5 Sad Funeral Songs

Choosing songs for a funeral can be difficult, so here are 5 sad funeral songs. The types of music selected for a funeral can vary, because many different genres can evoke a feeling of sadness. It depends on the song, and each person will react to it differently.

  1. "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye" by Patty Loveless This sad funeral song follows a woman through her life, and her mother helps her through many hard goodbyes—from moving away from her best friend and getting through a divorce to finally her mother's death. Lyrical highlight: "With her final words, she tried to make me understand / Mama whispered softly /Time will ease your pain / Life's about changing and nothing ever stays the same / And she said, how can I help you to say goodbye? / It's okay to hurt and it's okay to cry / Come let me hold you and I ill try / How can I help you to say goodbye?"
  2. "Vienna" by Billy Joel "Vienna" isn't usually thought of when it comes time to choose sad funeral songs. However, the song is open to interpretation. Lyrical highlight: "Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true / When will you realize? / Vienna waits for you."
  3. "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John This sad funeral song was made famous when Elton John performed it at Princess Diana's funeral. It has become a very popular song for funerals since. Lyrical highlight: "Your candle burned out long before your legend ever did."
  4. "May It Be" by Enya This sad funeral song is performed by Enya. It's haunting and will stay with you. Lyrical highlight: "May it be an evening star shines down upon you. / May it be when darkness falls your heart will be true / You walk a lonely road / Oh, how far you are from home." 
  5. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole The unorthodox instrument used in this cover of the popular song is the ukulele. This song is appropriate when choosing sad funeral songs because it evokes mixed feelings of sadness and hopefulness. Lyrical highlight: "Someday I'll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far behind me… Where trouble melts like lemon drops, high above the chimney tops / That's where you'll find me." 
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