24 Best Funeral Songs for a Son or Stepson


Planning a funeral can be a stressful and challenging experience. But it’s also one of the most important things you can do for a late loved one. A well-planned funeral honors the person who has passed away and creates a space where surviving loved ones can grieve together.

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There are a lot of components that go into planning a memorial service or funeral. You have to choose a location, ask people to speak, invite guests, create a program, and, of course, select some songs to play.

When choosing music for a funeral, it’s important to pick out music that sets the tone for the funeral. Ideally, the music will also connect to the deceased in some way. Here, we’ve compiled a list of songs that would be appropriate for the funeral of a son or stepson.

Funeral Songs for a Son From Mom or Dad

Burying a child is one of the most difficult things a parent will ever have to go through. It can be overwhelming to try and make sure your child’s funeral is perfect while your grief is so fresh. These are some of the best funeral songs a mother or father can choose in honor of their late son. 

1. “Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton 

While Clapton is responsible for many well-known songs, this is arguably his most famous. It’s also his most personal—he wrote it about the death of his young son. This track is particularly apt if you’re selecting funeral songs for an infant or young child. 

2. “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon 

This sweet song celebrates the love a father has for his son. It contains the famous quote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

3. “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab For Cutie 

As parents, we never want to let our children go. Even if our children died, we would be willing to follow them into the afterlife.

4. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole 

The lilting ukulele and soothing vocals give this popular song a dreamlike lullaby quality. It’s a lovely song for a funeral sendoff. 

» MORE: An online memorial is a perfect ending to honor and celebrate someone's life. Create one for free.

Funeral Songs for a Son and Brother

Siblings have a unique and special connection that cannot be replicated. These funeral songs pay tribute to a great son who was also an amazing brother. 

5. “Over You” by Miranda Lambert 

Lambert co-wrote this song with her ex-husband Blake Shelton as a tribute to Shelton’s late brother. It delves into the complicated emotions that come with losing a sibling.

6. “Fields of Gold” by Eva Cassidy 

Eva Cassidy recorded this Sting cover not long before she died tragically young. Her haunting, ethereal voice is lovely and evocative.

7. “Stars” by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals 

Potter’s aching wail on this song really conveys her sense of loss as she mourns a loved one who died by suicide. 

8. “Brother” by Kodaline

Irish alternative rock group is known for their emotional heft and soaring choruses. This indie pop anthem celebrates a nostalgic brotherly relationship.

Funeral Songs for a Teenage Son

Selecting a song for the funeral of a teenager is different from the song selection for a grandparent or older adult. You’ll want to source music that appeals to multiple generations. These funeral songs are modern, but they still have cross-generational appeal.

9. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth 

This hip-hop song reached the mainstream thanks to the catchy hook by songwriter Charlie Puth. Its heartfelt emotion also makes it the perfect modern track for a funeral. 

10. “You Are The Reason” by Calum Scott 

This sweeping ballad by British singer-songwriter Scott took the world by storm after its initial release in 2017. It has a timeless quality that will appeal to people of all ages.  

11. “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi 

This song was written about the dissolution of a relationship. But Capaldi’s textured, mournful vocals give it an undeniable sense of gravitas.  

12. “Fix You” by Coldplay 

This powerful ballad was written to comfort the now ex-wife of lead singer Chris Martin after her father passed away. Its anthemic arrangement is both moving and uplifting. 

» MORE: Online obituary that is 100% free. Honor a loved one beyond a newspaper.

Country Funeral Songs for a Son

Country music is one of the most emotional genres of music. Songwriters in country music can tap into deep and heartfelt feelings and translate them into song. These country songs would be perfect for a funeral playlist.

13. “Godspeed” by The Chicks 

Songwriter Radney Foster wrote this song after losing custody of his young son. The lyrics, which are reminiscent of a lullaby, are the right amount of bittersweet for a funeral. 

14. “Go Rest High On That Mountain” by Vince Gill 

Gill penned this song after the death of country musician Keith Whitley. He also performed it at the funeral of the country legend George Jones, cementing its legacy as a funeral song. 

15. “When I Get Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley  

Paisley wrote this song from the perspective of a person who is happy and at peace with going to heaven. The uplifting message is perfect for a celebration of life service. 

16. “The Dance” by Garth Brooks 

Brooks wrote this song about the end of a relationship, but its message is also fitting for a funeral. All things end, and sometimes they bring us pain. But the joy we experience beforehand makes it all worthwhile.

Rock or Pop Funeral Songs for a Son

Not all funerals are alike. Some are more traditional, somber affairs, while others are upbeat celebrations of life. While a rock or pop song might not be appropriate for a more mainstream funeral, it could be the perfect choice for a more uplifting memorial service. 

17. “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan 

Dylan originally wrote this song for the soundtrack of a 1973 Western film, but it has transcended its original inspiration. While various artists have covered it, this version carries the most emotional resonance. 

18. “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd 

This song is said to have been written about the late Syd Barrett, who co-founded Pink Floyd. Its wistful chorus and slow tempo make it perfect for a funeral song. 

19. “The Show Must Go On” by Queen 

Primarily penned by Bryan May, this song celebrated Queen’s lead singer Freddie Mercury. Mercury continued performing while living with HIV. This song encourages us to keep going, even when we feel mired in grief.

20. “Fade to Black” by Metallica 

This heavy metal power ballad emerged during a time when lead singer Lars Ulrich and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield were “obsessed with death.” Thematically, this song would work at a funeral for someone who died by suicide.  

» MORE: Grief can be lonely. Create space for your community to share memories and tributes with a free online memorial from Cake.

Hip-Hop or R&B Funeral Songs for a Son

It would be unthinkable to include hip-hop or R&B songs on a funeral playlist a few decades ago. But these culturally-significant genres have become more resonant with younger generations. Now, these songs would be right at home on a funeral program.   

21. “Tha Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony 

In folklore, crossroads are often used to represent where the realms of the living world and the afterlife meet up. This classic hip-hop track references that tradition. 

22. “I’ll Be Missing You” by Faith Evans and Sean Combs featuring 112

This song was written in honor of the late rapper the Notorious B.I.G. It became an instant classic, thanks largely to its highly recognizable sample from “Every Breath You Take” by the Police.

23. “The Message” by Dr. Dre 

Dr. Dre wrote this song in honor of Dr. Dre’s younger brother, who died at age 21 breaking up a street fight. Its raw and angry lyrics make it a visceral choice for a funeral song.

24. “Mourn You Til I Join You” by Naughty By Nature 

This song was dedicated to the late rapper Tupac Shakur. While the lyrics mourn the loss of a friend, it also reminds us that we can reunite with our late loved ones in the afterlife.

Send Off Your Son or Stepson With Meaningful Memorial Songs 

Planning a funeral can be a complicated process. There are so many small details to take care of, and grief can make the process even more challenging. Choosing the right music helps set the tone for the funeral and honor the memory of the deceased. Whether you’re creating a soundtrack for a funeral slideshow or selecting a song for the processional, this guide can help you pick the perfect tune.

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