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Uplifting Sensitive Funeral Music and Memorial Songs

Updated on February 27, 2018
JJNW profile image

JJ has been writing helpful and fun articles online and in print for over 18 years. She enjoys sharing tips and ideas.


Celebration of Life Musical Selections, Service Song Ideas, and Parting Hymns

Are you looking for memorial song ideas? For many people, music is one of the most important parts of a service. The songs chosen to play at a funeral set a certain tone, touch mourners on an emotional level, and give many a sense of peace and hope. Music can be uplifting, solemn, or comforting and can have deep personal meaning for family and friends.

This page includes:

  • Country Western music for funerals
  • Beautiful Christian services memorial songs
  • Loving and sweet music for a child or baby's funeral
  • Classical choices
  • Joyful celebration tunes for a senior citizen's Celebration of Life
  • Military honors ideas for fallen soldiers
  • Ideas for the loss of a teen or young person

or for any loved one important in your life.

I hope this page this will lighten the load for those looking for help and inspiration while planning a memorial service. My very warmest thoughts go out to you and yours.

Country Music Choices with Sample Lyrics

For a Child

You Raise Me Up (by Josh Groban)

"When I am down, and, oh, my soul, so weary. When troubles come, and my heart burdened be. Then, I am still and wait here in the silence. Until you come and sit awhile with me."

I Will Take You Home (Grateful Dead)

"Your daddy's here and never will forget you, I will take you home. I will take you home. Gonna carry you back home... In my arms. I will take you home."

Angels Among Us (Vocal remix by Alabama)

"Oh, I believe there are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above. They come to you and me in our darkest hours, to show us how to live, to teach us how to give, to guide us with a light of love."

For a Father, Husband, Son or Grandfather

Ships of Heaven (BlackHawk)

"Don't cry for me when I'm gone. Keep the faith and be strong. Cause through it all I've been blessed. I've faced my fears and passed the test. When you look up in the sky on a sunny day, imagine me driftin' away"

I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing (Mark Chestnutt)

"I could stay awake just to hear you breathing; Watch you smile while you are sleeping, while you're far away and dreaming. I could spend my life in this sweet surrender. I could stay lost in this moment forever. Where every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure."

For a Mother, Wife, Daughter or Grandmother

I Am Weary (The Cox Family)

"Lay my head upon your breast. Throw your loving arms around me. I am weary let me rest. Seems the light is swiftly fading. Brighter scenes they do now show. I am standing by the river. Angels wait to take me home

Holes in the Floor of Heaven (Steve Wariner)

"My mom smiled, said: 'Don't be sad child. Grandma's watching you today, 'cause there's holes in the floor of Heaven, and her tears are pouring down. That's how you know she's watching, wishing she could be here now.'"

Ships of Heaven by BlackHawk

Choices For a Beloved Baby, Child or Toddler

In Dreams (performed by Roy Orbison)
Sample lyrics: "In dreams I walk with you. In dreams I talk to you."

My Heart Will Go On (performed by Celine Dion)
Sample lyrics: "Every night in my dreams I see you, I feel you, that is how I know you go on."

Tears In Heaven (by Eric Clapton)
Sample lyrics: "Beyond the door there's peace I'm sure. And I know there'll be no more tears in heaven."

One Sweet Day (by Mariah Carey, with Boys II Men)
Sample lyrics: "And I know you're shining down on me from heaven. Like so many friends we've lost along the way. And I know eventually we'll be together, One sweet day.

"Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton wrote this incredibly touching song after the death of his young son. It never fails to touch my heart.

Classical Music Funeral Selections

Popular Classical Songs for Memorials

Adagio For Strings - Albinoni

Agnus Dei - Samuel Barber

Ave Maria - Andrea Bocelli

Canon in D major - Pachelbel

Lacrimosa, from Requiem in D minor - Mozart

The Lark Ascending - Vaughan Williams

Pavane - Faure

Pie Jesu - Faure

Listen to Pachelbel's Canon in D with Original Instruments

A Green Day for Teens or Fans of Rock Music

The rock band Green Day has a beautiful song called Good Riddance.

Lyrics include:

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road.
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go.
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why.
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time.
It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life"

See the video below.

Good Riddance

For Good

This song may be a good song choice for the memorial of someone who used to be close. This is a special and sweet song called For Good from the musical Wicked. It is about friendship, forgiveness, and how one person can make a difference in the life of another.

Sample of Susan Boyle Singing Amazing Grace

So many people have recorded this special song and it is appropriate for any Christian-based service. This 30 second video gives a sample of Susan Boyle's version.


Share, If You Like

Do you have helpful advice for others who have lost a loved one? Or maybe you have some songs you would like to add to this page. Feel free to share your insights, wisdom and experiences here.

If this site has been helpful to you, please let us know how.

Please note: Comments are monitored and will show up later.

May your heart heal soon if you are in pain.

© 2008 JJNW

Guestbook and Kind Words

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    • Cronicbeats profile image


      6 years ago

      "Tears in heaven" by Eric Clapton always brings me to my knees. I always find myself crying when I hear it. Not only that its sad but its very touching how much he loved his son and made a song about it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @TanoCalvenoa: I'm glad you included the Green Day song. They thought it was a dumb song that they threw onto their album for the heck of it, and it turned out to be a huge hit.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      This is a highly unusual and very meaningful lens. I love your selection of music. At my own funeral, I hope that Bette Midler's song The Rose will be played, along with Josh Grobin singing You Lift Me Up.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Adagio for Strings is actually written by Samual Barber as well. Otherwise amazing list. thanks for sharing it!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Bind us together in love is a hymn my mother wanted at her funeral. It seemed to be the perfect finish for her funeral. The family did bind together, despite the grief.

    • Ezmerelda LM profile image

      Ezmerelda LM 

      8 years ago

      As morbid as it sounds, I want my family to play 'Stayin' Alive' at my funeral. I just think it would give everyone a laugh on a day they need it most.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you SOOO much for this article....

    • serendipity831 profile image

      Drake McSherry 

      8 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      I agree, music helps even when grieving. My motto is "Without Music, life would be a mistake", music is universal and will always speak when words fail to do so. You have showcased some wonderful songs here-love this lens! "For good" is a brilliant song with such heartfelt lyrics, so glad you included this song. I was actually at a funeral where this song was sang, it was absolutely beautiful and truly honored the deceased.

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 

      8 years ago

      My daughter has already picked out my funeral songs LOL As believers in the salvation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we look forward to what comes next. Wonderful lens totally blessed!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a wonderful gift you have prepared for others in their time of loss here, bless your heart!

      Back when my Dad moved on to heaven many years ago, someone said not to have his favorite song for the service but to have the soloist do something else because the song would hold toll many memories. Dad loved, "His Eye is on the Sparrow" and we have wished many times that we had it rather than the substitute song that none of us would have been perfect as we had Psalm 84 as a scripture reading. The other thing we wished we had done differently is to not have "Joy to the World" as a congregational just hurt to hear it that Christmas and for several to come though we thought it was a good idea at the time. Funny, I don't remember any other of the music other that the one we wished we had and the one we wished we hadn't had.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I think the best tip is to compile music that is meaningful to you and the one you lost. When my niece died, Sarah McLachlan's Angel held the most meaning, as did Garth Brooks' The Dance.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      8 years ago

      Lovely uplifting and sensitive songs for funerals, many thanks and all the best :)

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      As a professional musician, I have had the sad job of playing at funerals. Sometimes the families give me song selections that are meaningful to them, but usually they just ask me to pick something "appropriate". Very hard to do, but you have lovely suggestions that I will consider for the future. Thank you.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      When I die, play me Albinoni, Dear Lord and Father of mankind - then let's have a happy party...

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi thanks for the info. I think that I am the one person on the planet that doesn't like amazing grace so thanks you for some other choices. It is a delicate subject funerals but you have handled it beautifully

    • AConger profile image

      Ann Conger 

      8 years ago from Alabama

      It's really great to find all this information in one place.It will makes a grieving persons life a little easier, when trying to make some very hard decisions. Thanks for making this amazing page.

    • turtleface profile image


      8 years ago

      You've hit on a niche that is quite interesting. This provides a full plethora of information for those that are grieving. It does a lot of the thinking for them... dealing with funeral music to planning. Very in depth

    • jc91583 profile image


      8 years ago

      Great music. It is a sad time when someone that dies. It is nice to see you helping them in the process in your own way. Thank you.

    • Mishael A Witty profile image

      Mishael A Witty 

      9 years ago

      Beautiful lens. I love how you played Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson at your dad's funeral. And I agree about the bagpipes playing "Amazing Grace." Gorgeous! This is so appropriate given that my husband and I have been to two funerals in as many weeks (but we didn't have to pick out the music). Thank you for sharing these ideas!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very nice lens. I'm suggesting to play his/her favorite song. That's a good tribute to your loved one.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Tasteful and helpful lens for the most heart-wrenching time in a person's life. My advice for losing a loved one is to keep their memory alive by talking about the good and funny things they contributed to life. Don't forget the funny things - it's ok to laugh.

      Time has a way of fading memories. When a loved one passes, our minds flood with memories - take advantage of your memories and write them all down when a love one passes. I wrote for 3 months when my mother passed away. Now, I am so grateful I did.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      9 years ago from Canada

      My father played the guitar and at his funeral a tape was played of him strumming and singing by the campfire. Music is a wonderful way of paying tribute.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Some nice tunes here on some sad occasions.

    • pyngthyngs profile image


      9 years ago

      Really interesting lens. It's these moments in life that music can really help people connect and move on.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very nice lens for a sensitive topic. "On Eagle's Wings" has long been my favorite song for funerals (can't hear it without crying)!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I had never written an obit nor eulogy before my father passed away in August; this thoughtful Lens would have been most helpful. Thanks for all your research and hard work!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      love your songs, it's hard to deal with those details at that time, but the music played in the background is very important.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice helpful site and glad to see part of earnings from the website goes to March of Dimes.

    • ICanCook profile image


      9 years ago

      Nicely done site. Its such a confusing time when you're suffered the loss of a loved one and this lens will definitely help people with their funeral plans. Awesome job!

    • Nightowl John profile image

      Nightowl John 

      9 years ago

      Nicely done. One of my favorite songs - sung at both grandparents funerals - is "On Eagles Wings."

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for the resource. I needed a few funeral messages and music for a cousin's memorial, and this has really helped.

    • glenbrook profile image


      9 years ago

      I know it's not usually considered a funeral song, but when I die I want "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" to be one of the hymns.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      For sensitive occasions and funeral event, an appropriate soothing music has to be played that should heal and sympthasize the affected people who have lost their loved ones. Great lens on funeral music.

    • Wooden-Crosses LM profile image

      Wooden-Crosses LM 

      9 years ago

      Oh, this makes the decision much easier. God Bless you!

    • Kevin Wilson 2 profile image

      Kevin Wilson 2 

      9 years ago

      What an interesting choice of subject. At my Dad's funeral in 2009, Mum chose Louis Armstrong singing "Gone Fishin'" as the main music... maybe not a choice everyone would make, but for us it was very appropriate.

    • ccgala4 profile image


      9 years ago

      It is always encouraging to have uplifting music at memorial services. Songs can certainly strike a cord in our spirit and the wording can also play an integral part in comforting the loss of a loved one.

    • JJNW profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from USA

      On America's Got Talent, a man sang If Tomorrow Never Comes, recorded by Garth Brooks and written by Brooks and Kent Blazy. It is lovely and touching and I think it would be a really wonderful song to play at a memorial.

      Some of the words:

      If my time on earth were through

      And she must face the world without me

      Is the love I gave her in the past

      Gonna be enough to last

      If tomorrow never comes

      Very touching.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thank you for making this hard time easier, it is never easy trying to plan for a newborn service and it was hard enough for me to deal with let alone plan, this site made it easy to find everything I needed. Thanks again for helping those in mourning.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      11 years ago

      I'm so happy to see a lens on this topic. At a service for a friend's husband, the music she choose (his rock favorites) were totally inappropriate. It sounded like a party. I flew into the manager's office and she promptly switched the cd to a soft medley of Beatles music. She had previously tried to talk my friend out of her selections to no avail. Squid Angel Blessings to you.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Your article Childrens' Funeral Services Music was extremely helpful. Thank you ever so much.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Here is a link to a new song released by Amy Helmuth called "Your Near"

      Please listen and tell us what you think.


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