Songs What Song Do You Want Played At Your Funeral?  

Lisa A. Flowers
193 votes 70 voters 20 items

List Rules Vote up the track you want playing as bid your fond farewell.

What song do you want played at your funeral? It is, of course, an eternally subjective question, as different songs mean different things to different people. For every individual who associates Beethoven's 9th with those iconically disturbing scenes in A Clockwork Orange, there's someone else who connects the music with sheer joy. In other words, the question of what to play at a burial service is one that has a trillion neither right-nor-wrong answers.

Nevertheless, there are some tried-and-true standbys out there. Songs like When The Saints go Marching In (as sung by Louis Armstrong) and Sinnerman (as sung by Nina Simone) seek to transform the sorrow of death into the ecstatic possibilities of the life (hopefully) to come. Then there's beautiful ballads like Beck's We Live Again, or electrifyingly rousing numbers like Nick Cave's Jubilee Street.

By contrast, the world will always welcome heartbreakingly plaintive tribute-dirges like Tom Waits's Kentucky Avenue, or Radiohead's Videotape. Or darkly mystical songs like Johnny Cash's Ain't No Grave or The Doors' The End. Whatever your best funeral soundtracks might be comprised of, however, here's some songs to consider for a memorial – no elaborate stagings or fancy coffins required.

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Jubilee Street Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

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We Live Again Beck

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Ain't No Grave Johnny Cash

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Sinnerman Nina Simone

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In Heaven Peter Ivers

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Black Star David Bowie

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I'm Set Free The Velvet Underground

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Ave Maria Luciano Pavarotti

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Videotape Radiohead

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Tears Dry On Their Own Amy Winehouse

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Symphony no. 7 Beethoven

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When The Saints Go Marching In Louis Armstrong

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Piano Concerto no. 5 in E-flat major, op. 73: II. Adagio un poco mosso Beethoven

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Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life Eric Idle

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Our Town Iris DeMent

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White Chalk PJ Harvey

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At Last Etta James

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The End The Doors

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Anthem Leonard Cohen

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Kentucky Avenue Tom Waits