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June 7, 2019 Beyond The Dash

Funeral Songs for Dad

Four musical tributes for fathers

Funeral Songs for Dad
Not sure what songs to play at your father's memorial service? There are many meaningful options that can be incorporated into a special dad's funeral. (Shutterstock)

No matter your age, the loss of a parent is one of the toughest emotional processes you'll experience. When your dad dies, you may find yourself in the position of having to plan the funeral. Among the many responsibilities included in funeral planning as the next of kin, is selecting the music for the memorial service and reception.


If your father did not mention any musical requests during his final days, or in his will, you may be at a loss for songs to play. Here are our top four songs for a special father's memorial service.


1. "You Raise Me Up" - Josh Groban


For many folks, fathers are protectors. During good times and bad, your father has your best interests at heart. If your father was a supportive and encouraging force in your life, consider memorializing him with Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up."


This popular ballad is a song of thanks to someone who has offered unconditional love through thick and thin.



When I am down, and, oh, my soul, so weary,


When troubles come, and my heart burdened be,


Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,


Until you come and sit awhile with me.


You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains,


You raise me up to walk on stormy seas.


I am strong when I am on your shoulders,


You raise me up to more than I can be.




Offering gratitude for the person to raise you up pays homage to his parenting, character and strength as a role model. It's the perfect choice for paying tribute to a special man like your father.


2. "Tears in Heaven" - Eric Clapton


This song was written by Eric Clapton following the death of his young son in a tragic accident. The lyrics can resonate with anyone who has felt the loss of a loved one, but are particularly touching given the message of loss between a father and son. Short, and heartbreakingly simple, the song builds to a comforting resolution. Guests at the memorial service will likely be familiar with this tune, and it will resonate with all who knew your father.



Beyond the door there's peace I'm sure,


And I know there'll be no more tears in heaven.


Would you know my name,


If I saw you in heaven?


Would it be the same,


If I saw you in heaven?


I must be strong and carry on,


'Cause I know I don't belong here in heaven.




This song provokes thoughts that can help you and other mourners through grief. The idea of meeting our loved ones in the afterlife is appealing for many folks, and this song is a comforting way to explore those thoughts at the service.


3. "Hero" - Mariah Carey


To most of us, our dad is our hero. From a very young age, we turn to him as the person to save us from our mistakes and fix all of our problems.



When you face the world alone,


No one reaches out a hand.


For you to hold,


You can find love,


If you search within yourself.


And that emptiness you felt,


Will disappear.


And then a hero comes along,


With the strength to carry on.


And you cast your fears aside,


And you know you can survive.


So when you feel like hope is gone,


Look inside you and be strong,


And you'll finally see the truth,


That a hero lies in you, oh, oh.




Although this illusion is usually shattered as we reach adulthood and have to take responsibility for ourselves, many of us still see our dad as that same hero that we did when we were small. Play this song to honor the hero that your father was, and always will be, to you and your family.


4. "The Living Years" - Mike + The Mechanics


This song has a somber, yet striking, melody. It sounds like any stereotypical 1980's song at first, which could be a perfect match for your father's funeral, depending on his age.


In the song, the singer shares the differences he had with his father. He reveals his regrets for all of their past arguments, wishing he could have shared with him how much he loved him "in the living years."



I know that I'm a prisoner,


To all my Father held so dear.


I know that I'm a hostage,


To all his hopes and fears,


I just wish I could have told him in the living years.




If your father has passed away while the two of you weren't on the best of terms, you may be feeling guilt or regret, as well. This song can hopefully help you heal through those feelings and would be appropriate to play at the funeral.


A final word


These are just a few song suggestions, but there are many songs to choose from. The best advice we can give is to pick a song that reminds you of your father, and the special relationship that the two of you shared. If the song is meaningful to you, then it is the best choice for the funeral.


Your father's memorial should include some of his favorite songs, or other memorial songs that will convey the loss to mourners. (Shutterstock)

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