Since we opened Ruby Funerals in 2009, we have heard so many different songs chosen to be included in each service; some raise a smile, some cause us to shed a tear – each one is perfectly suited to the celebration of life for that person. There is absolutely no right or wrong option, we have heard it all: from naughty lyrics in Irish limericks, to heavy rock metal.

We know how challenging and overwhelming it can be to pick ‘the perfect song’ so have pulled together this list to give you a bit of inspiration and maybe prompt you to think of that perfect choice for the service you are planning.

How many should I choose?

Most people select three pieces of music, although there are no rules on this. They generally choose:

  • a piece to accompany the entrance,
  • a reflection piece which is usually played following the eulogy so people can spend some time just remembering that person and reflecting on their own private memories,
  • and finally the exit music. This is the piece that will be ringing in your ears as you leave the chapel, so if you are trying to aim towards more of a ‘celebration’ of life, it may be useful to go for a more uplifting or upbeat piece of music.

Poignant, moving funeral songs

The songs included here have featured in many services we have overseen in the past ten years. Beautifully summing up endless love, these rousing ballads with emotional, heartrending lyrics remind us that people stay forever in our hearts and the love continues forever.

  • Angels – Robbie Williams
  • Time To Say Goodbye – Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
  • My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
  • Over The Rainbow – Eva Cassidy
  • How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
  • We’ll Meet Again – Dame Vera Lynn
  • Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton

Uplifting funeral songs

As more and more services become celebrations of life, we are seeing a growing number of songs that make the congregation smile as they take a moment to think about the person they are there to honour.

  • Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life – Monty Python
  • What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  • Bring Me Sunshine – Morecambe and Wise
  • Match Of The Day theme tune
  • My Way – Frank Sinatra
  • I’ve Had The Time Of My Life – Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley

Songs particularly for parents

You will know which one of these is right for you because the lyrics will touch you and make you feel as though it is the perfect words to remind you of your mother or father.

  • Mama – Spice Girls
  • You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
  • My Father’s Eyes – Eric Clapton
  • Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross

Including hymns in the service

To some, a funeral just doesn’t feel right without a hymn. If the service you are planning is non or semi religious, but you really would like a certain hymn – perhaps consider having a version on CD to be played, so that people can listen to a classical artist or choir rather than try and sing along. We are experiencing more and more services choosing this option, given that the organist fee can be quite expensive, amongst other reasons.

Things to think about to inspire you

If you are still struggling to choose the right song, have a think about these questions, and see whether a song stands out as being the right one:

  • What was the wedding first dance of the person being celebrated?
  • Did they have a particular artist that they listened to? Do they have any suitable songs?
  • Is there one song that person was always singing or particularly loved the lyrics to?
  • If the person has already lost their partner, what song was played at the partner’s funeral?

We hope this has helped make your decision that little bit easier. As always, please do get in touch if we can answer any questions you may have. We are always here to help.

Kate and Michelle x