Planning your own funeral music

Jan 23, 2017

If you have decided to plan your own funeral then one of the things you need to consider is if you'd like music to be played, and if so, what that music should be. As we've said in our Arranging a Funeral, Choosing Music page, this is one element of a funeral that can be incredibly emotive for the mourners and they may always then associate it with your funeral afterwards, so choosing the music to be played is something to be very careful with.

Choosing Your Music
The first thing to consider is that funeral services are really for the living to remember you by, so choose something true to your heart and not necessarily something you think is suitable for the occasion - that's not to say we'd recommend songs that will bring on an attack of Auntie Joan's vapours, but you don't have to stick with traditional 'funeral' songs. If you've always been a diehard rock fan and want Sweet Child O' Mine played then that's what you should write down. If you prefer, you could try to tie the two together with choices such as Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin or Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton, but really this is down to your personal choice and how you'd like others to remember you.

Sharing your Selection
Once you've put together a list of songs - depending on the approximate length of the service you're planning, this could be anywhere from 3 or 4 to a larger playlist suitable for a few hours of airtime - you need to share the list with those you're putting in charge of organising everything. Assuming you're documenting everything in a written funeral plan, you should definitely make a Music section and write down your chosen songs, but also you can share it with others by burning the songs onto a CD or creating a private playlist on a music sharing platform such as Spotify and sharing it with those who will need to use it when the time comes.

Traditional Funeral Music
If you do feel that traditional funeral music would be most suitable for your funeral, there is a selection to choose from; these include:

Hymns

  • All Things Bright & Beautiful
  • Abide with Me
  • All the Way My Saviour Leads Me
  • Blessed Assurance
  • Amazing Grace

Classical/Orchestra

  • Air on a G String - Bach
  • The Lark Ascending - Vaughan Williams
  • The Four Seasons - Vivaldi (Specifically, Autumn)
  • Sospiri - Elgar
  • Adagio for Strings - Barber

Contemporary

  • My Heart will Go On - Celine Dion
  • See You Again - Wiz Khalifa
  • Hello - Adele
  • My Way - Frank Sinatra
  • Unforgettable - Nat King Cole

Rock

  • Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton
  • Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
  • I'll Be Missing You - Puff Daddy, Faith Evans & 112
  • Fly to the Angels - Slaughter
  • Dust in the Wind - Kansas

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