3 Songs For An Irish-American Funeral


A funeral is a time to say goodbye, a time when mourners mark a new beginning to their lives, and a time to remember the qualities and loves of the person who has passed away. Remembering the person involves placing pictures, plaques, and other mementos around the casket and room. Of all the things in life that can stir memories, both favorable and sad, is music. Music can also help mourners grieve and unite. Here are three songs that can be used during an Irish-American funeral.

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When the priest leads the mourners on the final "Hail Mary" and a moment of silence ensues, a flutist can softly start playing on an Irish flute the song "Oh, Danny Boy". This song reminds the mourners that their love and memories of the deceased will keep the one who has passed away "warm and happy" until they meet again in the great beyond. The song has great meaning to the American descendants of the Irish who fled their homeland and knew that they were probably never going to see their family and friends again until they all pass and meet up in heaven.


As the funeral procession enters the church, a lone Irish bagpiper dressed in full uniform, begins to play "Amazing Grace". This traditional song was written by an old slave ship captain who found salvation as his ship was being tossed about in the seas off the coast of County Donegal, Ireland. The song is about seeing the errors of one's ways while alive and creating a new life, a rebirth you could say, into a new one dedicated to serving others. This song has become a favorite among Irish-Americans over the past few centuries and is traditionally played at funerals here in the U.S. and elsewhere.


For the finishing touch at the cemetery, after the final words are said and the mourners begin to leave the graveside, a lone Irish Celtic Harp standing in a solitary place begins to play as the singer softly sings "Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep". This song, based on a poem by written by Mary Elizabeth Frye and set to music, tells the story of a soul that has not been laid into the ground with the body of the deceased. Instead the soul of the departed can now be found in the wind, in the glitter of snow on a sunny day, and in the smell of a warm autumn rain. The song is to remind the mourners to look for remembrances of their loved one in the beautiful things that can be found in their daily lives – if they only take the time to sit, watch, and listen.

Talk to places like Rose's Funeral Home Inc for more ideas.


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