One of the biggest decisions families have to make when arranging the content of the funeral service is music choice. When we are asked "what music can you have"? the answer is simple, pretty much anything you like.
While funeral hymns and classical music remain hugely popular choices, popular music has risen to the forefront of funeral choices for families. Music sets the tone for the service and can lift you up or evoke a memory. We could do a list of the most popular choices here but there are distinct categories for popular music and we have tried to split into the following categories:
Modern popular music
Patriotic popular music
Humorous popular music
On this blog we have tried to cover some of the more recent tracks and songs that people are choosing. We have also tried to put the less well known and emotive songs. The list is endless but we have tried to give you an idea below.
Disturbed - Sound of Silence
I do not think I am the only funeral director that has been left standing at the back of the chapel, with my chin on the floor, covered in goose bumps and cursing the minister who put this song into the service without warning me to listen to it first!
Disturbed's version of Sound of Silence was released as track 11 on their Immortalized Album in 2015. It was April 2016 when David Draiman sang the cover of the Simon and Garfunkel hit on the American TV Program Conan. At that point it was recognised, even by Paul Simon himself, as one of the greatest covers of all time.
I won't try and give a meaning to this song all I would say is if you never have, listen to it.
Westlife - The Rose
First recorded by Bette Midler for the film The Rose in 1979 this song is a powerful pop song with so much meaning. It speaks of being brave and taking a chance. Westlife and Bette Midler's versions are both equally beautiful.
Elton John - The Measure of a Man
By Elton John and written as the final credits song for the Rocky 5 film, The Measure of a Man speaks of someone losing everything but he still has a good heart and that is what matters. A beautiful song with a beautiful meaning that it does not matter what you own it is who you are that counts.
Ed Sheeran - Supermarket Flowers
A beautiful song written from someone who has cared for their mother. It is a real tear jerker for everyone so we would always recommend this song as a reflection piece played in the middle of the service.
Whiz Khalifa - See You Again
This was a massive song when it was released. It was made even more poignant due to its association with the movie franchise Fast and Furious and was used to immortalise the death of actor Paul Walker. It is now almost played as an anthem from friends in mourning.
Enigma - Return to Innocence
This haunting song was released in the 1990's it has power in it's lyrics. It speaks to people who are struggling with loss and says it is ok to smile again.
Love Devotion Feeling Emotion
Don't be afraid to be weak Don't be too proud to be strong Just look into your heart my friend That will be the return to yourself The return to innocence
The return to innocence
And if you want, then start to laugh If you must, then start to cry Be yourself don't hide Just believe in destiny
Don't care what people say Just follow your own way Don't give up and use the chance To return to innocence
That's not the beginning of the end That's the return to yourself The return to innocence
That's return to innocence
Hans Zimmer - Gladiator Soundtrack
An extraordinary piece of music that is so moving to anyone who hears it. From Honor Him to Elysium to Now We Are Free the whole soundtrack is powerful.
Linkin Park - Shadow of the Day
Chester Bennington was the lead singer of Linkin Park, he sadly passed away at a young age. Linkin Park are known for their beautiful lyrics and Shadow of The Day is one I had to put in here. From a group who wrote:
"When my time comes
Forget all the wrong that I've done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
And don't resent me
And when you're feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest"
One More Light is another Linkin Park song that was played many times as a tribute to Chester.
Queen - Who Wants to Live forever
An iconic song that is about love and acceptance. Needs very little introductions.
Bette Midler - Wind Beneath My Wings
Written for the film Beaches, Wind Beneath My Wings has been one of the most popular songs played at a funeral ever since.
Luther Vandross - Dance With my Father
This song is as hard to listen to as Supermarket Flowers. It is incredibly emotional and beautiful from a son to his father.
Evanescence - My Immortal
First released on Origin, My Immortal is an Evanescence rock ballad describing the loss of a close relative or a significant other. The song is named My Immortal because it is about memories that seem not to be able to fade.
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird
An American rock power ballad from the band who also wrote Sweet Home Alabama. Freebird is iconic in it's own right but it is a very long track at just over 9 minutes long so it is good for an entry piece of music.
Alphaville - Forever Young
Forever Young is a song from German synthpop recording act Alphaville's 1984 debut album of the same name.
Above is a list of the slightly more unusual songs played these days and as you can see the list is pretty much endless. See below for more examples of popular funeral songs in the UK.
You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry & The Pacemakers
Soul Limbo / Cricket Theme – Booker T. & the MG’s
Even Though You’re Gone – Angelis
Memories – Barbra Streisand
Wonderwall – Oasis
My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
Angels – Robbie Williams
My Sweet Lord – George Harrison
Coronation Street – Theme Tune
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace – Susan Boyle
You Raise Me Up – Westlife
Slipped Away – Avril Lavigne
Pictures of You – The Cure
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
Beautiful Day – U2
Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
You’re My Best Friend – Queen
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – Neil Diamond
Hallelujah – Alexandra Burke
Nothing Compares To You – Sinead O’Connor
Let It Be – The Beatles
May It Be – Enya
Who Knew – Pink
Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds
Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
Only Fools and Horses – Theme Tune
You Raise Me Up – Westlife
Show Me Heaven – Maria Mckee
Blowin’ In The Wind – Bob Dylan
Satisfied Mind – Jeff Buckley
Blower’s Daughter – Damien Rice
Even My Dad Does Sometimes – Ed Sheeran
Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton
Asleep – The Smiths
Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
Come Away With Me – Norah Jones
Hold Back The River – James Bay
Everybody Hurts – R.E.M
Clocks – Coldplay
Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
Tears Dry On Their Own – Amy Winehouse
How To Save A Life – The Fray
Don’t Speak – No Doubt
Someone Like You – Adele
Teardrop – Massive Attack
I Miss You – Stevie Nicks
Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
Make Me Smile – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
Stay With Me – Sam Smith
Bring Me Sunshine – Morecambe & Wise
Broken – Lifehouse
There You’ll Be – Faith Hill
Flying Without Wings – Westlife
Simply The Best – Tina Turner
Bring Me Sunshine – Morecambe and Wise
Eastenders – Theme Tune
Emmerdale – Theme Tune
Angel – Sarah McLachlan
Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn
Dancing Queen – Abba
In My Life – The Beatles
Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis
Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson
Make You Feel My Love – Bob Dylan
Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
If Tomorrow Never Comes – Ronan Keating
Imagine – John Lennon
Sailing – Rod Stewart
Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
Heaven – Talking Heads
Every Breath You Take – The Police
The Scientist – Coldplay
Goodbye My Lover – James Blunt
Please Don’t Stop The Rain – James Morrison
Photograph – Ed Sheeran
Heaven – Bryan Adams
Against All Odds – Phil Collins
I’ll Be There For You – Friends Theme Tune
Your Song – Elton John
You’re Still The One – Shania Twain
Out of Reach – Gabrielle