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50 Songs to Play at a Funeral

From popular hymns to classical overtures, the sounds of music have played a part in funeral ceremonies for hundreds of years. But as the desire to personalize memorial and funeral services has become popular, the music options have evolved. Today, when it comes to song choice, there is no one-size-fits-all.

 When you select the music for a funeral, think about the person you are memorializing. Did he or she have a favorite song(s) or preferred style of music? Rather than selecting from a list of traditional choices, think about choosing songs that have significance to the person being honored. You can easily create an individualized service that not only personifies the deceased and the music they enjoyed in life but also set the mood for the service itself.

 To help you get started, we have put together a list of songs categorized by genre for you to consider. Whether the person you are memorializing was a lover of rock, country or an oldies fan; we have something for them below:


1.    Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton

2.    Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

3.    Babe I’m Gonna Leave You – Led Zeppelin

4.    Scream – Chris Cornell

5.    My City of Ruins – Bruce Springsteen

6.    November Rain – Guns N’ Roses

7.    Hallelujah – Bon Jovi

8.    Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin

9.    I’ll Back You Up – Dave Matthews Band

10.  Man of the Hour – Pearl Jam


Alternative Rock

1.    Surround You – Echosmith

2.    The Trapeze Swinger – Iron & Wine

3.    Heartbeats – Jose Gonzalez

4.    Blood – The Middle East

5.    The Funeral – Band of Horses

6.    Awake My Soul – Mumford & Sons

7.    While We Were Dreaming – Pink Mountaintops

8.    Higher Love – James Vincent McMorrow

9.    The Night We Met – Lord Huron

10.  Twenty Years – Augustana



1.    Supermarket Flowers – Ed Sheeran

2.    Breathe Me – Sia

3.    Fix You – Coldplay

4.    See You Again –Charlie Puth

5.    Somewhere Over The Rainbow -  Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (and other artists)

6.    I’ll Be Missing You – P. Diddy & Faith Evans

7.    Angel – Sarah McLachlan

8.    Angles – Robbie Williams

9.    Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

10.  Gone, Gone, Gone – Phillip Phillips



1.    Take Me Home – John Denver

2.    Yesterday – The Beatles

3.    My Way – Frank Sinatra

4.    You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry & The Pacemakers

5.    Turn Turn Turn – The Byrds

6.    Always On My Mind – Elvis

7.    Amazing Grace – Celtic Women

8.    In My Life – The Beatles

9.    Imagine – John Lennon

10.  Heaven Can Wait – Meatloaf



1.    If I Die Young – The Band Perry

2.    Go Rest High On That Mountain – Vince Gill

3.    Angels Among Us – Alabama

4.    If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away – Justin Moore

5.    I Drive Your Truck – Lee Brice

6.    Drink a Beer – Luke Bryan

7.    Who You’d Be Today – Kenny Chesney

8.    One Hell of an Amen – Brantley Gilbert

9.    If You’re Reading This – Tim McGraw

10.  See You Again – Carrie Underwood


When Should Music Be Played?

Anything goes when you are considering when to play music. You may decide to play music softly in the background as mourners are arriving and gathering or after the ceremony when they are exiting. Meaningful songs can also be featured as a part of the service itself.

No matter what type you play or when you choose to play it, the presence of music will undoubtedly enhance the experience of the funeral ceremony in a creative and positive way.

Funeral homes are required to carry a music license to allow the use of copyrighted music whether it is performed live, played using a CD, DVD or cassette, or used for music-on-hold.