Quite a few cultures have funeral dirges, and it goes way back.
had dirges and funeral pyres as part of their customs.
Cremation became popular in the late republic and was the main practice in Roman society until the mid 3rd century A.D. When the procession reached the section in the graveyard set aside for cremations (ustrinum), the body was set upon the large funeral pyre piled with offerings and smelling strongly of perfumes. The dead man's heir lit the pyre with a torch, and the mourners feasted at the site. When the fire burned out, the ceremonial bone (os resectum) was put into the urn that would be placed in a family tomb.