Funeral songs seems like it would be specific genre, but it really cannot be. The reason for this is that songs that might be played at a funeral can cross generic lines depending on what the deceased might have wanted. Sometimes a person will let it be known one way or another what kind of music they want to be played at their funeral and in many cases this means a rejection of dirges or organ music. The perfect funeral song idea is always one that reflects the life essence of the deceased.
The ideal method for choosing songs to play during a funeral is to follow the directions of the person whose funeral is actually taking place. Some people let it be known well in advance what kind of music they would like to be played. If this is not the case, then it is perfectly fine to advance this question whenever discussing the writing of a will. Anything that can be done to figure out what kind of music the person actually wants to played is recommended.
Family members should be allowed to voice their opinion on funeral songs. This may well lead to debate as some family members may share conservative views about the appropriateness of certain types of music. When this debate takes place, it is important that everyone keep in mind that the funeral songs really should reflect the type of person who died rather than following conventional expectations. A person who consistently flaunted tradition and live a vivacious and rebellious life probably would not have chosen depressing music to be played at their funeral.
Despite the celebrated marching through the streets of New Orleans with a Dixieland band intact, the majority of funerals are not exemplified by outbursts of happy behavior, but are instead a time of grief. Although the wishes of the deceased should always be placed first, it is also true that the funeral is an occasion to express grief and share in remembrance. If the deceased was an exuberant type who rebelled against the family, but all those attending are far more conservative, then it should be acceptable to all to go with traditional funeral songs that can help with the grieving process rather than interfere with it.
While the actual style of music is often paramount when considering funeral songs in terms of appropriateness, one should not automatically reject a song merely because the style of music may be too rambunctious or too depressing. The lyrical content of a song may match the personality of the deceased perfectly. If you come across a song where the lyrics seem to speak directly to that spirit but the arrangement itself is not acceptable, consider the idea of hiring a person to sing the song in a different manner. Slowing the music down or speeding it up or arranging it in within the confines of a completely different genre may allow you to match the perfection of the lyrics with a more acceptable musical style.