I’m not sure if it is the instruments, the voice, the lyrics or the melody…but some songs tend to bring up lots of emotion when they are played. During a funeral or memorial, when everyone is already feeling melancholy, these songs enhance those feelings along with a mixture of joy, nostalgia, love, loss, memories, happiness and a whole spectrum of emotions.
From personal experience, I have also noticed that the first or second time you hear the song is when the emotions are the strongest but after listening to the same song more than a few times (unless it’s been months or years since I heard it) the effect is not as strong.
Even though most music can be defined as happy, sad, angry, etc there are some genres more likely to trigger the types of emotion that would be normal to feel at funerals: country music ballads, soft rock from the 80’s, pop ballads, love songs. Songs from these genres of music are slower, lyrically descriptive and use acoustic guitar or piano as the main instrument.
That is why you wouldn’t often hear heavy metal or electronic dance music (EDM) at a funeral; unless the deceased had specifically requested it to be played.
I was wondering what is it about music that causes these feelings? Luckily some research has been done and this video explains it.
My Top 10 Awww Inspiring Funeral Songs
My Top 10 would be different from everyone else’s Top 10. As I was researching this topic, I chose songs that I haven’t heard more than a few times in my life; or if they are old songs, I hadn’t heard them for a long time. If you have been hearing any of these songs played regularly you might not feel the same way about them – or maybe you might still appreciate their emotion? It is possible some nostalgia might be affecting my judgement 🙂 But if I wrote this post 12 months ago I’m sure many of the songs I chose would be different; and I’m sure my choices would be different again if I re-write this post in 12 months time.
I am interested to know what you think!