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Funeral poems for Dad – verses, songs and quotes about fathers

A framed photo of a dad and mum, with the message 'true love never ends'

However much you love your dad, it’s not always easy to express the ways in which he was one in a million, especially when you’re writing a eulogy for your father.

Whether you are looking for funeral quotes for Dad that express how much he meant to you, or want to share your feelings at his memorial, the following songs, poems and quotes about fathers may help you write a eulogy for Dad that strikes a chord and touches hearts.

1. When Through One Man

A dad takes snooze in the sun

“When through that one man

A little more love and goodness, a little more light and truth comes into the world,

Then that man’s life

Has had meaning.”

These beautiful words were written by Alfred Delp, a Jesuit priest, philosopher and member of the German Resistance, who was executed by the Nazis in 1945.

His words are a way of expressing how someone can make their mark through the legacy of their love. It’s a wonderful funeral poem for dads.

2. Song for Dad

The hands of a senior man holding a fishing rod

“Lately I’ve been noticing

I say the same things he used to say

And I even find myself acting the very same way…”

Keith Urban says his late dad Robert, who died in 2015, inspired his career in country music. This song, which he wrote in 2002, reflects how as you grow older, you realise how your father did – and meant – his best. It’s a meaningful song for a father’s funeral, with lyrics that may inspire your own eulogy for Dad.

Keith and wife Nicole Kidman were both grieving the loss of their fathers when the country star penned his beautiful 2016 hit about being there for someone grieving, Break on Me, another beautiful choice if you're seeking alternative funeral songs to traditional funeral hymns.

3. When We Were Kids

A small child fishes for tadpoles in a  creek

“When we were kids a year would last forever.

Then we grew up and were told it was all over.

Now we are old and the memories returning

Are like the last stars that fade before the morning.”

This poem by broadcaster, writer and poet Clive James evokes a dusty summer and the freedoms of an Australian childhood more than 60 years ago.

It’s a beautiful funeral poem for dads that captures the ‘olden days’ stories that many dads have recounted to their kids, from playing with Ned Kelly cap guns and cigarette cards, to eating licorice cables and playing secret agents.

4. Now I Run

“And I hope my son sees in me

The kind of man that he was to me.”

Australian Idol star Shannon Noll wrote this moving musical tribute to his father Neil, following his death in a tragic accident on the family farm.

“Showing me the way when I’m misdirected I know you’re not here but I feel connected.”

Although the lyrics reflect the love of a son for his father, their sentiment will ring true for anyone who loves and misses their dad and takes comfort in the feeling that he is watching over you.

Whether you include the lyrics in a funeral speech for your father, or choose it as part of his funeral music, it’s a truly beautiful song.

5. My Father Through the Ages

A father and small child on a playground slide

“When I was...

4 years old: My daddy can do anything.

5 years old: My daddy knows a whole lot.

6 years old: My dad is smarter than your dad.

8 years old: My dad doesn’t know exactly everything.

10 years old: In the olden days when my dad grew up, things were sure different.

12 years old: Oh, well, naturally, Dad doesn’t know anything about that. He is too old to remember his childhood.

14 years old: Don’t pay any attention to my dad. He is so old-fashioned!

21 years old: Him? My Lord, he’s hopelessly out-of-date.

25 years old: Dad knows a little bit about it, but then he should because he has been around so long.

30 years old: Maybe we should ask Dad what he thinks. After all, he’s had a lot of experience.

35 years old: I’m not doing a single thing until I talk to Dad.

40 years old: I wonder how Dad would have handled it. He was so wise and had a world of experience.

50 years old: I’d give anything if Dad were here now so I could talk this over with him. Too bad I didn’t appreciate how smart he was. I could have learned a lot from him.”

They say there is many a truth in jest and this eulogy for a father is a warm and wonderful way to say ‘I miss you’ in a funeral speech for a father.

While the author’s unknown and it was said to originate in a Dutch magazine, it really began to capture imaginations when it was published in the American Chicago Tribune’s Ann Landers column.

6. Short and sweet memorial quotes for Dad

The word dad written in the sand on a  beach

“It doesn’t matter who my father was. It matters who I remember he was” – Anne Sexton.

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me” – Jim Valvano.

“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it” – Clarence Budington Kelland.

“If there’s one thing dad loved more than serenity, it’s a two-stroke motor at full throttle” – Dale Kerrigan, The Castle.

7. Father

a glass of beer on a table

“In conversation father can

Do many wondrous things;

He’s built upon a wiser plan

Than presidents or kings.”

Father, by ‘people’s poet’ Edward Albert Guest, could be a good choice of funeral poem for Dad. It may bring back wry memories for anyone whose dad was expert at putting the world to rights from the comfort of his armchair.

8. Tough Little Boys

“When tough little boys grow up to be dads

They turn into big babies again.”

Country star Gary Allan’s song may strike a chord with anyone whose dad wasn’t one to wear his heart on his sleeve, but had a core of marshmallow on the inside.

It’s a memorial for the fallen who served their country, as well as a funeral song for a dad who didn’t necessarily show his emotions, but loved his kids beyond measure.

9. My friend, my father...

a young father and son seated on a hammock, smiling at each other

“A father is the one friend upon whom we can always rely. In the hour of need, when all else fails, we remember him upon whose knees we sat when children, and who soothed our sorrows; and even though he may be unable to assist us, his mere presence serves to comfort and strengthen us.”

Written over 150 years ago, the words of French crime fiction writer Émile Gaboriau still ring true. As a memorial quote for a dad, it’s a poignant choice, which reflects so much that made him much-loved and much-missed.

10. A father’s legacy

The hands of an older man, holding a walking stick

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”

It’s sometimes not until the time comes to say goodbye that we realise the legacy that our father has left us and many people realise when they think about a funeral speech for their father.

This quote by Italian novelist Umberto Eco could be an inspirational way to begin a eulogy for your own father. How did he shape your world without either of you realising? Which of his views or actions have been the foundation for your own outlook on life? Discover more about how to write a eulogy or compose an obituary for your father in our Help & Resources section.