Essential Funerals

Humanist Funerals Scotland

Funeral music & words

Essential Funerals are happy to discuss your thoughts and ideas for music and words during the funeral. There is no restriction on the prose, poetry and music you wish to include during the funeral service. Please contact us for more information.

Here is a small selection of funeral words and music.

Poetry and Prose

At Essential Funerals we have a wealth of poetry and prose that is suitable for funerals. The following are popular readings at funerals.


by Christina G Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land:
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.


by Don Lampard, 1923 – 2000

Once I’ve bade my last goodbye, cut the cord to take my leave,
Don’t be sorrowful and cry or sit in solitude and grieve.
Shout me your last farewell, making sure I’m dead asleep,
Then without prayers or tolling bells just dump me on the compost heap.

Play for me some red-hot jazz, then some Benny Goodman swing,
Jive and twist and razzamatazz, joke and laugh, and dance and sing.
Be happy through the night-long wake, don’t think about me being missed,
Just carry on for old time’s sake ‘til everyone’s completely pissed.

Then go your ways and be not sad, and think about me not at all,
Except if things go really bad, when all you have to do is call.
Go to where the compost’s spread, shout my name up to the sky,
And if you wake me from the dead, you’ll not be more surprised than I.

When I am dead

Native American Ishi (people of the Pacific Northwest)

When I am dead
Cry for me a little,
Think of me sometimes,
But not too much.
Think of me now and again
As I was in life.
At some moments it’s pleasant to recall
But not for long.
Leave me in peace
And I shall leave you in peace –
And while you live
Let your thoughts be with the living.

These are two friends

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

These are two friends whose lives were undivided;
So let their memory be, now they have glided
Under the grave; let not their bones be parted,
For their two hearts in life were single-hearted.

Music for a funeral

Here’s a list of the Top 10 of popular send-off songs compiled by Paul Gambaccini in 2012:

1. My Way, Frank Sinatra
2. The Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler
3. Angels, Robbie Williams
4. Time To Say Goodbye, Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
5. Stairway To Heaven, Led Zepplin
6. My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion
7. I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston
8. Goodbye My Lover, James Blunt
9. Candle In The Wind, Elton John
10. The Show Must Go On, Queen