Are you looking for modern songs that are suitable for a funeral? Here are a few of our favourites. Why not listen to a few and see if they would suit the funeral you’re planning?
Popular modern funeral songs
Here are some of the most-requested modern songs for funeral services (Co-op). They’re popular for a reason, so start here if you’re stuck for ideas.
Ed Sheeran – Supermarket Flowers
Ed Sheeran wrote ‘Supermarket Flowers’ for his grandmother after she died. The lyrics are written from the perspective of Sheeran’s mother. ‘You were an angel in the shape of my mum’, she thinks, as she clears out her mother’s home and reflects on her love.
Keala Settle – This Is Me
‘This is Me’ comes from the musical film The Greatest Showman. It’s an empowering song about standing up for yourself and being proud of who you are. If you play it at a person’s funeral, it will seem to say ‘I lived through ups and downs but still did things my way’.
Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars
This 2006 song celebrates the feeling of being with someone you love and feel comfortable with. ‘Let’s waste time chasing cars around our heads’, sings Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody. He can spend time with the person he loves and not say a word – they’re happy in their own little world.
Modern-day funeral songs for mum
Here are some of the best modern funeral songs to say goodbye to mum. They’re all about the warmth and wisdom that only a mother can provide.
Carrie Underwood – Mama’s Song
Carrie Underwood is an American country singer who isn’t very well known in the UK. You don’t need to be familiar with ‘Mama’s Song’ to enjoy it, though. It tackles a subject many of us can relate to – learning from our mothers and passing those lessons on to our own children.
K. Michelle – A Mother’s Prayer
Here’s an uplifting RnB number that would be a good choice of funeral exit music – the song that plays when people leave the funeral venue. K. Michelle sings about her experience of being a mum and how it changed her life. You may find comfort in lyrics like ‘in your darkest hours, I’ll help guide your way’ and ‘even when it hurts, it’ll be OK’.
Taylor Swift – The Best Day
Do you have special memories of your mum that might seem mundane to other people? That’s what ‘The Best Day’ is about. In this gentle country-pop song, Taylor Swift remembers childhood road trips and tractor rides with her mum. And no matter what they did, they always had ‘the best day’.
Modern-day funeral songs for dad
Was your dad a fan of modern music? These songs might strike a chord with people at the funeral service.
Chrisette Michele – Your Joy
This pretty soul tune is a daughter’s tribute to her dad. The song starts with a soft guitar backing, as Michele sings about treasured childhood memories. Slowly, it builds to a beautiful climax, where Michele promises to always have a place in her heart for her dad, even as times change.
Johnny Cash – The Man Comes Around
‘The Man Comes Around’ is a stark yet lively country tune about facing up to the reality of death. The lyrics mix religious references with some language that might not be suitable for all listeners, so read them first to make sure you’re comfortable with them.
Paul Simon – Father and Daughter
‘Father and Daughter’ has a bouncy sound, with upbeat drums and pretty guitar melodies. The lyrics are very poignant: ‘there could never be a father who loved his daughter more than you’. It’s the kind of song that can make people feel happy, sad and nostalgic, all at the same time.
Modern funeral songs for a young person
It can be difficult to choose songs for a young person’s funeral. Here are some ideas that could help you set the right mood.
Sam Smith – Lay Me Down
This popular modern funeral song is about yearning to be with someone you love. ‘You told me not to cry when you were gone’, sings Smith, ‘but the feeling’s overwhelming, it’s much too strong’. The song was written with a romantic message, but it would work just as well as a tribute to a friend or relative.
The Band Perry – If I Die Young
‘If I Die Young’ is a country song with a positive Christian message. The singer, Kimberly Perry, says she won’t mind if she dies young because she’ll be safe with God. She just hopes that her loved ones won’t feel too sad when she’s gone.
Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved
In ‘Someone You Loved’, Capaldi expresses the confusion we feel after losing someone unexpectedly. When he sings ‘I let my guard down and then you pulled the rug’, he sounds fragile, angry and upset. If you’re grieving for a young person, you may recognise this complex mixture of emotions.
More modern songs to play at a funeral
These songs could suit any funeral service where modern music is allowed. Each has a different feel, so have a listen and see what you think.
The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize??
‘Do You Realize??’ is about those ‘wow’ moments, when we think about the vastness of the universe and our place within it. The song reminds us that life is short and that we should appreciate our loved ones while they’re still around.
Dani and Lizzy – Dancing in the Sky
Twin sisters Dani and Lizzy wrote ‘Dancing in the Sky’ after losing a close friend. It became a YouTube hit and has gone on to become a popular funeral song. The sisters say they hope their friend is living a joyful and peaceful life now they’re in Heaven.
Enya – Only Time
In ‘Only Time’, Enya reflects on some of life’s big questions. She asks, ‘who can say where the road goes?’ and ‘who can say why your heart sighs when your love flies?’ The answer: only time can tell – and only time can heal.
More funeral music ideas
- Pop songs for funerals (1960s to 1990s)
- Uplifting funeral songs
- How to choose funeral songs: a guide
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