Top 10 traditional Scottish funeral music

Scottish funeralWe’re grateful to Hugh McAulay for his input on top tips for traditional Scottish funeral music.

Funeral hymns continue to be the number one driver of visitors to Final Fling. There’s a wide range of music that comes under the broad heading ‘hymns’ – some of them poems from Burns rather than hymns.

Hugh says: “There’s really quite a range of ‘Scottish’ music suitable for funerals so I am glad to be offering thoughts on traditional Scottish funeral music as there is quite a bit of what I would term ‘Scottish kitsch’ about!

Here’s Hugh’s Top 10:

  1. The Dark Island – listen to this quaint 60s recording of Fiona Kennedy singing this classic; well kent as a piping song.
  2. Amazing Grace – hear this stirring pipes and voices version.
  3. Highland Cathedral – Royal Scots Dragoons play out here. Hugh comments: “very popular, notwithstanding that it was apparently written by two Germans.”
  4. Ashokan farewell – nice Folk Alley sessions version here of this one written by an American but in the traditional Scottish mode.
  5. Farewell to Lismore
  6. For a’ that an’ a’ that
  7. Bonnie Mary of Argyle
  8. My Love is like a Red Red Rose – Rabbie Burns favourite, here the Eddi Reader version
  9. Ye Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon – Rabbie and Eddi again – winning combo
  10. Annie Laurie

Just outside the top 10 was Ae Fond Kiss – another Burns delight again here sung by Eddi Reader, Down in the Glen, and Westering Home.

Making plans for someone else’s send off is often the trigger for us thinking about organising our own funeral. If this inspires you to think about the music you’d like at your own funeral, for goodness sake, write it down in your Wishes using our free Life Planning Tools.

Got any great tips? Get in touch.

3 thoughts on “Top 10 traditional Scottish funeral music

  1. Would it be wrong for a member (former) of The black watch have1. highland cathedral and 2. Back bear played in addition to 3 going home and 4 abide with me for their funeral?

  2. When asked – at my sister’s funeral – to tell the single piper what to play from the church to the gravesite ,- I told him “Will Ye No Come Back Again” ( a lament for “Bonnie Prince Charlie”) and then “Green Hills of Tyrol” then “Danny Boy” (because she was Irish) and then at the grave site; ” Flowers of the Forest”… it satisfied me , even though most of the relatives and guests didn’t know anything but “Danny Boy”… But the PIper seemed pleased that I was able to pick out some ones he knew … I would have liked to hear The Irish National Anthem but he didn’t know it….

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