20 Uplifting funeral songs to celebrate a life

Funeral Planning
A guitar is being played, but all we can see are the musician's hands on the fretboard and strings.

Choosing the right music to play at a funeral is an important decision. When picking music for the funeral of a loved one, choosing a song that they will be remembered by, and best reflects the person they were, is the best way to go.

Funerals are about celebrating the life of a loved one. They are a sad occasion, but they should also be satisfying as you commemorate their life and the person they were. Uplifting funeral songs are a great way of reminding people how good the life of the deceased was and may even make attendees smile.

We have compiled a list of the top 20 uplifting funeral songs to celebrate a life, which will leave loved ones with fond memories.

1. I've Had the Time Of My Life — Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

This is a song based on positive affirmations of living life to the fullest. It’s a great way to celebrate the memories of your loved one.

2. I'm Gonna Live Until I Die — Frank Sinatra

Another great song based on living life to its full potential, this one’s well-known and popular at weddings as it creates happy and positive vibes.

3. My Way — Elvis Presley

This well-known song is the ultimate tribute to an individual who lived life to the full.

4. Don't Worry Be Happy — Bobby McFerrin

An eternally happy song that’s perfect for an upbeat funeral, this tune is bound to make guests smile, and will remind them to be happy while celebrating the life of the deceased.

5. What a Wonderful World — Louis Armstrong

A hit song that has become a much-loved funeral song over the years. “What a wonderful world” helps inspire listeners to think past their grief and remember it's still a wonderful world even though their loved one has left the Earth.

6. You Are the Sunshine of My Life — Stevie Wonder

A 70’s hit which expresses undying love, this song is an oldie but a goodie, and it’s perfect for remembering the best parts of your loved one’s life.

7. Bring Me Sunshine — Morecambe & Wise

A cheerful and uplifting song which is about bringing joy to tomorrow, this is a great choice for a final farewell that reflects the person who is being remembered.

8. Drops of Jupiter — Train

This song is a popular funeral song choice. It’s the perfect tune for celebrating a loved one's path to heaven, with lyrics that will see some shedding a tear or two.

9. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) — Green Day

A popular and modern funeral song by Green Day with poignant, bittersweet lyrics. It’s a reminder to cherish every moment you've spent with the one you love. The energy this song is sung with makes it a good choice if you’re after something uplifting.

10. Stairway to Heaven — Led Zeppelin

A classic rock song which is a popular one played at funerals all over the world. It explores the transition to heaven in a truly beautiful way.

11. Free Bird — Lynyrd Skynyrd

A simple song with a simple message, this tune is all about the soul's freedom to fly wherever it desires to go. It’s one of the most uplifting funeral songs you can play to celebrate a life.

12. The Show Must Go On — Queen

A heartfelt song reflecting on the courage, determination and strength in life that the singer relied on in his own life, and that we all rely on.

13. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life — Monty Python

One of the most requested funeral songs, this one will put a smile on your face. It's an uplifting tune that explores the ups and downs of life, but points out the need to always find a reason to have a smile on your face.

14. The Best — Tina Turner

This uplifting funeral song will remind everyone how much the deceased person really meant to them and that they are truly special — better than all the rest.

15. Live Forever — Oasis

This is a classic rock song which is the perfect way to honour someone who loved a great rock ballad. The lyrics in this song will reflect our thoughts and feelings about your loved one and will make their funeral a very memorable one.

16. Firework — Katy Perry

This chart-topping pop hit has gained popularity at funerals. The song explores the strength you find when times are difficult, and celebrates the things that make someone special. It’s a lovely and uplifting song to play at the funeral for the one who lit up your life.

17. I’m Gonna Live Till I Die – Frank Sinatra

Looking for a classic? This is the song for you. A heartfelt ballad which brings a tear to the eye but also makes you think how lucky you were to know your loved one, and how honored you are to celebrate their amazing life.

18. Heroes — David Bowie

This beloved song by Bowie is about love and overcoming all obstacles to finally be together with the one you love. Surviving through the good and the bad is one of the main messages in this song, and it’s a great tune to end a funeral with.

19. Don’t Stop Me Now — Queen

This song is a show-stopper. If you’re after a happy funeral song that’ll have people smiling and tapping their feet, this is the song for you.

20. You Raise Me Up — Westlife

An upbeat funeral song which has lyrics that can be interpreted two ways: either thinking about someone who gave you strength in life, or contemplating your faith. It’s a great song to finish a beautiful funeral with.

Choosing the right song for the perfect send-off is a special job. It's one of the last meaningful things you can do for the one you love and pay tribute to everything they did for you and the amazing life they led. As a celebration, funeral songs that are uplifting and positive give attendees a great reflection on the life of your loved one.