While funerals are usually difficult, your best memories of your loved one might be tied to music. When a meaningful experience is associated with music, it creates strong emotional connections.
Having the right music to commemorate your dad is important, and when it’s difficult to articulate how you feel about him in words, your emotions can be reflected through the perfect song.
So, whether you're planning a virtual or physical send-off for your dad, here are our top 20 funeral songs to play that will resonate with you and your loved ones. They're also great inclusions for his online memorial.
1. Tears in Heaven — Eric Clapton
This classic funeral song will make you tear up. If you choose this as your father’s funeral song, there won’t be a dry eye in the place. It’s one of our top picks.
2. Dance with My Father — Luther Vandross
This deeply personal track about the singer’s late father pulls at the heartstrings.
3. Wake Me Up When September Ends — Green Day
A song about the loss of the frontman’s father, this track is a little more upbeat but also allows you to think as you listen to the words. A very beautiful song.
4. Song for Dad — Keith Urban
An unforgettable country funeral song for Dad. The tune is upbeat and positive while the lyrics are thankful and considerate of how much a child can look up to their father. The singer discusses how he wants the same amazing qualities his father possessed when he becomes a father of his own. This song is a good one to start the funeral with.
5. Hero — Mariah Carey
This song is a classic, and meaningful to many children, since many dads are heroes to their kids. If you are planning your father’s funeral and are looking for a tune that will let people know how much you have learned from your personal hero, then this is a great choice.
6. Thank you for being my dad — Jon Barker
This song is a self-explanatory choice of funeral music for Dad. The message expresses gratitude to the main male role model in your life. The lyrics simply communicate, “thank you for being my dad,” and help remind us that even if we don’t say thank you to our dads every day, that gratitude will always exist.
7. Old man — Neil Young
An uplifting song choice to play during a funeral for dad, this song also has a soothing feel to it. It’s more of a pleasing melody to celebrate the life of a dad and the amazing person he was.
8. The Living Years — Mike & the The Mechanics
If you want to choose a meaningful song for your father's funeral, consider The Living Years. The lyrics are about what a son wants to say to his father while he is still alive, and analyse which elements of his father the singer can see in his newborn baby. Essentially, it is a funeral song dedicated to the father to commemorate the connection between the past, the present and the future.
9. In Loving Memory — Alter Bridge
Such a simple yet powerful song that tells your dad “thank you” for everything he has done for you and your family.
10. Wind Beneath My Wings — Gerald Levert and Eddie Levert
A traditional choice for a funeral. This version of the R&B version of the Bette Midler classic is sung by the father-son soul duo who base the song on their own relationship. A great song for the start of a funeral for Dad.
11. Forever Young — Bob Dylan
This is a simple song with a clear message based on the singer’s hopes and dreams for his son.
12. Love Without End, Amen — George Strait
A passionate and significant funeral song, this country track reflects on the never-ending and unconditional love between a father and son.
13. Drops of Jupiter — Train
A gentle song that is great for releasing those memories and sentimental emotions you have for your father. Part of this song reminds you of heaven, which is referenced through the “big open sky”. It's a great song to end a funeral, and celebrate dad’s life.
14. I’ve Had The Time Of My Life — Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
Celebrate the man he was with this great classic which will put a smile on your face and help you remember all the great moments you shared with Dad.
15. Halo — Beyoncé
This song is another top pick. It really touches our hearts as you can feel the emotions and love portrayed through the lyrics.
16. My Way — Frank Sinatra
Sinatra's classic big band sound has a provocative and upbeat style, and many families have found this an ideal funeral song for parents. The lyrics focus on a person's unique life, and the mark they made on everything they leave behind.
17. Stairway to Heaven — Led Zeppelin
Another classic rock song, this one is an ideal song for your father’s funeral. The lyrics are beautiful and will evoke that emotional connection you and your family had with your dad.
18. We’ll Meet Again — Vera Lynn
This song is perfect for those moments when you know in your heart that you will meet again, but do not know how or when it will happen. It’s a very touching and memorable tune, and perfect for a funeral.
19. Bye Bye — Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey’s opening line of this 2008 hit song dedicates it to all those who have lost a loved one. The steady rhythm emphasises the soft, contemplative lyrics, expressing the pain of losing loved ones and our confidence that they are now at peace.
20. Footprints in the Sand — Leona Lewis
An emotional song that will help us remember Dad forever. This funeral song is based on the theme from the “Footprints in the Sand” poem which shows how a dad is always present for those around him.
When it comes to funeral songs, these are heartwarming and memorable and will be a good way of celebrating the life of your loved one. Picking a song that is significant to your relationship with your dad will make the funeral one you’ll never forget.