Music is a universal connector. When you’re grieving, the right song can provide solace and make you feel closer to a deceased loved one. When planning a funeral, memorial service, or even an online funeral for a loved one, you can include songs in the service. The right song will pay tribute to your loved one, and help mourners feel connected to them.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Traditional Funeral Songs for Grandpa
- Modern Funeral Songs for Grandpa
- Religious or Spiritual Songs for Grandpa’s Funeral
This list contains some songs that are appropriate to play in honor of a grandfather. Your grandfather may have preferred the classics or had more modern tastes. No matter his preferences, something on this list will help you celebrate him.
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Traditional Funeral Songs for Grandpa
There is a list of songs that are traditionally played during a funeral or memorial service. Many of the songs on this list are country songs. This is for good reason. Country music is emotional without being overly sentimental. It is also steeped in tradition.
Whatever kind of man your grandfather was a country funeral song might be appropriate for mourning him. If country music doesn’t speak to you, there are other options listed below as well.
Tip: Creating a funeral playlist might be just a small part of your post-death responsibilities. If you need helping sorting it all out, check out our post-loss checklist.
1. "Peace in the Valley" by Johnny Cash
“Peace in the Valley” was originally written for gospel great Mahalia Jackson. It has since become a ubiquitous funeral song. Cash’s version celebrates the peace that comes with death after a long life. Read our guide on the best Johhny Cash funeral songs for more.
2. "Love Without End, Amen” by George Strait
This classic country tune is all about the unconditional love a father has for his son. The final verse likens that to the unconditional love God has for his children. This song is a beautiful choice for a grandfather who stepped in and played a fatherly role. Take a look at our picks for the best George Strait funeral songs if you need more inspiration.
3. "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground" by Willie Nelson
This lovely tune is from the Honeysuckle Rose soundtrack. The movie is a romantic drama, but the lyrics to this song makes it a perfect fit for a funeral service.
If your grandfather suffered from an illness before passing away, the lyrics about a broken wing may resonate with you. Check our our Willie Nelson funeral song selections if you're looking for more.
4. "Life Without You" by Stevie Ray Vaughan
Though Vaughan penned this about the death of a friend, it’s a fitting track for the funeral of a family member. The lyrics celebrate someone’s freedom from pain while also bemoaning their loss.
5. "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong
Funeral songs don’t have to be grim or tragic. Uplifting funeral songs can also be a great addition to a service.
The lyrics of this song focus on the beauty in the world around us. It is a simple message. But Armstrong’s crooning delivery adds emotional heft to the lyrics.
6. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Judy Garland
It’s hard to believe, but Garland recorded this track in 1938. It still feels as fresh and relevant today as it did then. This song may well be from your grandfather’s childhood but will be recognized by all attendees.
7. "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler
Contrary to popular belief, Midler wasn’t the first artist to sing this song. But her version is undeniably iconic. The vocals positively soar as she sings about the way a loved one propelled her to great heights.
8. "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban
Josh Groban is a favorite among many thanks to his distinctive tenor tone. Grandfathers can be big supporters of their grandchildren. The messaging of this song pays tribute to that characteristic. Read our article on Josh Groban funeral songs for more.
9. "My Way" by Frank Sinatra
Anything by Sinatra is a classic for a reason. In this song, he boasts about living life on his terms. It’s the perfect song for a grandfather who did things his way.
10. "Smile" by Nat King Cole
This bittersweet classic tune reminds you to look on the bright side.
Modern Funeral Songs for Grandpa
Sometimes people believe their grandparents are caught in a musical time warp. But even a grandparent who appreciated the classics likely had some more modern favorites. Some of these songs aren’t well-known, but they could still be appropriate for your grandfather’s service.
11. "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw
Grandfathers are often the source of incredible wisdom. This song is told from the perspective of a man who learned to treasure life while he can. If your grandfather was someone who embraced life to the fullest, this song as an ideal tribute.
12. "Hurt” by Jonny Cash (Nine Inch Nails Cover)
This Nine Inch Nails song deals with dark topics including addiction and depression. Cash’s vocals on this cover have minimal production and sound achingly raw. The stripped-down arrangement makes this track feel simultaneously modern and timeless.
13. "I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan
McLachlan is one of the rare singers who can appeal to people across generations. Her mellow, clear soprano voice is soothing and uplifting. This song is an ideal choice for a grandfather who would want you to remember him without dwelling in sadness.
14. "When September Ends" by Green Day
A song by a pop-punk band may seem like an unconventional choice for a grandfather’s funeral. But in actuality, this simple and sobering song has a lot of beautiful elements. It’s deeply emotional but understated.
15. "Heaven Was Needing a Hero” by Jo Dee Messina
Your Grandpa might have been one of your first heroes. This sweet song reminds the listener that you aren’t the only one who needs a hero.
16. “Fix You” from Coldplay
Coldplay is another band whose appeal transcends generations. This song is a good choice for a grandfather who passed away after an illness. You may not have been able to fix him, but you will always treasure him.
17. "Angel Standing By” by Jewel
Jewel’s distinctive vocal style adds a haunting element to this sweet song.
18. "Angels Among Us" by Alabama
It can be comforting to believe that your loved ones continue to watch over you after they’re gone. This song describes the way that those you love remain with you even after death.
19. “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion
This pop song is a gorgeous tribute to someone who supported you no matter what.
20. “Only Time” by Enya
This abstract new-age tune adds a lilting modern element to a funeral service.
Religious or Spiritual Songs for Grandpa’s Funeral
If your grandpa was a man of faith, it’s a lovely gesture to include a religious song in his funeral service. These songs will remind mourners that while your grandfather has left the earthly plane, he has a new home in Heaven.
21. "Amazing Grace" by Johnny Cash
"Amazing Grace" is inarguably one of the best-known funeral hymns of all time. It has been covered countless times. Even among all these versions, Cash’s version is exceptionally lovely. It has a raw and emotional sound that makes it a loving tribute for someone special.
22. "Seeing is Believing" by Elvis Presley
A lot of people don’t realize how much gospel music Elvis Presley recorded. His version of this gospel classic is an excellent choice for a funeral or memorial service. It celebrates all the places God can be found in the world.
Its uplifting message reminds you that even those who have passed away live on in the world’s beauty. Head over to our top Elvis funeral songs if you're looking for more picks.
23. "All Must Be Well" by Matthew Smith
This old hymn is made contemporary by being paired with a new and modern accompaniment. It deftly blends both old and new musical elements. This makes it a unique choice for a funeral service.
24. “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” by The Byrds
While this is a well-known pop song, these lyrics come from the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s a great choice if you want to honor a religious man without including an overtly religious song.
25. "Go Rest High on That Mountain" by Vince Gill
This song is a favorite for Christian funerals. It’s an appropriate choice for a man who endured a lot of struggles in his life.
26. "How Great Thou Art" by Alan Jackson
“How Great Thou Art” is a great, traditional spiritual song. Jackson’s expressive baritone voice adds a rich element that can soothe those listening.
27. "Heaven’s Now My Home" by Libby Allen
When someone you love dies, it leaves a hole in your life. This song is sung from the perspective of someone who is dead. They’re trying to let their loved ones know that they are no longer suffering. This song could be a good reminder to mourners that sometimes death is better than life.
28. "Angels Among Us" by Alabama
It can be comforting to believe that your loved one is continuing to watch over you after they’re gone. This song describes the way that those who loved us remain with us even after death.
29. "The Old Rugged Cross" by Bryan Davis
There are many versions of this song, but this stripped-down acapella is a beautiful rendition.
30. "Abide With Me” by Audrey Assad
Assad’s smoky alto voice adds a new intimacy to this Christian standard.
Funeral Songs in Honor of a Grandfather
Still haven’t found the right funeral song for your grandfather? That’s okay. If you need further inspiration, try going through your grandfather’s records or iPod for inspiration. But don’t stress about finding the perfect song.
It’s possible nothing will feel exactly right for honoring this important person. And at the end of the day, what matters most is that you are celebrating the life of your grandpa. Whatever song you choose will be the right one because you chose it with him in mind.