The importance of music

Music is a fundamental part of a funeral

Music evokes memories with just an intro or a blast of a chorus and can perfectly reflect the person whose life you are celebrating. It’s tough though to whittle down a top tunes list. Your ‘Desert Islands Disc’ list can change and evolve over time! My mum’s list for her funeral is so long – it is likely to require a two-day festival.

So, what’s the right music to choose? There are the old favourites that prove to be popular time and time again BUT the key thing to remember is that there is no ‘right’ music. It’s a personal choice that is yours to decide.

Generally, there are usually three pieces of music. One to come in to, one in the middle of the service to listen and reflect to and one to finish the service. The music can be hymns, songs from any genre, or even live performances from friends & family.

There may be lots of discussion about what is appropriate and acceptable but it’s important to choose the music that you want, not the music you think you OUGHT to have.

There have been plenty of memorable choices by my families. The farmer whose family left his service to ‘I’ve Got A Brand New Combine Harvester’ by The Wurzels; the mourners who turned to greet the coffin of a lady in her nineties coming into the service chapel singing along to ‘Rock DJ’ by Robbie Williams – because it was the song that always got her up and dancing; the father who wrote and performed a song dedicated to his daughter at her funeral….too many to mention.

So next time you are having dinner with family & friends why not ask them for the three songs they would want at their funeral, it makes for an interesting and lively conversation and may save you from some angst one day in the future.

According to an article from the top 20 choices for funerals in 2023 were:

  • Last of The Summer Wine theme tune
  • Canon in D by Pachelbel
  • My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion
  • Soul Limbo by Booker T & the MG’s (BBC Test Cricket Highlights theme tune)
  • You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry & The Pacemakers
  • Angels by Robbie Williams
  • Enigma Variations – Nimrod by Eward Elgar
  • My Way by Frank Sinatra
  • No Matter What by Boyzone
  • Match of The day theme tune
  • Always Look on The Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle
  • Hello by Adele
  • Lay Me Down by Sam Smith
  • Diamonds by Rihana
  • How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding
  • Flying Without Wings by Westlife
  • See You Again by Wiz Khalifa (written as a tribute to Fast & Furious film star Paul Walker)
  • Over The Rainbow by various (most popular Eva Cassidy)
  • Time to Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman
  • What would be YOUR three songs?