In/Fade Out (Acoustic Version) by Nothing More (2019)
- If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away by Justin Moore (2011)
- Long Ride Home by Patty Griffin (2002)
- My Old Man by Zac Brown Band (2017)
Classic Funeral Songs for Dad
A great 70s song to raise a candle to your dad’s memory and commemorate his journey homeward. When played at a funeral, this classic song conveys an everlasting connection to your father even as he “drifts a while.”
More old-school tracks:
- Daddy’s Hands by Holly Dunn (1986)
- Father and Son by Cat Stevens (1970)
- Forever Young by Bob Dylan (1974)
- The Dance With by Garth Brooks (1989)
- Unforgettable by Nat King Cole (1951)
- Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler (1988)
- You’ve Got a Friend by James Taylor (1971)
Celebration of Life Songs for Dads
The title track from Luther Vandross’ final studio album, Dance With My Father is a tender ode to the wonderful memories he had of his dad. This song is a beautiful way to honor a father at his funeral, and will ensure that there is not a dry eye in the place.
More emotional and meaningful songs:
- Dancing with the Angels by Monk & Neagle (2005)
- Go Rest High on That Mountain by Vince Gill (1995)
- I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans (1997)
- It’s Not Death to Die by Sovereign Grace (2010)
- Love Without End, Amen by George Strait (1990)
- There You’ll Be by Faith Hill (2001)
- Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (1975)
Best Songs for Dad’s Memorial Service
Keith Urban’s wistful remembrance of his father is a popular funeral song for dads that honors all a man does for his family.
More like this:
- Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion (1993)
- He Didn’t Have to Be by Brad Paisley (1999)
- Love Without End, Amen by George Strait (1990)
- Swing Low, Sweet Chariot by Eric Clapton (1975)
- Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton (1992)
- The Old Rugged Cross by Alan Jackson (2006)
- Winter by Tori Amos (1992)
And that’s the reality – this life is not all that it was meant to be, but looks forward to something greater and better.
Music conveys something beyond what mere words can say. With music we tune our hearts to things beyond what we can see and touch. As such, music is a powerful medium that resonates in our minds and souls.
I hope you’ve found some great songs for your dad’s funeral on this list, or at the very least have discovered some music that speaks to you and the relationship you shared with your father. And I hope you find the One about whom it is said,
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.1 John 3:1
If you’re looking for more funeral songs for your dad, check out our comprehensive list of the most popular funeral songs, which has the all-time top 10 and 100 more popular funeral songs plus selections by genre, style, mood, and more.