If you come from a large family, you and your siblings may each have your own ideas about what funeral songs to play for mom.
Mourning is different for everyone, but music can be a powerful tool for us to navigate the strong emotions that accompany grieving.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Best Funeral Songs for Mom from a Daughter
- Best Funeral Songs for Mom from a Son
- Best Contemporary Songs for Mom
- Best Classic Funeral Songs for Mom
In this list, we have chosen songs you may want to play during a slideshow or reception based on your role in the family. Celebrating your mom with a song from 1948 or a song from Ireland is your choice.
Whatever your relationship was with your mom, there’s likely a song out there to help express it. Have a look at our list for some inspiration. And if you're responsible for other end-of-life tasks in addition to the music for the funeral, check out our post-loss checklist for help.
COVID-19 tip: If you chose to hold a virtual funeral using a service like GatheringUs, you can still play songs for your online guests. Coordinate with your event planner and ensure you have the right digital file types, microphones, and speakers for a smooth experience.
Mother-and-daughter bonds are unbreakable, even after they pass. Here are just a few songs that embody that bond. Be sure to add each of the songs to a digital playlist and share the link with the funeral director. We recommend getting a premium streaming service so you can skip the ads, like Spotify Premium.
1. “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” by Carrie Underwood
A mom supports you through all the hard times. She thinks of the little things you’ll need before you need them. In return, all she wants is for you to think of her. This song reminds us.
2. “The Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
Moms are so gifted at helping you to achieve what you need without asking for much in return. This song recognizes the beauty of that journey.
3. “If I Could Be Where You Are” by Enya
Searching for a little sense of your mom as the days and seasons pass may never end—this song frames the search as your connection.
4. “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye" by Patty Loveless
Mothers are available to offer comfort and wisdom when you lose a friend or a husband. This song asks, who comforts you when you lose your mother?
5. “Mother Earth” by Joanne Shenandoah
This tribute to our first mother, planet Earth, is fitting for any spiritual celebration of life. If your mom had a strong connection to the environment, consider this tune.
6. “Hush Little Baby” by Joan Baez
Folk singer Joan Baez has turned a simple lullaby into the adult version of a mother's wish for her child in this rendition.
7. “Keep Holding On” by Avril Lavigne
Sometimes mom is a best friend, too. You can discuss anything in the world with your mom without judgment. This song remarks on the most honest friendship you'll ever have.
8. “Goodbye’s (The Saddest Word)” by Celine Dion
Celine Dion sings about how being strong and brave in the face of something so painful is necessary. Your mom would have needed you to be this way.
9. “Mama” by Connie Francis
Sung in both Spanish and English, Mama conveys exactly what you are feeling—that your mom is irreplaceable.
10. “Pie Jesu” by Hayley Westenra
If you are seeking an angelic song, try this one. As the vocals hit a higher pitch, the song carries more and more resonance.
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Mom’s the first person in the world that knew your story, which makes her loss even more intense. These songs may have the words to show your feelings without you having to say them yourself.
11. “Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran
This song tells the story of a son who goes to his mom's house to pack up her memories. Everything he touches has a memory attached.
12. “I’ll Always Love My Momma” by the Intruders
A 70s funk song about how your mom teaches you manners, holds you tight, and brings you up all right.
13. “The Garden” by Jimmy Scott
Scott sings about how health and happiness follow pain and suffering on Earth. He reminds us that in heaven, beauty and splendor are waiting.
14. “Nan’s Song” by Robbie Williams
Even after your mom is gone, sometimes you sense her in the room with you. This song shares the sentiment in soft rock.
15. “In My Life” by The Beatles
Leave it to The Beatles to say a mother's love is original, honest, and real. If you're looking for more, take a look at our picks for the best Beatles songs to play at a funeral.
16. “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton
To live life and carry on after mom dies is what she would want for you. Later, when you meet again in heaven, the sadness will disappear.
17. “Momma, I’m Coming Home” by Ozzy Osbourne
No rock-n-roll relationship is ever perfect or without its fair share of drama. This song is Ozzy’s ode to that link between his mother and him.
18. “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban
By repeating the same four lines, Josh Groban emphasizes how moms help you to achieve more. For that, he is grateful.
19. “A Song for Momma” by Boys II Men
Harmonized to perfection, this vocal group sings a perfect serenade for a sorrowful time.
20. “A Mother’s Love” by Mark Masri and Jim Brickman
Think of all the times when your mom has been there for you. Would you have made it without her? This song says we are lucky to know our moms for however long that may be.
21. “Two of Us” by Louis Tomlinson
Your mom spent every moment of your youth living for and loving you. Tomlinson sings about how he will live his best in her honor now that she’s gone.
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Artists like Queen and Carly Simon have as much singing strength as storytelling ability. These contemporary songs might have the perfect message to share your feelings. If you're looking for more modern hits, check out our picks for the best modern funeral songs.
22. “Like a River” by Carly Simon
Your mother has walked beside you your whole life. This is so much more apparent once she’s gone.
23. “She Moved Through the Fair” by Loreena McKennitt
Although this is an older song, it’s still a common cover for contemporary Irish artists. It's a tale about youth and vigor and finding love.
24. “You are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder
It’s all in the title with this one. Moms make an eternal impression on their children.
25. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" by Israel Kamakawiwo' Ole
This renowned, contemporary staple of Hawaiian culture wove two famous songs together to make one perfect tune to carry you through hard times.
26. “Carrickfergus” by the Dubliners
For 50 years, The Dubliners wooed crowds with their folk music. This emotional song is about the melancholy reflections of youth.
27. “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley
The lesson of this song is that sometimes life works against you. The powerful melody and crescendo make it cathartic release for any occasion, especially mom’s funeral.
28. “Heaven’s Garden” by Kiernan Brennan
A prayer in lyrical form. This songs hopes for mom to be in the prettiest place in heaven so she can smell the roses and hear angels sing
29. “Who Wants to Live Forever” by Queen
In this song, Freddie Mercury’s gorgeous one-of-a-kind voice and rock orchestra lend complement to your one-of-a-kind mom.
30. “If Heaven Was Needing a Hero” by Jo Dee Messina
If your mom was like mine, she was at every event and cheering louder than anyone else alongside her. This song celebrates our biggest fan.
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Some artists' voices are classic. Doris Day, Judy Garland, Mama Cass, and Nat King Cole each had voices that were certain to outlive them. Songs from this list section are sure to help you create enduring memories.
31. “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole
Serenaded by a piano and strings, the velvety-toned songbird of Jazz warbles on this track. A later version of this song includes his daughter, Natalie Cole, and makes for a beautiful duet.
32. “Sleepwalk” by Santo and Johnny
A Canadian group composed “Sleepwalk” as instrumental only. It has a 50s California surfer vibe coupled with a perfect slow dance style.
33. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland
Judy Garland was a small-town girl with big dreams. She became one of our most beloved singers and actors to this day with hits like this.
34. “Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying” by Gerry and The Pacemakers
The 60s were a time of skinny ties, young English boy bands, and plucky keyboards. Gerry and The Pacemakers make use of these elements in this sentimental tune.
35. “Sentimental Journey” by Doris Day
An accompaniment of brass and woodwind guide Day’s soft vocals on this track. The remastered version adds piano, strings, and snare, making it even more powerful.
36. “Dream a Little Dream of Me” by Mama Cass
Sometimes sweet, simple little melodies are the perfect choice to honor our mom. On this track, a recording that preserves the static sounds of vinyl may add the atmosphere you desire.
37. “I Believe” by Dinah Washington and Brook Benton
Dinah Washington's salty vocals and Brook Benton’s velvety tone become allies in this tune. They remind us, when something challenging is happening, something beautiful is also happening somewhere else.
38. “Gloomy Sunday” by Billie Holiday
If your mom liked Billie Holiday's stylistic, jazzy purl, Gloomy Sunday will not disappoint.
39. “Memories of You” by Rosemary Clooney and Benny Goodman
Rosemary Clooney's alto, a clarinet, and some twinkling ivories make this a perfect song to play in remembrance of your mom.
40. “So Tired” by Kay Starr
When this was composed in 1948, the entire world was in chaos. Many people sought to escape reality. Sometimes, a song that captures our feelings like this one can make us feel less alone.
Keeping Mom Close
Choosing the right funeral song to help you remember your mom may not be easy. But music can be a powerful medium to channel our grief and remember our moms. Hopefully, this list has helped inspire you to find a perfect song to remember yours.