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Music Playlist: Songs For Your Funeral

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This month’s community playlist is a tough one. I put the following question to a great group of music bloggers and insiders:

“What song do you want played at your funeral and why?”

Read the picks and then think about what you would like to say to your loved ones when you pass. Will a song help you say it?
If so, pick one, write it down, then put it in your will and share it with us in the comments.

You can listen to this playlist here.

1. “Come on Up to the House” – Tom Waits

I actually spent a lot of time thinking about this earlier this year, when my little sister died and I had to put together music for her funeral tribute. My sister was more of a country music and pop fan, so I ended up using the trio of Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw, Green Day’s (unfortunately titled) “Good Riddance (Time of your Life)” and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” (which was magical because it starts with “this is for Gabby…” which is her surviving daughter’s name.) But my favorite that I came across doing research for it was Tom Wait’s “Come on Up to the House.” It comes across almost like a New Orleans funeral march, but with Waits, it obviously has it’s own charms, both lyrically and vocally. Also, as much as I love Waits growling vocals, I can imagine a choir doing wonders with these lyrics:

Come down off the cross, we can use the wood
Come on up to the house…
There’s no light in the tunnel, no irons the fire
Come on up to the house
And your singin’ lead soprano in a junkman’s choir
You gotta come on up to the house

I don’t know that I can wait for my funeral to hear this now… I think I’ll have to commission a choir to sing it very soon.

Selected by Drake of Thus Spake Drake

2. “I’ll Fly Away” – Mavis Staples

I really had to think about this one. You don’t want be insensitive nor overly depressing when selecting a funeral song. So I narrowed it down to seven tracks. I made my decision halfway through this song, based solely on my gut reaction. Mavis Staples has one of those powerful, stirring Gospel voices, but there’s more to it. Her faith shines through in a way that makes you feel the presence of God. Her version of the gospel classic “I’ll Fly Away” is my choice; not only because of Mavis’ voice, but for the uplifting and accepting way it speaks of death. I want those who love me to know more than anything that death is only a passing over to something much better. This song makes me feel that sentiment every time I hear it.

Selected by Robert of the Radish

3. “Celebration” – Kool and the Gang

How super-confused would you be if your good buddy Joan died, and all that was playing at the funeral was “Celebration” on a loop? It’d either be hideously ironically sad (not the desired effect), or morbidly hilarious (the desired effect.) I may even want to mix in Neil Diamond’s “Dry Your Eyes” and/or Steely Dan’s “Aja” in, just for texture. Funerals, as a rule, should be more Dia De Los Muertos-style, aka they should bring to light the awesomeness of the life of the deceased in order to aid the grieving masses left behind. Not that my life’s that awesome or that I’d have masses grieving, but I’d rather have balloons and a disco ball at my last party than some heavy, poignant, intelligent notes (i.e. Talk Talk, Ella Fitzgerald gospel numbers, Stravinsky’s “Firebird”, etc.)

Selected by Joan Hiller—Publicist, Sub Pop Records

4. “Orange Sky” – Alexi Murdoch

I can’t say that I ever really thought about what song I’d like to be played at my funeral, but this is the one. No, you can’t dance to it, and it won’t make you laugh or even chuckle. It’s a very emotional song and although I am a fun person, more than anything else I would want to thank the people in my life who had shown me love. Alexi sings, in very nearly a whisper, “I had a dream I stood beneath an orange sky, with my brother standing by,” and then crescendoes with “my salvation lies in your love.” In the end it’s a song of optimism, hope and above all the bonds that hold us together. Sure, it might make them all cry, but somebody better be crying at my funeral.

Selected by Amanda of Rhapsody in Blog

5. “Unchained” – Johnny Cash

I would want Johnny Cash’s rendition of “Unchained” to play at my funeral because I think it encompasses an aura of acceptance with death. I would want my friends and family to know that I’m okay with dying and that it’s actually freeing me from the chains of life. I’m always touched when I hear Johnny sing this song and would die for the chance to have him sing this song at my funeral. I guess this is impossible because he has already been “Unchained.” I have never heard a more encouraging yet emotional spin on death. Leave it to the man in black.

Selected by Andrew Warren Special Ops Media

6. “High & Dry” – Radiohead

I had to choose a Radiohead tune. I can’t think of a more appropriate type of music to play at a funeral than that which is reserved and melancholy, but when viewed in a certain light can actually be uplifting. The album which High & Dry comes from (The Bends) has always made me feel exactly that way; likely because whatever is causing me to be ill-at-ease always seems to trivial when compared to whatever is making Thom & the boys so bloody depressed. Also, I can’t help but associate this song with late nights in diners and long drives home
from a slew of different locations, which are all times spent with people who (I would hope, anyway) would show up if I were to suddenly kick off. The clincher: many people have told me that hearing Radiohead makes them feel like they’re at a funeral, so how could I resist such a parting joke?

Selected by Eric at FIQL.com

7. “Prelude and Fugue #24 in D minor” – Dimitri Shostakovich

This was a very hard decision to make. On one hand, dead is dead so I don’t really care about music at that point. I guess that misses the point because the purpose of any service or music is to give whatever comfort or message to those who might grieve or pay their respects. My first instinct was to play something funny to allieviate the ENORMOUS pain everyone must feel as I get ready take a dirt nap. I was thinking maybe William Shatner’s “Elegy for the Brave” from “Spaced Out-The Best of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. This would be good for a laugh but since music is one of my number one interests in life this would not fill that qualification. I chose the final Prelude and Fugue from Dimitri Shostakovich’s 24 preludes and fugues. The short prelude begins with a somber and serious theme which is very cold sounding. It then enters a slow processional which will be used for the first subject of the magnificent double fugue. As the fugue enters slightly faster, the full exposition of the first subject brings a kind of warming feeling. Then, all of a sudden the second subject enters and the whole thing springs to life and accelerates ending with a huge bang which symbolizes the continuation of life in all its glory. Now, I am ready to push some daisys.

Selected by Pantagruel of the Radish Message Board

8. “The Porpoise Song” – The Monkees

I’ve been telling people for years that I want “The Porpoise Song” played at my funeral. I want it played loud! On a good sound system. I figure if I tell enough people, they’ll have to actually do it. “The Porpoise Song” is a perfect slice of psych pop written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King for the Monkees. I hear that Cameron Crowe put it in one of his movies. That guy needs to stop raiding my record collection. I don’t want people thinking about Tom Cruise at my
funeral! “Wanting to feel / To know what is real / Living is a lie / The porpoise is waiting / Goodbye, goodbye / Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.”

Selected by Jake of Glorious Noise

9. “In the Garden” – Van Morrison

Although not a religious person, this song always seem to make me feel spiritual. There are particular Christian references – but when Van says “No Guru, No Method, No Teacher” it says to me that meaning and
spirituality are within – not in any particular religion and any particular voice.

What makes this really work is the sense of community between all the members of the band and the audience. This sense of community grows from a
single ‘Yeah’ yelled from the audience at the softest part of the song, Brian Kennedy turning into Sam Cooke, and the rousing finale with everyone singing in unison. It’s a rousing and spiritually lifting finale and at my funeral I know people will mourn, but in the end I want them to feel good.

Finally at the very end, a member of the band yells “Did you get healed tonight, did you get healed?” The audience screams “Yeah”.

Selected by Mark Munroe of Musicrocker

10. “An Ending (Ascent)” – Brian Eno

This track, which turns up in the occasional movie or PBS documentary, has had a somewhat mystical relationship to me on a personal level. I bought this album by mistake, confusing it with Eno’s soundtrack to “For All Mankind”, but when this piece came on I very suddenly and inexplicably was almost reduced to tears. An amorphous instrumental featuring a ghostly and intensely beautiful electronic solo instument, that shifts in shape and tone while seemingly hovering in the air, it immediately flooded my consciousness with memories, future glimpses, and a torrent of emotion out of the blue. It immediately suggested death to me, but death as a transition and something that was as beautiful and natural as life, although something that was also profoundly sad. This first listening was accompanied by an unexpected and unusually vivid and poignant slideshow in my mind of people I had known and loved who had passed away. I also had a premonition of the death of a close friend whom I hadn’t seen in years; years later, on the day I received word he had commited suicide, this track appeared out of nowhere on TV as a trailer for a science program. It was one of those moments when you almost believe there is a higher being somewhere, and they’ve orchestrated the whole thing to teach you some fundamental truth about life. I still find this piece beautiful beyond the ability of words to communicate and almost unbearably sad, for no sound reason other than personal ones. And since funerals are very personal things, and this piece has been embedded into my very psyche as a shorthand for death and transition itself, I’d like this one played.

But to lighten the mood, I’d insist it be followed by some repetitions of the Sgt. Pepper inner groove’s giggles. My last task on Earth would be to elicit smiles from those who mourn me, just as I loved to elicit their smiles in life.

Selected by uao of Freeway Jam

11. “Always Look On the Bright Side of Life” – Monty Python’s Flying Circus

This one is easy, this is how I like to think I went through life, cheerful and carefree. Always looking on the bright side of things. Looking for the positives versus the negatives.
Always have time to take a deep breath and reflect how good things are. To have time for the extra smile. To provide cheer to everyone around me. Always patient to listen to others woes and cheer them up, to get them to look at the bright side of life.

Selected by Keith “MusikMan” Weiss

More playlists at Rhapsody Radish

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About Robert of the Radish

  • Bob

    I love this music

  • Karen

    “Death Came a Knockin” by Ruthie Foster. We played it as a recessional for the family after my Mom’s funeral. Seemed like the perfect tribute to Mom’s service to God all through her life. “Hallelujah! Done done my duty! Put on my travelin’ shoes.”

  • Oli

    ‘Everybody Hurts’ (REM) always a good one, but I personally believe “Stayin’ Alive” (Bee Gees) suits me better…

  • Elisabeth

    Sufjan Stevens Now that I’m older
    Simon Garfunkel All I know
    Arcade Fire Ocean of Noise
    Debussy Claire de lune

  • STM

    Pink Floy’ds Shine on you ctrazy diamond, and Flowers of the Forest by Mike Oldfield, although maybe it’s better to let the live people pick since they’re the ones who have to listen to it all.

  • Zing

    Boot Camp by Soundgarden

  • Heather

    definitely have to play “Higher” by Creed

  • Ed

    I would want multiple Pink Floyd Songs, such as Wot’s…..Uh, The Deal
    Us and Them, and The Great Gig In The Sky

  • Alex

    Run – Snow patrol

  • Dristarg

    “Dream a little dream of me” by Mama Cass (I want my mourners to have a good blub – take it from me, it’ll do you a world of good).

  • Hannah

    High way to hell
    ding dong the witch is dead
    the day i died

  • Nathan

    Just been thinking of maybe Now we are Free by Hanz Zimmer because it sounds real calming. And yes it is in Gladiator.

  • Karl K

    “This Is Not The End” by Agent Orange (from the album “This Is The Voice”)

  • sasha

    I am SO adding “Say Hello to Heaven” to my Funeral Playlist! Do you guys know about the Funeral Playlist site? You keep your Funeral Playlist here and can send it to people most likely to be around when you die.

  • Timothy

    59th sound…there should be no suicidals out there, I survived becaues someone saved me…every day since then I argued, two years later surviving won flawlessly. It takes time, it takes trying, it tales understanding love, and longing.
    stay with me, and listen to the song

  • Ciara

    Lenny Williams “cause I love you”.Its the most beautiful love song in the world!

  • Emery

    Within Temptation – Our Farewell

  • Jezebel

    Immortality by celine dion and the bee gees

  • Tom

    I went to a funeral at a black church where they did one of the best funeral songs I’ve heard. Something like:

    No more sadness, no more sickness, no more heartache etc.

    wish I knew the name.

  • MissNoCyber

    You guys…if it was YOUR Funeral. Not what you want to hear at another persons Your dead, your family is sad….you want them to cry harder…NOW what song would you pick???
    I have a song specific to my sister. Seasons in the sun by Terry Jacks. See, she will cry like the world is ending. And since she is older than me…thats how it should be. My sister also has her funeral song already picked out. Take my Hand…Elvis.
    I dont want a party when I die…I want EVERYONE who ever met me to cry….
    Whats with that?

  • Jamie

    Is this the way to amarillo – Tony Christie

    Bang Bang your dead

    and if i die of an electrical shock has to be:
    Danger, Danger high voltage- Electric 6

    Funerals have to be funny. hate to know that i’d left these people sad.
    As Monty Python said
    ‘Keep ’em laughing as you go,
    but remember that the last laugh is on you.’

  • Mike Bowyer

    Comfortably Numb is a great song title for a funeral service but the lyrics don’t quite work do they ?

    Softer Ride – Status Quo

    Angel – Jimi Hendrix

  • Katie

    OMG if you have never heard these, you have to asap! These were my favorites whenever some close friends of mine died. The first is my all time favorite, couldn’t stop crying the first time I heard it. I feel such hope by hearing it, knowing that our loved ones who have passed on are no longer homesick, but are finally home with the Lord. Lol, you can tell by these I’m sentimental, people will cry at my funeral!!!!!!!

    *** Homesick – Mercy Me ***

    “You’re in a better place, I’ve heard a thousand times, And at least a thousand times I’ve rejoiced for you
    But the reason why I’m broken, the reason why I cry, Is how long must I wait to be with you?

    I close my eyes and I see your face
    If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
    Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
    I’ve never been more homesick than now”

    Loooooove it! My others would probably be:

    There Will Be a Day – Jeremy Camp

    Radios in Heaven – Plain White T’s

    Love Is Here – Tenth Avenue North


    Bowed on my Knees & Cried Holy – Micheal English (he’s good, but I love it in a choir setting!!)

    Amazing Grace – just about anyone!

    I could go on with the ones I like, but those are my favorites

  • Amanda

    i would have to say view from heaven – yellowcard is a definate choice, along with last request – paolo nutini. can you feel the love tonight – elton john. the luckiest – ben folds five.
    i am fourteen, and when i was twelve, my dad suicided, at his funeral we had better be home soon – crowded house and throw your arms around me – hunters and collectors. it was just magical.

  • Kim Pratt

    What about The Escape Club’s “I’ll Be There”…and Lee Ann Womack’s “I hope you Dance”

    these are 2 of the songs I plan on putting on my funeral compilation..oh yeah and “Across The Universe” by the Beatles

  • scott

    Carly Simon – The Garden from the Anticipation album

    Rosanne Cash – Somewhere in the Stars

  • nic

    another one bites the dust

    i want to break free

    if you dnt know me by now, u will never ever know me

    ding dong the witch is dead

    i get knocked down but i get up again

    bad taste friday

  • Omunene

    I’m going to have one of Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs — Beim Schlafengehen — played at my funeral; a version by Jessye Norman. At one point she sings (in German) “and my soul will float on open wings up into the enchanted circle of the night.” I have decided that’s the exact point at which I’ll take my leave…

    Also, one or more of:
    No Ke Ano Ahiahi / Medeski, Martin & Wood
    Hostias (from Requiem) / Giuseppe Verdi / Carlo Bergonzi
    Dimming of the Day / Richard and Linda Thompson / Blind Boys of Alabama
    Cantata BWV 140 (Wachet Auf) / Johann Sebastian Bach / Münchner Bach-Chor
    Many Rivers to Cross / Jimmy Cliff / Desmond Dekker

    and for the Recessional,
    Dead March (From the oratorio Saul) / Georg Friedrich Handel / Razumovsky Sinfonia

  • Lisa

    Just cremated a close friend last week and they had ” Coming back to life” by Pink Floyd.

    this went down very well.

  • Courtney

    At the funeral for my uncle’s sister, they played “The Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell and “The Great Divide” by Kate Wolf, two songs by her favorite artists that I felt were very appropriate for the occasion and for the person who had recently died (former flower child who had been to Woodstock).

  • Grgur

    I saw this, read them all, awesome lists lol

    i’d have

    Johnny Cash – I won’t back down

    Brad Paisley – when I get where I’m going

    Eddie Adcock- I am a Pilgrim

    Monty Python – Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

    (at the wake)
    Green Day – Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

    Hallelujah –

    Blink 182 – Adam’s song

    Johnny Cash – God’s gonna cut you down

    Lynrd skynyrd – Freebird (and if they don’t play the whole thing i’m gonna haunt them)

  • Freya

    Youth group – forever young
    “So many adventures couldn’t happened today,
    So many songs that we forgot to play,
    So many dreams swimming out in the blue,
    Let them come true
    Forever young I want to be forever young”

    Magnetic fields – nothing matters when we’re dancing

  • Freya

    yellowcard – view from heaven

    “Late night drives, all alone in my car
    I can’t help but start
    Singing lines from all our favorite songs
    And melodies in the air
    Singin’ life just ain’t fair
    Sometimes I still just can’t believe you’re gone

    And I’m sure the view from heaven
    Beats the hell out of mine here
    And if we all believe in heaven,
    Maybe we’ll make it through one more year
    Down here

    Feel your fire,
    When its cold in my heart
    And things sorta start
    Remindin’ me of my last night with you
    I only need one more day
    Just one more chance to say
    I wish that I had gone up with you too”

  • adrian

    Kanas – Dust in the wind.
    I close my eyes
    Only for a moment, then the momen’t gone
    All my dreams
    Pass before my eyes, a curiosity
    Dust in the wind
    All they are is dust in the wind Same old song
    Just a drop of water in an endless sea
    All we do
    Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
    Dust in the wind
    All we are is dust in the wind, ohh Now, don’t hang on
    Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
    It slips away
    And all your money won’t another minute buy
    Dust in the wind
    All we are is dust in the wind
    All we are is dust in the wind Dust in the wind
    Everything is dust in the wind
    Everything is dust in the wind

    Wont be a dry eye in the house. Plus fantastic song.

  • Steph

    Rolling Stones ‘You can’t always get what you want’ ala The Big Chill 🙂

  • 257

    The jam going underground
    Queen dont stop me now

  • Happy-2-Be-Going

    Adam’s song by Blink 182

    for all you suicidals out there =D

    First verse goes like:

    I never thought I’d die alone
    I laughed the loudest who’d have known
    I traced the cord back to the wall
    No wonder it was never plugged in at all
    I took my time, I hurried up
    The choice was mine, I didn’t think enough
    I’m too depressed, to go on
    You’ll be sorry when I’m gone

  • KK

    highway to hell by AC/DC

  • Joel

    I would have to say “Mad World” ~ Gary Jules.

    I’m surprised no one else has said it yet.

    All I can think of is the ending of “Donnie Darko.”

  • Dave

    Faces – Had me a real good time
    “I was glad to come
    I’ll be sad to leave
    But While I was here
    I had me a real good time”

  • I do not believe no one has mentioned “Funeral for a Friend” by Elton John of the “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” almum…

  • Jake

    I would want the last 20 seconds of “Walking Dead” by Z-Trip played. It’s kind of eerie and creepy, but it’s also sort of morbidly inspiring.

  • moana brauer

    i just want to say “go rest high on that mountain” is a beautiful song that i dedicate to my brother chris. My heart hurts for you brother. I love you. See you when i get there.

  • At my funeral I would like “Three Little Birds” (Bob Marley) to be playing while everyone eats cake and ice cream.

  • Jussy

    Some good song choices, but think a couple have been forgotten…. how about:

    Burn baby Burn and Ashes to Ashes?!!!

  • jhon

    50 cent: in da club…. awesome XD

  • kourisa

    how a bout “Another one bites the dust” lol

  • ValBee

    Talking to my Angel by Melissa Etheridge

  • we do have the Scottish heritage in the family

    Well, with a name like Douglas…


  • hhhmmm…how about ‘Turkey In the Straw’. Makes a great ringtone.

    OK, good choice with the Monkees (see above).

    Joy Division’s ‘Means to an End’ could work.

    And you know, last year my g-ma passed. We had bagpipes play ‘Amazing Grace’ (a classic standard). Well, we do have the Scottish heritage in the family. It was awesome.


  • Bookends by Simon & Garfunkel.

    Short and bittersweet.

  • Andrew

    I have been diagnosed with cancer, so I have already chosen my funeral songs. They shall be The Scientist
    by Johnette Napolitano and One Headlight by the Wallflowers.

  • Kreista

    Tonight- FM Static
    Beautiful song, beautiful comforting words.

  • AmazonAngel

    Long As I Can See The Light – Creedence Clearwater Revival
    Wild Horses – THe Rolling Stones
    Free Bird – Lynard Skynard (the solo coming in just as I’m being lowered)

    And wake music (at which I’m having an open bar)
    Highway to Hell – ACDC
    Dead! – My Chemical Romance
    DOA or Monkey Wrench – Foo Fighters
    (some more loud, rockin songs…)
    The Likes of You Again – Flogging Molly

  • spartan67

    alter bridge-in loving memory

  • Ashley

    I’m a Funeral Services student and for a project I’m currently working on is that I have to prepare a Death Plan, meaning at the age you are now you are given 6 months to live. What would you do? Part of this Death Plan you have to considering pre-arranging your funeral. I think I would have a celebrant service (no religious aspect to your service). I think some songs that I would want to be played at my service would be,

    There You’ll Be- Faith Hill

    The Dance- Garth Brooks

    Angels- Robbie Williams

    Thats just some, there is so many right now that I can’t really decide!

  • kohl

    i want:
    hear you me- jimmy eat world
    ha ha you’re dead (or good riddance)- green day
    hero (acoustic)-foo fighters
    best of you- foo fighters
    im the only gay eskimo- SNL cast (lol)

  • Wal

    I want “Into My Arms” by Nick Cave or “Sky Blue & Black” Jackson Browne Or “This Years Love” by David Gray.

    Songs from funerals ive been too still choke me up!

    We are The Champions- Queen
    My Heart Will Go On- Celine Dion
    Tears In Heaven- Eric Clapton
    The Day You Went Away- Wendy Mathews
    Ill be missing You- Puff Daddy
    Time After Time- Eva Cassady

    (Love to all of those we’ve lost)

  • Petr

    I have been thinking about this since long time ago and still my personal favorite # 1 is “Death Is Not The End” from Nick Cave’s “Murder Ballads”.
    “What a Wonderful World” is also a good choice, however, I would prefer the version sung by Nick Cave and Shane McGowan.

  • Marcus

    A very beautiful song that not many have heard of is Sophie Zelmani’s – Going Home. I definitely suggest that you listen to this song; there are not many of songs of this kind!

    Don’t let this opportunity pass you by…

  • Rachael

    Just did my will today and yes included my songs..I cant believe they have webistes for this shit *lol*

    1. Good Riddance (Time of your life) ~ Green Day
    2. Angels ~ Robbie Williams

    and as I’m going in the ground…
    3. Home ~ Foo Fighters…

    I bawled my eyes out listening to these songs and imagining my our funeral….I need a life…*lol* hahahaha get it? Life….ummm yes….well.

  • This list is truly a great depiction of good music. Though some of their music is deemed tasteless and nonsensical, I have found this song moving and powerful, like no other they have ever made. It is “Shadow of the Day” by Linkin Park. It seems to be the perfect song for a funeral, the words flow perfectly, the meaning is so close to what one feels as they lose someone to mortality. The words “…and the sun will set for you… and the shadow of the day…” its just compelling, makes you wanna just die so you can play it at your own funeral.

    On a more religious aspect, at my grandfather’s funeral they played “Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gil. Amazing music and words, he’s very inspirational, but this song will make you cry your eyes out each time you hear it, its like letting go all over again.


  • ilike to liste funeral song

  • Joe M

    For my father’s service we had (in order):
    Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Monty Python
    Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day
    Indiana Jones Theme
    Poems, Prayers and Promises – John Denver
    What A Wonderful World – Louie Armstrong

    For my Uncle’s service two that really stick out were:
    In My Life – The Beatles
    It Was A Very Good Year – Frank Sinatra

    Some that I have thought about for mine would be:
    If I Ever Leave This World Alive – Flogging Molly
    I’ll Fly Away – Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch version from O’Brother
    Hallelujah – John Cale
    Redemption Song – Bob Marley
    Mingulay Boat Song – Richard Thompson
    … and I’m sure some songs will be added and others taken off, but this is what works right now.

    My Mother’s only request is:
    This Old Guitar – John Denver

  • Scott

    Heres some of my fav.

    –I want to stroll over heaven with you – Alan jackson

    –Precious Memories

    –When I get where im going – Brad Pasley / Dolly Parton

  • Carly

    I can’t believe anyone hasn’t said “Tears In Heaven” by eric clapton.

    I think thats a very touching song.

  • RL

    Days by the Kinks
    Scattered by the Kinks
    Some Fantastic Place by Squeeze

  • Kelly

    I’d love these, i think there funky but still respectful for a funeral:

    Heaven – Live
    Angel – Lo-Tel
    I don’t wanna miss a thing – Aerosmith
    How do i live – Trisha Yearwood
    Higher – Creed
    With arms wide open – Creed
    Ain’t no mountain high – sister act version

  • Ronnie G

    Some very different songs I’ve heard recently at funerals…each seemed fitting for the particular person:

    The Dance – Garth Brooks

    Country Roads (take me home) – John Denver

    One I haven’t yet heard:

    Highway to Hell – AC/DC

  • Stacy

    I’d have to go with ozzy osbornes “see you on the other side”

  • bliffle

    “The Looney Toons Song – “Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!””

    It’s on Mel Blancs tombstone.

    How about The Clancy Brothers “Isn’t it Grand boys, to be bloody well dead!”.

  • kelli

    i think it would be funny to have these songs

    since youve been gone.

    another one bites the dust

    had a bad day.

    dead- my chemical romance

    gone going- black eyed peas

    lets get it started- black eyed peas


    shut up- black eyed peas

    no scrubs-tlc

    haha. =]

  • watson

    My funeral
    Here comes a regular by the replacements
    Celebration by Kool and the Gang
    Ten Years Gone by Led Zeppelin
    Stairway to heaven by Led Zeppelin
    Imagine by John Lennon
    NaNaNaNa Kiss him goodbye

  • Catey

    “Imagine” by MercyMe. Because when I die I want my family and friends to think of Who I am finally face to face with.
    “Surrounded by Your glory what will my heart feel, Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
    Will I stand in Your presence or to my kness will I fall, Will I sing hallelujah will I be able to speak at all?”

    I can’t listen to this song without crying because it truly is the deepest longing of my heart.

  • AA

    Green Day guy should die now.

  • Jay

    Freebird-Lynard Skynard…and they better play the whole damn thing even the rockin ending lol

  • Gary

    I Will Follow You Into The Dark – Death Cab For Cutie

  • stacey

    i would like lynard skynard ‘freebird’ or maybe pink floyd ‘wish you were here’

  • I want Dont Stop Me Know Crazy horses Or Some really Funny Song The Bad Touch

  • Jimmy

    If I die of an asthma attack or breathing difficulties I want my funeral song to be ‘take my breath away’, lol

  • Lettuce be friends

    Ha ha your Dead by Greenday is what I want played at my funeral. The entire day will just be one where people laugh at me as I was a clutz and managed to kill myself.

  • Abby

    I love “Always look on the Bright Side of Life” that is pretty perfect. I’m surprised no one said “Let it Be” by the Beatles. “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds Five is also good. And my absolute favorite is “Blackbird” by the Beatles.

  • April

    Into the Mystic by Van Morrison is a good one also.

  • Sam

    I would have to say “My hereos have always been cowboys” by Willie Nelson

  • Jon Ewens

    Already thinking of my funeral lol. Its gonna be wicked!!! Some mad but funny ideas for songs: Living in a box
    Road to nowhere
    Road to hell
    Another one bites the dust
    Take my breath away
    The end of the world as we know it
    Always look on the brightside of life
    Stairway to heaven

  • No saddy saddy songs,I will record and lead out the song service
    (1( Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord
    (2)No tears in heaven
    (3)when we all get to heaven
    (4) I know who I believe
    (5) lord I’m coming home

  • Chris

    For me, Steve Wariner’s ‘Holes in the floor of heaven’ is a very touching song to be played at a funeral, even though all the people in the song are women. The corelation can easily be made by the listener.

  • Dee_Vah

    I’d have to say… my funeral will not be forgoten!!!
    I need me dress in my finest clothes….
    my hair and make up DID……..
    parting the rithym pf some good ol’
    H O U S E
    M U S I C !!!!!!!!!

    yes sir… yes sir……. if it’s gonna be my last party here on earth, then why not send me good and ready for that “AFTHER PARTY”????

    XoXo……….. <3

  • jamie

    REM – everybody hurts.. was played at my uncles.. n i miss him so 🙂

  • Tonya

    lately ive been thinking alot about my dads funeral. if i can dream – elvis presley (his FAV ever.)

    and all the songs above .. exept the stupid ones like “the chicken dance” and stuff, a funeral isnt suppose to be a DANCING party, its suppose to be a memorable moment. so yea. no chicken dance or “thriller” .. thats more of happy song.. and mj is not cooll foool..

  • Stuart

    Being a Liverpool football club fan it must be Gerry Marsdens You’ll never walk alone

  • Elvis730

    The chicken Dance

    and everyone would have to dance!

    Also I wuld have ‘If I Can Dream’ by Elvis Presley

    and also Fame…’i’m gonna live forever’

  • MelKeeway

    I am a Pilgrim, Eddie Adcock.
    “I am a pilgrim, and a stanger, traveling through this barron land. I got a home in that yonder city, and it’s not, not built by hand.”

  • Matt

    Simple mind’s “Don’t you forget about me”

  • you are not alone – michael jackson

    hear you me – jimmy eat world

    somewhere over the rainbow/ what a wonderful world – Isreal Kamamawiwo’ole

    and everyone better cry!

  • Wayne

    “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum seems like a natural.

  • Durrs

    In order:

    1) On entrance, Michael Jackson, Gone Too Soon

    2) (Hymn): Michael Jackson, Thriller (everyone has to sing it)!

    3) On exit, Queen, Another one bites the dust

  • starsky

    I’ve always liked “Remember Me” by Journey

  • dee


  • Vicki

    I’ve been giving this alot of thought lately, too, because my brother just passed away. My sister-in -law chose “The Last Waltz” by Rodney Crowell and it was very fitting to play at the funeral of a spouse.

  • Audrey

    My song will definetly be “I can only imagine” It touched my heart and said exactly the questions I have in mind for when I cross over.

    “Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel?

    Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still?
    Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
    Will I sing ‘Hallelujah!’? Will I be able to speak at all?
    I can only imagine! Yeah! I can only imagine!”

  • Cindy

    Where can I find Mavis Staples In the Garden???

  • Zoe

    Everybody Hurts by REM because its so typical of life. Everybody hurts at one point or another but they get through it.

  • Sarah

    I’m so happy to see that i’m not the only one with this topic on my mind. I added Orange Sky, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Porpoise Song, and In the Garden to my list. Thanks so much for that!!! Some of my others are O’Death by Ralph Stanley, Time to Say Goodbye by Sarah Brightman, Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum, and I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe.

  • Emily

    One must funeral song for me would be “I’m Walking on Sunshine” because I would prefer everybody at my funeral to celebrate my life rather than grieve for the end of it. I would want them to miss me of course, but I would want them to be glad that I had a happy life.

  • Omack

    or ” Simple Man”

  • Omack

    Temple of the Dog ” Say Hello to Heaven” for me

  • Melroseymson

    “This Love” by Craig Armstrong would be just right for me. It’s a very pensive and romantic song.

    I might be a sensitive person but I don’t want family and friends to be overwhlemed by oversentimental music. This song expresses me perfectly without being so.

    I listen to this song all the time and it’s one that those close enough to me would understand.

    What beautiful lyrics:
    This love
    This love is a strange love
    In that it can lift a love
    This love

    This love
    I think I’m gonna fall again
    And ever when you held the hand
    And turn ’em in your fingers, love

    This love
    Now rehearsed we stay, love
    Doesn’t know it is love
    This love

    This love
    Doesn’t have to feel love
    Doesn’t care to be love
    It doesn’t mean a thing
    This love

    This love loves love
    It’s a strange love, strange love

    This love
    This love
    This love is a strange love, strange love
    I’m gonna fall again love
    Doesn’t mean a thing
    Think I’m gonna fall again
    This Love

    It’s very poetic.

  • Nancy

    The last 5 minutes of the 1812 overture. With cannon.

  • Scott Butki

    Great list. I’ll add more thoughts later tonite.

  • KYS

    Cheesy? Maybe, but:

    Life’s Been Good

    Just cause it has a great riff

  • Lana

    I would want the following songs played:

    Landslide-Smashing Pumpkins
    Something in the way- Nirvana
    Man Who Sold The World- Nirvana
    Patience-Guns N Roses
    Wild Horses-Rolling Stones
    Stairway to Heaven- Led Zeppelin

  • Funny, I was considering Warren’s version of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”

    “Open up, open up!”

  • Man, what a tough question. I’m sitting here musing about this… I would lean towards a song by my favorite artists. It would probably be a song by The Beatles or Steely Dan; other choices might include tunes by The Replacements/Paul Westerberg, Buffalo Tom, Hüsker Dü/Bob Mould, U2, Moody Blues, Carly Simon. “My Old School” might be a choice, just for the line, “And I’m never…going back…to my old…schooooooool”. When Carly Simon sang about “these are the good old days”, I think she was more prescient than she knew; “Anticipation” has always been a favorite song, and that line always resonated with me.

    Oddly enough, a tune by Warren Zevon might be appropriate, like “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.”

    I’ll need to think about this further.

  • Baronius

    Curiously, last night ABC News listed the 5 most popular funeral songs in England. I only recall four, in no particular order:

    My Way
    My Heart Will Go On
    Wind Beneath My Wings

    The other one may have been by Elvis.

  • “Every Grain of Sand” by Bob Dylan comes to mind. Hmm… there are probably others but that’s a good one.

  • tie: Nick Drake’s “One of These Things First” and
    Iron and Wine’s “Each Coming Night”

  • I love Vanilla Sky, drake, and Crowe has always been an expert at weaving music into film.

    I don’t know what kind of music I’d like at my funeral. Maybe just throw my iPod on shuffle and let ‘er rock over the loudspeakers. Aquabats and Mozart and Mos Def and Cheap Trick… or something!

  • “The Porpoise Song,” is a great selection… the way it was used in Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky was inspired, especially given how the lyrics and plot line sync up.

    The most interesting thing about the movie Head, to me anyway, was Jack Nicholson’s participation (conceiving and writing the script)… he also is credited with putting together the soundtrack, editing together all the acid-trip snippets. Michael Nesmith, originally tasked with the job, was apparently tired and wanted to just go home.

  • Hey. That Porpoise song is pretty good. Never heard that one before..trippy!

  • “Rape Me” – Nirvana

  • J. P. Spencer

    “One More Chance” by Sandy Denny (the solo piano version; this song always blows me away) & “I’m Only Sleeping” by The Beatles with a knocking sound superimposed over the bass breaks (just to play with their heads).

  • If I only get one, I’ll go with “In Heaven There Is No Beer,” by Frank Yankovic. A perfect song to celebrate life, which is what I want everyone who comes to do.

  • uao

    This, in some ways, is my favorite of your lists, Robert. I am impressed with the very thoughtful, considered, and personal replies regarding their picks for this topic.

    Jake of Glorious Noise picked “The Porpoise Song”. Believe it or not, I had long considered that one as a funeral song too. And the (Goffin/King) lyrics are evocative, although I am more partial to the first verse, especially the simple but subtly weighty first couplet:

    My my the clock in the sky is pounding away; there’s so much to say

    Funny thing is, I’m no special fan of the Monkees (although I am a fan of Head), but this song gets me all choked up, too.

    Drake: I’m very sorry to hear about your sister, I had no idea. I do believe music can transcend worlds though; I’m sure she could hear it.

    A good topic; instead of glibly anointing best and worst, which is fun, music is also something to help us reflect upon difficult, personal things, and this was a good collection of reflections.

  • The Looney Toons Song – “Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!”

  • MT

    “I Don’t Wanna Go Down In The Basement” by the Ramones