10 Popular Funeral Songs To Include In A Service

Posted by: Erin Ward in Funeral Advice | July 12, 2021

Originally published by Thibadeau Mortuary Service blog.

In this post, we have compiled our own ranking of the best songs for a traditional funeral. If you don’t choose one of these songs for your loved one’s funeral, we hope it at least helps generate ideas for the type of music you do choose. Traditional funeral songs can be found throughout many different genres of music. From country to R &B, there are many popular songs that families choose to have played during their loved one’s funeral service. Traditional funeral songs often tend to be somber because the mood has to reflect a mournful state. Celebrations of life and memorial services tend to be more uplifting and therefore you have a wider selection of songs to choose from. For this post, we are strictly going to focus on music and songs that work for traditional funerals. 

Music is a powerful tool. It can help express our emotions, it can set a mood or atmosphere, and it can help us reflect on old memories. Music is a nice addition to any funeral service. A great funeral song tells a story, evokes emotion and provides the listener with hope for life after their loved one’s death.

When you select songs for a funeral, first you need to do some brainstorming and planning. Think about songs and artists your loved one enjoyed. Think about songs that reflect on your loved one’s personality, life, and values. The following questions should help:  

Do you want songs that speak about death and spending eternity in heaven?

Do you want songs that remind you of certain qualities and characteristics your loved one had?

Do you want songs that will allow you to reflect over fond memories with the deceased?

Do you want songs that your loved one enjoyed listening to?

The important thing to remember when selecting funeral songs is that they help pay tribute to the life of the deceased. As friends and family members gather to say goodbye, you want to select music that will help you honor and pay tribute to your loved one’s life.

Top 10 Songs For A Traditional Funeral


You Should Be Here – Cole Swindell

This popular song was co-written and performed by Cole Swindell. It was written as a tribute to Swindell’s father who unexpectedly passed away weeks after Cole had signed a new record deal. The song is a ballad about experiencing great moments without loved ones that have passed away.


One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men.

“One Sweet Day” is a popular R&B song co-written and performed by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. The song is a popular choice for funerals as the narrator in the song speaks about a loved one passing away and how he took for granted their time together. The narrator speaks about missing his loved one and finally seeing the person in heaven.


Who You’d Be Today – Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney’s hit song “Who You’d Be Today” is about a person passing away too soon. In the song, the narrator questions what life would be like if his loved one was still alive. It concludes with the thought that although they’re gone, eventually they’ll see each other again someday.


Amazing Grace – Various Artists

“Amazing Grace” is a popular Christian hymn that has been recorded by hundreds of artists around the world. The song’s message discusses how forgiveness and redemption are possible for everyone through the mercy of God. It has been dubbed one of the most recognizable songs of all time and is performed an estimated 10 million times annually.


My Old Man – Zac Brown Band

“My Old Man” is a country song by the Zac Brown Band that pays tribute to Zac Brown’s father and the examples he set in life. In the first verse the narrator discusses the lessons he learned by growing up under his father. The second verse discusses the narrator trying to raise his own son. The final verse reveals that his father is hearing the song from heaven. The song does a great job of reflecting on lessons learned and the important role of a father.


Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan

Written and performed by Bob Dylan, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” is a popular choice for funeral services because of its beautiful lyrics and melody. The song describes the death of a deputy sheriff as he prepares to enter the afterlife.


Angel – Sarah McLachlan

This 90’s hit song has become one of the most popular choices for funeral songs. The mellow track has been used as accompanying music to many popular films and television shows. The song discusses departed loved ones going on to a happier place. As a result, it has a comforting and healing effect.


Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton

“Tears in Heaven” is one of Eric Clapton’s most successful songs of all time. Inspired by the tragic passing of his young son, Clapton’s song has won numerous awards including three Grammys. The song is a popular choice for funerals because it discusses loss and loved ones moving on to heaven.


Nothing Compares 2 U – Chris Cornell

This hit ‘90s song was originally written and composed by Prince and made popular by Irish singer Sinead O’Connor. This acoustic version performed by Chris Cornell is an excellent song choice for a traditional funeral. It is a heartbreaking song about loss and how things change when we lose someone.


Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley

“Hallelujah” was originally written by Leonard Cohen but later made famous by Jeff Buckley. It is a popular choice for funerals because of the poetic lyrics and soft melody. It fits beautifully with the atmosphere of a traditional funeral.


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