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Published on June 22nd, 2013 | by Alan Cross


What Song Would You Like Played at Your Funeral?

Yeah, this is sort of bummer topic for the first full day of summer, but since The Great Beyond is an inevitability for most of us (and I say “most” because I’m sure that the rich will achieve The Singularity in our lifetimes), it’s best to be prepared.

My wife and I do have a will–everyone should–but we never specified anything about last songs for any kind of funeral or memorial service.  But if you talk to my friend Phil the Funeral Director, he’ll tell you that many people make this sort of provision.  AC/DC is popular, apparently.

Frankly, though, I’m stumped.

The AV Club polled some people on their staff and came up with an interesting selection.  My favourite pick is this one from the sound track of the 1974 Brian De Palma film, Phantom of the Paradise, which plays over the closing credits.

Assuming you want a final song of some sort–and I’m not convinced that it’s necessary–what would you like your send-off theme to be?

About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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33 Responses to What Song Would You Like Played at Your Funeral?

  1. duncan f says:

    the jam- going underground

  2. LeGiff says:

    The the – Good Morning Beautiful


  3. Bruce says:

    Monty Python – Always Look On The Brighter Side Of Life

  4. Andrew says:

    Kind of an odd choice but As I Lay Dying – "Forever" or Parade The Day- "Growing Old". Is it morbid to have a playlist? I don't think so.

  5. It's All Over Now Baby Blue – Bob Dylan
    At the Dimming of the Day – Richard Thompson
    Dr. Jazz – Jelly Roll Morton (my favourite track of all time)

    more when I think of them, unless I die first…

  6. LeGiff says:

    For crying out loud Richard, don't go and do that, but here's one for ya anyway old friend!


    Jake Thackray – Last Will & Testament

  7. 2sday says:

    For obvious reasons…
    Goodbye Ruby Tuesday

  8. mikey says:

    Funeral For A Friend – Elton John

  9. Chris McNulty says:

    Into The West – Annie Lennox
    (Lord of the Rings closing credits)

  10. Glenn says:

    Either Atmosphere-Joy Division
    Home For A Rest.- Spirit Of The West
    Bugger off- Real McKenzies

  11. Logie says:

    Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go?

  12. KC says:

    Just Breathe – Pearl Jam
    The Golden Path – The Chemical Brothers
    Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks

    Kudos to the guy who mentioned Home for a Rest – definitely want it for my wake!
    Pearl Jam is for me, 'Golden Path' always seemed appropriate, and the Terry Jacks is mainly for family – I've heard it since I was too young to realize it was about death.

    I'll just say I've been to at least as many funerals as weddings, and my view is why not put as much effort into the personal touches for your last moments on earth? If everyone is getting together to celebrate your life, then have things that say something about who you were.

  13. michael H. says:

    The Door's "THE END" would be my pick even if a bit over dramatic. The Homer Simpson version would be great but it's too short.

  14. Brad says:

    The The "Love Is Stronger Than Death."

    I'm hoping I'm loaded and Matt Johnson is still alive when I go, cause I want him to sing it LIVE!

  15. Anomyous says:


  16. smoboy says:

    Litany- Gudalcanal Diary

    When The Angels Sing- Social Distortion

    This Monkey's Gone To Heaven-Pixies

    Sheep Go To Heaven-Cake

    Alive-Pearl Jam

    If I Ever Leave This World Alive-Flogging Molly

  17. WreakingHavoc says:

    Xanadu, Rush

  18. anon says:

    I Was Born – Natalie Merchant, from Mermaid Avenue vol 2.

  19. shawn hammond says:

    Hell awaits by slayer

  20. Chrissy says:

    Enjoy Yourself – The Specials

  21. mark says:


    Coldplay – Amsterdam
    U2 – All I Want Is You
    Living Colour – Nothingness

    All kinda weepy and melancholy..

  22. karen says:

    Definitely Sid Vicious' version of 'My Way'.

  23. Swanee says:

    The The's Love is Stronger than Death is my go-to for friends who've passed. For me? The Smiths – Asleep. Great question amigo!

  24. iastagehand says:

    Ride On by AC/DC

  25. Wes Malik says:

    Michael Brooks and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Lament from the album Night Song


  26. Noah says:

    I'm Only Sleeping – The Beatles

    If only to confuse everyone.

  27. Kari says:

    Find the River – R.E.M.

  28. Darryl says:

    Come On Up To The House, by Tom Waits.

  29. Chris says:

    I'm going to go with "Carry me Down" by Demon Hunter, and "Glass in the Trees" by Dead Poetic. And "Mad World" for that extra melancholy kick.

  30. JeffC says:

    Breathe – Pearl Jam
    Beatles and the Stones – House of Love
    Good for You – Hot House Flowers
    Atmosphere – Joy Division
    Lucky May – The Verve

  31. Buk says:

    Last Trip To Tulsa {Live Version from Time Fades Away 45 b/w}
    Forever- Lovin'Spoonful "Everything Playing" album
    Then they can send me away…..

  32. G.I.ant says:

    Year Of The Cat – Al Stewart

  33. Brad says:

    You Can't Put Your Arms Round A Memory – Johnny Thunders
    In My Time Of Dying – Led Zeppelin (if only for reaction a 6 minute guitar and drum solo would spark)
    Down In The Ground Where The Dead Men Go – The Pogues
    Starman – David Bowie

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