It can take some time to find the right song for a funeral, whether you’re looking for something for the service or are creating a playlist for a wake. If you’re planning a funeral for someone who enjoyed 1940s music or had fond memories of the decade, our collection of 1940s songs for funerals could help.
1940s funeral songs
(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover – Dame Vera Lynn
The White Cliffs of Dover is one of the most popular 1940s funeral songs. While it was originally released in 1941 as a World War II song, Dame Vera Lynn’s 1942 version is the best known. The song is about hope, happiness and focuses on how things will get better.
“There’ll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover
Just you wait and see
There’ll be love and laughter
And peace ever after
When the world is free.”
I’ll Be Seeing You – Bing Crosby
I’ll Be Seeing You was originally written for a Broadway show called “Right This Way”. The song has been covered by lots of artists, but Bing Crosby’s is the best-known version from the 1940s. You might connect with its lyrics, which talk about how we find memories of our loved ones in all sorts of places.
“I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces all day through
In that small café, the park across the way
The children’s carousel, the chestnut trees, the wishing well.”
You’ll Never Walk Alone – Carousel
Another popular choice when it comes to 40s songs to play at a funeral is You’ll Never Walk Alone. This show tune reminds us to keep our heads held high during the hardest of times. In 1963, the song was covered by Gerry & The Pacemakers, a Liverpudlian band. It went on to become the football anthem for Liverpool FC, so also makes a good choice for Liverpool football fans.
“When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark.”
You Are My Sunshine – Jimmy Davis
You Are My Sunshine has been covered by countless singers and its chorus is now often used as a lullaby for children. The original was released in 1940 by Jimmy Davis and is a good choice of 1940s song for a funeral. It talks about loss and the difficulty of losing a loved one.
“The other night dear as I lay sleeping
I dreamt I held you in my arms
But when I woke dear I was mistaken
And I hung my head and cried
You are my sunshine my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You’ll never know dear how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away.”
Sentimental Journey – Les Brown & Doris Day
Les Brown & Doris Day’s Sentimental Journey can help us to think of fond memories with our loved ones, turning back the hands of time and remembering the good times. This could be a good option if you’re looking for comfort.
“Gonna take a sentimental journey
Gonna set my heart at ease
Gonna make a sentimental journey
To renew old memories.”
I’ll Never Smile Again – Tommy Dorsey & Frank Sinatra
This 1940s funeral song focuses on how difficult it can be to feel positive or happy after losing someone close to you. While it is one of the more melancholy choices in our list, you might find that it expresses your feelings well.
“I’ll never love again
I’m so in love with you
I’ll never thrill again
To somebody new
Within my heart
I know I will never start
To smile again
Until I smile at you.”
Till the End of Time – Perry Como
One of the most popular love songs of the 1940s also serves well as a song for a 1940s funeral. It talks about an everlasting love that surpasses the seasons and other natural events, enduring “till the end of time”.
“Till the end of time
Long as stars are in the blue
Long as there’s a spring of birds
To sing I’ll go on loving you
Till the end of time
Long as roses bloom in May
My love for you will grow deeper
With every passing day.”
More funeral songs
You might need to search for a while before finding the right funeral song to express how you’re feeling or that really reflects the person you’re saying goodbye to. You can find more guidance on choosing a funeral song, as well as more ideas below.
Photo by Claus Grünstäudl on Unsplash