Best Songs for Spouse’s Funeral

What are the best songs for a spouse’s funeral?

What are the best songs for a husband’s or wife’s funeral or memorial service? Finding the right song to play at the funeral of your husband or wife can be difficult. You might want to choose the song that was playing when you first met, a song from your wedding or wedding reception, or the song that the two of you always consider “your song.” You might also want to choose the song or songs that you both enjoyed dancing to or the songs that bring back memories of the best times of your marriage. Or perhaps you want a song that expresses your feelings about the loss of your life partner…a song that helps to describe how you feel.

The Best Songs.net has put together a list of some of the best songs for the funeral of a husband or a wife. For your convenience, we have compiled the songs in a playlist, making it easy for you to listen to a sample or purchase a song. Additional information about each song, including significant verses and choruses, is provided below the playlist.

Best Songs for a Spouse’s Funeral

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Can’t Be Really Gone

“Can’t Be Really Gone” is performed by Tim McGraw. The song is about a man who is in denial that the woman he loves is gone. Throughout the song he lists all the different things that are still in the house–proof that “she can’t be really gone.”

Significant Verse:

Just look around this room
So much of her remains
Her book is lying on the bed
The two of hearts to mark her page
Now who could ever walk away
With so much left undone
So, she can’t be really gone

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Don’t Dream It’s Over

Crowded House singer Neil Finn wrote this after having a terrible fight with his wife, Sharon. It has also been recorded by Sixpence None the Richer. The song really speaks about how two people should be together to help resolve the problems that they face. My favorite line is “But you’ll never see the end of the road / While you’re traveling with me.”

Chorus:

Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win

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Even Now

This song is performed by Linda Eder, whose voice often graces Broadway performances in-between albums. It is very moving song that talks about how two people who love each other are never really apart. The best line of the entire song has to be “Through my tears I still hear your laughter even now.”

Significant Verse:

Stars still shine when they’re gone
Hearts that break will still beat on
Letting go’s the hardest thing to do
‘Cause all those feelings start
And time can’t change my heart
It all leads back to you

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Here Without You

This 3 Doors Down’s song is about a couple who used to be together, but they are separated after the girl has died. The song talks about how much he misses her. While it seems most appropriate for the funeral for a husband or wife, it is also generic enough that it can be used for other funerals. Case in point, it was used by World Wrestling Entertainment for a video tribute to the late Eddie Guerrero.

Chorus:

I’m here without you baby
But you’re still on my lonely mind
I think about you baby
And I dream about you all the time
I’m here without you baby
But you’re still with me in my dreams
And tonight it’s only you and me

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Hero

This classic song is a favorite of many people. Few could ever sing it as beautifully as Mariah Carey does–although some have tried. There are several songs with the same title with different lyrics. We’ve given this song a prominent place on this page because of the line in they lyrics that says “You can find love / If you search within yourself / And the emptiness you felt / Will disappear.”

Chorus:

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

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History of Us

This song by the Indigo Girls talks about a person who traveled over the world trying to make peace with the love that is now gone. Eventually, she comes to the determination that we have no choice but to accept each moment as it is and that pain is a part of love.

Significant Verse:

So we must love while these moments are still called today
Take part in the pain of this passion play
Stretching our youth as we must, until we are ashes to dust
Until time makes history of us

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How Do I Live

“How Do I Live” was written for the 1997 movie Con Air by Diane Warren, who intended Leanne Rimes to sing the song. However, the producers felt that Rimes’s version was too “pop” and wanted her to re-record it. When Rimes refused, the producers chose to have Trisha Yearwood record the song for the soundtrack. Both versions became quite popular, with Yearwood taking home the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her version. However, Rimes version outsold Yearwood’s by more than 3 million copies. Either version is beautiful.

Chorus:

And tell me now
How do I live without you?
I want to know,
How do I breathe without you?
If you ever go,
How do I ever, ever survive?
How do I, how do I, oh how do I live?

I Believe

Diamond Rio sings this song about love and loss. The singer is talking to a lost love who has died. More specifically, the song tells the person that, even though they are gone, at times it feels as if they are still together and that “And with all my heart I’m sure we’re closer than we ever were / I don’t have to hear or see I’ve got all the proof I need / There are more than angels watching over me.”

Chorus:

I believe
That when you die your life goes on
It doesn’t end here when you’re gone
Every soul is filled with light
It never ends and if I’m right
Our love can even reach across eternity

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I Miss My Friend

This song would only be good for the funeral of a spouse since it says “I miss the power of your kiss when we made love.” It also gives very specific descriptions of the person such as “those blue-green eyes” and “soft brown hair.” Otherwise, the song is a very touching country song sung by Darryl Worley about all the things he misses about a person who has died.

Chorus:

I miss my friend
The one my heart and soul confided in
The one I felt the safest with
The one who knew just what to say to make me laugh again
And let the light back in
I miss my friend

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I Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye

If you’ve never heard Linda Eder sing, then you’re missing out. She’s performed in several Broadway musicals as well as released numerous records including It’s Time which contains this song. One of the best lines in the song is “The house we used to share / Still looks as if you’re there / And I won’t change a single thing / Not even the wedding ring I wear.

Significant Lyrics:

The world moves on
With no regret
And though you’re gone
There are feelings I’ll never forget
So I remember you and though I try
I don’t know how to say goodbye

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I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing

Something about Diane Warren songs seems to urge competition between artists (see “How Do I Live” above). “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” was written for the movie Armageddon soundtrack and became a number one hit for Aerosmith. Shortly there after, Mark Chestnutt recorded his own version of the song. Chestnutt’s version spent two weeks at number one on the country charts.

Chorus:

I don’t want to close my eyes
I don’t want to fall asleep
cause I’d miss you
And I don’t want to miss a thing
cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
I’d still miss you
And I don’t want to miss a thing

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I Will Always Love You

This song was written by Dolly Parton and not intended to be a traditional love song. It was aimed at her friend Porter Wagoner, after Parton decided to end their long-term partnership for a solo career. The song talks about how much she appreciates all they have shared but that its time for them to part ways. Parton later recorded a second version for the 1982 film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and it became a Country hit. Ten years later, the song was recorded again, this time by Whitney Houston for the movie The Bodyguard. Both versions of the song are very nice.

Significant Lyrics:

Bittersweet memories
that is all I’m taking with me
So, goodbye. Please, don’t cry
We both know I’m not what you, you need

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If Tomorrow Never Comes

“If Tomorrow Never Comes” was the very first country hit for Garth Brooks. It was also a hit for Ronan Keating in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, Garth Brooks is what is known as an “online holdout” and his songs are not currently available on iTunes. So, country fans will have to purchase the entire album or learn to love Ronan Keating or Westlife. Luckily, both of those versions happen to be very nice

Chorus:

If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she’s my only one
And if my time on earth were through
And she must face the world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes

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I Would’ve Loved You Anyway

This song is performed by Trisha Yearwood. It is a very beautiful song that talks about how she would have loved the person anyway despite the feelings of heartache that she’s experiencing. It would be appropriate for almost any funeral of a loved one since it contains no specific reference to a loved one. One of the best lines in the song is “And even if I’d seen it coming / You’d still’ve seen me running / Straight into your arms”

Chorus:

I would’ve loved you anyway
I’d do it all the same
Not a second I would change
Not a touch that I would trade
Had I known my heart would break
I’d have loved you anyway

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If You’re Reading This

The author of this song obviously wrote this with the military in mind. The song takes the format of a letter written by a soldier in case he died in battle. The song talks about how he has no regrets over his choices, share his thought about the daughter he’s never seen, and even urges his wife to move on with her life. One of the best lines in the song is “If you’re reading this I’m already home.”

Significant Verse:

Well I’m laying down my gun
I’m hanging up my boots
I’m up here with God
And we’re both watching over you

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Keep Me In Your Heart

Keep Me In Your Heart was written and recorded by Warren Zevon shortly before he died of mesothelioma. The song encompasses his feelings about his upcoming death and what will occur afterwards. The song is very reminiscent of a folk tune, and the line “Keep me in your heart for awhile.” However, one of my favorite lines in the song is “Sometimes when you’re doing simple things around the house / Maybe you’ll think of me and smile.”

Significant Verse:

Hold me in your thoughts, take me to your dreams
Touch me as I fall into view
When the winter comes keep the fires lit
And I will be right next to you

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Love, Me

Collin Raye sings this song about two people (his grandparents in the song). According to the lyrics, he is just a boy when he is accompanying his grandfather to church to pray for his grandmother in the hospital. At the church, the grandfather tells the grandson about how he and the grandmother eloped. When he went to the spot they were going to meet, she had left him a letter (see the chorus below). The second verse talks about how the grandfather now reads the letter to his wife on her deathbed.

Chorus:

If you get there before I do, don’t give up on me
I’ll meet you when my chores are through
I don’t know how long I’ll be
But I’m not gonna let you down
Darling wait and see
And between now and then, Til I see you again
I’ll be loving you
Love, Me.

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My Heart will Go On

“My Heart Will Go On” was written for the movie Titanic and Celine Dion. Lyricist Will Jennings said that he “wrote everything from the point of view of a person of a great age looking back” on a great love story. It won the 1998 Oscar for Best Song.

Chorus:

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you’re here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

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One More Day

This song is performed by Diamond Rio. The lyrics talk about what everyone would like after a loved one has gone — one more day — and what he would do with that added time. Diamond Rio is a country group and this song has a slight country feel.

Chorus:

One more day, one more time
One more sunset, maybe I’d be satisfied
But then again
I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you

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Right Here Waiting

“Right Here Waiting” was released in 1989 by Richard Marx. The soulful ballad was a number one hit for him. The song talks about how he will always be waiting for his love who is now lost to him. One of the best lines is “I took for granted, all the times / That I thought would last somehow.”

Chorus:

Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you

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Ten Ft Tall

The story behind this Pete Murray song about coping with loss is almost as touching as the song itself. According to Murray, it was inspired by a husband and wife he knew in Australia. Sadly, the wife died of cancer. The night of the funeral, her husband was sitting on the bed staring out the window when a butterfly flew in and landed on his hand. Even more amazing is that the husband’s nickname for the wife was “butterfly” and it was the middle of winter–when butterflies are not around.

Chorus:

But you might say, it’s just the luck of the draw
You might say, that you’ve done this before
You might feel, that you’re ten feet tall some days

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The Flame

This was Cheap Trick’s only number one hit and was written by Bob Mitchell and Nick Graham. The song is a soft ballad where the singer tells a girl he will always be there for her. According to the lyrics “You were the first, you’ll be the last.” It is a rock classic and very sweet.

Chorus:

Wherever you go, I’ll be with you.
Whatever you want, I’ll give it to you.
Whenever you need someone to lay your heart and head upon.
Remember: after the fire, after all the rain,
I will be the flame.

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The Last Words You Said

Sarah Brightman sings this song about what happens after you lose a loved one. The lyrics talk about how she still feels his presence, even though he’s gone. The title of the song comes from the heartbreaking last lines: “‘Love me now forever’ / Were the last words you said to me.”

Significant Verse:

And when the morning comes,
My hands still reach out for you.
Some things remain the same,
There is nothing I can do.
I can barely get through the day
Ever since you went away.

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This Woman’s Work

Kate Bush wrote “This Woman’s Work” for the movie She’s Having A Baby for a sequence where Kevin Bacon’s character is waiting helplessly while his wife is having complications while giving birth. The song is written from the man’s perspective. The song goes through all the emotions a husband would have as he faces the prospect that his wife might die. The song has also been recorded by Maxwell; however the links below are for the Kate Bush version.

Significant Verse:

Of all the things we should’ve said,
That were never said
All the things we should’ve done,
That we never did
All the things that you needed from me
All the things that you wanted for me
All the things that I should’ve given,
But I didn’t

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What Hurts The Most

Although this song was first recorded by Mark Willis, it became a Country hit for Rascal Flatts in 2006. It was also recorded by former S Club 7 member Jo O’Meara in the United Kingdom. The general message of this song is that you shouldn’t wait to tell someone how you feel about them.

Significant Lyrics:

What hurts the most
Was being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that loving you
Is what I was tryin’ to do

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Wind Beneath My Wings

Anyone who has ever seen the movie Beaches can understand why this is a favorite song for funerals. The song encompasses the theme of the movie–enduring friendship, love and support. It is the most commonly played song at funerals. Midler also sang this song on Johnny Carson’s last show. While Bette Midler’s version is the most popular, a number of other artists have recorded their own versions of it.

Significant Lyrics:

Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
You’re everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings.

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You’re Gone

Paul Williams wrote “You’re Gone” with Nashville songwriter Jon Vezner. According to Williams, the song is based on his own life events. The message of the song basically states that the singer is glad for the moments that were shared, even though that person is gone. According to Williams, Garth Brooks recorded but never released a version of the song. To date, the most popular version of the song is Diamond Rio’s.

Significant Lyrics:

And I bless the day I met you
And I thank God that He let you
Lay beside me for a moment that lives on
And the good news is I’m better
For the time we spent together
And the bad news is you’re gone

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You’re Missing

Bruce Springsteen sings this song about a man who has lost his wife. In the song he talks about all the things that are the same except for the fact that she is not there. It is obvious from the lyrics that the wife was still young when she died as it says “Children are asking if it’s alright / Will you be in our arms tonight?

Significant Verse:

Pictures on the nightstand, TV’s on in the den
Your house is waiting, your house is waiting
For you to walk in, for you to walk in
But you’re missing, when I shut out the lights
You’re missing, when I close my eyes
You’re missing, when I see the sun rise
You’re missing

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A few other songs you might consider are:

“In This Life” performed by Collin Raye or Bette Midler

Let the world stop turning
Let the sun stop burning
Let them tell me
Love’s not worth goin’ through
If it all falls apart
I will know deep in my heart
The only dream that mattered
Had come true
In this life I was loved by you

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“They Can’t Take That Away From Me” performed by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and more.

The way your smile just beams
The way you sing off key
The way you haunt my dreams
No they can’t take that away from me

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“Thank You” performed by Ray Boltz

I dreamed I went to heaven
And you were there with me;
We walked upon the streets of gold
Beside the crystal sea.
We heard the angels singing
Then someone called your name.

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“To Where You Are” performed by Josh Groban, Lorraine Shannon, or Kristy Starling

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

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“Wasn’t it Good” performed by Tina Arena

So long together, two would be lovers
Caring for flowers that just wouldn’t grow
And in all of our tomorrows, we’ll have yesterday
And wasn’t it good, wasn’t it fine
While I took for granted, you took your time
Longing for love, oh how we tried
It’s over now that’s understood
But wasn’t it good

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“When I Reach the Place I’m Goin’” performed by Wynonna or Patty Loveless

We have hands to hold our sorrow
We have tears to heal the pain
And though your eyes ask many questions
On your lips I hear my name
I was born without a whisper
I was born beneath the rain
But when I reach the place I’m goin’
I will surely know my way

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“Without You” performed by Dixie Chicks

Well I never thought I’d be
Lying here without you by my side
It seems unreal to me that
The life you promised was a lie
You made it look so easy
Making love into memories
I guess you got what you wanted
But what about me cause

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