When planning a memorial service, the music is a critical part. Many people are using popular songs rather than the traditional organ music, for a more contemporary service. Here are the top 10 most popular songs we have found that people are using for funerals, memorials, and life celebrations.
We have monitored which songs are most often purchased by people looking for songs for a funeral. Most of the songs are contemporary, and many of them are about angels, which are a popular theme for a funeral.
Before choosing a song, you will want to listen to the song and read all of the lyrics to make sure it works well for you.
Angel – by Sarah McLachlan
This song is very modern and beautiful. The main lyric:
“You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here”
To Where You Are – by Josh Groban
A moving song with a operatic and dramatic feel. Hearing the song makes you want to cry.
“Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you’re there”
Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamamawiwo’ole
Mashing together the classic songs “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World”, this song has added a Hawaiian feel and very laid-back vibe. It features ukulele music and has been included in several movie soundtracks. The artist died at the age of 38 in 1997.
“Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
and the dream that I dare to
Oh why, oh why can’t I
Well I see trees of green and
Red roses too
I’ll watch them grow for
Me and you”
Sissy’s Song – By Alan Jackson
This country song is a good song for the funeral of a young woman. It was written for the funeral of a woman who worked for Alan Jackson, after she died in a motorcycle accident.
“Lovely, sweet young woman
Daughter, wife and mother
Makes no sense to me…
…She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting”
I Will Remember You – by Sarah McLachlan
Another by Sarah McLachlan makes the top ten. This song is tied with “Borrowed Angels” for the number 1 spot.
“But I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories”
Borrowed Angels – By Kristin Chenoweth
There is a classical feel to this song. This song and “I Will Remember You” are the two most popular songs. The song was performed by Chenoweth during the 9/11 commemoration ceremony in Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2010. This song would work especially well for a funeral of a child or baby.
“There must be Borrowed Angels, here in this life
They come along, into this world, and make this world bright
They can’t stay forever, cause they’re heaven sent
And sometimes, heaven needs them back again “
Angels Among Us – by Alabama
This song tends to get stuck in your mind. It’s a sweet, touching song with a catchy melody, and it was written by Becky Hobbs and Don Goodman.
“They wear so many faces
Show up in the strangest places
Grace us with their mercy
In our time of need”
When I Get Where I’m Going – By Brad Paisley
Featuring Dolly Parton, this country song is a nice one for a grandfather. The music video features several people holding photos of loved ones who have died, including Michael Reagan holding a photo of Ronald Reagan, Dolly Parton holding a photo of her grandfather, and John Carter Cash with a photo of his parents, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.
“I’m gonna walk with my grand daddy
And he’ll match me step for step
And I’ll tell him how I missed him
Every minute since he left
Then I’ll hug his neck”
Dancing With the Angels – By Monk and Neagle
This is a Christian group from Amarillo, Texas. The song is perfect for a funeral and is very uplifting with an acoustic pop sound.
“You’re dancing with the angels
Heaven fills your eyes
Now that you’re dancing with the angels”
You’ll Be In My Heart – By Phil Collins
This song from “Tarzan” would be good for a grandfather or father because it speaks of “my arms will hold you safe and strong”. It’s a popular song that most people know.
“You’ll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You’ll be here
in my heart always
Any of these songs would be fitting for a funeral or memorial. If you use several songs, you could burn a CD with the songs and add some other favorite songs of your loved one. Give the CD to friends and family as a reminder of the person you have lost.