Funeral Songs, Music & Poems

For most of us, music plays such an important part of our lives.  The changing trend in funeral music from funeral hymns to more contemporary songs is a good example of this.  Whether it’s a tear-jerker, rock anthem, upbeat or quirky song, demand for this type of funeral music is increasing.

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In this section you will find the results of a recent survey conducted by The Co-operative Funeralcare showing some of the most popular pieces of funeral songs and funeral music. This includes:

  • Top 10 Funeral Hymns
  • Top 10 Funeral Songs
  • Top 10 Classical Funeral Music

We have also listed some more unusual funeral songs for those who prefer something a little different and if you are looking for Funeral Poems or need help on writing a Eulogy, you've come to the right place.

Our funeral poems section below will give you some beautiful and very touching ideas if you are looking for that perfect funeral poem and we have some helpful advice for those planning on writing a eulogy.

Top 10 Funeral Hymns

  1. Abide With Me
  2. The Lord is My Shepherd
  3. All Things Bright and Beautiful
  4. Old Rugged Cross
  5. How Great Thou Art
  6. Amazing Grace
  7. Jerusalem
  8. Morning has Broken
  9. The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended
  10. Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace

Top 10 Funeral Songs

  1. My Way - Frank Sinatra / Shirley Bassey
  2. Time to Say Goodbye - Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli
  3. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
  4. Over the Rainbow - Eva Cassidy
  5. Angels - Robbie Williams
  6. You Raise Me Up - Westlife / Boyzone / Josh Grobin
  7. You’ll Never Walk Alone - Gerry and the Pacemakers
  8. We’ll Meet Again - Vera Lynn
  9. My Heart Will Go - On Celine Dion
  10. Unforgettable  - Nat King Cole

Top 10 Classical Funeral Songs

  1. Nimrod from Enigma Variations - Elgar
  2. Canon in D - Pachelbel
  3. Ave Maria - Schubert
  4. Nessun Dorma - Puccini
  5. Pie Jesu from Requiem - Faure
  6. The Four Seasons - Vivaldi
  7. Adagio - Albinoni / Bizet
  8. Air on a G String - Bach
  9. Largo from Xerxes - Handel
  10. Clare de Lune - Debussy

Top Unusual Funeral Songs

  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life Eric Idle
  • Ying Tong Song Spike Milligan
  • Bat Out of Hell Meatloaf
  • Spirit in the Sky Doctor and the Medics
  • Match of the Day TV Theme
  • One Foot in the Grave TV Theme
  • TV Countdown music
  • Last of the Summer Wine TV Theme
  • Dr Who TV Theme
  • Top Gear TV Theme
  • The X Files TV Theme
  • Red Dwarf TV Theme
  • Six Feet Under TV Theme
  • The Muppets ‘It’s Time to Face the Music’ TV Theme

Rock & Modern Songs

  • Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  • Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve
  • Who wants to live forever - Queen
  • Highway to Hell - AC/DC
  • Lay me down - Sam Smith
  • Another one bites the dust - Queen
  • Knocking on heavens door
  • My Immortal - Evanescence
  • Halo - Beyonce
  • I'll be missing you - P Diddy
  • Wonderwall - Oasis
  • Yellow - Colplay
  • One day like this - Elbow

funeral music

Funeral Poems

If you are looking for poems for a funeral, you don't necessarily have to choose funeral poems as there are many everyday poems and readings that are full of sentiment and purpose that would be suitable. 

For example you could decide on a reading that meant something to the person who has died or perhaps you might want to write a Eulogy.

Here are just a few of our favourite funerals poems:

'Do not stand at my grave and weep' by Mary Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep;~
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.

'Stop all the clocks' - by WH Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. 
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

'Life goes on' by Joyce Grenfell

If I should go before the rest of you 
Break not a flower 
Nor inscribe a stone 
Nor when I am gone 
Speak in a Sunday voice 
But be the usual selves 
That I have known 
Weep if you must 
Parting is hell 
But life goes on 
So.... sing as well 

'Death is nothing at all' by Canon Henry Scott-Holland

Death is nothing at all 
I have only slipped away into the next room 
I am I and you are you 
Whatever we were to each other 
That we are still 
Call me by my old familiar name 
Speak to me in the easy way you always used 
Put no difference into your tone 
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow 
Laugh as we always laughed 
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together 
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me 
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was 
Let it be spoken without effort 
Without the ghost of a shadow in it 
Life means all that it ever meant 
It is the same as it ever was 
There is absolute unbroken continuity 
What is death but a negligible accident? 
Why should I be out of mind 
Because I am out of sight? 
I am waiting for you for an interval 
Somewhere very near  Just around the corner 
All is well. 
Nothing is past; nothing is lost 
One brief moment and all will be as it was before 
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again! 

'She is Gone(He is gone)' by David Harkins

You can shed tears that she is gone 
Or you can smile because she has lived 
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back 
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left 
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her 
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday 
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday 
You can remember her and only that she is gone 
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on 
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back 
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on

'Remember me' by David Harkins

Do not shed tears when I have gone but smile instead because I have lived. 
Do not shut your eyes and pray to God that I'll come back but open your eyes and see all that I have left behind. 
I know your heart will be empty because you cannot see me but still I want you to be full of the love we shared. 
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live only for yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow because of what happened between us yesterday. 
You can remember me and grieve that I have gone or you can cherish my memory and let it live on. 
You can cry and lose yourself, become distraught and turn your back on the world or you can do what I want - smile, wipe away the tears, learn to love 

'Today is a Gift' by Laszio-Kosztandi

Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart
To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.
Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you twice, it is your fault
Great minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses much more;
He who loses faith, loses all.
Beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.
Friends, you and me ... You brought another friend ... and we started our group ... our circle of friends ... and like a circle ... there is no beginning or end ... 
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery. 
Today is a gift.

'Let us be contented' by Winston Churchill

Let us be contented with what has happened and be thankful for all that we have been spared. 
Let us accept the natural order of things in which we move. 
Let us reconcile ourselves to the mysterious rhythm of our destinies, such as they must be in this world of space and time. 
Let us treasure our joys but not bewail our sorrows. 
The glory of light cannot exist without its shadows. 
Life is a whole, and good and ill must be accepted together. 
The journey has been enjoyable and well worth making-----once

Of course if you are looking for inspiration, many other examples of funeral poems can be found on the internet.

Writing a Eulogy

A Eulogy is a funeral speech written in honour of a person who has died to help celebrate their life with others and say goodbye.

It may contain a condensed life history about the person, favourite memories, funny anecdotes that friends and family can identify with, interesting facts about their life that people may not know; their hobbies, family, career, and achievements.  You may also want to include a poem or reading. (take a look at Funeral Poems if you are looking for ideas on poetry for a funeral.)

If you are pondering over how to write a eulogy, a good starting point is to get suggestions from other people; how will they remember the person who has died; do they have any stories that really paint a picture of the person and why they will be missed.

Also think about who will read the eulogy. Being such an emotional time, reading a eulogy could prove quite difficult so it may be worth having someone there that can take over, just in case.

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