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Top 10 funeral songs – now that’s what I call mourning

Ever wondered what are some of the top choices for funeral songs? We did some digging. Spoiler alert: Westlife might be topping the charts. If you liked the acts of love in part 1, you’re gonna love these ones (maybe even more)…

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Andy Knott

March 24, 2021

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So if you’re like me, you will revel in the fact that your relatives will be awkwardly dancing to a list of songs you have instructed to be played at your wake. Nanny Sue side-stepping to Post Malone? Uncle Nobby twisting to ACDC? Cousin Jim doing the robot to Enya? 

So what are the most popular songs to play at a funeral or wake? It’s sad to think that most funerals in 2020 didn’t play out how a lot of people would’ve planned. So here are some of the top funeral songs of 2019’s according to CO-OP Funeral Care’s Most Popular Funeral Playlist:


Frank Sinatra – My Way

Paul Anka wrote this banger at 3 a.m. on a rainy night when the words came to him. He pitched it to Old Franky boy. Anka’s lyrics changed the meaning to be about a man looking back fondly on a life he lived on his own terms. I think that is what most people would want to say through the song ‘I lived my life exactly how I wanted to, right or wrong, it’s done!’. Bosh!


Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman – Time to Say Goodbye

The main gist of the song is separation through death but it is just temporary. It also teaches people to be optimistic. It helps grieving people see death in another way. It may be time to say goodbye now, but this goodbye will never be forever since your souls will forever stay with each other when the right time comes. Ahhhh that’s a warm fuzzy feeling right there!


Eva Cassidy – Over the Rainbow

This song is about the Holocaust and the hope of freedom (I have only just learnt this!), however you can see how the lyrics lend themselves to being a song that someone would want at their funeral. Also have you heard the ukulele version by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (love!).


Bette Midler – Wind Beneath My Wings

The title came about because Henley (one of the writers) was learning to fly planes at the time! It was initially conceived as a love song from one to another, but the lyrics ended up being something more universal, and could apply to various types of relationships, such as friends or family. A good old classic from Bette!


Robbie Williams – Angels

The lyrics of this song have a very deep meaning that would remind everyone who listens to it about someone they’ve lost. It tells you that there is something good that you will find in death. You will realise that a loved one who passed away didn’t really leave you, they will actually watch over you as your angel. Also probably one of Robster’s most successful songs ever!


Ed Sheeran – Supermarket Flowers

I mean this is a tear-jerker if there ever was one! A song written about Ed’s grandmother from his mum’s perspective. It will resonate with many people who listen to the lyrics I’m sure. Gets me everytime (sob!).


Nat Cole King – Unforgettable

What is even more lovely about this song is that it was redone by Natalie (Nat’s daughter) as a homage to her loving dad. Another absolute classic and makes me want to lean up a grand fireplace with a brandy in hand (don’t even drink the stuff!).


Westlife – You Raise Me Up

Love it or hate it, it’s on the list! Believe it or not. The cheeky Irish boyband Westlife was the 100th artist to record the song! Who can’t get the image of them all sitting on stools doing air grabs out of their head!?


Vera Lynn – We’ll Meet Again

During the Second World War this resonated with soldiers who had to leave their families and fight for England. Its moving melody and uplifting lyrics made it perfect to broadcast in those tough times. There’s something just so heart warming about it!


Monty Python Life of Brian – Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

The song is like the stereotypical British ‘stiff upper lip‘ alternative anthem! Also did you know that Iron Maiden play it after their performances as the lights come on and people leave? It’s one of the more cheery songs in this list!

So this got me thinking…..why are the saddest songs the most popular? I personally want to make people either laugh or at least smile (and definitely dance, that’s a rule!) when my playlist comes on.

Here’s a more amusing list of ideas:

  • Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
  • Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead from The Wizard of Oz
  • Dumb Ways to Die from Metro Train Melbourne
  • Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die by Willie Nelson
  • She’s a Zombie Now by The Meteors
  • Ha Ha You’re Dead by Green Day
  • Not Crying by Flight of the Conchords
  • It’s the Best Day Ever by Spongebob Squarepants
  • Deeper Underground – Jamiroquai
  • One More Minute by Weird Al Yankovic

So what is your top 10?