Moving Songs for Funerals

Dec 23, 2009 | 0 comments

How do you choose the right songs to play at a funeral, if you want music played? Consider the many aspects that represent the person — their family history, geographical roots, musical passions, and how old they are when they die.

When I attended a memorial service for a young man who died at age 21 of testicular cancer, the gymnasium of the high school he graduated from was packed with hundreds of people. He had prepared his own memorial service, which the program called his FUNeral. There was a photo montage of the boy growing up, set to “Hey Ya!” by Outkast. A slower, more mellow montage followed, with acoustic guitar music and these words:

“Put the keg on my coffin and think of me ever so often. Have a losers day parade for all my friends. Drink up life like a river ’til the pizza man delivers. And smile and know I loved you ’til the end…”

This song is by a group called The Push Stars, from their album Paint The Town. While not a traditional funeral music selection, it really worked for this young man’s send-off.

Other songs that have moved me to tears at funerals:

Amazing Grace

Danny Boy

My Old Kentucky Home

To Everything There is a Season – Turn, Turn, Turn

I’d love to hear your suggestions for additions to this list!

A Good Goodbye