Fenix Funeral shares with you: the top 100 funeral songs
We know that losing a family member, friend, or loved one can be one of the toughest moments of your life, and organising a funeral often adds to the stress and sadness. That’s why Fenix is here: to help make those challenging moments of life and loss simpler, however we can.
With that in mind, we’ve created this list of 100 songs that might be just what you’re looking for. From uplifting funerals that celebrate the life of a fun-loving and much-missed person, to more reflective and peaceful choices, we hope this list proves useful to just about everyone.
We’re proud to act as funeral director or undertakers for people all over England, offering them the most important thing of all: peace of mind. From arranging every aspect of a funeral to just finding the right flower arrangers, we’re here to do whatever it takes to support you – every step of the way.
If you want to take a deeper dive into musical genres, moods, artists, and more, make sure you visit our hub of articles about music – here, you’ll find top-ten lists that cover just about everything you could hope for.
And don’t forget: if you have any questions about planning a funeral – whether it’s for your own future or following the death of a loved one or family member – Fenix is here for you, always. Get in touch today, and one of our personal advisers will be happy to talk you through what we do, and how we work, with absolutely no obligation at all, because we pride ourselves on always being 100% honest, transparent, and fair.
What’s included in this list
1. An all-time top-20 of the most popular funeral songs in the UK
2. Funeral songs listed by relative or loved one (e.g. ‘funeral songs for dad’)
3. Funerals songs by occasion or mood (such as ‘celebration of life funeral songs’)
4. Songs for funerals listed by genre or style (like rock, or ‘songs from the 60s’)
5. Funeral songs listed by artist.
The top 20 funerals songs most popular in the UK
We know that every funeral is as unique as the person that it’s made to remember and honour, but time and again, people in the UK choose certain songs to play before, during, or after a service. Here you can find the top-20 songs that our personal advisers and the people we work with (such as churches, crematoriums, and celebrants) are most often asked to include.
We’ve not ranked these in ascending or descending order, as we understand that every song holds different meanings for different people – we just hope there might be something here that will create a vivid memory of the deceased, evoke an emotion, or otherwise help create the perfect service.
1. “Time to Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
A beautiful and deeply poignant song. It’s about saying goodbye, cherishing the good memories, and honouring the life that’s passed. Originally in Italian, the English translation is very moving: “With you I will go / On ships overseas / That I now know / No, they don’t exist anymore / It’s time to say goodbye…”
This song would fit well for anyone looking for opera funeral songs, or for those looking for Italian funeral songs, or funeral songs from Andrea Bocelli.'
2. “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
A deeply touching song about love and support – and about acknowledging the gifts of a loved one or family member who’s been a constant source of encouragement in your life.
Although recorded by various artists, the version by Better Midler for the film Beaches is perhaps the most famous and most moving. Her vocal range lifts the song to a whole new level, which is why most people choose her version. It’s also a good choice for anyone looking for 80s funeral songs.
3. “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion
One of the most popular songs for funerals all across the UK, this is a powerful, stirring, and very well-known ballad that conjures ideas of timeless love between two people – even after one has passed away. From seeing your loved one in your dreams to believing they’re still there with you, the lyrics touch a chord with a huge number of people.
Millions around the world know it from the film “Titanic” – which is why it’s one of those Celine Dion funeral songs that gets chosen a lot – and rightly so, we at Fenix believe.
4. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel
A comforting song from two artists much-loved across the UK, it’s about providing support and being there for someone in times of need, no matter what. While some choose it because they consider it a sad funeral song, there are strong elements of hope in the track.
There are a number of other Simon & Garfunkel funeral songs that many opt for, but this is the one that most people turn to, hence why it made the top 20 that we’ve pulled together for you.
5. “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston
A timeless classic about the strength and endurance of love – even after a death. Houston’s cover was recorded for the 1992 film The Bodyguard – itself a testament to the power of love that overcomes all obstacles.
The song was originally released in the early 1970s by Dolly Parton – so that version might be worth finding if you’re looking for funeral songs from the 70s. But most agree that it’s this version that really hits home when it comes to remembering a much-missed person in your life.
6. “Angels” by Robbie Williams
A truly popular track for many people all across the UK, we at Fenix are frequently asked to include this in funeral services we help to arrange. A touching tribute to those young and old who have passed, the song imagines them watching down on us from above as angels (so it’s also useful for those looking for angel songs for a funeral).
Released in 1997, it’s one of those songs that’s often found in services that want to include more modern funeral songs (e.g. rather than sombre classical tracks).
7. “Amazing Grace” – Various artists
A traditional hymn that offers comfort and hope in the face of loss. Many take it as a reminder of God’s unwavering love for everyone, and the potential for redemption at the end of a life. So it’s a common choice for those looking for Christian funeral songs.
As a song commonly sung at rugby games, it’s a frequent choice for funeral songs for men or women who enjoy that game. Originally written by John Newton in 1772, there are a number of different versions available to choose from.
8. “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole
A nostalgic, gently sentimental song that celebrates those memories and shared moments that we all have with our loved ones. Originally released in 1952, it’s a popular choice for anyone looking for 1950s funeral songs.
Speaking to the love that endures even after a death, it’s a song that many people choose when they’re looking for goodbye songs for a funeral – that is, songs that admit the sadness involved, but that also take strength in saying a final goodbye.
9. “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy ft. Faith Evans
A moving tribute to the deceased rapper Christopher Wallace (a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G.), this song speaks to the depth of grief and the memories left behind by a trusted friend and true great. Exploring how a loved one is still there with you, every step of the way, even after they’re gone, is a deeply moving message.
One of the things that makes this song so moving, and why so many different people select it for their loved one’s funeral, is that it samples the Police’s 1983 hit “Every Breath You Take”, sung by UK legend Sting.
10. “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke
A stirring ballad about hope, perseverance, and moving on, this song is a powerful expression of resilience in the face of those challenging moments of life & loss. No matter what changes are coming, the song suggests, they can be overcome.
People looking for funeral songs with this kind of emotion and connection often choose to also look for Johnny Cash funeral songs, so make sure you have a look at our useful list if you think that might help you.
11. “Death Shall Have No Dominion” by Dylan Thomas, performed by Bryn Terfel
This powerful poem, set to music and performed by Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel, connects with a lot of people searching for Welsh funeral songs, and those who think of death as only a part of life.
It also speaks strongly to ideas of strength and commitment, urging those left behind by loved ones to find the resolve to keep going. It’s one of the most rousing, determined songs on this list, in fact.
12. “In My Life” by The Beatles
A nostalgic, often sentimental song about the memories and moments that make life worth living, and one of the first picks for people looking for Beatles funeral songs.
It’s about how our loved ones and family members play such an important role in that, and acts as a stirring tribute to a life well-lived. That makes it a common choice for people in the UK (whether fans of the Beatles or not), who want to find celebration of life songs for a funeral.
13. “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton
A well-known and deeply moving song about what it means to lose a child. Many people choose this track when they’re looking for funeral songs for a son, or funeral songs for daughter.
Expressing the depth of grief and struggle to come to terms with such a profound loss, it’s no wonder this is so common at UK funerals.
14. “Losing You” by Solange
A modern, soulful, powerful song about the pain of loss – and also the journey towards healing. This song words as a tribute to that strength and support that are needed following the death of a loved one.
Recorded and released in 2012, it’s a song that speaks to those who are looking for pop funeral songs, or for Humanist funeral songs, given that these kinds of funerals are more common amongst the younger generations.
15. “My Way” by Frank Sinatra
A song about living life to the fullest, and celebrating the legacy of a life lived well and lived with joy. This might be the most commonly requested track in the UK for those looking for more upbeat funeral songs, and rightly so, we believe.
Amongst all the songs from the American legend, this is the most popular choice for funerals, but have a look at this list if your loved one was a huge fan of the “Chairman of the Board”: Frank Sinatra funeral songs.
16. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Shirley Bassey
A hopeful, dreamy song about finding peace and happiness in a better place, this is a common choice for those who want funeral songs about heaven, without necessarily being strongly Christian, with lyrics about finding a place way up high, once heard about in a lullaby.
There are many versions to choose from, including a beautiful Ukulele track by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole from 2011, but the most common choice comes from those who are looking for Shirley Bassey songs for a funeral.
17. “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John
Originally written as a moving tribute to Marilyn Monroe, this song later became globally famous when it was re-written and released as a tribute to Princess Diana, not long after her death in 1997. At the time, it brought together mourners all over the UK, so it’s no wonder it still has the power to connect people in times of grief.
“Candle in the Wind” is commonly chosen by people who are looking for Elton John funeral songs to honour and celebrate their loved ones, and we can fully understand why.
18. “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor
A very powerful song that speaks to the depth of grief and loss felt after the death of a loved one or family member, “Nothing Compares 2 U” is also famous for its music video, in which Sinead O’Connor is seen to be crying – and no wonder, given the power of its lyrics and messages.
While it’s a frequent choice for those looking for Irish funeral songs, this track is much loved all across the UK.
19. “Always on My Mind” by Elvis Presley
While there are a sometimes overwhelming number of options when it comes to selecting Elvis songs for funeral (and maybe this list we made will help you find the right one), “Always on My Mind” is perhaps the most common in the UK
We believe this has to be because of its powerful lyrics and meaning, that speak to that regret that so many feel after a death: about not being there enough; not caring enough; not showing emotion enough – things that are all too commonly felt after a death.
20. “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack
First released in 1969, this classic love song connects with that feeling of love that persists far beyond death, which is what makes it a common choice for those looking for funeral songs for a husband, as well as funeral songs for a wife.
With lyrics that talk about the earth moving at the moment of a first kiss, it’s no surprise that this song is chosen all over the UK for those looking for an emotional farewell to their loved one or partner.
Funerals songs by relative or loved one
When choosing the music for a funeral, you often want to remember what the person loved most. Whether that’s a family member, friend, partner, or other loved one, these short lists might help you find the perfect song to remember them by.
Funeral songs for a dad
1. “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd
Depending on the age of your dad, you might find that Pink Floyd funeral songs are high on the list. If so, this song has a poignant, nostalgic feel, while also not falling too much into the territory of sad or sombre songs.
Expressing feelings of loss and longing, the song states again and again how it wishes a much missed loved one were here. At just over 5 minutes long, it’s also not as lengthy as some Pink Floyd tracks.
2. “Through the Years” by Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers funeral songs are a popular choice all over the UK for funeral songs for dad, especially for those services that are commemorating a dad who was into country music and someone who would want popular music (rather than classical, or opera, for example) to be remembered by.
Released in 1981, this track speaks about how much we come to rely on someone, and how their strength and care is then keenly felt when they’re no longer around.
3. “I’ll Be Seeing You” by Bing Crosby
For those looking for funeral songs for the older generation, many people in the UK tell us that they would like Bing Crosby funeral songs at a service – especially this track from 1944 (which has also been sung by Billie Holiday).
With its lyrics about seeing a much missed person in all the familiar places they used to share together – from the café to the playpark – it’s a song that deeply moves many sons and daughters who have lost their dad, and all those who knew him.
Funeral songs for a mum
1. “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
When it comes to funeral songs for mum, one of the most popular tracks that gets played at a service in the UK is “What a Wonderful World”, because it speaks to the joy and care that many people want to remember and celebrate.
As touching as it is recognisable, and with its lyrics about flowers, rainbows, and finding the light within the darkness, no matter what, we find this is a fitting tribute for many mums.
2. “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King
Released in 1971, and popular ever since, this song is a good alternative to more traditional funeral songs.
It won the Grammy for ‘Song of the Year’, and speaks to the idea that no matter how down or troubled you get, you can always “close your eyes and think of me” – a powerful message that will resonate with all those who will deeply miss the care, love and attention provided by their mum.
3. “A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men
For more modern funerals, and perhaps younger mums, this is a heartfelt tribute to mothers everywhere. A number-one R&B single by the American R&B group Boyz II Men, this song is fondly remembered by people all over the UK.
Expressing deep gratitude and love for the strong, nurturing women in all our lives, this 1997 song speaks about how it’s our mothers who teach us everything, drive us on to succeed, and are always there for us – no matter what.
Funeral songs for a husband
1. “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac
Every funeral is unique, just like all of our loved ones are unique. But perhaps your husband was a fan of this classic band, and therefore you need help choosing a fleetwood mac funeral song.
Our experience tells us that “Dreams”, from 1977, is one of the most commonly picked, due to its uplifting and well-recognised melody, and its messages about overcoming loss, and finding the bright side of life even when things get tough.
2. “Endless Love” by Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
If you’re planning a funeral service for your husband, perhaps a song that celebrates the love you shared is a good choice. This song, released in 1981, is remembered by many as a testament to the deep connection between two people that grows and develops as they spend their time together.
Sung as a duet, it powerfully portrays that every marriage is about teamwork, shared commitments, and powerful support – and that together they were stronger. It’s also a good option for those looking for Lionel Richie funeral songs.
3. He Nath Jodi Hath by Mrityu Mangalya
At Fenix, we also understand that the UK has a wonderfully diverse population, and that some people will want to create a service that features, for example, Gujarati funeral songs or Hindu funeral songs.
This song asks God to give a soul eternal peace, and to carry a soul through all the troubles that might await it, messages that many people find reassuring when it comes to the death of a loved one, especially a husband.
Funeral songs for a wife
1. “Green Green Grass of Home” by Tom Jones
As a favourite performer of women all over the UK for decades, it’s no surprise that Tom Jones funeral songs are popular.
“Green Green Grass of Home”, released in 1967, is rich in nostalgia, with lyrics that show love for the family, and for the places that we remember well from our childhood days. It could be perfect for a more uplifting, celebratory service, in which family and friends gather to remember what was best about someone.
2. “When We Were Young” by Adele
For younger people, or for those who kept up with modern music, Adele funeral songs are becoming increasingly popular.
The talented, award-winning singer has many tracks to choose from, but in our experience, people often select “When We Were Young” from the 2015 album “25”. With its nostalgia about those golden years when a couple were younger, and all the movie-like feelings that are caught up in the memories of those days, this is a powerful choice for remembering a wife.
3. “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” by Ella Fitzgerald
For an older generation, the popularity of Ella Fitzgerald funeral songs has never waned, and we’re often asked for advice on which one to select for a funeral service to remember a wife.
The legendary jazz singer has many to choose from, but we find “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” is a moving tribute. With its positivity, along with its intimacy (with lyrics about going to sleep at night next to the one you love), this is a track that will create a swell of emotion about your departed wife.
Funeral songs for grandma
1. “Can’t Smile Without You” by Barry Manilow
Losing a grandmother is always a deeply sad occasion, but a funeral service for someone who’s lived a long life and also be a time of celebration or appreciation for all that was achieved in their life.
That’s why many people choose this song, released in 1978. With its messages about how one special person can make you smile, brighten your day, it speaks to many people who are looking for a tribute to their favourite grandma with a Barry Manilow funeral song.
2. “Memory” by Barbara Streisand
From a similar era, people in the UK are also often looking to find the Barbra Streisand funeral song.
With a voice as powerful as the emotions in her songs, “Memory” (from 1981) is a classic example of her work and a song that many people find a fitting tribute to a lost grandmother. With its lyrics about remembering the old days, when life was beautiful, it could be the perfect choice for your grandma.
3. “The Special Years” by Val Doonican
Irish singer Val Doonican, known for his smooth voice and laid-back style, has long been a beloved favourite of the older generation. Which is why so many people in the UK and Ireland want to find the right Val Doonican funeral song to remember their grandma.
“The Special Years”, from 1965, remembers everything that makes a life worth celebrating – from marriages to family – which is why many people choose this truly heart-warming track to honour a grandmother’s long life.
Funeral songs for granddad
1. “Everyday” by Buddy Holly
Depending on the age of your grandad, you might be searching for Buddy Holly funeral songs, to ensure that his funeral services honours the American singer he loved so much. In our experience, the most common song chosen by people is “Everyday”, from 1957.
It’s a more upbeat, lively song, with lyrics about the power of love to make things seem better, as well as the speed with which a life passes (like a rollercoaster). So it’s more suited to a celebratory funeral, rather than a sad or sombre one.
2. “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens
For younger grandads, many people in the UK want to find the best Cat Stevens song for a funeral. With his insightful lyrics and powerful voice, there’s a number to choose from, but our recommendation is “Morning Has Broken”.
With its messages about praising things in nature, from blackbirds to springtime, dew fall to sunlight, it’s an inspiring song that is as moving now as it was when it was released in 1971. It’s also great for a funeral that wants to mention things like “praise” and “heaven” without relying on traditional hymns
3. “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” by Rod Stewart
British singer-songwriter Rod Stewart is played at funerals the length and breadth of the country. While there are a huge number of options from across the decades, when it comes to choosing the best of Rod Stewart funeral songs, this is probably the most common for a grandfather’s funeral.
With its lyrics about filling hearts with gladness and filling life with laughter, along with giving praise and thanks for the good things, this is most often our pick for a service celebrating a long life.
Funeral songs for the older generation
1. “Here You Come Again” by Dolly Parton
When it comes to older people who have passed away, it might be best to choose more traditional songs (rather than so-called “popular songs”, for example). One option that has been used again and again in the UK is “Here You Come Again”.
When it comes to Dolly Parton funeral songs, this may be the most appropriate given its core message about how one person can bring such joy and lightness to someone else’s life. As a relatively upbeat song, it’s used most often at celebratory funerals.
2. “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
Released in 1965, this all-time classic song is played at funerals frequently, thanks to its deep expressions of love and loss. The plaintive song tells the story of a man who is pleading for God to speed his partner's love to him, and telling them that they’ll meet again some time soon.
It’s one of the most popular choices of funeral songs from the 60s, and we have no doubt it will remain so for many years to come.
3. “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que sera, sera)” by Doris Day
As one of the most uplifting and celebratory songs that can be played at a funeral, this is the top pick of many people looking for Doris Day funeral songs.
Released in 1956 (and made famous in the Alfred Hitchcock film “The Man Who Knew Too Much”), it will touch the heartstrings of everyone of a certain age with its nostalgic messages about remembering childhood, parental love, and looking both towards the past and the future.
Funerals songs by mood or occasion
Every person is unique, which is why every funeral is different. Some are small, quiet, and reflective. Some are large, celebratory events that ask people to only wear bright colours. (You can read more about what to wear to a funeral in this article.) Hopefully, this list of funeral songs arranged by mood and service-style will help.
Funeral love songs
1. “The Power of Love” by Celine Dion
For funerals that are intended to celebrate and remember the strong love between two people – or to recognise the love between family members – this song is a strong choice.
Its power-ballad style, together with a stirring piano accompaniment and Celine Dion’s unique vocal performance, all combine to express the idea that love (“a force from above”) can overcome any obstacle, endure any hardship, and bring comfort and solace through even the most challenging moments of life & loss.
2. “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban
For those looking for Josh Groban funeral songs, or anyone planning a funeral that will celebrate the strength of love between two people, this slow, gentle song with emotional lyrics is a popular choice.
Released in 2003, it’s a song that has it all: lush orchestration of strings, rich piano, and a rousing choir. With lyrics expressing gratitude for that support that is provided by a loved one (“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains”), it’s a choice that many in the UK find is just what they need to remember their loved one.
3. “Til Kingdom Come” by Coldplay
A song that Chris Martin has played live at funerals himself, this is a song that many of those looking for Coldplay funeral songs find is a moving choice.
Released in 2005 (as a bonus track on “X&Y”), the song’s folky tone, acoustic guitar, piano, and heartfelt vocals come together to create a stirring tribute to waiting for the right person to come into your life, even if it takes an entire lifetime to happen.
Uplifting and happy funeral songs
1. “Bring Me Sunshine” by Morecambe & Wise
When it comes to uplifting and happy funeral songs, this classic is a firm favourite. Many people ask us how many songs to play at a funeral (and the article linked to here might help), and that always depends on the kind of service you’re planning. But if you want to include an uplifting song, this is one we highly recommend.
A UK classic from two comedians who will always be remembered fondly, it’ll be hard to find someone who doesn’t smile when this comes on.
2. “The Dance” by Garth Brooks
A song that’s both nostalgic and celebratory – which is exactly what more and more people across the UK want from their own funeral or the funeral they're planning for a loved one (perhaps with the help of Fenix acting as their funeral director).