53 Best Funeral Songs Ever

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“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

Song Year: 1967

George David Weiss and Bob Thiele wrote the classic track “What a Wonderful World,” a song that likely needs little introduction. Louis Armstrong released the first recording on the 1967 album of the same name, and the touching lyrics are all about finding hope in life. Armstrong’s subtle expression and rugged tone quality give this track deep meaning.

“I’ll See You Again” by Westlife

Song Year: 2009

Next is the song “I’ll See You Again” by Westlife, from the 2009 album Where We Are. This Christian pop song has lyrics about dealing with loss and finding comfort in the feeling that lost ones remain with us. The lyrics are accompanied by haunting music with mixed emotions, matching perfectly with the complicated feelings that arise during a funeral.

“I’ll Be There For You” by Kenny Rogers

Song Year: 1991

Released on the 1991 album Back Home Again, “I’ll Be There For You” by Kenny Rogers is a country ballad with a gentle sound and touching lyrics. Like many country ballads, the track will leave you with mixed emotions, aided by Rogers’s tone quality. The lyrics will remind you that you can always feel loved ones by your side, even after they pass away.

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

Song Year: 1990

You probably have heard Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s track “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” due to its abundant usage in pop culture. Released on the 1990 album Ka ʻAnoʻi, the music will put you into a dreamlike mood. The beautiful lyrics quote the previous Louis Armstrong track, and the gentle ukulele playing creates a peaceful and accepting mood.

“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton

Song Year: 1992

Appearing on the 1992 live album Unplugged, Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” is a painfully sad song about the death of his four-year-old son one year prior. Considering Clapton wrote this track to process one of the most difficult moments of grief, the music is fitting for any funeral setting. The song hit number two on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

“I’ll Leave This World Loving You” by Ricky Van Shelton

Song Year: 1988

Next is another country track, a genre that expresses pain and grief particularly well. Rick Van Shelton released the song “I’ll Leave This World Loving You” on the 1988 album Loving Proof, and the track found the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. The lyrics center around the deep love that sustains even after someone passes.

“Pie Jesu” by Celtic Woman

Song Year: 2008

“Pie Jesu” by Celtic Woman is a new-age take on classic Latin lyrics about letting go of loved ones who passed and wishing them eternal peace. The music is slow and has beautiful textures with strings and other gentle accompaniments. The delicate singing and harmony will likely bring tears to your eyes but in a healthy and accepting fashion.

“How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes

Song Year: 1997

Written by Diane Warren, LeAnn Rimes recorded the track “How Do I Live” for her 1997 album You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs. While the lyrics express how challenging it is to process grief and continue living after you lose someone, the powerful music, and singing give a sense of hope. The song hit the number two spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

“We'll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn

Song Year: 1939

If older music fits your taste, consider the 1939 track “We'll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn. Hughie Charles and Ross Parker wrote the music and lyrics, which are about saying goodbye to loved ones and believing you will see them again. The success of the track during the World War 2 era led to a 1943 musical film by the same name.

“Angels Among Us” by Alabama

Song Year: 1993

Alabama released the track “Angels Among Us” on the 1993 album Cheap Seats. The song begins in the country recitation style, later leading to expressive singing, including the eventful addition of a children’s choir. The lyrics center around loved ones staying with us in spirit even after they pass.

“Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston

Song Year: 1992

While Dolly Parton wrote and recorded the track “Will Always Love You” in 1973, this Whitney Houston recording from 1992 was a huge hit. Houston’s singing is powerful and expressive, matching the deep content of the lyrics in a soulful manner. The song stayed at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for 14 weeks.

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