The 5 Most Popular Songs Played at Funerals


Funerals are often difficult, which is why music can help loved ones mourn or celebrate a life lost even when words escape them. The most popular songs range from modern pop music to classic religious hymns and everything in between. Music is touching and may also express the departed's relationship with his or her family or God. These are the five most common songs today.

1. Amazing Grace

To start this list is a song that's quite religious. It reminds listeners of the fleetingness of life and God's power. Many artists have recorded it, which gives loved ones a choice of performers. However, "Amazing Grace" sounds just as beautiful coming from a choir or church harpist's fingertips. This makes the song versatile enough to play inside, outdoors, in big venues or little ones.

2. Wind Beneath My Wings

When Bette Midler performed this song for the movie "Beaches," it rose up the U.S. charts. It remains popular on radio stations, and it's appropriate for playing at a funeral. Although artists such as Gary Morris and Lou Rawls also recorded the song, it was Midler who made it a hit. The lyrics are inspirational as the singer talks to a person, or perhaps God, who has lifted them up over the years without worrying about sacrifice.

3. Unforgettable

Nat King Cole's classic hit is a direct homage to the dearly departed, and that's why many people choose to play it at funerals. It's ideal for personalities that were larger than life as the lyrics details person who is impossible to forget no matter distance or death. The song's message reassures those in mourning that others around them feel the same around their loved one.

4. Over the Rainbow

For many, this short song evokes images from the "Wizard of Oz," the movie that made it song. While Judy Garland originally sang the song, Eva Cassidy's version is quite common for funerals. In the movie, the song refers to Oz as a land up in the sky and over the rainbow where bluebirds fly; however, believers may interpret the lyrics as discussing an afterlife in heaven or nirvana for their departed family member or friend.

5. Knockin' On Heaven's Door

This Guns N Roses ballad is quite contemporary and might not be the right song for every funeral, but that doesn't stop many people from using it. If the loved one was a fan of the group or rock music, it might be the perfect song choice. The song is actually a cover, and the title takes a little approach to death and the afterlife. Although the lyrics are gritty and dark, it may prove to be uplifting during a time of loss.


Stephanie is an funeral director from Melbourne, Australia. She takes great pride in providing families with a tasteful & memorable farewell to their loved ones and often uses the songs on the list above. She recommends that people take out funeral insurance to ease the burden on their loved ones at the time of their passing. 

Algene C.

The author is currently taking up law who blogs on her free time.

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