Music and Lyrics for Bereavement
Some of the songs featured on these pages may be suitable for funerals and memorial services - either before the service when people are arriving, during the service, or afterwards as they are leaving. Often a reflective piece is played within the service itself while time is spent reflecting on the life of your lost one.
Talk with your funeral director about how and when to include music in the service, and how much to include. There are people who love music who might prefer that their service contain more music than straight words! (I think that I might be one of those people!).
When planning the service, remember that you can use any music that you would like to - do not feel constrained by traditional choices, unless that is what your loved one desired. Ideally the music played at services should reflect the person in some way.. perhaps a long time favourite, or a song from their homeland, or a song that describes their personality.
The songs don't need to be about death, loss or rememberance. Maybe there are songs that have meaning to the people who are attending the service as well? You might want to finish on a high note, with an uplifting piece of music that really tells the story about your loved one's life or is the essence of who they were. It might be on the lighter side - something completely different that no-one expects, something that makes everyone smile! Maybe you would like to play a song that is special in other ways? Perhaps the service is for your sweetheart and you decide to play a song that meant something to just the two of you? Give it some thought as the options are endless...
The music ideas on these pages are listed under 8 different titles: Family, Instrumental, Lighter Side, Listening, Reflective, Spiritual, Sweetheart and Uplifting.
Some of the songs that are listed on these Music pages are popular songs that have been recorded by many different artists in a huge range of different styles. Others are a little more obscure. Some are older, more traditional songs. And there are the modern more recent songs too. Some recordings lend themselves to be played at funerals more than others. Although there are many versions of these songs available, I have listed my personal favourite artists' recordings which could be suitable for funerals and memorial services. If you have the time to search out your own favourites, then this is well worthwhile, otherwise, my favourites may assist you with your planning.
Other songs that are listed on these pages may not be suitable for the service, but may be suitable for grieving - they may be beneficial to listen to in your hours of need. Many of these songs may not have been written specifically about death or grieving, but the melodies and lyrics lend themselves to moments of reflectiveness. Beware though - we should not wallow in our mire, so it is not healthy to listen to these types of songs for long periods of time. However, it is healthy to listen when you need to, to assist in the healing - particularly in the early stages of grief.
The music pages are a constant work in progress - as I come across other songs and instrumental pieces that are suitable, they will be added.
Some people will tell their loved ones of their chosen 'funeral song' years before they die. I recall knowing what my grandmother wanted played at her funeral long before she passed away. When it was time to plan my own mother's funeral, I was distressed when I could not recall the song that she had told me she wanted. But then... I was in shock at the time! All it took was ploughing through my personal collection of music early one morning when I could not sleep, for me to find the song. As soon as I saw the name I knew it was the one I had been struggling to recall. Needless to say the relief of finding it was immense.... something so small that meant so much. To prevent this ever happening again, I will now always make a note of these sorts of things that are discussed while a loved one is alive.
Although it might seem depressing to talk about these types of things, it is always nice to plan a service that you know your loved one would have wanted. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can always make light of the topic while discussing it. I remember when I was a little girl.. my nana, in discussions with my mother, would often refer to a time in the future "when I'm gone".. I have been told that my innocent little voice would pop up and say "Where ya going Nana?". Memories like that make me smile. You may not feel like smiling right now - but over time, the pain will soften and you will find that the nice memories can be comforting to recall.
The lyrics on these pages are a guide only as these can differ between recordings. Where possible I have included links to publicly available recordings of the songs so that you can listen to these on You Tube before making a decision. (No copyright infringement intended).
Should you decide to use any of the songs listed, I have also provided links to my favourite recordings available for purchase at Amazon.com. If you would prefer to use an alternative recording use the search box on the right to check which versions are available for purchase.
(If you come across any pages which don't link as they should, please feel free to let me know so that I can fix it...)