Songs that celebrate Life
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Finding songs that fit within a funeral can be daunting, so here is a list to get your started. My suggestion is to firstly think about artists or songs that the person who has passed liked. Secondly, look at songs that the family feel fit the person's outlook on life. Thirdly, look at songs that go someway towards explaining how you feel about the person now they have passed. It's no easy task.
You'll probably need at least four songs for a ceremony.
1. The entrance - to use as the family enters the chapel immediately prior to the service.
2. Tributes - if video or photos are going to be used you will need 1-2 songs to play while they are bring played.
3. Reflection - the moment where people approach the casket to leave rosemary on the casket and say goodbye to their loved one (sometimes 2 songs may be needed)
4. Exit - to end the ceremony and as the family exit a song can be played that sums up the person's life.
So here's a list I've put together of songs that have been used at funerals I have attended.
Time to Say Goodbye – Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry & the Pacemakers Angels – Robbie Williams Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
Angel - Sarah McLachlan We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn Unforgettable – Nat King Cole (or the version with Natalie Cole as a duet), or even listen to Sia's version from "Finding Dory" Imagine – John Lennon Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton My Way – Frank Sinatra Simply The Best – Tina Turner
Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt Candle in the Wind – Elton John The Way We Were – Barbara Streisand Gone to Soon – Michael Jackson
Somewhere Over The Rainbow/Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing – Aerosmith What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
The Prayer - Andrea Bocelli (ft Celine Dion) or the Anthony Callea version You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban Let’s Talk About Love – Celine Dion Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
Bring Him Home – Josh Groban Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds or the shower more haunting Hollywood Mon Amour version Amazing – Alex Lloyd Wish you Where Here – Fleetwood Mac
Days Like This - Van Morrison Danny Boy – Daniel O’Donnell He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – The Hollies Amazing Grace – Leann Rimes Ave Marie – Celine Dion or the versions by Sarah Brightman, or Beyonce
Pie Jesu - Angelis Hallelujah “Vocal” – Mozart Fields of Gold – Sting Goodbye – Lionel Ritchie Morning Has Broken – Cat Stevens Sailing – Rod Stewart The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore – The Walker Brothers I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston/Dolly Parton
You can check out these songs and a few surprises on my Spotify playlist here.
Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth who can officiate the celebration of a loved one's life. Funerals don't need to be a morbid affair - its already sad enough. Steve believes that a ceremony to celebrate the life of a loved one is how most people would prefer their own life be dealt with once they are gone.
Check his website here.