Funerals are often one of the most difficult life events, and finding the right music to comfort you and your loved ones is critical to promote healing and grief. So if you want some ideas for a fitting funeral songs for a grandma, keep reading to learn the best options.
“Sentimental Journey” by Doris Day
Song year: 1944
With lyrics by Bud Green and music by Les Brown and Ben Homer, the track “Sentimental Journey” came out in 1944 with Doris Day on vocals. You may recognize the music from another famous recording by Frank Sinatra from the 1960s. But this number-one hit from Doris Day is particularly fitting for a grandmother's funeral.
“Nan's Song” by Robbie Williams
Song year: 2002
Released on the 2002 album Escapology, “Nan's Song” by Robbie Williams is a touching track about a grandson reflecting on the passing of his grandmother. With the simplistic accompaniment of acoustic guitar and interluding string lines, Williams's delicate voice expresses lyrics about missing a grandma and feeling her guidance even after death.
“Grandma's Feather Bed” by John Denver
Song year: 1974
The upbeat John Denver track “Grandma's Feather Bed” might not be for every situation, but remember that fast tempos can bring hope to funerals. The banjo player Jim Connor wrote the song, and the lyrics reflect childhood memories of having fun at your grandma's house. So it's a fitting funeral song for your nan.
“Holes in the Floor of Heaven” by Steve Wariner
Song year: 1998
The track “Holes in the Floor of Heaven” by Steve Wariner appeared on the 1998 album Burnin' the Roadhouse Down. The lyrics hint at the idea that loved ones watch us from heaven above, and the music is comforting for those who lost a grandma and those who lost a wife. The track performed well on charts in Canada and America.
“Let It Be” by The Beatles
Song year: 1970
“Let It Be” by The Beatles likely needs little introduction. Released in 1970 on an album by the same name, this track features the comforting voice of Paul McCartney. The lyrics express the deep message of finding peace during difficult times, and the tempo of the music brings in an element of hope.
“Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
Song year: 1988
If you do not recognize the track “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler, you might better recognize the song's alternate name, “Hero.” Written by Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley in 1982, this Bette Midler recording of the tune came out in 1988. The strong vocals and emotional lyrics fit perfectly for a grandmother's funeral.
“I'll Be Seeing You” by Billie Holiday
Song year: 1944
The beautiful female vocals of Billie Holiday's recording of the jazz classic “I'll Be Seeing You” should fit perfectly as a funeral song for grandma. The lyrics are by Irving Kahal, and the music by Sammy Fain, and they express the feeling of seeing your loved one in everything you do. Holiday's delicate voice and the slow music create a sentimental mood.
“Grandma's Song” by Gail Davies
Song year: 1981
Country singer Gail Davies released the track “Grandma's Song” on her 1981 self-titled album. Davies wrote the lyrics as a tribute to her grandmother, and you can even hear a soft recording of her grandma's singing at the beginning. The track found the number nine spot on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart.
“We'll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn
Song year: 1939
With music and lyrics by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles, this recording of “We'll Meet Again” was by Vera Lynn in 1939. The music has that characteristic sound of old big band recordings, and the lyrics capture the pain of saying goodbye to a family member after they pass away. The song found its main success during the second world war, and the tempo provides a sense of hope in the grief.
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland
Song year: 1939
Judy Garland's 1939 recording of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” comes from the film The Wizard Of Oz. The sense of longing and hope in the lyrics are fitting for the mixed emotions one can feel during a funeral. The music uses classical orchestration, including strings and flutes, and this accompaniment helps create a dreamlike state.
“Candle in the Wind” by Elton John
Song year: 1974
Elton John's “Candle in the Wind” was most recently popular in the late 1990s as a tribute to the passing of Princess Diana. But the original release—the 1974 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road—was meant as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe. While the lyrics are not specifically about a grandmother, the sentiment of this music fits perfectly as a way to process the emotions of grief.
“My Angel” by Kellie Pickler
Song year: 2006
“My Angel” by Kellie Pickler came out on the album Small Town Girl. The lyrics of this track express the unique pain of losing your grandmother when she acted as an actual mother. The words express the narrator's pain of missing her grandma, who was a role model in life. Pickler's vocals are particularly strong in the chorus and will likely make you emotional.
“Grandma's Garden” by Zac Brown
Song year: 2016
Zac Brown released the track “Grandma's Garden” on a 2016 album with the same name. Through the metaphor of remembering his grandmother's garden, the lyrics reflect on the impact that she had on everyone's life, helping them to grow up properly. The music is a country ballad with a slow/middle tempo. Overall you will reflect on how deeply grandmas love you.
“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Song year: 1967
You have probably heard many recordings of the classic song “What a Wonderful World,” written by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele. But this Louis Armstrong recording from 1967 captures the emotion of the lyrics perfectly, blending a sense of sadness with an emotion of hope and optimism. The rugged voice and soft music will help you mourn the loss of a grandma well.
“Amazing Grace” by Elvis Presley
Song year: 1974
There are many recordings of the popular gospel song “Amazing Grace,” but this Elvis Presley recording from 1974 brings a touching element of hope and light into the intense lyrics. The recording was not released until a 1994 compilation album. Musically, the background vocals of a choir help to bring the warmth and love that fits so perfectly for a grandma's funeral.
“Smile” by Nat King Cole
Song year: 1954
From the 1954 album Ballads Of The Day, the track “Smile” by Nat King Cole would fit perfectly as a tribute to a grandmother who made people around her smile. The music is originally from the 1936 Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times, and Geoffrey Parsons added lyrics for it in 1954. The gentle music and lyrics are all about being happy and looking on the bright side.
“Time to Say Goodbye” by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli
Song year: 1996
The original music for “Time to Say Goodbye” by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli is an Italian song by Francesco Sartori and Lucio Quarantotto called “Con te partirò.” You will probably recognize the string introduction, and there is no mistaking the powerful voices of Bocelli and Brightman. The lyrics remind us to let go and say goodbye to loved ones.
“Grandma's Hands” by Bill Withers
Song year: 1971
Bill Withers put the track “Grandma's Hands” on his 1971 debut album Just as I Am. The music and lyrics are a tribute to his grandmother, and Withers uses her hands as the basis for appreciating what an impact she had on his life. The track performed well on charts, reaching number 18 on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart and number 42 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.
“I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan
Song year: 1995
From the opening moments of Sarah McLachlan's “I Will Remember You,” you will likely get emotional at the touching lyrics and gentle music. Released on the 1995 album The Brothers McMullen, the live version would eventually win the 2000 Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. You can hear this tune in many shows and movies during sad moments.
“They Can't Take That Away From Me” by Ella Fitzgerald
Song year: 1956
Next is “They Can't Take That Away From Me” by Ella Fitzgerald, a more hopeful and upbeat jazz classic. This tune is a reminder that you can always mix in some music that contrasts the standard slow and sad music. Ella Fitzgerald recorded this Gershwin song in 1956 with Louis Armstrong for their classic album Ella and Louis.
“Love, Me” by Collin Raye
Song year: 1991
Max T. Barnes and Skip Ewing wrote the song “Love, Me,” and Collin Raye recorded it for his 1991 album All I Can Be. The lyrics tell a story of a grandson finding a note that his grandma wrote to his grandpa, showing how much she loved him. The tune is often played at funerals, and it reached the top of Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan
Song year: 1998
Next is another Sarah Mclachlan song, this time “Angel” from the 1998 album Surfacing. While the lyrics are specifically inspired by the passing of keyboard player Jonathan Melvoin, the song fits any funeral situation of reflecting on sadness and grief. McLachlan has a haunting yet beautiful vocal technique, and the lyrics will help you healthily feel difficult emotions.
“Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill
Song year: 1995
“Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill is a slow country ballad that will put you in a reflective mood. Released on the 1995 album When Love Finds You, the track has a mix of soft singing in the verses with powerful harmonies during the chorus. While the words are not explicitly about a grandma passing, the lyrics fit a funeral of any kind.
“Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole
Song year: 1951
You will probably recognize the opening line of the classic Nat King Cole song “Unforgettable,” released on a 1951 album of the same name. Cole's voice and the touching lyrics combine to put you in a sentimental mood. As is fitting for the passing of a grandmother, the music mixes sadness and grief with emotions of appreciation for someone's long life.
“Tell You Something (Nana's Reprise)” by Alicia Keys
Song year: 2007
Alicia Keys released the tune “Tell You Something (Nana's Reprise)” on her 2007 album As I Am. The lyrics of this song fit perfectly with the deep thoughts one has at a funeral, reflecting on how the small things do not matter that much once life is coming to an end. The music might not fit every situation, but many people will find this song fitting and beautiful.
“Grandma” by Gretchen Wilson
Song year: 2013
“Grandma” by Gretchen Wilson came out on the 2013 album Right on Time. The music is upbeat, and the lyrics blend lighthearted stories with the deeper realization that the narrator's grandma does not have much time left. This track is fitting for those grandmothers who had a sense of humor and loved having fun.
“Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston
Song year: 1992
Next is “Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston, another song that likely needs little to no introduction. You might be familiar with Dolly Parton's original 1973 recording, but this Whitney Houston version from 1992 is even more popular. Houston's vocals are so powerful that you will easily get goosebumps as she sings about loving someone forever.
“Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Song year: 1987
You can find several recordings of Andrew Lloyd Webber's “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again,” but none approach the beauty of this Sarah Brightman version. Coming from the 1987 production of Phantom of the Opera, the music and lyrics are haunting and expressive. Mixing minor and major harmonies, the song fits the situation of grief and sadness perfectly.
“Memory” by Barbra Streisand
Song year: 1981
Next is “Memory,” another song by Andrew Lloyd Webber that comes from his musical Cats. This Barbra Streisand recording appeared on her 1981 album Memories, and the lyrics are all about reflecting on someone's life and how many memories you formed with them. The gentle orchestration and Streisand's pure voice blend into a beautiful texture.
“Like a River” by Carly Simon
Song year: 1994
From the 1994 album Letters Never Sent, Carly Simon's “Like a River” is all about the tight bond between mothers and daughters, making it fit well for a grandma's funeral. With gentle piano and beautiful vocals, you will reflect on the deep love you felt for the person who passed. The music eventually finds a faster tempo that helps you feel positive emotions as well.
“A River Like You” by Vince Gill
Song year: 2006
Released on the 2006 album These Days and featuring harmony by Jennifer Jerene Gill, Vince Gill's “A River Like You” is a soft and relaxing song about love. For situations involving a grandmother's funeral, this can be a comforting song to play for her spouse.
“The Long and Winding Road” by The Beatles
Song year: 1970
“The Long and Winding Road” is a fantastic song by The Beatles that appeared on their 1970 album Let It Be. The lyrics about a road act as a metaphor for the meandering path of life, and they fit perfectly as a way to reflect on someone's life after they pass away. This track reached number one on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, the last tune to achieve this feat by The Beatles.
“Now You Belong to Heaven” by Mari Olsen
Song year: 2016
Mari Olsen put out the track “Now You Belong to Heaven” on the 2016 album Insanity. The delicate piano accompaniment sets a mood of peaceful reflection. And the lyrics are about missing someone who has passed away but also realizing it was time to let them go. The words and music combined make this track perfect for a grandma's funeral.
“Moon River” by Frank Sinatra
Song year: 1964
Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer wrote and released the original version of “Moon River” in 1961. But this Frank Sinatra recording comes from the 1964 album Sinatra Sings Days of Wine and Roses. Sinatra's floating and calm voice expresses lyrics about appreciating a loving relationship, perfect for comforting your grandmother's widower.
“Jealous of the Angels” by Donna Taggart
Song year: 2014
Donna Taggart put out the track “Jealous of the Angels” on the 2014 album Celtic Lady Volume II. As grandmothers age, dealing with their passing becomes more expected. But this track is all about the specific challenge of processing unexpected death. The lyrics express jealousy that someone has passed, and the angels now get to be with them.
“Pie Jesu” by Celtic Woman
Song year: 2008
The track “Pie Jesu” by Celtic Woman is a deeply expressive musical piece about wishing peace to loved ones who pass away. The Latin lyrics get a new-age sound quality, including the relaxing sounds of string accompaniment. This track is a perfect way for family members to have a gentle cry about the passing of a grandmother.
“Ave Maria” by Luciano Pavarotti
Song year: 1983
Last is a recording of the classic Schubert song “Ave Maria.” While there are countless recordings of this popular tune, it is hard to top the expressivity and beauty of this version of Luciano Pavarotti. The symphonic orchestra backs his voice well, a reminder of how comforting sad opera songs can be.
Top Funeral Songs For A Grandma, Final Thoughts
Hopefully, this collection of funeral songs for a grandma gave you some fitting music that you can play during this difficult event. There are contrasting genres to fit different tastes, and even some surprisingly upbeat music that reminds people to be hopeful.
Whether they are specific songs about a grandma dying or more general explorations of grief, remember how comforting music can be during a difficult time.