If you loved a laugh or always looked on the bright side of life, these upbeat funeral songs could be the perfect final farewell.
Choosing what music to play at a funeral is an important decision. Whether you’re choosing a song for a loved one’s funeral, or your own final farewell, you’ll want to choose something that reflects the person who is being remembered.
Now that celebration of life funerals are becoming more popular, songs for funerals aren’t always sad and serious. You might want happy funeral songs, that remind everyone how good life can be, or even funny funeral songs that will make people smile.
Here are 20 of the best uplifting funeral song ideas to leave loved ones with happy memories – and remember, if you have an Avalon funeral plan, you can include song requests in your personal request form.
- The Best – Tina Turner
If your loved one was simply the best, look no further than this classic power ballad from ‘The Queen of Rock n Roll’. This uplifting funeral song will let everyone know that they were someone truly special, better than all the rest.
- Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Monty Python
This funny funeral song is one of the UK’s most requested songs for funerals. Featured in the film Life of Brian, this tongue-in-cheek tune is about life’s ups and downs, and always finding a reason to smile.
- My Way – Frank Sinatra
Ol’ Blue Eyes’ My Way is a classic choice for an uplifting funeral song. It’s a song about a life well-lived, perfect to pay tribute to someone who enjoyed made the most of every day.
- Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum
Inspired by gospel music, this uplifting spiritual song is all about going to a better place after you die. If you believe in an afterlife and want to express your hope and faith, Spirit in the Sky is a happy, toe-tapping tune.
- Live Forever – Oasis
This hopeful rock song is a classic Brit pop anthem and fan favourite for funeral music. For live p-performances of this song, Oasis often played a slideshow of singers they admired who had died, including Elvis Presley, Bob Marley and John Lennon, as a testament to their spirits living on through their music.
- Highway to Hell – ACDC
Although it’s definitely not a choice for a religious service, this anthem has been chosen by rockers with a twisted sense of humour for their last goodbye. It makes for a funny funeral song with a riff that’ll have people head-banging in tribute.
Photo by Ed Vill
- What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
This thoughtful and uplifting funeral song comes from jazz legend Louis Armstrong. The lyrics will remind everyone that this world is beautiful and precious, and to make the most of every day.
- Bring Me Sunshine – Morecambe and Wise
Originally performed by various American artists in the late 60s, this cheerful tune was adopted by legendary comedy duo Morecambe and Wise. With an infectious melody and joyful lyrics, this would make a happy funeral song for someone who always brought sunshine to those around them.
- Three Little Birds (Don’t Worry About a Thing) – Bob Marley and the Wailers
It’s impossible not to smile when you hear Marley singing, “Don’t worry about a thing, cos everything little thing is gonna be alright.” It’s a perfect happy funeral song for a celebration of life, full of positivity and sunshine.
Photo by Eddie Mallin
- Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
In recent years, people with a dark sense of humour have been requesting this rock anthem for their funerals. With a thumping rhythm and catchy vocals, people will be singing along and smiling all the way.
If you want to have a say in what your final send-off is like, a funeral plan lets you plan your perfect farewell. You’ll also be securing funeral director fees at today’s prices.
- Keg on my Coffin – The Push Stars
This little known funeral song is all about throwing a celebration of life party for a good friend, with beer, pizza and plenty of laughter. “Just throw a party in my name,” says the singer, “Put the keg on my coffin, and think of me every so often.”
- Firework – Katy Perry
Katy Perry’s chart-topping pop hit is about finding strength in times of hardship and celebrating the things that make you special. It’s a beautiful funeral song for someone who lit up your life.
Photo by Sean MacEntee
- I’m Gonna Live Till I Die – Frank Sinatra
Another classic hit from Sinatra about seizing the day, I’m Gonna Live Till I Die is a swinging funeral song for anyone who enjoyed a good party. “Before my number’s up, I’m gonna fill my cup,” he sings, “I’m gonna live, live, live until I die!”
- Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
This classic rock song is about learning not to fear death, because love is eternal and will live on. It’s a perfect funeral tribute for any 70s rocker who believed in the power of true love.
- Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
It’s almost impossible not to sing along to this joyful pop song from Queen. If you’re looking for a happy funeral song that’ll have people smiling and tapping their feet, look no further.
Photo by Carl Lender
- Happy Days are Here Again – Ben Selvin and the Crooners
This 30s classic is a catchy, joyful tune about finding peace and happiness after troubled times. Meryl Streep sang this happy funeral song in honour of actress Carrie Fisher, at Fisher’s own request.
- More Than a Feeling – Boston
This electric guitar power ballad by Boston is all about listening to a favourite song and recalling old memories. It’s a poignant but uplifting funeral song, with lyrics about people coming and going through the years.
- Heroes – David Bowie
One of Bowie’s most beloved songs, Heroes was written during his time in Germany and inspired by the idea of two lovers separated by the Berlin wall. Nevertheless, it’s a hopeful love song about overcoming all obstacles to finally be together.
Photo by Adam Bielawski
- Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds
Fans of 80s films will know this powerful song from The Breakfast Club. If you’re paying tribute to someone truly unforgettable, or want to let loved ones know you’ll always be in their memories, it’s a great choice for a funeral song.
- We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn
Equal parts uplifting and moving, Vera Lynn’s classic love song is a powerful tribute to a missing loved one. It’s poignant, but also hopeful, with the happy thought of seeing that person again someday.
If you’re planning a loved one’s funeral, or deciding how you want to be remembered, you can discover more songs for funerals. When you buy an Avalon funeral plan, you can arrange your funeral in advance and request the songs you’d like at your final farewell.
About the author
With a Masters from the University of Bristol, Jessica Hanson has worked in the funeral sector for several years, following the latest industry trends and writing about end of life planning. Jessica has previously written as a blogger for the Huffington Post, covering topics such as death positivity, understanding grief and how funerals are changing. You can find Jessica on LinkedIn and Twitter.