Tag Archives: Funeral Music

“Nearer My God to Thee” by Sarah Flower Adams

The song that played when the Titanic went down?

“Nearer My God to Thee,” was a hymn written in 1941 by Sarah Flower Adams. Her sister, Eliza Flower, set the lyrics to music. Sarah was born in 1805 to Unitarian parents. She worshiped in the Unitarian Church her whole … Continue reading

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“Canon in D Major,” by Johann Pachelbel

A Baroque composition that soothes the soul and lifts the spirit

The first time I heard Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major” I was at a retreat for the pediatric oncology staff at Stanford Children’s Hospital, where I worked. It was January, and we had just gone through an emotionally devastating holiday … Continue reading

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“Der Tod und das Mädchen” by Franz Schubert

Death comforts a young maiden

“Der Tod und das Mädchen” (Death and the Maiden) is a gorgeous “lied” composed by Franz Schubert in 1817. The word “lied” is a German term originally used to describe the fusion of poetry and music, or more specifically the practice of … Continue reading

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“Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith

Heartfelt song gives a voice to grief beyond reason

We have all been there: standing before a stark reality and wishing against all reason that what we know to be true isn’t so. A common trait encouraged in children is to be moderate, thoughtful and temperate with their emotions … Continue reading

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“I Hope You Dance” Encourages Leading Life to the Fullest

LeeAnn Womack's song provides inspiration for a funeral or memorial service

“I Hope You Dance,” written by Mark Sanders and Tia Sillers and performed by LeeAnn Womack, is a song about following the road less traveled and making active, positive choices. So many people approach the end of life with regrets: … Continue reading

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“The Promise” by Tracy Chapman

Heartfelt memorial song gives voice to loss, longing and remembrance

  Tracy Chapman’s song “The Promise” is as much as song of separation as it is of togetherness. As listeners, we can place ourselves in the role of speaker/singer addressing a loved one, but it is just as easy to … Continue reading

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