Grave Mistakes: 12 Songs That’ll Make Your Funeral Anything But Serene

By Aaron Stone

Funerals are an unfortunate part of everyone’s life and finding the right songs to play is difficult. These songs are the worst songs to play at a funeral and are the ones you should definitely avoid. 

Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees

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After the unfortunate passing of someone, the last thing you want to hear is an upbeat tune about staying alive. Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees is a well-loved classic. It brings joy to listeners and could lighten the mood. However, the lyrics are not the best when you consider the context of a funeral. 

Highway to Hell by AC/DC

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Highway to Hell by AC/DC is another well-known song with a lot of fans. This song does have a darker meaning as it talks about speeding down the road to hell. Traditionally, of course, going to hell usually comes after death. No matter how much you may have disliked this person, Highway to Hell is a poor choice for a funeral. 

I’m Still Standing by Elton John

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I’m Still Standing by Elton John is an uplifting song about persevering through every trial of life and being happy despite it all. It resonates with those who have experienced any sort of pain or sorrow while pushing through the other side. A funeral is not exactly a celebration of pushing through nor the correct place for this song. 

Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead by Ella Fitzgerald

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Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead by Ella Fitzgerald is known to music lovers everywhere. After having an essential place in a well-loved movie such as The Wizard of Oz, it is known by many. The lyrics are simple and easy to learn. Although they are slightly wrong for a funeral, even if they were a wicked witch to you. 

Another One Bites The Dust by Queen

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Another One Bites The Dust is a song about the trials of love. Its upbeat tune and a forlorn message about betrayal in relationships are relatable to almost anyone. The song uses the term ‘biting the dust’ to portray that feeling, which is directly linked to death usually. Singing about someone biting the dust at a funeral, even if the song context is different, may be a little off-putting. 

Bodies by Drowning Pool

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Bodies by Drowning Pool is not as popular of a song as some of the last classics may be, but its first lyric prepares you for the whole song. This heavy rock song leads in with the lyric “let the bodies hit the floor” and it proceeds to sing about that repeatedly. Singing about murder may be the style of some music listeners, but it may not be the best vibe for a funeral. 

Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley

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This song is a bit different from the rest on the list as it doesn’t directly sing about life or death. Instead this song has made the list because of its context. Rick Astley is known for his iconic ‘Rickroll’ through his song, Never Gonna Give You Up. Playing this joke on people at a funeral might be funny for some, but the joke likely won’t land with everyone. 

I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor

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I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor has a powerful meaning about surviving anything that is thrown your way. While all the attendants at the funeral may resonate with this message, it could be in poor taste. The person the funeral is about might disagree with that sentiment. While it is a good song, celebrating survival should probably be done at a different time. 

Without Me by Eminem

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Without Me by Eminem is a song about somewhere being more dull without the singer. A listener can relate this to a variety of situations from a party to a relationship. In the context of a funeral, it may be true that it feels empty without that person. However, singing about it in an upbeat rap song might be distasteful. 

The Final Countdown by Europe

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The Final Countdown by Europe is classically used to hype up a crowd before a big event, especially sports games. It gets the crowd excited as the clock ticks down. The final countdown plays until the big event has come. The clock runs out and all of the fun begins! The exact opposite is true for something like a funeral. A funeral is not the best time to celebrate the final countdown and the clock running out. 

Bye Bye Bye by *NSYNC

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Bye Bye Bye is about pushing someone out the door when you are finished with everything they have done to you. They have made your life miserable and messed with you one too many times, so it is time to say goodbye. Even if the person who has passed made you upset in the past, saying goodbye to them through an *NSYNC breakup song is not the most ideal. 

Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr. 

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Ghostbusters the song and the movie it comes from are well-loved family favorites. Fighting monsters and saving the world in a heroic tale make for a great movie night. This catchy theme song gets caught in your head easily. Busting ghosts at a funeral might be a bad idea though. Not only is the song too upbeat, but it is also poor timing to talk about destroying ghosts when someone has passed.

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