Top 10 Popular funeral music


Searching for ‘popular funeral music’ is constantly the no.1 reason people visit Final Fling.

First things first. Do we mean ‘popular’ as in ‘widely liked music’ or as in ‘pop music’ – that old Alan Freeman term. We mean ‘popular music’ – up for covering everything from Robbie Williams to Elbow and Monty Python’s increasingly popular funeral hit: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – the darkly-comic, ironic, jolly, whistle-along crucifixion scene from Life of Brian. For more tracks that might be considered ‘pop’ see our Final Fling Top 10.

Top 10 popular music

This is radio DJ Paul Gambacini’s popular Top 10 music for funerals, compiled for the Festival of the Living (#deathfest) at the Southbank Centre. Frank Sinatra’s  My Way  continues to float around the No. 1 choice for funeral music.

1. My Way, Frank Sinatra
2. The Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler
3. Angels, Robbie Williams
4. Time To Say Goodbye, Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
5. Stairway To Heaven, Led Zepplin
6. My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion
7. I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston
8. Goodbye My Lover, James Blunt
9. Candle In The Wind, Elton John
10. The Show Must Go On, Queen

listen | download

view | download

This updates the previous Top 10 popular rankings. You’ll see there are some constants:

1. My Way, Frank Sinatra
2. Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong
3. Time To Say Goodbye, Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
4. Unforgettable, Nat King Cole
5. The Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler
6. Amazing Grace, Lesley Garrett and other artists
7. We’ll Meet Again, Vera Lynn
8. Over the Rainbow, Judy Garland or Eva Cassidy
9. Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley, kd Lang, Alexandra Burke
10. Candle in the Wind, Elton John

listen | download

view | download

Top 10 funeral music lists

We’ve also compiled a set of Top 10 popular funeral music to make it easy for you and to inspire you. Download it below.

The Top 10s list covers several categories:

  • funeral hymns
  • popular funeral music
  • gospel
  • classical music for funerals
  • Final Fling users Top 10

Whatever funeral music or hymns you want for your send-off, keep track of it in your Wishes .

For many of us, thinking about favourite songs or music we want played at our funeral isn’t morbid – it’s celebratory. Some of us want to share the soundtrack of our life on our last big day – our own Final Fling. And music is usually the trigger that gets people thinking about funeral choices in the first place. So if you have ideas for music and other funeral plans, record these in your Final Fling Wishes – it’s free, easy (and strangely, fun) to do.


Listen to this lovely choral piece while you’re reading for inspiration. It doesn’t feature in any of the Top 10s – it’s a unique composition called May You See Diamonds. The song and music was written by Ali Burns for Nick Prater. This recording is by Bright Wings Chorus from Brattleborough in the US. It was composed for the choir by Brendan Taaffe.

When friend of Final Fling, artist Adrian Howells sadly died way too soon, another Flinger, Irene Kelso shared this with us as a way of celebrating Adrian’s life. Lovely.

Irene told us: “May you see diamonds” was written by Ali burns for Nick Prater. The recording is by Bright Wings Chorus from Brattleboro in the USA singing May You See Diamonds. Brendan Taaffe composes and rehearses and I think, started the group.

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Popular funeral music

  1. We are finding that many families are leaning towards a ‘day of celebration of life’ and the music choices are becoming more and more upbeat. The very first funeral service I ever played at was for my mother and the second service was for her sister my aunty, and this is going back some 14 years ago. I understand the balance between grieving and celebration of life by means of music. Our Steel Drum band brings a naturally uplifting sounding. Whether Service, Graveside or Wake, the right music will bring back some amazing memory links and upliftment in the moment.

  2. I’m dismayed by some of the choices in the ‘Popular funeral music’ lists ! Of course it’s a very personal (& final!) choice but please let me suggest some very suitable and moving tray to consider;

    1. Imagine – John Lennon
    2. The Parting Glass – The Dubliners
    3. Somewhere Down the Road – Maddy Prior
    4. The Water is Wide – Steeleye Span
    5. The Journey – Keith Christmas

    I have many others to suggest (including one by Bonnie Raitt) but the above are a start …

    If you’re unfamiliar with any of the above – please check ‘em out & listen to the words and the ‘feeling’ contained within – you may be pleasantly surprised !

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