Top 10 Songs Millennials Want Played at Their Funerals

As we celebrate Day of the Dead, guess who is thinking about their own funerals? Millennials. Learn the top Millennial funeral songs from Trust & Will’s study.

According to a new study* conducted by online estate planning platform Trust & Will, more Millennials (ages 25-44) are making plans for their own memorial events, including one key part: the music. 

This makes sense. For a group that has meticulously curated every nanosecond of their digital lives, the last thing they want is an unexpected Celine Dion deep cut staining their personal brand for the rest of eternity. 

The music should be an extension of their identity, like a lovingly Instagrammed piece of avocado toast on organic sourdough, underscoring their unique sensibility and values. 

So let’s take a closer look at some of the top picks and what they say about this remarkable generation. 

To kick it off, it’s worth noting a tune that just missed the top five:

#6. “Another One Bites The Dust” (Queen)

Millennials are known for not taking things—or themselves—too seriously, and that’s the case with this ironic selection. It’s cheeky, irreverent, and a nod to this group’s value of authenticity at all costs and their ability to find light even in the darkest moments. 

After all, what’s a well-lived life without a smile or two?

#5. “Three Little Birds” (Bob Marley)

This sweet and relaxed tune that Bob Marley recorded in 1977 is emblematic of a surprising theme that runs through the list: older artists. In fact, only 2 of the top 10 are Millennials themselves.

Notable snubs include mega-star Taylor Swift, Drake, Rihanna, Billie Eilish, and Lady Gaga, not to mention Justin Bieber or The Artist-Currently-Known-As Ye, neither of whom offer mainstream funeral feels. 

Instead, Millennials are largely leaving this world with the help of Boomer artists, including “Sweet Thing” by Van Morrison (#10), “These Three Words” by Stevie Wonder (#8), and “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac at #7.

The reason for this could be the nostalgia Millennials feel for these hits from the ’60s and ’70s that they may have first heard during formative car rides to ballet or t-ball practice. 

Regardless, even as this younger demo takes control of their memorial music, they’re raising their virtual cell phone lighters to those who came before.

#4. “How Great Thou Art” (Carrie Underwood)

Many Millennials remain rooted in their faith, reflected in spiritual song choices. For those seeking a more modern vibe, Carrie Underwood’s “How Great Thou Art” is the chart-topper most often chosen to shepherd them from this realm to the next.

#3. “I Was Here” (Beyoncé)

Beyoncé enters the chart at #3 with “I Was Here,” a song written by Diane Warren in response to the 9/11 attacks, a defining moment for this generation. Queen Bey adds the depth and gravitas to every line like only she can:

I just want them to know
That I gave my all, did my best
Brought someone some happiness
Left this world a little better just because
I was here

It’s a message of strength, legacy, and of living a full and meaningful life. For Millennials, it’s also about being seen, heard, and remembered. 

For those who prefer country music, song #9—“When I Get To Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton – offers a similarly defiant tone.

And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah, when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here

The Grim Reaper may have the power to pull Millennials from this life, but they’re going out on their own terms with their heads held high.

#2. “In My Life” (The Beatles)

To put it simply: it’s a no-brainer to include a Beatles tune in the set list of any life-affirming event, be it a wedding “Love Me Do,” gender reveal “Here Comes The Sun” or county zoo opening “Octopus’ Garden.” 

The lyrics to this particular track (“In my life, I loved you more”) guarantee there won’t be a dry eye in the room.

And now, without further ado, the number one song Millennials have chosen to help them leave this world on a high note:

#1. “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (Israel Kamakawiwoʻole)

This version features native Hawaiian Israel K. on his ukulele. It’s arresting in its optimism and simplicity, especially poignant considering this is a generation that has experienced terrorism, recessions, climate change, and a global pandemic.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby
Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true, ooh-ooh

While these lyrics may not appear to be deeply philosophical, the timeless phrases speak of dreams, hope, and a world where troubles melt like lemon drops.

It’s a reminder that even when looking ahead to their final moments, Millennials cling to the pure imagination, wonder, and innocence of their childhoods that some may feel ended too soon.

There’s something heroic and honorable in this group not letting themselves wallow in cynicism or depressing thoughts, even when facing death itself. 

One final (musical) note

You’ll never regret thinking ahead. Whether it’s tonight’s dinner, your final playlist, or your estate plan, it’s never too early to make a plan. 

And cheers to the Millennials for reminding us to always follow our own tune, even if it’s at our own funeral.

Full top 10 song list

10. Sweet Thing (Van Morrison)

9. When I Get Where I’m Going (Dolly Parton & Brad Paisley)

8. These Three Words (Stevie Wonder)

7. Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)

6. Another One Bites the Dust (Queen)

5. Three Little Birds (Bob Marley)

4. How Great Thou Art (Carrie Underwood)

3. I Was Here (Beyoncé)

2. In My Life (The Beatles)

1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Israel K’s version)

For more cool stats on parting wishes, check out the full report here. And for help on any part of your estate or end-of-life planning, reach out to Trust & Will.

*For this study, Trust & Will used data from 23,979 Trust & Will members who create estate plans last year, including over 7,000 individuals between the ages of 25-44.

The Motivation Show Interviews John Lennon’s Lover May Pang

May Pang had intimate insights into John Lennon that few people experienced.    She was Lennon’s lover during what has become known as the infamous “Lost Weekend” lasting 18 months from late 1973 through 1975. In the exclusive interview this week with her on The Motivation Show podcast, we discussed their brief, unusual & highly publicized relationship.  What kind of person in fact was John?  Surly, I asked?  “Not at all, he was really easy going,” Pang says.  They almost bought a home together in Montauk…who knew that?    One day in the east side apartment they lived in, the doorbell rings.  Who could it be?   “Who even knows we are here since we just moved in,” Pang muses.  Paul and Linda McCartney just popped in!   So much for the theory that Paul and John were not on speaking terms after The Beatles split.    How did she meet John?    Pang was looking for a job at Apple Records and viola…that was the record label founded by The Beatles in 1968…and the rest is history as she became John and Yoko’s personal assistant.   Pang’s fondest memories of Lennon?  A song that John wrote for her on the album: Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox). 

Pang who is also a photographer, took candid photos of Lennon in a comfortable, relaxed environment.   A collection of these private photographs, which were lying dormant for so many years, were newly discovered by Pang and will be on display in various cities.  The exhibition entitled, “The Lost Weekend – The Photography of May Pang” coincides with the feature film documentary “The Lost Weekend: A Love Story” that premieres in theaters beginning April 13th. 

Billed as “a weekend that lasted 18 months and a love story that took 50 years to tell,” THE LOST WEEKEND: A LOVE STORY (from Iconic Releasing) explores that 18-month relationship spanning 1973 to 1975 that May Pang enjoyed with John, his Chinese American assistant turned lover (according to Pang, on Yoko’s insistence which she later regretted). John had a very artistically and commercially productive period post-Beatles during the Pang relationship—with the albums “Mind Games,” “Walls and Bridges,” which included his only #1 Hit Single “Whatever Gets You Through the Night,” “Rock and Roll” and collaborations with Elton John, David Bowie, Harry Nilsson, Mick Jagger, and Ringo among others. Also, on that album Pang can be heard on the song “#9 Dream” where she whispers John’s name in the song.  As a typically naïve 22-year-old navigating her first unforgettable love, Pang revisits that younger self, and reveals what that was like.

Pang says John even asked her what she thought of Paul and John starting to write together.  Pang told John she thought that was a good idea.  Holy cow…just imagine how that would have turned out and how many more millions of record sales that would have resulted in!   With Pang encouraging Lennon to reconnect with his family and his friends, it ultimately led to a brief reunion with Paul McCartney and a memorable jam session between the iconic Beatles writing dup.. Pang also says she arranged a reunion with Julian Lennon and his father after three years.  One of Pang’s photographs of Julian Lennon graces the cover of Julian’s latest album entitled “Jude.” 

“The Lost Weekend – The Photography of May Pang” exhibition provides fans a rare opportunity to view John Lennon through another lens of someone who knew him intimately during one of the most creative periods of his life. Pang’s photos will be on display and available to purchase for these two weekend days only. This your chance to meet May Pang who will be signing copies of her fine art photographs for customers at City Winery NYC, 25 11th Avenue (at 15th Street), Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 9.

Admission to the exhibit is free to the public and all works are available to purchase. Advance tickets to the film premiere screening are on sale now at: https://www.thelostweekendtickets.com/?campaign=IconicYT. Watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/6v07NzukoZU. On Sunday at City Winery, the fabulous Beatles band “Strawberry Fields” will be performing their weekly Ultimate Beatles Brunch concert at noon (admission required, tickets available at https://citywinery.com/NewYork/Online/Article/new-york-strawberry-fields-lp-2023) so two great reasons to stop in!

Listen to the exclusive interview with May Pang on The Motivation Show podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, IHeart Radio, etc. or click this Spotify link:  https://open.spotify.com/episode/4WTOE2OYqTHFE3wZ66rTAx?si=4ee017c9508e443a

Holocaust Survivor Sami Steigmann on The Motivation Show

Listen to one of the most riveting podcast interviews on the  HolocaustSami Steigmann is one of the youngest survivors still alive today. He lost a lot of his family in the Holocaust and he was a victim of Nazi experimentation on children and still suffers searing pain today from 78 years ago.

Has he let these experiences steal his joy? Is he a bitter man? Did he ever step foot back again in Germany and does he harbor resentment? Does he have a message of hope for all of us to learn from? Can we be truly happy despite the worst of experiences?

If you want to hear a message of resilience and hope from one of the worst experiences imaginable, tune into The Motivation Show podcast hosted by Eli Marcus.

Olympic Legend Scott Hamilton on The Motivation Show

Scott Hamilton electrified the world in the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics by defying the odds and winning the Olympic Gold Medal in Men’s Figure Skating. Those odds? Scott was plagued by a childhood illness that stunted his growth—at the peak of his amateur career he was 5 feet 2.5 inches and weighed 108 lbs.  He was diagnosed with cancer in 1997, overcame that, and suffered from three brain tumors. Despite these extraordinary roadblocks, Scott is remarkably an eternal optimist who focuses on the good.

In this exclusive interview on The Motivation Show podcast hosted by Eli Marcus, Scott reveals why his outlook is so rosy when others would be crushed. He also talks about why it is so important to win and what that does for yourself and for the world.

If this interview doesn’t motivate and inspire you, nothing will!

The Courage to Change Everything Summit

By Tony D’Urso
Host, The Tony DUrso Show

I know at this very moment you can achieve extraordinary feats by harnessing the unlimited power of courage.

I know this because I have used courage to transform every part of my life and the lives of my clients.

Did you know that the results of applying daily courage have been nothing short of extraordinary. Why?

Because your history does not have to be your destiny. You can tap into higher states of consciousness, and with courage, rewrite the scripts you are running in your mind.

To that end, we brought together 45 of the most courageous people in know to help you Master every area of your business and life with The Courage to Change Everything Summit. The Summit, which takes place on Saturday, January 23rd, is featuring NY Times Best Selling Authors, Steven MR Covey, Sharon Lechter, Dr. Ken Druck, Marci Shimoff, Bill Treasure, Debra Poneman, and many more; Hollywood Star Natalie Popovich, Blue Angel Solo Pilot John Foley, Health and Life Style teacher Dr. Gabriel Cousens, Publicists Jill Lublin and Michelle Nicholson, International explorer Werner Berger and high profile experts In the fields of business, health, relationship, finance, and Health and Life Style all committed to supporting you in up-leveling your business and life in 2021.

This Summit is designed exclusively for those experiencing any of the following:
    1.    Your income is stagnant or declining.
    2.    You often feel frustrated and powerless.
    3.    You make choices you later regret.
    4.    You keep putting your dreams on hold.
    5.    You feel less than or even superior to others.
    6.    You lack energy or enthusiasm
    7.    You pretend everything is okay, even when it really isn’t.

If you are ready to have 2021 be an amazing year and generate more health, wealth, and happiness, then sign up for the summit today. Complimentary tickets are available, but seating is limited.

Get your Ticket now! https://t2m.io/hGPUvM7

See you there,
Tony D’Urso
Host, The Tony DUrso Show

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