Losing your mother can be one of the most difficult things you ever go through. If you are looking for the right song to honor her at her funeral, here are our top choices.
These songs perfectly express the grief, love, and sacrifice of the relationship between a mother and a child — words that we can’t always find on our own.
1. Don’t Forget to Remember Me — Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood’s “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” is about a mother watching her child move away from home and start their own life. It carries a poignant message for a child who is experiencing the opposite side of things and telling their mom goodbye for the last time.
2. Nan’s Song — Robbie Williams
“Nan’s Song” by Robbie Williams was written for the singer’s late grandmother, but it is just as well suited for a tribute to a mother. The song describes his memories of how his grandmother supported him and how he still feels her presence after she is gone.
3. Heaven’s Garden — Kieran Brennan
“Heaven’s Garden” was released in 2015 and has quickly become one of the most popular memorial tributes for mothers. If your mother loved gardens and flowers, this could be the perfect way to remember her. But it’s well suited as a memorial song for almost anyone.
4. Mama — IL Divo
IL Divo’s song “Mama” is a tribute to a mother who sacrificed, worked, and prayed for her child. It’s a poignant reminder of all the hopes that a mother has and how the relationship between parent and child can be complicated.
5. Drops of Jupiter — Train
“Drops of Jupiter” peaked on the charts in June 2001, and the song was actually inspired by Pat Monahan’s late mother. The song paints a breathlessly beautiful picture that Monahan says came to him in a dream, of his mother voyaging through the universe after her death.
6. There You’ll Be — Faith Hill
Faith Hill’s “There You’ll Be” isn’t explicitly about a mother. But the song is about a person who affects our whole lives, even long after they’re gone. Most of us can probably relate to the feeling that a late loved one is still touching our lives.
7. Two of Us — Louis Tomlinson
Louis Tomlinson, formerly of One Direction, released the song “Two of Us” to honor his late mother, who died of leukemia in 2016. The lyrics describe knowing that your mother is always with you — even literally, in your DNA.
8. Lead Me Home — Jamey Johnson
If your mother was a country fan, “Lead Me Home” by Jamey Johnson might be a fitting tribute. The song is written from the perspective of someone standing on the edge of the afterlife, asking for angels to lead them home.
9. All My Tears — Selah
A classic funeral song, not about mothers but about having all your tears wiped away as you leave this life. It is sure to get tears flowing at any funeral, fitting with the theme of the lyrics perfectly.
10. (They Long to Be) Close to You — The Carpenters
The Carpenters released this song in 1970, and most of us are familiar with the opening lines. The tune was probably a contemporary of your mother’s youth (or at least early adulthood). It is a beautiful, simple tune that is a perfect fit for a funeral.
11. I’ll Leave This World Loving You — Ricky Van Shelton
If there is one thing we know, it’s that love can transcend death, and Ricky Van Shelton’s song is a testament to that. The lyrics speak of lifelong love that can’t be quenched even by death, a sentiment that can be a huge comfort for those of us left behind.
12. In My Life — The Beatles
The Beatles’ 1965 hit “In My Life” isn’t about dying, but it is about loving someone so fiercely that it overpowers everything else. That’s the kind of love mothers can feel for their children, and it’s worth honoring through a beautiful song.
13. If Heaven Was Needing a Hero — Jo Dee Messina
After a loved one dies, we often ask ourselves “Why?” Jo Dee Messina’s song speculates about the reason that someone was called home. Whether or not it makes sense, it can provide comfort in your grief.
14. Mama Liked the Roses — Elvis Presley
This classic song by the King reflects on the small reminders of a late loved one and how they can symbolize the much bigger dreams and sacrifices of their life, such as a dried rose tucked between the pages of a Bible.
15. If I Could Be Where You Are — Enya
Enya is the queen of haunting melodies, but this song is really about reaching out to someone who has died. In the lyrics, the singer wonders if her loved one can hear her and if she could guide them back to see them again.
16. 10,000 Miles — Mary Chapin Carpenter
Mary Chapin Carpenter’s plaintive song “10,000 Miles” almost sounds like it could be an old Irish ballad. The lyrics bid a fond goodbye to a loved one and describe how even the birds are weeping because they will miss them, while the oceans and rocks burn with grief.
17. Memories of You — Rosemary Clooney and Benny Goodman
Rosemary Clooney’s “Memories of You” is just as beautiful as it was when the singer recorded it in 1958. The song describes how, try as we might, we can’t forget loved ones who have gone on before us. Signs of them are everywhere.
18. Wind Beneath My Wings — Bette Midler
Call it overdone, but there is a reason why Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” is considered a classic tribute song, from the powerful vocals to the sweet melody. If your mother was your biggest supporter, there is no better way to honor her.
19. The Lord’s Prayer — Andrea Bocelli
If your mother was Christian, playing a rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer” is a perfect choice for her funeral. Few do it better than Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, whose powerful voice is bound to get tears flowing from all sides.
20. Walk Around Heaven — Patti LaBelle
If you believe in an afterlife, you have the hope that you’ll be reunited with your loved ones one day. Patti LaBelle expresses this hope beautifully as she looks forward to being together with her family again and simply walking around heaven.
21. Stand By Me — Ben E. King
Almost everyone knows the easy listening song “Stand By Me.” The song is lovely and nostalgic without being too melancholy. It may have even been a favorite of your mother’s or a lullaby that she sang when you were small.
22. You Raise Me Up — Josh Groban
Josh Groban’s powerful cover of “You Raise Me Up” is breathtaking from start to finish. It’s not explicitly about a mother, but it is a tribute to a person who supported you and made you better. If the lyrics don’t stir you to tears, Groban’s beautiful vocals are sure to.
23. Unforgettable — Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole’s beautiful ballad isn’t about death or mothers, but it is a stunning tribute to a person who was, well, unforgettable. The simple melody and Nat King Cole’s rich vocals are a perfect choice for a mother who made her mark on the people around her.
24. Coat of Many Colors — Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton’s classic “Coat of Many Colors” is a tribute to her own mother, who worked hard to provide her children with a good life, even though they had little to their name. Many of us can relate to having a mother who sacrificed for our well-being, too.
25. Hush Little Baby — Joan Baez
We’ve all heard the lullaby “Hush Little Baby.” Maybe your mother even sang it to you. Joan Baez’s folksy cover gives it a warbling mournfulness that is perfect for a funeral, especially remembering a mother and her tenderness to her children.
26. My Mother’s Eyes — Frankie Valli
Frankie Valli’s tender song “My Mother’s Eyes” is about how a mother’s love and life lessons can help guide us, even long after she’s gone. It’s a beautiful way to say thank you to a mother who worked hard to make you the person you are.
27. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle — Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell’s 1987 song draws a connection between the guidance of a good mother and how it shapes the people of the world. Motherhood might not seem glamorous at times, but the little acts of love are the most important aspect of it.
28. Dancing in the Sky — Dani and Lizzy
Dani and Lizzy’s mournful song contrasts the grief of those left behind with the hope they have for their late loved one — namely, that they have peace and joy in heaven. Funerals, as they say, are for the living.
29. The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face — Roberta Flack
Roberta Flack’s 1969 ballad is technically a love song, but it can still be used as a tribute for other loved ones. The lyrics describe the memory of first meeting someone and knowing that they would leave an indelible mark on your life.
30. We’ll Be Together — Sting
Whether you believe you’ll be reunited in an afterlife or just that you’ll always be together in memories, Sting’s song is a touching choice for a funeral. The song describes how love is strong enough to guide you through life and even death.
31. Sparrow — Audrey Assad
Christians take comfort in the belief that God watches over everyone, no matter how big or small their troubles. Audrey Assad’s beautiful song is based on the Gospel of Matthew: “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
32. A Mother’s Love — Mark Masri and Jim Brickman
This simple, touching song thanks a mother for all the sacrifices that she made — from sleepless nights to life lessons and believing in your dreams. It’s a beautiful way to acknowledge all the things your mother did for you, seen and unseen.
33. Goodbye’s the Saddest Word — Celine Dion
Celine Dion is the queen of the power ballad, and “Goodbye’s the Saddest Word” is one of the best. This song is explicitly about the singer’s mother and how difficult it is to leave the one who was with you from the beginning.
34. Mama’s Song — Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood makes this list a second time with “Mama’s Song.” In it, the singer begs her mother not to worry about her as she goes off on her own life, armed with the lessons and wishes her mother gave her.
35. Mama — Connie Francis
Connie Francis released “Mama” in 1959, and generations have related to her beautiful tribute to her mother. The lyrics are all about the love and safety she felt with her mother and how much she wishes she could feel it again.
36. Supermarket Flowers — Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran’s heartbreaking ballad “Supermarket Flowers” is about a man going to his deceased mother’s house to pack away her things. It’s a beautiful reflection of seeing signs of a life well lived in small things.
37. Go Rest High On That Mountain — Vince Gill
“Go Rest High On That Mountain” is a modern-day hymn, written in honor of country music singer Keith Whitley. The song is more joyful than mournful, describing the happiness of entering heaven and meeting God and the angels.
38. Because You Loved Me — Celine Dion
Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” might seem like a strange choice for a funeral. Though it’s technically mourning the loss of a relationship, the lyrics are also about the effect that someone’s love can have on a person.
39. When I’m Gone – Joey + Rory
“When I’m Gone” is a country ballad, written from the perspective of a mother who knows she is going to die. The lyrics help her child prepare for what they will feel and experience after her death. Not all of us are lucky enough to have that kind of foresight before we go.
40. Sissy’s Song — Alan Jackson
“Sissy’s Song” is a testament to the fact that the most unexpected people can touch our lives. The country singer wrote it for his housekeeper, who died suddenly and tragically in a vehicle crash. In the song, he expresses hope that she entered into heaven and was greeted by the angels.
41. Jealous of the Angels — Donna Taggart
Some people might think it’s sappy, but sappy songs can be good when we’re mourning. Donna Taggart’s moving ballad is about feeling jealous of the angels who get to spend time with her loved one.
42. Like a River — Carly Simon
In Carly Simon’s “Like a River,” she asks her late mother what new knowledge she has now that she’s in heaven. She says that their relationship isn’t the same now that life ties are broken, but they’ll always be a part of each other, like water in a river.
43. Send Me a Song — Celtic Woman
Lisa Kelly’s hauntingly beautiful song is about feeling like you can communicate with a loved one from afar. It’s a lovely way to describe how we sometimes feel our lost friends and family calling to us like a “breath on the wind”.
44. The Garden — Jimmy Scott
Jimmy Scott’s The Garden is a contemporary song that is clearly about bidding a person farewell as they leave this life. But it’s all right because God will lift them up into His garden and bring everyone peace.
45. How Can I Help You Say Goodbye — Patty Loveless
“How Can I Help You Say Goodbye” tells the story of a mother comforting her child during a move to a new house. The song then contrasts that experience with the child, now grown, comforting the mother during her final hours.