The Most Popular Songs Played at Funerals

by Sophie

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The death of a loved one can be devastating, and the grieving process long and difficult. While you may be able to find comfort in the days and weeks after your bereavement from the well wishes and sympathy cards from friends and family, healing after a loss can take years.

Whether you are involved in the planning of the funeral or not, it can provide an opportunity to say goodbye and begin your healing process.

Every funeral is different as you celebrate the life of the one you loved, but there are some elements that feature in most services and memorials. One such feature is the music that is played. Some songs are played leaving space for reflection, while other songs remind us of the person we have lost. 

If you are planning the funeral of a loved one or simply looking for a soundtrack that will help you to reflect and remember, we have compiled a list of the most popular songs for funeral and memorial services. These include both mainstream tracks and religious or spiritual songs.

The most popular songs for funerals

We looked at 20,000 songs across over 300 user-created Spotify playlists to discover which songs are the most played at funerals. By searching for playlists that featured the words ‘funeral’ and ‘memorial’, we compiled a list of these reflective, touching songs.

Dancing in the Sky - Dani and Lizzy

My Way - Frank Sinatra

I Can Only Imagine - MercyMe

When I Get Where I’m Going (feat. Dolly Parton) - Brad Paisley

Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler

Angel - Sarah McLachlan

Go Rest High On That Mountain - Vince Gill

See You Again (feat, Charlie Puth) - Wiz Khalifa

Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo’o

Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton

The most played religious songs at funerals

Many funerals feature religious elements and music, even if the service itself is not traditionally religious. Many of these songs feature lyrics that imagine life after death or speak of peace and tranquillity after life.

I Can Only Imagine - MercyMe

Go Rest High On That Mountain - Vince Gill

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) - Chris Tomlin

Amazing Grace - Carrie Underwood

Dancing With The Angels - Monk & Neagle

Footprints in the Sand - Leona Lewis

I Will Rise - Chris Tomlin

Amazing Grace - LeAnn Rimes

Cry Out To Jesus - Third Day

Scars in Heaven - Casting Crowns

What makes a good funeral song?

When we look at the songs that appear on these playlists most often, we can see that there are a few features that many songs seem to have in common. 

The average funeral song has 119 beats per minute which surprisingly means that it has a relatively fast pace. Songs with 119 bpm include Stand By Me by Ben E. King, Fly Me To The Moon by Frank Sinatra and Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader.

We can even see that some words are more common in the titles of funeral songs than others, with the word ‘love’ topping the list, appearing 804 times across the titles of the 20,000 songs studied.

Methodology:

Using Spotify, we searched for playlists featuring the words ‘funeral’ and ‘memorial’. We then took the songs from 327 playlists giving us a total of 20,000 songs. By compiling the names and artists of all of these songs, we were able to find the number of times each song appeared across all 327 playlists, giving us the most popular songs for funerals.