There are no words to express just how difficult it is to plan a funeral for a baby, toddler or child. These sensitive services are a time for friends and family to mourn the loss of a cherished treasure. Though there may be little that can be done to ease the pain, a well-chosen funeral song can sometimes offer a sense of peace. Here are several different options for funeral music taken from contemporary pop music.
An advantage of choosing a song from pop culture is that many people will recognize the music and find comfort in familiar lyrics. You could opt to play one of these selections sung by the original artist or perhaps seek out a vocalist for the service.
"Fly" is the English adaptation for Dion's song "Vole," which was written in memory of her niece who died of cystic fibrosis.
The song ends with the lyrics "Fly, fly little wing; Fly, where only angels sing; Fly away, the time is right; Go now, find the light.
Alexa Ray Joel inspired this beautiful lullaby written by Billy Joel and featured on his album, River of Dreams. Though not specifically about the loss of a child, the touching lyrics may be appropriate for a child or baby funeral.
Joel sings, "I promised I would never leave you, And you should always know, Wherever you may go, no matter where you are, I never will be far away."
3. "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton
"Tears in Heaven," one of Eric Clapton's most successful songs, is a poignant ballad inspired by the tragic death of his 4 year old son, Conor. In 1991, Conor fell from the window of a 53 story building in New York City. Clapton reported that the writing of the song was therapeutic for him. In 2004, he stopped performing the song, noting that he had moved along in his grieving process.
This selection might seem at first an odd choice, but for families who appreciate country music this song might be an option for their child's funeral service. Released in 1990, the song was written with an intended double-meaning. One, it tells the end of a relationship, and two, it is about someone who died for a cause he believed in. Brooks's ACM award-winning video illustrated the meaning by showcases the lives of several heroic people.
MercyMe is a Christian rock band who have had crossover hits to the pop charts on more than one occasion, "Homesick" being one and "I Can Only Imagine" being another. Both songs are frequently played a funerals.
The chorus of "Homesick" was written in late 2003 after Bart Mallard's childhood friend miscarried the twins she was expecting over halfway through the pregnancy. The song was then finished after the death of his brother-in-law in early 2004.
Released in 1963, Orbison's plaintive song of a love lost could be used to convey the aching grief of a child lost. He sang, "In dreams...I walk with you, In dreams...I talk to you, In dreams...You're mine all of the time, We're together in dreams...in dreams."
This country ballad is about experiencing the loss of a loved one who died before he or she had to live their life to the fullest. "It ain't fair: you died too young, Like the story that had just begun, But death tore the pages all away." The song goes on to wonder how the person would have lived out the rest of his or her life had he or she not died.
"There You'll Be" was featured in the movie soundtrack Pearl Harbor. Sung by Faith Hill, it sends the message that those we love will always be present in our hearts. The song has since been covered by artists of many different genres of music. Likely families would be able to find a version that suits their tastes.
See also: Should I Bring My Baby to a Funeral?