15 Suitable Beatles Songs For A Funeral

Written by Dan Farrant

In the tender moments of bidding farewell to a loved one, music can be a profound source of solace, healing, and remembrance. When it comes to finding the perfect melodies that capture the essence of life and create a fitting tribute, few bands can match the timeless brilliance of The Beatles. 

Their music, a tapestry of emotions and stories, has touched the hearts of hundreds of millions of people across multiple generations. Today, we embark on a soul-stirring exploration to discover the best Beatles songs that can bring solace, evoke cherished memories, and honor the legacy of a cherished soul at a funeral. 

1. In My Life

Up first, we have “In My Life,” a heartfelt and introspective choice for a funeral service. Released in 1965 on their Rubber Soul album, it is a reflection of the love and memories shared with departed loved ones. With its melodic and emotional resonance, it has become a popular choice for memorial services.

Written primarily by John Lennon, with Paul McCartney’s assistance, the song contemplates the connections people form throughout their lives. The lyrics focus on cherished memories and past experiences, acknowledging the impact they have on one’s life.

“In My Life” is a beautiful and fitting tribute to honor the memory of a loved one during a funeral ceremony. This song provides comfort for mourning friends and family members by reminding them of the meaningful moments shared with the deceased.

2. Let It Be

Next, we have “Let It Be,” a timeless classic that carries a powerful message of hope. Written by Paul McCartney and released as the title track of The Beatles’ penultimate album in 1970, the song is rooted in McCartney’s own experience.

It tells the story of McCartney’s mother, who died when he was 14. McCartney recounted that in a dream, his mother appeared to him, saying, “Let it be,” which inspired him to write the song.

During a funeral service, “Let It Be” can be played during a moment of reflection, as a musical interlude, or as a final tribute to the deceased. Its soothing melody and message of hope can help those in attendance find solace in the idea that they can let go of the pain and sadness associated with loss.

Its universal message and timeless melody enable it to transcend generations, creating a poignant and meaningful moment in any funeral service.

3. Yesterday

Another suitable song would be “Yesterday,” one of The Beatles’ most timeless and emotional songs. The tender lyrics, penned by Paul McCartney, evoke feelings of longing and nostalgia that resonate with many who are mourning a loved one.

Upon its release in 1965, “Yesterday” quickly ascended the charts and became a worldwide hit. The vulnerable nature of the track sets it apart from The Beatles’ earlier works, demonstrating their growth as artists and their ability to connect with listeners through personal experiences.

With its gentle melody and melancholy lyrics, “Yesterday” can bring peace to those in mourning while allowing them to reflect on their memories with their loved ones.

4. Here Comes The Sun

Next on our list, we have “Here Comes the Sun,” a gentle but uplifting song by The Beatles. Released in 1969 on the Abbey Road album, it was written by George Harrison as a reminder of the beauty and renewal that comes with each new sunrise.

The song begins with an optimistic and calming acoustic guitar melody. The opening lines convey the idea that even after a period of sorrow, brighter days will eventually come—a much-needed message of hope during a funeral service.

“Here Comes the Sun” can be a suitable song choice during a special moment of reflection or as a part of the closing sequence. Its optimistic message makes it appropriate for celebrating the life of the departed and inspiring hope for the living.

5. Blackbird

The 1968 solo-piece song “Blackbird,” composed by Paul McCartney, is an uplifting acoustic ballad that showcases McCartney’s unique songwriting genius and his skillful guitar work.

Despite its gentle melody, the song has political undertones. McCartney has often stated that the blackbird in the song represents the African American population fighting for their rights. However, the tranquil simplicity of the tune belies its powerful message of freedom and equality.

Aside from its societal message, “Blackbird” can also be a suitable song for funerals. Its serene melody and hopeful lyrics can provide comfort and reflection during times of loss and mourning.

Additionally, the simple acoustic guitar arrangement adds an intimate and genuine touch to the song, making it an ideal choice for a funeral setting. The understated beauty of “Blackbird” can evoke a peaceful atmosphere to help attendees reflect on the memory of the deceased.

6. The Long And Winding Road

Among The Beatles’ final songs, “The Long And Winding Road” marks the end of an era with its poignant lyrics and somber melody, making it a fitting choice for funerals.

Composed by Paul McCartney during a time of turmoil within the band, it signifies closure, longing, and the passage of time, themes that resonate deeply with the mourning process. The track evokes a sense of reminiscence and longing, emotions that often accompany farewells.

Not only does “The Long And Winding Road” provide solace during a difficult time, but its message also extends a glimmer of hope. The song captures the idea of eventual reconciliation and reunion, helping to comfort grieving friends and family members.

7. Across The Universe

The poetic 1970s hit “Across The Universe” is a fitting choice for a funeral service due to its introspective lyrics and calming melody. The track was written by John Lennon, inspired by his ex-wife Cynthia’s constant chattering.

Aside from its unusual muse, the song is also heavily influenced by Lennon’s deep interest in transcendental meditation and Eastern philosophy, as reflected in the soothing melody and the repeated mantra-like chorus.

 The lyrics of “Across The Universe” convey a message of acceptance and connectivity with the wider universe, expressing the idea that despite life’s chaos, everything flows exactly as it’s meant to.

When played at a funeral, the song’s message of love and unity serves as a gentle reminder that, although our loved ones may no longer be with us physically, their presence remains in our hearts and minds.

8. All You Need Is Love

Originally released in 1967 as part of the Magical Mystery Tour album, “All You Need Is Love” was written predominantly by John Lennon, with contributions from Paul McCartney.

Lennon once compared the song’s catchy, straightforward lyrics to slogans and TV ads, playfully considering it a piece of “musical propaganda.” Despite its slightly political inspiration, the song’s uplifting lyrics can serve as a gentle reminder of the importance of love in overcoming difficult moments.

During a funeral, playing “All You Need Is Love” can offer a sense of comfort to the attendees. The song encapsulates the belief that love is the most powerful and enduring force, capable of healing even the deepest wounds.

It can also be an ideal song for funerals that serve more as a celebration of the dearly departed’s life, with its joyful and inclusive lyrics reminding everyone that love is the ultimate guiding force that transcends boundaries and brings people together in times of both joy and sorrow.

9. Hey Jude

Originally released in 1968, the ballad “Hey Jude” has resonated with generations of fans due to its heartfelt lyrics that provide a sense of comfort during a difficult time.

The working title of the song was “Hey Jules,” which Paul McCartney wrote to offer support and solace to John Lennon’s son Julian amidst his parents’ separation. Eventually, “Hey Jude” blossomed into a timeless anthem of encouragement, resilience, and the transformative power of love.

The song’s message of encouragement and support also makes it a fitting choice for a celebration of life during a funeral. The iconic audience sing-along during the song’s lengthy outro, where several “na-na-na” repetitions occur, can also be used as a powerful group moment of remembrance.

With its extended duration of seven minutes, “Hey Jude” allows mourners at a funeral to immerse themselves in its uplifting melody and comforting lyrics, offering a moment of reflection and solace while honoring the life and memories of the departed loved one.

10. Here, There, and Everywhere

Another ballad, “Here, There, and Everywhere” is a tender and heartfelt choice for a funeral, as its lyrics poignantly convey the idea of love transcending physical presence. The song, released on their 1966 album Revolver, showcases a beautiful harmony that creates an atmosphere both soothing and inspiring.

Paul McCartney wrote “Here, There and Everywhere” and has always expressed his fondness for the track, often citing it as one of his personal favorites. With the song’s gentle tempo and poetic lyrics, which capture the essence of love and longing, the song is a cherished favorite among many as well.

Additionally, the song’s arrangement lends itself well to both traditional and contemporary funeral services. The song’s universal message of love may resonate with those grieving in various cultural and religious contexts. It is a delicate reminder that love knows no boundaries, not even in death.

11. While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Composed by George Harrison, the haunting melody and thought-provoking lyrics of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” can evoke a sense of nostalgia and retrospection during a funeral service.

The ballad touches upon grief and loss, evident by the general solemn theme of the song. The poignant imagery of its lyrics can also resonate with grieving family and friends, reflecting on the fragility of life and the power of love.

Harrison’s use of the guitar as a metaphor for grief allows listeners to connect with the song on a deeper level, making it an apt choice for funerals. The powerful instrumentals, including Eric Clapton’s contribution to the lead guitar part, also accentuate the emotional intensity of the song.

Choosing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” for a funeral service can provide solace to the bereaved, as the song captures both the pain and beauty of life. Its understated nature can create an intimate atmosphere that encourages reflection and remembrance.

12. Something

Considered a fan favorite since its release in 1969, the timeless lyrics and gentle melody of “Something” make it a fitting choice for a funeral. The song features a soothing and quiet guitar intro, followed by verses that can touch the hearts of those attending the funeral.

The track was commonly regarded as a love song for George Harrison’s first wife. However, in later interviews, Harrison revealed a deeper interpretation, explaining that the song also embodies a spiritual aspect, symbolizing the presence of the divine in all forms of love.

As a funeral song, “Something” offers a bittersweet yet comforting reflection on love’s enduring nature. It serves as a poignant tribute to the departed and reminds mourners of the profound connections and memories shared with their loved ones.

13. Eleanor Rigby

The lyrics of the 1966 song “Eleanor Rigby” narrate the story of a lonely woman who lives a simple, unremarkable life and dies without anyone noticing her absence.

However, despite the melancholic lyrics of the song, the inspiration behind it carries a sense of compassion. Paul McCartney drew inspiration from his elderly neighbor who lived alone, capturing a tender portrait of loneliness and the need for human connection in “Eleanor Rigby.”

Though not a typical choice for mourning, the relevance of “Eleanor Rigby” lies within its exploration of themes such as loneliness, isolation, and the inevitability of death. These themes can resonate with attendees at a funeral, providing an opportunity for quiet reflection and remembrance of the deceased.

It is worth considering, however, that while “Eleanor Rigby” can bring solace to some, its darker themes may be distressing for others. Sensitivity and awareness of the audience’s emotional state are crucial when selecting the right song for a funeral.

14. Nowhere Man

This 1965 track might not be the first song that comes to your mind when thinking about The Beatles songs for a funeral, but “Nowhere Man” certainly has its place on our list. The poignant lyrics penned by John Lennon create a beautiful atmosphere that reflects the complexity of life.

Although the title may suggest a kind of sadness or loneliness, the song actually brings forth a unique perspective on life’s journey and the desire to find a sense of belonging. The song touches on the idea of self-discovery and the struggle to look beyond the superficial aspects of life.

As such, “Nowhere Man” can be interpreted as a tribute to the deceased, encouraging the mourners to remember the qualities and memories that made their loved one special.

This song provides a slightly unconventional choice that emphasizes the importance of cherishing every moment we get in this world, as well as the people who shape our lives, both directly and indirectly.

15. The End

The closing track on their 1969 masterpiece Abbey Road, “The End” is also the final song on our list. While the lyrics are very minimal and repetitive, the ending line, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make,” provides a profound message that’s apt for a funeral service.

The line can be seen as a poignant reminder that the love and kindness we give throughout our lives are ultimately what define us and leave a lasting impact on those we leave behind. The song inspires us to continue sharing love with others, creating a ripple effect that endures beyond life’s end.

“The End” can be aptly used for a funeral in various instances during the ceremony. It can serve as a poignant song choice for the final farewell or as background music during a reflective slideshow or video montage, allowing attendees to contemplate the memories shared while honoring their life.

Summing Up Our List Of Best Beatles Songs For A Funeral

A funeral is a meaningful occasion for remembrance and healing, and The Beatles’ extensive discography provides a wide range of songs that can deeply resonate with the bereaved.

Whether you prefer the solemn themes of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Yesterday” or the uplifting atmosphere of “In My Life” and “Let It Be,” there’s a Beatles song for every individual preference to create a meaningful tribute during a funeral.

Did we miss a Beatles favorite that you think is a good song choice for a funeral? Let us know, and we’ll be sure to add them!

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.