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What music do people choose for funerals? 

In recent years, there has been an enormous change in the type of music chosen for funerals.  More and more people are choosing secular music, even when the service is conducted by a religious minister.  Below, I have listed some of the tracks that have been played at funerals I have conducted, as an illustration of the wide variety of music chosen.  Some places (like Easthampstead Park Crematorium) have the Wesley Music system installed.  This means that you don't have to provide the CDs.  You can have any piece of music that is commercially available.  I recommend that you read the lyrics of your chosen tracks to check that they are appropriate.  Many songs are about a relationship breaking up rather than bereavement.  Also, please be aware that for many pieces of music, especially classical, there will be several versions.  There are hundreds of versions of Ave Maria!

You may also want to ask your funeral director about having someone play the bagpipes (Ron Paterson from Wokingham is excellent) or having a choir or small group of singers.

Wesley Music



TV, Radio and Film Themes

BBC Match of the Day

BBC Test Cricket

Bring Me Sunshine, Morecambe and Wise

Cavatina (The Deerhunter) various artists

Desert Island Discs (By The Sleepy Lagoon)

Gardener's World

The Great Escape

Lara's Theme (Dr Zhivago)

Last of the Summer Wine


My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion (Titanic)

Somewhere In Time, John Barry

There You'll Be, Faith Hill (Pearl Harbour)

Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines

Novelty/Football Songs

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Eric Idle

Gone Fishin' Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong

Eton Boating Song, Reg Pursglove Orchestra

Grandad, Clive Dunn

I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

Messing About On The River, Josh MacRae

On Ilkley Moor Baht'at, Band of the Grenadier Guards

The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Tokens

You'll Never Walk Alone, Gerry & The Pacemakers

Female Vocalists

Close to You, The Carpenters

Dream A Little Dream Of Me, Doris Day

Feelin' Good, Nina Simone

Fields of Gold, Eva Cassidy

How Long Will I Love You, Ellie Goulding 

I Know You By Heart, Eva Cassidy

I'll Stand By You, Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders)

Make You Feel My Love, Adele

Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O'Connor

Run, Leona Lewis

Que Sera Sera, Doris Day

Somewhere Over the Rainbow, various artists

Take My Hand, Dido

The Rose, Bette Midler

We'll Meet Again, Vera Lynn

Male Vocalists

Angels, Robbie Williams

Bat Out of Hell, Meat Loaf

Beyond The Rainbows End, Daniel O'Donnell

Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel

Everything I Do (I Do It For You) Bryan Adams

Everything I Own, David Gates

Fields of Gold, Sting

Find Me, David Gates

Gangsta's Paradise, Coolio

My Way, Frank Sinatra

Smile, Nat King Cole

Tears in Heaven, Eric Clapton

The Wonder of You, various artists

To Where You Are, Josh Groban

Unforgettable, Nat King Cole

We Have All the Time in the World, Louis Armstrong

What A Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong

You're The Greatest, R Kelly


All You Need is Love, The Beatles

Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen

Everybody Hurts, REM

Flying Without Wings, Westlife

I Have A Dream, Abba/Westlife

I'm Free, The Who

In My Life, The Beatles

Let It Be, The Beatles

My Hero, The Foo Fighters

One Day Like This, Elbow

Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin

Thank You for the Music, Abba

The Show Must Go On, Queen

These are the Days of our Lives, Queen

Who Wants to Live Forever, Queen

Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd


There are versions of these played by many different military bands:

A Life On The Ocean Wave, The Band of the Royal Marines

Blaze Away

Heart of Oak

Hurrah for the CRE

Hymn To The Fallen from Saving Private Ryan



The Great Escape

The Last Post


Adagio for Strings, Barber

Adagio, Albinoni

Blue Danube, Johann Strauss

Canon in D, Pachelbel

Clair de Lune, Debussy

Fantasia para un Gentilhombre, Second Movement Rodrigo

Four Seasons (Largo from Winter) Vivaldi

Meditation, Thais, Massenet

Le Onde, Einaudi

Le Reve, Saint-Preux

Morning, Grieg from Peer Gynt

Nimrod, Elgar

Sheep May Safely Graze, Bach  

Spiegel im Spiegel, Arvo Part

The Lark Ascending, Ralph Vaughan Williams

Waltz of the Flowers, Tchaikovsky from the Nutcracker Suite


Ave Maria

Ave Verum Corpus, Mozart

Dido's Lament, Purcell

In Paradisum, Faure

Land of My Fathers

Nessun Dorma, Puccini from Turandot

O Fortuna from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana

One Fine Day, Puccini from Madame Butterly

Pie Jesu written by Faure from his Requiem

Pie Jesu written by Andrew Lloyd Webber from his Requiem

Zadok the Priest


Albatross, Fleetwood Mac

Cavatina, John Williams

Moonlight Serenade, Glenn Miller

Romance, John Williams

String of Pearls, Glenn Miller

Modern Classics

Ave Maria, Beyonce

Do Not Stand (at my grave and weep) Libera or Katherine Jenkins

Going Home, Libera 

Time to Say Goodbye, Andrea Boccelli & Sarah Brightman and others

You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban


Abide With Me by Michael English

Amazing Grace by Judy Collins

The Lord Is My Shepherd (Vicar of Dibley) Christchurch Cathedral Choir Oxford


Ashokan Farewell, Ungar & Mason

Auld Lang Syne

Danny Boy, The Choir Boys

Flower of Scotland

Highland Cathedral, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

I Will Find You, Clannad

The Skye Boat Song

Watermark, Enya

We'll Keep A Welcome In The Hillside, Fron Male Voice Choir