Funeral Songs

We’ve been dancing around this one for a long time - many folks on here, including yours truly, are worried about their impending demise. Look at all the threads that pop up every time someone from our generation snuffs it. Mortality is on our minds. With that in mind here are some thoughts about songs I might want played as my final song - haven’t decided yet but I bet a fair few of us have pondered this. Feel free to chip in or pretend it’s not going to happen.

Primal Scream - Movin’ on up
Bill Fay - I hear you calling
Pink Floyd - The great gig in the sky
Nick Drake - River man
The Flaming Lips - Do you realise
Fairport Convention - Who knows where the time goes

Plus some from the gallows humour section:

The Jam - Going underground (for a burial)
Super Furry Animals - I’ve got a fire in my heart for you ( for a cremation)


We went to the funeral of an old friend of my wife about 5 years ago. She died prematurely of Breast Cancer in her 50s. She was matron of honour at our wedding.

At the end of the service, as the coffin trundled off, they played Free’s “Travelling in Style”. Unusual, but it worked.

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Oh well….having been thru a few funerals in-the last few years. I have in my will just a cremation and my family to spread the ashes on a nice vacation wherever with the money that i feel is a waste.
Wife not that happy until we buried an Aunt on a prepaid green burial. We had very minimal help….we had to print the service books, keep chasing them for everything. Very stressful. But i will now get my “will” as my wife is now onboard and wants the same.

As for the music i always liked Sting….fields of gold lyrically.

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For M-i-L’s funeral:

Intro: Tchaikovsky Symphony No 1 “Winter Dreams” 2nd movement.
Recitative: Natacha Atlas “Adam’s Lullabye”
Outro: Nightwish “Setting Sun”

Beautiful music, and strikes the right note.

My mother’s was similar, but we threw in “Jerusalem” because of her longtime membership of the Women’s Institute.

For my F-i-L (ex RAF), the Outro was the Dambusters March. We’d forgotten that the start of that piece is actually quite jolly, and when played on a “Reg Dixon end-of-the-pier-esq” Wurlitzer it actually made the assembled people laugh!

Of course, I want “Always look on the bright side of life” as the Outro.

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This is contender.


I’ve selected the song for my own funeral, assuming they can find enough remains to merit a ceremony…

“Shut it tight” by T Bone Burnett



I was at a funeral of a neighbour a couple of weeks back; two pieces of music stand out. The first, upon entry, was Gabriel’s oboe from the The Mission’s soundtrack. We left the church to ‘bring me sunshine’.

Personally, I prefer meditative music, with the top spot going to Vaughan Williams’s Rhosymedre, either the organ or orchestrated version.


Excellent choice it’s a long piece though. Did that work well?


At our local Crematorium (which I have now visited way too many times!) they will fade out the tracks as needed. The intro is played as folks arrive and get settled, and then as the coffin is brought in. The recitative lasts about 2-3 minutes, and the Outro for as long as people are filing out.

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Heard of someone that had the Thunderbirds theme music played at her funeral as the coffin slid behind the curtains.

It was only after they found out it wasn’t the Thunderbirds theme she wanted but the Thornbirds theme music.


Five….four….three……two……one….Thunderbirds are Go……


‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?’



“Knock on wood”
“I hear you knocking….”


And there was me wanting Wham’s ‘’ Wake me up before you go - go’’ as the congregation are filing out


Or this


Turning to the OP’s introduction to this thread, I have to say that increasing numbers and frequency of deaths of people from my generation, or only slightly older, makes me increasingly aware of my own mortality - however the effect is not to make me worried about death (after all, I know that I will live to be at least 100!), nor spend any time thinking about it, rather every untimely or young (to me) death all the more convinces me of the importance of making the best of whatever time I have.

I think the only other things I’ve given thought to so far are:

  • I have already considered setup of my system to be sure it can be understood and used by others (e.g. as well as colour coding all cables and connections when I was tri-amping I documented the setup, including warnings of what not to do. I meant also to describe how to put the passive XOs back in, but never got around to it).

  • Something I still must do is make a note of important passwords, including for computers and other devices, and a note of bank accounts, utility accounts etc.

  • My wife and I have already discussed with our sons our wishes re funeral service and burial vs cremation etc, but only at a high level - no thought as to music or anything like that - maybe I should think about it: however if I do, then as well as stating anything I’d want played, I would give details as to my reasons for choices. Also thought perhaps as to any reading I might like (I do like the one that was read in Four weddings and a funeral).

So, no music to list at this moment, as it requires really serious thought: it has to be meaningful to loved ones as well - perhaps more so - as me. Of course, just in case of being in a state of suspended animation rather than dead, it would be a good idea to include some really rousing music to be played loud, so that I can wake up and bang on the box as they carry me out… (Note to self, request that my fully charged phone to be placed in my hand when I’m put in the box, plus a small drill in other hand to make air holes, and something to bang with to attract attention.)

If I disappear from here with no communication for more than two weeks, the chances are that I’m either dead or suffered a serious sudden illness (unless I’ve been excommunicated for mentioning xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)


Janis Ian - Tea and Sympathy


No funeral at all for me. No hassle. :slightly_smiling_face:


Just surprise me.

I really won’t complain, honest.


My son has made it very clear that I must specify any music that might be played at any farewell to me. He would know not to use ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’ or ‘My Heart Will Go On’. I am yet to make a decision although I am drawn towards ‘Neptune: The Mystic’ from ‘The Planets’ by Gustav Holst. I wouldn’t want anyone attempting to assign implied meaning to the lyrics, were I to chose a song.

I am a significant Frank Zappa fan but what would I chose. ‘Titties n Beer’ perhaps? :grinning:


I was in charge of music for my father-in-laws funeral last year. Got me thinking about music for my own which was potentially depressing but I decided that I would rather like Over The Rainbow by Keith Jarrett as a lovely piece of music by a favourite artist with an appropriate amount of poignancy.

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