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The Most Popular Funeral Songs of All Time

Funeral Songs List

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Music touches us at a very deep, intimate, and basic level. So choosing the funeral songs for a loved one’s service can be a daunting and emotional task. Which song, or songs, to choose? Is a particular song appropriate? What is the best funeral song for dad, or for a country music enthusiast, or for an evangelical Christian?

Since each person is unique, we can’t make those decisions for you. However, we can point out some of the most popular and appropriate songs for funerals in a variety of genres and styles.

Below, you’ll find more than 100 of the most popular funeral songs of all time. We have a “top ten” list, songs listed by genre and person, and helpful guidance in the form of funeral song FAQs.

The Ultimate List of Funeral Songs

These funeral songs cover every person, theme, and genre. We start with your go-to list of the 10 most popular funeral songs of all time, plus a broad list of 100 more songs for you to browse through. Then we list the top 5 or so by person (dad, grandma, spouse, etc), theme (uplifting, sad, funny, etc), and genre (rock, country, traditional, and so on).

Here is the outline of our ultimate list of funeral songs:

  • 10 Most Popular Funeral Songs
  • 100 More Popular Funeral Songs
  • Most Popular Funeral Songs by Person
    • Funeral Songs for Dad
    • Funeral Songs for Mom
    • Funeral Songs for Grandma
    • Funeral Songs for Grandpa
    • Funeral Songs for Spouse
    • Funeral Songs for Child
  • Most Popular Funeral Songs by Theme
    • Uplifting Funeral Songs
    • Happy Funeral Songs
    • Sad Funeral Songs
    • Funny Funeral Songs
  • Most Popular Funeral Songs by Genre
    • Traditional Funeral Songs
    • Christian Funeral Hymns
    • Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs
    • Country Funeral Songs
    • Gospel Funeral Songs
    • Modern Funeral Songs
    • Rock Funeral Songs
    • Jazz Funeral Songs
    • Classic & Instrumental Funeral Songs
  • WORST Funeral Songs
  • FAQs About Funeral Songs

10 Most Popular Funeral Songs

All time most popular funeral songs

These are the most popular song choices for funerals, memorial service, and life celebrations. Pulling works across all genres and styles, these are simply some of the most emotionally resonant songs every written.

  1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  2. Amazing Grace by John Newton
  3. My Way by Frank Sinatra
  4. Time To Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
  5. I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me
  6. Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley
  7. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
  8. In the Arms of an Angel by Sarah McLachlan
  9. Ave Maria by Franz Schubert
  10. You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban

100 More Popular Funeral Songs

Next we have a list of 100 more popular funeral songs, listed alphabetically. These are songs for all types and tastes. Read further for funeral songs sorted by genre, person (dad, mom, spouse, etc), and style.

  1. Afire Love by Ed Sheeran
  2. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye
  3. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Monty Python
  4. Angels by Robbie Williams
  5. Beautiful Day by U2
  6. Believe by Brooks & Dunn
  7. Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin
  8. Beyond the Sunset by Hank Williams
  9. Blackbird by The Beatles
  10. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
  11. Broken Halos by Chris Stapleton
  12. Bye Bye by Mariah Carey
  13. Candle in the Wind by Elton John
  14. The Circle of Life from The Lion King
  15. The Dance by Garth Brooks
  16. Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross
  17. Danny Boy by Celtic Woman
  18. Drink a Beer by Luke Bryan
  19. Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  20. Funeral for a Friend by Elton John
  21. Going Home by Bill Gaither
  22. Going Home by Mary Fahl
  23. Gone Too Soon by Michael Jackson
  24. Goodbye’s the Saddest Word by Celine Dion
  25. Go Rest High on That Mountain by Vince Gill
  26. Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
  27. Hero by Mariah Carey
  28. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith
  29. If Heaven by Andy Griggs
  30. If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away by Justin Moore
  31. If I had Only Known by Reba McEntire
  32. If Tomorrow Never Comes by Garth Brooks
  33. If You’re Reading This by Tim McGraw
  34. I’ll Be Missing You by Sean Combs
  35. I’ll Fly Away (traditional)
  36. I’ll See You Again by Westlife
  37. Imagine by John Lennon
  38. I’m Already There by Lonestar
  39. In Color by Jamey Johnson
  40. In Loving Memory by Alter Bridge
  41. In My Life by The Beatles
  42. It Is Not Death to Die by Sovereign Grace Music
  43. It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday by Boyz II Men
  44. I’ve Had the Time of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
  45. I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan
  46. Keep Me in Your Heart for a While by Warren Zevon
  47. Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan
  48. Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Guns N’ Roses
  49. The Last Waltz by Engelbert Humperdinck
  50. The Last Words You Said by Sarah Brightman
  51. Let Her Go by Passenger
  52. Like You’ll Never See Me Again by Alicia Keys
  53. Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) by Billy Joel
  54. Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens
  55. My Angel by Kellie Pickler
  56. My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion
  57. Oh Very Young by Cat Stevens
  58. Old and Wise by Alan Parsons Project
  59. One More Day by Diamond Rio
  60. One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey
  61. Really Gonna Miss You by Smokey Robinson
  62. Remember When by Alan Jackson
  63. Sad Song by We The Kings
  64. Satisfied Mind by Jeff Buckley (other versions by Porter Wagoner, Johnny Cash, The Byrds)
  65. Save a Place for Me by Matthew West
  66. See You On the Other Side by Ozzy Osbourne
  67. See You Again by Carrie Underwood
  68. See You Again by Wiz Khalifa
  69. Sissy’s Song by Alan Jackson
  70. Smile by Nat King Cole
  71. Song for Mom by Jon Barker
  72. Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum
  73. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin
  74. Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran
  75. Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver
  76. Talking to My Angel by Melissa Etheridge
  77. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
  78. Thank You by Johnny Reid
  79. Thank You For The Music by ABBA
  80. There Will Be A Day by Jeremy Camp
  81. There You’ll Be by Faith Hill
  82. They Can’t Take That Away From Me by Frank Sinatra
  83. This Is Just So Beautiful by Jenny & Tyler
  84. Time After Time by Cindy Lauper
  85. Time of Your Life by Green Day
  86. To Where You Are by Josh Groban
  87. Turn! Turn! Turn! by The Byrds
  88. Unforgettable by Nat King Cole
  89. Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) by Chris Rice
  90. Well Done by Deitrick Haddon
  91. We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn
  92. When I Get Where I’m Going by Brad Paisley
  93. When I’m Gone by Joey + Rory
  94. Who You’d Be Today by Kenny Chesney
  95. Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler
  96. With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman
  97. Yesterday by The Beatles
  98. You’ll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins
  99. You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry & The Pacemakers
  100. You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell

Most Popular Funeral Songs by Person

Below you’ll find funeral songs for dad, mom, grandma, grandpa, spouse, and child. These are songs written with that person in mind, and can be a helpful way to express your love for a special and beloved person in your life.

Funeral Songs for Dad

  1. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin
  2. Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross
  3. Bye Bye by Mariah Carey
  4. You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell
  5. Satisfied Mind by Johnny Cash
  6. Thank You For Being My Dad by Jon Barker

Check out a full list of the 21 Best Funeral Songs for Dad.

Funeral Songs for Mom

  1. You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban
  2. Goodbye’s the Saddest Word by Celine Dion
  3. Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran
  4. One More Day by Diamond Rio
  5. There You’ll Be by Faith Hill
  6. Sissy’s Song by Alan Jackson

See more funeral songs fitting for a mother in our article on the 21 Best Funeral Songs for Mom.

Funeral Songs for Grandma

  1. Smile by Nat King Cole
  2. Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran
  3. How Can I Help You Say Goodbye by Patty Loveless
  4. My Angel by Kellie Pickler
  5. Grandma’s Hands by Bill Withers

You’ll find more funeral music suggestions here: 21 Best Funeral Songs for Grandma.

Funeral Songs for Grandpa

  1. We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn
  2. When I Get Where I’m Going by Brad Paisley
  3. Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum
  4. Grandpa by Justin Moore
  5. Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  6. In Color by Jamey Johnson

Funeral Songs for Spouse

  1. Unforgettable by Nat King Cole
  2. They Can’t Take That Away From Me by Frank Sinatra
  3. Angels by Robbie Williams
  4. We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn
  5. Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin
  6. Remember When by Alan Jackson

Funeral Songs for a Child

  1. Gone Too Soon by Michael Jackson
  2. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
  3. Go Rest High on That Mountain by Vince Gill
  4. Who You’d Be Today by Kenny Chesney
  5. Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle

Most Popular Funeral Songs by Theme

Listing popular funeral songs by theme or mood can be somewhat subjective. Hopefully these uplifting, happy, sad, and funny funeral songs help you choose the perfect music for the service.

Uplifting Funeral Songs

  1. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
  2. Beautiful Day by U2
  3. I’ll Fly Away (traditional)
  4. Well Done by Deitrick Haddon
  5. Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens

Happy Funeral Songs

  1. Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
  2. Thank You For The Music by ABBA
  3. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye
  4. Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum
  5. I’ve Had the Time of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
  6. Bring Me Sunshine by Morecambe and Wise

Sad Funeral Songs

  1. I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan
  2. Time After Time by Cindy Lauper
  3. Let Her Go by Passenger
  4. Yesterday by The Beatles
  5. The Last Waltz by Engelbert Humperdinck

Funny Funeral Songs

  1. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Monty Python
  2. Keg on My Coffin by The Push Stars
  3. Send Me To Glory In A Glad Bag by John Biggs
  4. Happy Days Are Here Again by Annette Hanshaw
  5. Jimmy Collin’s Wake by The Dropkick Murphys

We also list the worst funeral songs you could possibly choose below, towards the end of the article. If you have a quirky or morbid sense of humor you will get a kick out of those “suggestions.”

Most Popular Funeral Songs by Genre

These are just a handful of the top funeral songs from several popular music genres. Whether your loved one was into country, jazz, rock, or classical, you’ll find a meaningful and appropriate song to play at the funeral here.

Traditional Funeral Songs

  1. Amazing Grace by Soweto Gospel Choir
  2. Danny Boy by Celtic Woman
  3. His Eye Is on the Sparrow by Lauryn Hill
  4. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot by Wallace Willis
  5. In the Sweet By and By

Christian Funeral Hymns

  1. Abide with Me
  2. Amazing Grace
  3. I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
  4. It Is Well With My Soul
  5. Rock of Ages

Contemporary Christian Funeral Songs

  1. I Can Only Imagine
  2. Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle
  3. There Will Be A Day by Jeremy Camp
  4. Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) by Chris Rice
  5. With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman
  6. It Is Not Death to Die by Bob Kauflin

Country Funeral Songs

  1. Broken Halos by Chris Stapleton
  2. When I Get Where I’m Going by Brad Paisley
  3. Go Rest High on That Mountain by Vince Gill
  4. One More Day by Diamond Rio
  5. Drink a Beer by Luke Bryan

Gospel Funeral Songs

  1. Amazing Grace by Judy Collins
  2. I’ll Fly Away by Hank Williams
  3. Just a Closer Walk With Thee by Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson
  4. His Eye Is On the Sparrow by Whitney Houston
  5. How Great Thou Art by Carrie Underwood

Modern Funeral Songs

  1. See You Again by Wiz Khalifa
  2. Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran
  3. You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban
  4. Slipped Away by Avril Lavigne
  5. Angels by Robbie Williams

Pop/Rock Funeral Songs

  1. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin
  2. Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Guns N’ Roses
  3. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye
  4. Ocean Breathes Salty by Modest Mouse
  5. Time of Your Life by Green Day
  6. Keep Me in Your Heart for A While by Warren Zevon
  7. Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Jazz Funeral Songs

  1. Heaven by Duke Ellington
  2. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
  3. Slow Blues by Oscar Peterson & Count Basie
  4. Kathy’s Waltz by Dave Brubek
  5. St. James Infirmary by Louis Armstrong
  6. Stardust by Nat King Cole
  7. Oh When the Saints Go Marching In by Louis Armstrong

Classical & Instrumental Funeral Songs

  1. Ave Maria by Franz Schubert; popular versions by Andrea Bocelli, Byoncé, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Frank Sinatra, and many more
  2. Time After Time by Miles Davis
  3. Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber
  4. Pie Jesu by Gabriel Fauré
  5. Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel

WORST Funeral Songs

  1. Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
  2. Highway to Hell by AC/DC
  3. Celebration by Kool & The Gang
  4. Stayin’ Alive by The Bee Gees
  5. Ha Ha You’re Dead by Green Day
  6. Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead from The Wizard of Oz

Funeral Songs FAQ

Do people play music at funerals?

Often, yes, people play music at funerals. This can be religious hymns sung by all, a favorite or meaningful song played over a slideshow, or instrumental music during a time of contemplation.

What are funeral songs called?

Funerals songs have traditionally been called a “dirge,” which is “a funeral song or tune, or one expressing mourning in commemoration of the dead.” (Definition from The Free Dictionary)

Another term for a funeral song is “elegy,” which refers to “a mournful, melancholy, or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead.” (Definition from Dictionary.com)

But nowadays, practically speaking, most people just say “funeral songs.”

When should songs be played at a funeral?

The answer to this question will be determined by the type and tone of the funeral service. Many religious services have music played or sung during incoming and outgoing processions as well as at other points during the liturgy. For non-religious services, you can choose to play instrumental music or favorite songs during the procession times.

Some families choose to play a funeral song during a time of reflection of prayer. You can also select music to be played along with a slideshow. These elements are typically done either just before or just after the eulogy.

How many songs are played at a funeral?

It is typical to have music playing before and after the funeral service, so be sure to have an appropriate and lengthy selection of music to be played in the 15 minutes before and after the service.

For a religious funeral, there will often be 1-3 songs or hymns sung by the congregation during the service.

In addition, most modern funerals feature a slideshow and also often a time of reflection. There will be 1-2 songs played during a typical slideshow, and one song for a time of reflection.

So, in total, most services feature 2-5 funeral songs played during the service itself plus 30 minutes worth of music before and after.

What if their favorite song isn’t appropriate for a funeral?

Funerals are important occasions, and should have a sense of weightiness and significance. So while bits of humor can be appropriate in small doses, an entire song that doesn’t fit the “mood” of a funeral can be a bit awkward.

In that case, we would suggest having their favorite songs play during the reception, which is typically a little more casual. You can pause the reception to announce that the individual’s favorite song is about to be played, perhaps over a slideshow of pictures.

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The 100 Most Popular Funeral Songs

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