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Uplifting funeral songs

upbeat funeral songs and happy hymns for a funeral

Picture: James Sutton on Unsplash

Uplifting funeral songs are an increasingly popular choice at funerals with a focus on reflecting the life that someone lived.

Whether a personal favourite of the person who died, or a reflection of their outlook, spiritual faith or based on their funeral wishes, upbeat songs for funerals feature among the most played and sung tunes at funeral services and celebrations of life.

Here are the most happy and uplifting funeral songs, for people who always looked on the bright side of life, or brought joy to your own.

My Way – Frank Sinatra

Ol’ Blue Eyes’ signature song frequently tops the annual list of most popular funeral songs. For Sinatra’s own funeral though, his family chose the beautiful ballad Put Your Dreams Away – another popular upbeat song for a funeral by Sinatra.

I've lived a life that's full
I've traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way

happy funeral songs

Days – The Kinks/Kirsty McColl

Written by Ray Davies and a sixties hit for The Kinks before Kirsty McColl charted with her beautiful cover version in 1989, Days is a wistful, but ultimately uplifting funeral song, reflecting on the time that was shared with someone special.

Thank you for the days
Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me
I'm thinking of the days
I won't forget a single day, believe me

happy funeral songs

Always Look on the Bright Side – Monty Python

The closing tune to Monty Python’s irreverent Life of Brian has become a favourite upbeat and happy funeral song – often topping annual polls of all music played at funerals. At Python star Graham Chapman’s memorial in 1989, Eric Idle concluded the service with a rousing singalong rendition of the song.

Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true,
You'll see it's all a show,
Keep 'em laughing as you go.
Just remember that the last laugh is on you!
And always look on the bright side of life

uplifting funeral songs

Amazing Grace - Soweto Gospel Choir

At Aretha Franklin’s funeral, Jennifer Hudson paid stunning tribute with her interpretation of this famous hymn. Amazing Grace was also among the hymns played at Elizabeth Taylor’s memorial. It’s one of the most enduringly uplifting funeral songs of all time and this version, by the Soweto Gospel Choir, touches the heart and soul.

Amazing Grace! how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see

happy hymns for funerals

The Show Must Go On – Queen

Singer Freddie Mercury was dying when he recorded his soaring swan song The Show Must Go On, and it regularly tops lists of uplifting funeral song choices.

My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies
Fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die
I can fly my friends

happy funeral songs

You Raise Me Up – Westlife

Written by Norwegian duo Secret Garden, You Raise Me Up is an uplifting funeral song with lyrics that are open to personal interpretation. Westlife’s rendition is probably the most well known in the UK.

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

upbeat funeral songs

See You Again – Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth

Written in memory of film star Paul Walker, it’s become a popular choice of upbeat funeral song, reflecting on memories that will never fade and that person’s place forever in your heart.

It's been a long day without you, my friend
And I'll tell you all about it when I see you again
We've come a long way from where we began
Oh I'll tell you all about it when I see you again

happy funeral songs

You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry & The Pacemakers

Football anthems and favourite TV and movie themes are surprisingly common choices for happy funeral songs picked by families celebrating their loved one’s life.

You’ll Never Walk Alone is an uplifting funeral song that brings a lump to the throat and tears to eyes, but ultimately lifts the heart.

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

uplifting funeral songs

Angels – Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams’ 2006 hit Angels features regularly among the top first-dance tunes for weddings, as well as ranking among the most uplifting songs for funerals.

And down the waterfall
Wherever it may take me
I know that life won't break me
When I come to call, she won't forsake me
I'm loving angels instead

Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Hawaiian singer and musician Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s soulful interpretation of Over the Rainbow combines two enduringly popular uplifting and happy funeral songs – Judy Garland’s Over the Rainbow and Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.

Someday I wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That's where you'll find me

upbeat funeral songs

The Best - Tina Turner

Tina Turner’s emotional power ballad is a rousing and upbeat funeral song which sends a powerful message to your loved one. It remains truly uplifting funeral exit music, perfect for an inspiring end to a funeral service.

You're simply the best, better than all the rest
Better than anyone, anyone I ever met

upbeat funeral songs

Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful World

Louis Armstrong’s joyful appreciation of the world as a whole makes What a Wonderful World a popular choice for an upbeat funeral song, due to its positive outlook and happy melody. It’s an excellent choice for a loved one who took pleasure from the simple things.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They're really saying I love you

upbeat funeral songs

Heroes - David Bowie

Featured prominently in Baz Lurman’s Moulin Rouge, this emotional love song has been widely adopted as a powerful and uplifting funeral song as well. It’s a fitting choice for the funeral of a partner.

I, I will be King
And you, you will be Queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be heroes just for one day
We can be us just for one day

upbeat funeral songs

We’ll Meet Again - Vera Lynn

Vera Lynn’s wartime ballad is famous around the world as part of the cultural fabric of World War II as well as being used in dozens of films, including Dr Strangelove. It’s a magically uplifting funeral song as its hopeful lyrics promise a reunion, somewhere and somewhen.

We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day

upbeat funeral songs

Don’t You Forget About Me - Simple Minds

One of the most iconic songs of the 80s thanks to its use in The Breakfast Club, it is now a popular upbeat funeral song. Along with heady nostalgia, it brings a positive message about keeping the memory of a loved one alive.

Don't you forget about me
I'll be alone, dancing you know it baby
Going to take you apart
I'll put us back together at heart, baby

If you’re looking for a more traditional style of funeral song, our list of popular funeral hymns is a perfect place to start. For something a bit more unorthodox, we have a full rundown of the best rock songs for funerals. For a soulful approach, our guide to gospel songs for funerals is a pitch perfect jumping off point.

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