Choosing funeral songs is often seen as an important part of personalising a funeral service for your loved one. It is a chance for you to pay tribute to their personality, their hobbies, or simply say farewell with one of their favourite songs.
While classical music or funeral hymns have traditionally been the funeral music of choice, pop ballads, TV theme tunes and happy funeral songs have become some of the most popular funeral songs in recent years in the UK.
While some people opt for hymns, others for pop ballads, classical funeral music still remains a popular choice.
Here are 3 beautiful, moving pieces of classical music for funerals.
Enigma Variations are 14 musical compositions in honour of Elgar’s dearest friends and family. Variation IX, also known as Nimrod, is dedicated to Augustus J. Jaeger, who helped the composer through his darkest periods of self-doubt and depression. Nimrod is a favourite piece for funeral music and is always played at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.
Listen to Nimrod by Elgar
Featuring one of classical music’s most beautiful violin parts, The Lark Ascending was inspired by the George Meredith poem of the same name. Expressing the rise and fall of a bird’s flight, it consistently ranks at the top of Classic FM’s Hall of Fame polls, as well as the BBC’s ranking of the nation’s favourite Desert Island Discs.
Listen to The Lark Ascending by Williams
Canon in D was composed sometime between 1680 and 1706 by German composer Pachelbel. After its initial success, Canon in D went out of fashion and was only really rediscovered in the 1960s, after which it won its place as a favourite for weddings and funerals, thanks to its powerful crescendos and beautiful harmonies.
Choosing more modern funeral music
This iconic tune opened every episode of all 31 series of Last of the Summer Wine, the classic BBC sitcom about a trio of mischievous old friends living in West Yorkshire. Beloved by many, the programme was praised for showing that later life is still full of adventure. It’s nostalgic melody makes it a popular funeral song for a loved one who loved the show.
A moving and uplifting funeral song , Canon in D is the most celebrated piece by composer Johann Pachelbel, and perhaps one of the most famous pieces of classical music ever. It’s now a favourite at weddings and funerals alike, loved for its gentle tone and beautiful harmonies.
Best known for its appearance on the Titanic soundtrack, this song is, for many people, the ultimate ballad about eternal love. It’s sad and beautiful, but also offers a reminder that remembrance can keep a loved one close even after they’re gone, making it a great choice for funeral music.