20 Meaningful funeral songs for Mum

Funeral Planning
A mother kisses her baby

Music is as universal as one’s love for their mother. The bond between a mother and child is quite possibly the strongest force in the known universe and, you might argue, it is even stronger than romantic love.

So, when mum departs from your life, it can be utterly devastating — you might feel like you’ve just lost a major part of yourself. But as with everything in life, time will heal all and you will hopefully move on to do the great things that your mother hoped you would achieve.

To memorialize her, a great final gesture is to play a series of carefully selected songs for her at her funeral. They could be songs that she loved, or simply songs about mothers. To help during this time of grief and healing, we’ve curated a playlist especially for you and your beloved mum.

1. Boyz II Men — A Song for Mama

One of the all-time R&B classics by legendary group Boyz II Men, this song’s title says it all. The lyrics and harmony articulate how we feel about our mothers, and how grateful we are for the blessings they’ve given us. Play this song at your mum’s funeral or memorial to show how much they meant to you.

2. Carrie Underwood — Mama’s Song

Carrie Underwood is known for simple but brilliant songwriting. She is able to take the traditional lyricsim of country music and adapt it to contemporary tastes, and this song is a great example. We all have a song that’s dear to us, and our mums are no exception. While this song itself might not have been your mum’s song, it is still a wonderful tune to dedicate to your late, great mother.

3. The Shirelles — Mama Said

Our mothers are full of wisdom. They have experienced a lot in life and are always happy to share their knowledge with us. Think about all of the words your mother has shared with you: advice, words of comfort, lessons, stories, jokes and expressions of love. This song by the Shirelles is a great way to reflect on what our mama said to us.

4. The Band Perry — Mother Like Mine

“She's the sky that holds the clouds

She's the lady of the house

A blind believer in all I dare to be

There's no safer place I've found

Than the shoulder of her white nightgown

Oh I've got the best and the worst of her in me

And I'd share her if I could”

These lyrics quite realistically reflect the intricate relationships we have with our mothers. It’s both loving and honest about what we get from our mums, and how much they love us. We are shaped by our mothers, who are often the most influential people in our lives.

5. 2Pac — Dear Mama

It’s become an annual tradition for hip-hop radio stations to play this song every Mother’s Day. Its official music video on YouTube also gets hundreds of comments about mothers and dedications every year. For those who are hip-hop fans, or simply like good honest music, this classic by a great music icon is a good song to dedicate to your mother. Obviously, since it’s a rap song, it’s probably best to play the censored or radio-friendly version at a memorial, unless of course your mother liked to keep it real!

6. Christina Aguilera — Oh Mother

“Oh mother, we're stronger

From all of the tears you have shed

Oh mother, don't look back

Cause he'll never hurt us again”

This song is very raw and could be intensely emotional. Parts of the lyrics might not even apply to your own mother’s life, but the chorus is universal and heartfelt. It reminds us of our mother’s strength and how her bravery and toughness have rubbed off on us.

7. Good Charlotte — Thank You Mom

If you want a more pop-punk tune, this song from Good Charlotte is a sound choice. It’s a song that reminisces about the great times you’ve had with your mother — especially childhood memories. It’s also a song that heaps praise and gratitude on mothers everywhere.

8. Adele — Sweetest Devotion

While the critically-acclaimed songstress is known for love ballads and tales of heartbreak and longing, this song could actually be applied to a familial love. Adele sings:

“I wasn't ready then, I'm ready now

I'm heading straight for you

You will only be eternally

The one that I belong to.”

The lyrics remind us that although there are different types of love in life, the love between mother and child is eternal and unbreakable. Even when your other relationships disintegrate, you can always come home to your roots, to your mother. Adele perfectly captures this sentiment with the following lyrics:

“In every face that I've ever known

And there is something 'bout the way you love me

That finally feels like home.”

9. Josh Groban — You Raise Me Up

Quite possibly Groban’s best-known hit, this song is very much fitting for a loved one’s funeral, memorial or even tribute video. The lyrics, the powerful vocals, the instrumentals all harmonize to create one of the greatest songs of modern music. It is an amazing tune to dedicate to your beloved mother.

10. The Beatles — In My Life

This classic tune by the legendary band is mellow and perfectly expresses how much we love our mother. A lot of the earlier songs by the Beatles are actually fine as funeral songs. As the lyrics go: “In my life, I love you more.”

11. The Cranberries — When You’re Gone

This emotive song is delivered by the Cranberries’s late singer Dolores O’Riordan, who had a distinctive and powerful voice. Her strong vocal range and energy mixed with the band’s instrumentals produced numerous hits during the 80s and 90s. This song is a great tune to listen to while reflecting on how much you miss your mother, while accepting that life must go on.

12. Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men — One Sweet Day

This is the second Boyz II Men entry on this list. This track broke numerous records and received both commercial and critical acclaim. One of the biggest female pop stars of all time, Mariah Carey teamed up with the most successful male R&B group of the 90s to deliver one of the most emotional yet uplifting songs ever recorded. This classic is something you can play whether at a memorial service or simply on an evening at home.

13. Coldplay — The Scientist

This is the song that perhaps launched Coldplay’s mainstream status. Its memorable music video and famous piano melody is well-known by this point. It’s a modern ballad that imagines a scientist trying to go back in time. This is a scenario we all play in our head when someone we love dies. It can be a good coping exercise that can help you move on in real life.

14. Tim McGraw —Please Remember Me

You can’t have a list like this without having a country crooner like Tim McGraw. This classic by the highly successful country star is still played in digital jukeboxes and streaming playlists to this day. It’s a song that will help you reflect on those you used to know and have lost touch with, including Mum.

15. Fleetwood Mac — Landslide

For some reason, this song always evokes memories of home and makes us think of our relationships with our parents. It’s one of the all-time classics by the legendary band. Stevie Nicks’ unique vocals and rhythm are magnetic. This tune will surely make many people shed tears during your mother’s funeral, especially as she sings:

“Well, I've been afraid of changin'

'Cause I've built my life around you

But time makes you bolder

Even children get older

And I'm getting older too.”

16. Celine Dion — My Heart Will Go On

This iconic song is, understandably, always connected to the film Titanic. The movie was massive, no pun intended, and so was this song, which was its official soundtrack. However, the song by itself is a great tune, even without its attachment to the movie and pop culture status.

17. Incubus — Wish You Were Here

This is one of the best songs by the band Incubus. The song is quite simple but still delivers a message. Incubus is known for mixing various sounds together to create multilayered tracks, and this song will surely have you bobbing your head to its rhythm as you think about your mum.

18. The Jackson 5 — I’ll Be There

This classic hit by the young Michael Jackson and his equally talented siblings can be viewed in two ways. It could be a message to your beloved mum, saying that you are with them literally from the beginning up to the end, from the womb to the tomb. The other perspective is that your mother was always there for you in times of need and comfort. Either way, this is a great tune that not only sounds amazing, but also has a lot of depth.

19. Michael Bublé — Home

It’s not just people or past events that one can miss. One of the most common things we long for is a place called home. It is our roots, where family and childhood friends reside. Wherever we go, home will always be the place where we can return to. This famous song by Michael Bublé perfectly captures that sentiment.

20. Edwin McCain — Letter to My Mother

Edwin McCain is one of the best songwriters of the 90s, but he probably doesn't get enough credit for his artistry. This song is great at articulating how much our mothers mean to us. Edwin McCain sings:

“Mama, how do I write the words to you

You were the only one who loved me true.”

Our mother’s love for us was true indeed.