Nov 2 / Molly McLinden

9 Songs To Sing at Funerals

You're reading this blog post because someone may have asked you to sing for someone's funeral service.

That person may have been a family member or a friend, or perhaps it's someone you didn't know too well. 

Oftentimes, a grieving family is not so sure what type of song will work, especially if the deceased was not really into music or didn't have specific wishes they had expressed about what they would want at their service . This may leave YOU, the soloist that was asked to sing, wondering what will work for such a somber occasion...and you don't want to have to resort to "Amazing Grace", if you have the choice (although there is nothing wrong with that simple and beautiful song at all if that's what you're leaning towards!) 

I can help! I have come up with a list of many types of songs that will work for funerals.  These are all songs I have known other singers to actually use .  As usual, there is a variety here , taking into account different styles, voices, and of course...moods to fit what would work for the person whose life you are celebrating.

If you need help with these songs, especially at a time that may be difficult to sing , I am always here to help you! 

1) The Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
This ballad from the tearjerker movie "Beaches" is big and powerful, and just a warning: the big notes can be harder to do if you're feeling especially emotional. Gentlemen, don't feel that you can't pull this one off, because you can. 

2) Goodbye My Friend- Linda Ronstadt 
Definitely a very touching and sweet ballad can be sung very well by a mezzo or baritone in particular- but remember you can always play with the key if you're a higher voice, always.  This one, written by Karla Bonoff, happens to be one of my personal favorites.  I remember it was used in a funeral scene of a play I was in ages ago. 

3) In My Life- The Beatles
Although this is a big Beatles song, the acoustic cover that Judy Collins did would be the better fit for a solo for a funeral. Would be a good fit for someone from that generation, it's not necessarily a SAD song, but a sweet retrospective on a live well lived filled with love!  And, if the deceased was a Beatles fan, this is absolutely a great fit. 

4) Tears in Heaven- Eric Clapton
In my opinion, this is definitely the saddest of all the funeral songs, in case you're not familiar with this song (which was written after the death of Clapton's young son).  It would work for the right occasion, such as the untimely death of someone young. But again, if this one speaks to you and if the family thinks it's a's a solid choice. 

5) Eagles Wings- Michael Joncas
This is a more religious song, in case you were seeking one of that nature. It's a beautiful and simple melody, sometimes used as a hymn in both Catholic and Protestant services. This was written by Mr. Joncas after a friend lost their father. The range is not difficult- can be sung by all ages and levels and voice types.
This song could easily honor anyone with dignity, it's lovely and melodic, and memorable as well. 

6) Dance With My Father- Luther Vandross
Definitely a beloved song to sing for someone's father who has passed. Don't be intimidated because you see the name "Luther Vandross"! This is not a "big" song, it's lovely in its simplicity, and obviously very moving. What a fantastic tribute to someone's father! 

7) It's So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday- Boyz II Men
Perfect for a strong R&B singer. This is a touching song indeed. Yes, it does work very well as a solo, even though this song was made popular by a talented vocal group. This is probably best for a singer with a little more experience. 

8) One Sweet Day- Mariah Carey
This is another song meant for a more skilled vocalist, it's definitely a bit of a "bigger" , more emotional ballad. But if you have the chops, this could work , depending on who you are honoring.

9) I Will Remember You- Sarah MacLachlan
How can you even think of Sarah MacLachlan and her songs and not start to tear up? Without a doubt, an EXTREMELY effective ballad. Although it's effective, the range and melody are simple and this can easily be sung by all voices . 

If you aren't quite finding what you are looking for, by ALL means, reach out to me! You can email me or schedule a session so we can find the perfect song for the funeral you are singing at, and I can help you feel 100% ready .

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