Generally, families choose three pieces of music - we can include more, but unless they are short tracks, they will impact on the length of the service. Each track is likely to take up at least 3 minutes.


Choosing music can be hard. It really works so much better if music reflects the tastes of the person who has died.


A useful tip is to look for significant eras in their life - Swing music, 50's ballads, Rock and Roll, Sixties, Tamla, Soul, Glamrock etc. That might lead to songs from Vera Lynn, Glenn Miller, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Beatles, Hollies, Rod Stewart, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, David Bowie, The Jam, Abba and so on.


The music used for the reflection time is very important. Instrumentals work well, as do songs with deep and appropriate meanings. It's there to give space for people to think about the person. A karaoke track at this time isn't always the best choice!


The exit music is equally important and a chance to perhaps choose something to lift the spirits of people there.


Many crematoria use a system like Wesley Music or Obitus. Both have hundreds of thousands of tracks and most music can be ordered if available commercially.


This link will let you search the Wesley central database. Wesley Music . Occasionally a venue has a system that only plays CDs.

This link will let you search the Obitus music library - the password is 'melody'. Obitus

PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN GIVING YOUTUBE AS A REFERENCE FOR MUSIC. We are unable to use YouTube tracks that are not available commercially. Under each video is a MORE tab - look there for details of where to purchase e.g. iTunes, Amazon. Normally, we can source these if they are available to purchase.


There are plenty of funeral music guides on-line. This list is a useful starting point, though. The first 10 was a ‘Top 10’ compiled by the Telegraph. This one is on the Dignity PLC website.



The next are linked to YouTube and are more unusual choices.



Frank Sinatra - "My Way" - For a woman it might be better to use the version by Shirley Bassey.

Andreas Bocelli and Sarah Brightman - "Time To Say Goodbye"

Bette Midler - "Wind Beneath My Wings"

Eva Cassidy - "Over The Rainbow" "Fields of Gold"

Robbie Williams - "Angels"

Westlife, Josh Groban - "You Raise Me Up"

Gerry & The Pacemakers - "You'll Never Walk Alone"

Vera Lynn - "We'll Meet Again"

Celine Dion - "My Heart Will Go On"

Nat King Cole - "Unforgettable"


Eric Idle - 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life' 

Kenny G & Louis Armstrong - "What A Wonderful World"

Morecambe and Wise - "Bring Me Sunshine"

Kenny Gee - "The Moment"

Acker Bilk - "Stranger on the Shore"

Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'Ole - "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World."

Charles Aznavour - "She"

Kirsty MacColl - “Days”

The Beatles - “In My Life”

Katherine Jenkins - “Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep”

Vicki Brown - “Look For Me In Rainbows”

Jenn Bostic - “Jealous of the Angels”

“Last of the summer wine theme” spoken by Bill Owen

Michael Jackson - “You Are Not Alone”

Ronan Keating - “If Tomorrow Never Comes”

The Hollies - “He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother”

Cat Stevens - “Morning Has Broken”

Luther Vandross - “Dance With My Father”

Nana Mouskouri - “The White Rose Of Athens”

Treorchy Male Choir & Sir Harry Secombe singing “Cwm Rhondda”

John Williams - “Cavatina”

Glenn Miller - “Moonlight Serenade”

Westlife - “I’ll See You Again”

Labi Siffre - “Something Inside So Strong”

Yiruma - “River Flows In You"

Kieran Brennan - Heaven's Garden

Ed Sheeran - Supermarket Flowers

Alan Jackson - Remember When

Dani & Lizzy - Dancing in the Sky

Jon Barker - Thank You For Being My Dad

Ed Sheeran - Visiting Hours

Ludovico Einaudi -I Gorni



Hymns can be difficult. Many people do not feel up to singing. They won’t sing hymns or versions of hymns that they don’t know.

Another way of including hymns is to use a popular music version -


for example,

Morning has Broken by Cat Stevens

The Old Rugged Cross by Johnny Cash

Abide With Me by Il Divo or HM Royal Marines Band

Amazing Grace by Elvis Presley


They work well, although can be longer than the traditional versions.


If the service is at a crematorium they have recorded versions with singing and without. If you are creating an Order of Service booklet, please check the verses and words with me before printing! Some hymns have been shortened especially. Some crematoria have a resident organist.  This link has words to many popular hymns


Abide With Me

The Lord Is My Shepherd

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Old Rugged Cross

How Great Thou Art

Amazing Grace


Morning has Broken

The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended

Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace



Nimrod from Enigma Variations - Elgar

Canon in D  - Pachelbel

Ave Maria - Schubert

Nessun Dorma - Puccini

Pie Jesu from Requiem - Faure

The Four Seasons  - Vivaldi (Spring)

Adagio Albinoni  - Bizet

Air on a G String - Bach

Largo from Xerxes  - Handel

Clare de Lune - Debussy