What’s Your Funeral Song?

I’ve had my mind on music for my funeral this week. No, I’m fine, thank you. No impending doom and gloom – at least that I’m aware of. Health situation remains static. Sprained back muscle from carrying a bag of potting mix gives me the odd twinge but other than that I am fine. Fine and dandy.

I’m off to a musical performance on the weekend : Australian country singer John Williamson. Old guy, not to be confused with that other Aussie country singer, Keith Urban. * Be still, my beating heart….

There was a time when there was a rush on funerals and they all seemed to feature John Williamson songs. If it wasn’t True Blue it was Flower On The Water which Williamson wrote and performed for the first anniversary of the Bali Bombing. In Bali. Where friends, family and strangers gathered to throw flowers on the water. I appreciate his songs much more now that I’ve reached mature aged status -the simple structure allows me to remember all the words.


To hear your voice, to see you smile

To sit and talk to you awhile

To be together the same old way

That would be our greatest wish today

To hear you laugh, to hear you cry

Or just a chance to say ‘goodbye’

To say the things we didn’t say

That would be our greatest wish today

But all we can do is throw a flower on the water

Look for the sun through the rain

Lay a little frangipani gentle on the water

Remember how we loved you.
– J Williamson

Lists of popular Funeral Songs include many that you would expect:

Frank Sinatra : My Way
Vera Lynn : We’ll Meet Again
Sarah McLachlan : Angel
Ed Sheeran : Supermarket Flowers ( which he wrote for his Mum)

All good songs. Fine sentiments. But not my kind of music for a rollicking good Wake.

I am selecting a tune by Irish band Flogging Molly : If I Ever Leave This World Alive.A tune which works well with a glass of bubbles in your hand, in song, and on the dance floor.

What’s your funeral song?

P.S. Umm, not game to share the song I got married too. That might give you the wrong impression.

15 thoughts on “What’s Your Funeral Song?

  1. I have a specific set – one for the Church Funeral Mass and one for the wake! At the church I want “Jerusalem my Happy Home”, “How Can I Keep From Singing” and “Beautiful Savior”. For the wake – well, “Tub Thumping” by Chumbawamba, Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” and Crash Test Dummies “At My Funeral”… I hope there will be rejoicing for a life well lived and not a bunch of wailing.

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  2. When my Dad died 11 years ago, we scrambled for something and I think he would have been happy with our choices. Not really into songs for funerals (except the funeral in Love Actually with the BCR singing Bye Bye Baby- that was a cracker!). Since Dad’s small funeral I have thought about it and would like Purcell’s Trumpet Aria which I love and also love to play 🙂

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    1. Jenny, that is a really nice choice, especially as it is part of you in that you play the music. I’ve never been into ballet but when my girlfriend died her husband had the ballet on the big screen which was her big passion. It was perfect for the occasion as we all felt she was with us enjoying that last pot of tea and sandwich….

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  3. Thoughtful… I haven’t chosen one specific song yet but I am rock and roll vintage and smile when I think of people grooving their way down the aisle behind my coffin 🙂

    Recently a very dear friend passed away suddenly and as he was a musician, his wife had an arrangement of his works played during the funeral service. It was not a sad occasion because we remembered the good times listening to his compositions.

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