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Great funeral music (popular songs)

By popular request, I have linked to samples of popular secular music I've recommended for funerals and memorial services. These often nostalgic songs thypically work because they evoke the life and times of the person being celebrated. They're good for a stroll down memory lane when you're alive, too. . You can find suggestions for religious, classical, patriotic, and military music here. Let me know if I've missed any great numbers.
Aquarius: Let the Sun Shine In (Fifth Dimensions, from Hair—nostalgic)
Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Diana Ross). But listen also to Marvin Gaye’s version
All You Need Is Love (The Beatles)
Aloha 'Oe (The Brothers Cazimero, Hawaiian)
Amazing Grace (Judy Collins, one of many versions available)
American Pie (Don McLean)
And When I Die (Blood Sweat & Tears)
Angel (Sarah McLachlan)
Annie (John Denver)
Ashokan Farewell (Jay Ungar And Molly Mason –this is the beautiful song played on the PBS Civil War series)
Autumn Leaves (Roger Williams Version). See also the versions by Eva Cassidy (from the beautiful album Songbird) and Eric Clapton
Bang the Drum Slowly (Emmylou Harris)
Big Rock Candy Mountain (Harry McClintock)
Blackbird as performed by Sarah McLachlan. Listen also to renditions by Sarah Darling and Paul McCartney
Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel)
Bright Sunshiny Day (I Can See Clearly Now) (Jimmy Cliff). I like this version from the film “Cool Runnings”
California Dreamin' (The Mamas and the Papas)
Candle in the Wind (Elton John, written and performed for Princess Di)
Come on Up to the House (Tom Waits)
A Day Without Rain (Enya)
Death Is Not The End (Bob Dylan)
Death Letter Blues (Son House, blues)
Deliver Me (Sarah Brightman)
Do You Hear What I Hear? (Andy Williams). Listen also to versions by The Harry Simeone Choir |
An Ending (Brian Eno, ethereal instrumental)
Falling in Love Again • (Marlene Dietrich, nostalgic)
Fields of Gold (Eva Cassidy)
500 Miles (Roseanne Cash)
Fly (Celine Dion)
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (Elton John)
The Gift You Are (John Denver)
Good Day Sunshine (The Beatles)
Good Riddance (Time of your Life) (Green Day)
Go Rest High on That Mountain (Vince Gill)
Greensleeves (The King’s Singers) and another classic version, Julianne Baird & Ronn McFarlane singing to a lute song
Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles, from Abbey Road)
Hey Jude (Paul McCartney). See other versions, including Best of the Beatles
I Can See Clearly Now (Bright Sunshiny Day) (Jimmy Cliff). I like this version from the film “Cool Runnings”
I Feel Like Going Home (Muddy Waters)
I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye, nostalgic)
I’ll Be Missing You (Puff Daddy & Faith Evans)
I’ll be seeing you (Frank Sinatra). Listen also to versions by Jo Stafford and Billie Holliday
I’ll Fly Away (Etta James). Listen to quite different versions by Gillian Welch
Imagine (John Lennon)
In Dead Earnest (humorous song performed by Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger, to lyrics by Lee Hays)
I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston)
• I Will Remember You (Sarah McLachlan)
Joy To The World (Three Dog Night, upbeat rock, great for recessional)
Just One Of Those Things (Frank Sinatra); listen also to renditions by Ella Fitzgerald and Doris Day
Ka Makani Ka'ili Aloha (Hawaiian, The Brothers Cazimero). See versions by many others.
Keep Me in Your Heart (Warren Zevon)
Leaving On A Jet Plane (John Denver)
Let It Be (Paul McCartney)
The Long and Winding Road (Paul McCartney)
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (The Beatles, nostalgia). Listen also to Elton John
Many Rivers to Cross (Jimmy Cliff)
May It Be (Enya
Memory (Barbra Streisand). Listen also to the version from Cats (with the cast from the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical)
Moon River (Johnny Mercer’s song from Breakfast at Tiffany’s).
Only Time (Enya)
The Porpoise Song (The Monkees)
The Prayer (Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli)
Rocky Mountain High (John Denver)
Scent of a Woman Tango (Por Una Cabeza) (John Williams, Itzhak Perlman)
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean (Blind Lemon Jefferson, blues)
Shebeg & Shemor (Moonrakers, traditional Irish waltz)
She's Gone (Daryl Hall & John Oates )
Slipped Away (Avril Lavigne)
Somewhere (Barbra Streisand)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Judy Garland’s version) is classic, but be sure to listen to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole’s marvelous Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World .
Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year (Ella Fitzgerald, but many others sing this nostalgic song)
Stop All the Clocks (W.H. Auden's poem set to music by Nemo Shaw, downloadable at Songs of Grief and Loss
Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver)
Tears in Heaven (Eric Clapton, after the death of his son, who fell from window)
They Can't Take That Away from Me (Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong), but you may prefer Frank Sinatra’s version
Those Were the Days (Mary Hopkins)
Time to Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro) (Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli)
Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There Is a Season) (The Byrds)
Unchained (Johnny Cash)
Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) (Don McLean, from the album • American Pie
The Way We Were (Barbra Streisand)
We’ll Meet Again (Vera Lynn). That's the original, and Johnny Cash’s versionis good in a different way.
When The Saints Go Marching In (Louis Armstrong)
Where Have All the Flowers Gone (Peter, Paul and Mary, from the album The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary
What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)
The Wings That Fly Us Home (John Denver)
With A Little Help From My Friends
You'll Never Walk Alone (Renée Fleming, from “Carousel”)

GO HERE to find All types of music for funerals on one page

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