What Are Some of the Most Common Funeral Songs?


Quick Answer

Some common funeral songs are "Amazing Grace," "Danny Boy," and "Taps." Some others are "Hallelelujah" by Jeff Buckley, "The Rose" by Bette Midler, "Over the Rainbow" by Eva Cassidy and "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton.

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Full Answer

"Taps" is known for being played at military funerals, but it is also performed at flag ceremonies, Boy Scout meetings, and at camps. It has also been called "Butterfield's Lullaby" and "Day is Done," quoting the first line of the lyrics. The name "Taps" is derived from the pre-Civil War practice of striking three drum beats, called the "drum taps," after the extinguish lights bugle call. The melody is a variation of an earlier bugle theme called "Scott Tattoo," which was used in the United States until 1860. Taps was composed as an alternative to the French bugle call used to signal the "lights out" protocol on military grounds. The custom of playing "Taps" at military funerals originated with Captain John Tidball in 1862.

The song "Amazing Grace," often played and sung at funerals in the United States, was published in 1779 with lyrics written by the poet John Newton. The lyrics were inspired by the poet's moment of religious conversion to Christianity during a severe storm while sailing aboard a ship off the coast of Ireland.

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