memories in music

06 watching the sun come up.JPG

Most of us have favourite composers or singers, pieces of music or songs that bring back special memories.

It is welcoming and comforting to play music at the beginning of a funeral or cremation service and gives those gathered something to think about or perhaps to discuss.  If you are not having a religious service you can play a piece of music or a song during the service and invite everyone to sit quietly with their own memories.

Choose music for the end of your event carefully. I have attended beautiful funerals with heartrending endings, but similarly perhaps the most uplifting was when Bring Me Sunshine was the closing song. Everyone applauded spontaneously!

Similarly, whether you are alone when interring ashes or with friends and relations, you may like to play some music.

My own favourite classical music pieces are Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D and Adagio in G minor from Tomaso Albinoni.  I would so love you to share your own special finds with me so that I can add them here to introduce them to others.


You may also like to consider:

  • Edward Elgar’s Nimrod, a popular choice, as is his Serenade for Strings (2nd movement). 

  • Samuel Barber – Adagio for Strings

  • Frederic Chopin - Prelude no.15 ‘Raindrop’, op.28

  • Antonin Dvořák: Symphony №9 in E minor, Op. 95 from The New World

  • George Frideric Handel - Largo (from Xerxes)

  • Gustav Mahler – Adagietto (Symphony No. 5)

  • Franz Schubert – Ave Maria

  • Johann Sebastian Bach -. Sheep may Safely Graze or Air on a G String


alternative ideas

What about popular or shared favourite songs? You will find many of the songs below recorded by other artists - among those I have loved both at funerals and on happier occasions are:

  • Let her Go - Passenger

  • You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban.  Josh Groban’s voice is so lovely, almost anything he has recorded would be a good choice in my view

  • Carrie Underwood - Don’t Forget to Remember Me  

  • Il Divo - Hallelujah (Alelujah)

  • Time to Say Goodbye - popular versions by Josh Groban as well as by Andrea Boccelli and Sarah Brightman

  • Sarah Brightman has also recorded Pie Jesu, as has Hayley Westenra and countless others

  • Bette Midler has recorded both Wind beneath my Wings and The Rose

  • The Best – Tina Turner

  • Perfect - Ed Sheeran   

  • All of Me - John Legend with Lindsey Stirling  

  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan

  • Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton

  • Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful World  

  • Sarah McLachlan - In the Arms of an Angel  

  • Queen - You’re My Best Friend  

  • Celine Dion - Goodbye’s the Saddest Word