Songs for a Funeral

Death is something I have come to terms with. It is something that is unavoidable and inevitable. I don’t find it morbid to think of things that come with an untimely demise. We always want more time, but don’t always get it.

Here are songs that I would like to be played at my funeral;


Forever Young – Bob Dylan

It’s a beautiful and uplifting piece of prose that was brought to life through the music of the one and only Bob Dylan. His words are deep and his message is clear. This one resonates with me deeply.

“May you grow up to be righteous / May you grow up to be true /May you always know the truth / And see the lights surrounding you. / May you always be courageous / Stand upright and be strong / And may you stay / Forever young”

Don’t Bring Me Down – ELO 

What is life without a little Electric Light Orchestra? Pretty uninviting I’d say. This is a feel good tune, something a good funeral needs.

 “You got me shakin’ got me runnin’ away /You get me crawlin’ up to you everyday, /Don’t bring me down, no no no no no,/I’ll tell you once more before I get off the floor /Don’t bring me down.”

Lullaby – Goodnight My Angel

It’s a song that will surely induce tears and memories. It get’s me every time. I think it would be quite befitting.

“I promised I would never leave you / Then you should always know / Wherever you may go, no matter where you are / I never will be far away.”

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

A glorious song to bring good memories and emotions to the surface. This song is just integrated into my life.

Is this the real life? / Is this just fantasy? /Caught in a landslide, /No escape from reality. /Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see,/I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy, /Because I’m easy come, easy go, Little high, little low,/Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me.”

Carry On My Wayward Son – Kansas

Surely you can see the trend going on here. Classic Rock is the only acceptable way to go.

“ Carry on my wayward son,/For there’ll be peace when you are done/ Lay your weary head to rest /Now don’t you cry no more”

Good Mother – Jann Arden

What kind of a daughter would I be if I didn’t give a shout out to my parents? I’d still be dead, but at least they’d know I was thinking of them.

“ Cardboard masks of all the people/ I’ve been thrown out with all the rusted, tangled dented God Damned miseries /You could say I’m hard to hold /But if you knew me you’d know /I’ve got a good father /And his strength is what makes me cry”

Every Grain of Sand – Bob Dylan

Yes, another Bob Dylan song, I assure you it cannot be helped. He is an artist I truly admire and respect, and his words are astounding.

I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea /Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other time it’s only me /I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man /Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand.”

I Will Follow You Into The Dark – Death Cab For Cutie

It is a song that has stuck with me for years. It has always been a favourite of mine. It’s nice to have that thought that in the end you’re not alone.

You and me have seen everything to see /from Bangkok to Calgary / And the soles of your shoes are all worn down /The time for sleep is now /It’s nothing to cry about /Cause we’ll hold each other soon /The blackest of rooms”

Classical Gas – Mason Williams

The melodies the lone guitar produces bring purpose and life into focus. There is something soothing about this beautiful melody that has stuck with me since my dad first introduced it to me. You get lost in the music.

If I Should Go Before You – City and Colour

This song is bittersweet, and it’s a message I would want my loved ones to hear. That even if I’m gone, I will always be there for them. And when their dying day comes, we will be reunited and they will never be alone. This one gets me. In fact I have tears as I listen to it while writing this.

“And when the night / cries itself awake / Dying in the light of day / Our endless love / will remain / Until we meet again…”

The Scientist – Coldplay

I have been a fan of Coldplay for years, there i something haunting and powerful about this song. I think it fits in with my theme quite nicely. Parting with a loved one is something that affects us deeply, if only there were a pause button to enjoy those good moments.

“Nobody said it was easy / It’s such a shame for us to part / Nobody said it was easy /  No one ever said it would be this hard. / Oh, take me back to the start.”

Gone Away – The Offspring

What more can I say? The Offspring know how to express feelings that are hard to grasp, and in this song, they are able to touch on loss in such a way that it impacts you. Grief is an exhausting emotion.

“Maybe in another life / I could find you there / Pulled away before your time / I can’t deal it’s so unfair / And it feels / And it feels like / Heaven’s so far away / And it feels / Yeah it feels like
The world has grown cold / Now that you’ve gone away.”

Music has always been an integral and important part of my life. In my darkest hours, there was always a song that could describe what words never could. I found solace in the notes and the lyrics, and I know that these songs will exist far beyond my life span here on earth. These are just a few that resonate with me, the list is endless and continues to grow, I’m sure it will until the day that I am no longer here. 

The last song on this list is:

I Will Remember You – Sarah McLachlan

May these words bring comfort and strength to the ones I hold dear to my heart. I want them to know that I will never forget them.

“I’m so tired but I can’t sleep / Standin’ on the edge of something much to deep / It’s funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word / We are screaming inside, but we can’t be heard / I will remember you, will you remember me? / Don’t let your life pass you by / Weep not for the memories.”


I am sure that over the years these songs will change, but it is something I like to keep an open mind on. Death is something that happens to everyone. This is just one of my ways of coming to terms with it. Thanks for sticking around for the morbid nature of things.


C.A. Gallinger







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