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Somewhere over the rainbow



In times of sorrow and bereavement, a song can sometimes help you portray your feelings in a way that you are unable to express yourself. Music can play an important part in the funeral service.

A traditional funeral usually lasts around 30 minutes and generally, there will be music before, during and after the service. The music played can be either traditional hymns, but it is becoming more common to also include contemporary music that reflects the deceased’s personality or particular songs that were special to that person.

When it comes to choosing funeral music there are no rules, just plenty of choices. We have compiled a playlist of popular songs played at funerals to give you some inspiration:

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo

Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can’t I?
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?

Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
‘Cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven

Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
For you are the wind beneath my wings.

My Way by Frank Sinatra

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I’ve travelled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way

Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N' Roses

She’s got a smile it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I’d stare too long
I’d probably break down and cry

You Raise Me Up by Westlife

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.

Always Look On The Brightside of Life by Monty Python

For life is quite absurd,
And death’s the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow!
Forget about your sin — give the audience a grin,
Enjoy it, it’s the last chance anyhow!
So always look on the bright side of death!
Just before you draw your terminal breath.

Heaven Can Wait by Meatloaf

And all the gods come down here just to sing for me
And the melody’s gonna make me fly
Without pain
Without fear
Give me all of your dreams
And let me go along on your way

Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd

If I stay here with you girl
Things just couldn’t be the same
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now
And this bird you cannot change

Pictures of You by The Cure

I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they’re real
I’ve been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that the pictures
Are all I can feel

Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper

Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick,
And think of you
Caught up in circles confusion
Is nothing new
Flashback warm nights
Almost left behind
Suitcases of memories,
Time after time

Heaven Was Needing A Hero by Jo Dee Messina

I came by today to see you
I just had to let you know
If I knew the last time that I held you was the last time
I’d have held you, and never let go

Who Wants To Live Forever by Queen

Who wants to live forever,
Who wants to live forever…..?
There’s no chance for us,
It’s all decided for us,
This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us.

Every Breath You Take by Police

Since you’ve gone I been lost without a trace
I dream at night I can only see your face
I look around but it’s you I can’t replace
I feel so cold and I long for your embrace
I keep crying baby, baby, please

It Must Have Been Love by Roxette

It must have been love but it’s over now.
It must have been good but I lost it somehow.
It must have been love but it’s over now.
From the moment we touched ’til the time had run out.

As well as the funeral, you might also want to think about what music is to be played at the wake. Compiling a playlist of your loved ones favourite songs to play might add that extra personal touch and even trigger some memories that can be shared.

No aspect of organising a funeral is easy, but it helps if you prepare in advance. Selecting the music is only one small part of it. A Funeral Director will advise you on what to expect and provide you with guidance in order for you to plan your funeral.   

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