- Death & Loss of Life
Ideas for Funeral Songs
Consider the choices
There are differing views of what makes suitable funeral music. Many people choose a hymn, even though they, or their loved one, are not religious. This may be for lack of other ideas for funeral songs at a stressful time, or not wanting to step outside more traditional ways.
While these reasons are perfectly sound and understandable, you could make the service more personal by choosing music which meant something to your loved one, or expresses feelings of those attending.
Consider what you want the music to achieve. Should it reflect the sombre mood of the occasion? Maybe help people release emotion, or be a celebration of life? Would it be better to have something easily recognised, or a piece which makes you stop and listen, even come as a surprise?
Of course, you don't want to alienate anyone attending the funeral by choosing something they might deem inappropriate. One would hope that any guest who knew the person who had passed on would understand the choices made.
Ideas to think about
Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton
I believe I can Fly - R Kelly
When September Ends - Greenday
Song for Guy - Elton John
If Tomorrow Never Comes - Garth Brooks/Ronan Keating
Let it Be - The Beatles
Don't fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
Unbreak my Heart - Toni Braxton
I have a Dream (I believe in angels) - Abba
The Long and Winding Road - The Beatles
How do I Live? - LeAnn Rimes
Kiss from a Rose - Seal
Freebird - Lynyrd Syknyrd
The Dance - Garth Brooks
Never Gonna leave your Side - Daniel Bedingfield
Make you feel My Love
When Adele sang this at the Albert Hall, she said it was for her friend, Amy Winehouse. Amy died at the age of 27. Adele gave a beautiful performance. In the full recording, she stepped to the side of the stage, and shed a few tears. It seems a fitting song for a lost loved one. It has to be said, several of Adele's songs could be suitable.
On a personal note
The last funeral I was involved in arranging, the person had made plans in advance, being elderly. She'd chosen every detail, apart from the music. We found that to be a stumbling block. There were no songs we assocciated with her, which came as a surprise.
We eventually picked a well known hymn, which was played so quietly at the end of the service, people could barely notice. Looking back, that seemed a shame, and fairly impersonal.
If you have a favourite song, why not raise the subject with someone close to you? It doesn't mean you're being morbid - you may well be helping them.
Dust in the wind by Kansas
Close your eyes by Michael Buble
Some people express a wish for an upbeat or reassuring song to be played at their service. While it may raise the odd eyebrow, there is nothing wrong with personal expression. Here are some suggestions.
Why Worry - Dire Straights
Always look on the Bright Side of Life - Eric Idle
Wish me Luck as you wave me Goodbye - Gracie Fields
Don't worry, Be happy - Bobby McFerrin
Que Serra, Serra - Doris Day
Spirit in the Sky - various artists
Coldplay - Fix You
What's the theme?
You may want to consider theme tunes from the large or small screen. Many could be suitable. For example..
Unchained Melody - varoius artists, used in the film Ghost
Inspector Morse theme - Barrington Phelung
Walking in the Air - various artists, used in The Snowman ( Aled Jones sang in the film)
Theme from The Godfather - Nino Rota
Bright Eyes - Simon and Garfunkle (Watership Down)
Lullaby - Pan's Labyrinth
Last of the Summer Wine theme tune
Titanic theme tune, My Heart will Go On - Celine Dion
The Way We Were - Barbra Streisand
James Blunt...Carry you home
Ending these ideas for funeral songs with a timeless classic, the beautiful Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues.
Wishing you peace and strength.