Sadly, there comes a time when we must acknowledge death as an integral component of a never-ending circle called life. I have always found that what makes death so hard to accept is not its finality but rather that the rest of us must find a way to continue. However, I have always found that the one thing that can get me through this tumultuous time is music. That’s why we put together a list of songs about losing someone you love.
Whether you want to laugh or cry, there is a song that can help you. There is something special about the power that a song has to transport you to a completely different place. Here are a few songs that have that power.
Table of Contents
1. You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell
|Album||You Should Be Here|
Many of the most inspiring songs were written by artists going through hard times in their life, and that’s certainly the case with “You Should Be Here” by Cole Swindell. The song was written after Cole suddenly lost his father while on tour. The song reflects on how when we lose a loved one, we often wish they were there for important milestones in life after their passing. In the song, Cole sings about how having his dad back to celebrate his success is what he wishes for more than anything. The song is super relatable to anyone who has lost a loved one.\
2. See You Again by Wiz Khalifa (featuring Charlie Puth)
|Album||Most Wanted, Vol. 2|
Wiz Khalifa wrote this song as a tribute to the actor Paul Walker, and it was also included in the Fast and Furious 7 soundtrack. This song deals with the death of a family member or someone close enough to be considered family. Khalifa is having a hard time coping with his death, as indicated by the overall tone of this song.
He raps about all of the things that they will catch up on when they see each other in Heaven. He also stresses the importance of family with the line, “How can we not talk about family when family’s all that we’ve got?” That is the most important message we can take from this touching song.
3. Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton
Tragically, Eric Clapton wrote this beautiful tribute to his son they’re losing him at only four years old. This song is subdued and quiet, which expertly reflects the sadness one would feel after losing a young child. Although his voice reflects his sadness, Clapton reiterates that he must be strong and carry on with his life. That’s got to be almost impossible.
In the song, he talks about time passing and eventually making things easier to accept. He comforts himself by singing the lines, “Beyond the door, there’s peace, I’m sure. And I know there’ll be no more tears in Heaven.” The way this is delivered is enough to bring tears to anyone who takes the time to listen.
4. Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran
In this bittersweet song, Ed Sheeran honors his lost mother, with whom he was very close. The song starts with Sheeran singing about how he has finally managed to get rid of some of the things his mother left behind, although it proves to be a difficult task for him. This proves to be very cathartic.
I do not doubt that when most of us lose a loved one, we find it very hard to get rid of their belongings, even if they cannot be salvaged as a keepsake. Ed’s voice sounds sorrowful in this song. You can tell that he is having a difficult time letting go of the past, although he knows he needs to.
5. No One But You (Only The Good Die Young) by Queen
Let me go on record by saying that this is a song that only the great Queen could have pulled off as well as they did. This song is about losing someone very close to you far too soon. The lyrics of this song indicate that the singer has seen death more times than he would have liked to have seen.
Freddie Mercury knows how to deliver the goods on any song that he sings, but this song is a shining example of why he is one of the greatest vocalists of his generation. His voice is so powerful, yet there is a hint of sadness as he sings about his friends he has sadly managed to outlive.
6. Dad’s Old Number by Cole Swindell
|Album||All Of It|
Cole Swindell has lost his father in this song, but he is so used to calling his father for advice on just about everything that he continues to dial the number even though his father is gone. Another man answers the phone, and Swindell explains to him that he has his father’s old number.
He goes on to tell the gentleman that he used to rely on his father for advice on everything that has happened in his life. In a heartbreaking tone, he also tells the man on the other end of the phone that if he doesn’t mind, he may still call from time to time. That is got to be a better pill to swallow.
7. One More Light by Linkin Park
|Album||One More Light|
Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda, and company are not known for showing their softer sides as they do on this track. “On More Light” is a thoughtful, well-written song in which Bennington ponders the question of if he could have done anything more to save the life of his loved one.
In this song, he is angry because the world does not seem to care that someone he loves has passed away. This song is a contrast to Linkin Park’s usual style, but it is highly effective. Chester Bennington’s voice shines in this track, sounding regretful, remorseful, and thought-provoking. The result is a beautiful tribute to his friend that honors and shows respect to this person.
8. Who You’d Be Today by Kenny Chesney
|Album||The Road And The Radio|
Although there are many songs on this list that talk about smiling through the pain and using the memory of a loved one to go on with your life, Kenny Chesney gives us an incredibly sorrowful tale about a loss that will hurt more than any other loss you will ever experience. Of course, I am referring to the loss of a child.
Chesney ponders what his child’s life would be like had they lived a full life. You can hear his heartbreaking when he delivers the lines, “All the hell that I’ve been through, just knowing no one could take your place. Sometimes I wonder who you’d be today.” What he’d be is especially proud of you, Mr. Chesney.
9. There You’ll Be by Faith Hill
|Album||Pearl Harbor (Original Soundtrack)|
While this song may be best known as being the theme for the movie “Pearl Harbor,” there is so much more to it than that. This song is about finding the love of your life and losing them way sooner than you would have expected to. Faith Hill will always have this person with her, no matter where she goes.
What a beautiful thing it is to love someone so much that not even death can tarnish that love. Faith Hill sings this song beautifully, ranging from a whisper to a powerful, convincing chorus that is strong enough to bring the house down. Her voice has a conviction that convinces us that her love will always be with her.
10. Why by Rascal Flatts
Rascal Flatts has written enough sad songs to make even the most hardened cowboy cry, and “Why” is no exception. Like many other songs on this list, this is about losing a child. However, as tragic as that is, this song goes on to tell you that the singer has lost his child to the most tragic death of all, suicide.
Lead vocalist Gary LeVox wonders if there was anything that he could have done to prevent this tragedy from happening. Toward the end of the song, he begins to discover that the world is not a cold and heartless place through little things like the sun shining and birds singing. Alas, his child is still gone much too soon.
11. Last Kiss by Pearl Jam
|Album||Lisbon, Portugal (Live)|
This is the only cover song to make this list. Originally recorded by Wayne Cochran in 1991, Pearl Jam released their version in 2000. It is a heartbreaking tale of a couple that was out driving. They swerved to hit a stalled car. Sadly, he crashed the car, and his girlfriend was killed.
The singer truly misses his lost love and hopes to meet her again in heaven. The reason I chose the Pearl Jam version over the original version is because of the anguish in Eddie Vedder’s voice when he sings this song. It’s not very often that I say that a cover song is better than the original, but this is an exception.
12. Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day
This is possibly the most misunderstood song on this list. Most people think that this is a song about a relationship that is ending, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong wrote this song about his father, who died in September. As the song title indicates, he just wants September to end.
Most people who have lost a loved one dread when that month rolls around, and they are continuously reminded of it. Sometimes, you just want to sleep that month away to avoid the pain. That’s the message that Billie Joe gets across in this song. He just wants the month to be over so he can move on with his life.
13. Ghost by Justin Bieber
Here we find yet another song where the beat directly contradicts the lyrics. While the song is about losing your partner, the song has more of an upbeat dance track feeling. That is until you get to the chorus, where Justin Bieber painfully delivers the line, “If I can’t be close to you, I’ll settle for the ghost of you.”
I’m sure that most of us have loved someone enough to understand the lyrics to this song. When you lose the love of your life, especially if it was suddenly and tragically, you would do anything to get them back. Sometimes, that even includes wanting to be haunted by their ghost, if that is all you can have.
14. My Old Man by Zac Brown Band
This song is a poignant and sentimental tune that Zac Brown wrote to honor his father. The song starts with Zac Brown giving a recollection of the many memories he had with his father as a young child. He talks about the lessons that his dad taught him throughout life and wants to be just like his old man.
Zac then talks about having a son of his own and hoping that he can live up to the standards set by his father. The beauty in this song is that Zac Brown idolizes his dad, and wants to honor his memory through his relationship with his son. What a beautiful way to pay tribute to his old man.
15. Even In Death by Evanescence
Amy Lee of Evanescence has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. It perfectly fits this song, which is about a love so strong that it transcends death itself. In this song, Amy Lee sings about loving her partner so much that she refuses to believe that they are gone, although they are.
There is so much denial, hurt, and longing in her voice that it makes this song almost unbearable to listen to, but that’s the beauty of it. Few songs can reach out and touch your soul the way this one can, and no other singer besides Amy Lee could pull this off as well as she can.
16. Gone Away by The Offspring
|Album||Ixnay On The Hombre|
“Gone Away” is a musical anomaly. There are two different versions of this song. The slower version that includes pianos is a sad song. The faster version indicates that the singer is angry about the death of a loved one. The driving point of this song is that you can’t bring someone back once they’re gone.
Dexter Holland may not be the most gifted vocalist, but his voice fits this song like a glove. When he delivers the lines “I reach to the sky. I call out your name. And if I could trade, I would,” he makes it abundantly clear that there is nothing that he wouldn’t do to get his loved one back, including taking their place.
17. One More Day by Diamond Rio
|Album||One More Day|
Much like Reba McEntire’s entry on this list, “One More Day” is about not having enough time with that special someone while they were still alive. Marty Roe exclaims that if he had one wish, it would not be for a mansion in Malibu but rather for one more day with the person he loved the most.
That’s an incredible sentiment, especially when you consider that most people would wish for a lot of money, a fancy car, or a big house. Sadly, if any of you have ever experienced true loss in your life, this is a feeling that nobody else could understand. This song shows us that we can never have too much time with someone we love.
18. The Hunter by Mastodon
Mostly known for their bone-crushing riffs and thunderous bass lines and drums, Mastodon slows things down for a moment on this track. Lead guitarist Brent Hinds tragically lost his brother to a hunting accident shortly before this album was recorded, which was dedicated to his memory. Taking over lead vocal duties, Brent gives us an incredible ode to his brother.
The song is about celebrating his brother’s life rather than mourning his death. Brent’s vocals sound tortured but reflective as he reminisces about his brother. Over exquisite guitar playing, Brent delivers the line, “We laugh and cry through a brother’s eyes for now.” This song easily conveys the unconditional love the two of them had for each other.
19. Black Gives Way Today Blue by Alice In Chains
|Album||Black Gives Way To Blue|
Seven years after the tragic overdose of their lead singer Layne Staley, Alice In Chains decided to move forward with another singer. Appearing as the last track on the album of the same name, “Black Gives Way To Blue” is a somber song that pays tribute to Lane Staley’s memory. There are two versions of this song, but I prefer the original album version.
Although the lyrics were written by lead guitarist Jerry Cantrell, new lead singer William Duvall delivers them expertly. However, make no mistake, the lyrics are the star of the show. The song deals with the initial anger you feel when a loved one dies, although it eventually turns to sadness and remorse that there is something you may have been able to do to save them.
20. Last Breath by Hatebreed
|Album||Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire|
Unlike many of the other songs on this list, “Last Breath” is a bitter, fast-paced song. Instead, the song deals with the anger you feel when a loved one is taken from you far too soon. You immediately know where this song is headed when Jamey Jasta screams the opening line, “All the prayers in the world can’t bring you back.”
Although this pummeling song lasts less than two minutes, the impression that it leaves can last for decades. You can hear how tortured Jasta’s voice is in the lines, “All that is left are memories and the pieces of a shattered existence. Nothing can bring you back.” Unfortunately, once a loved one is gone, nothing can ever bring them back.
21. The Ballad Of the Curtis Loew by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lynyrd Skynyrd knocks this one out of the park by showing how you can get close to someone whom you least expected. The song is about a young boy who cashes in soda pop bottles so that he can get money to watch an older gentleman play guitar. The two end up becoming fast friends.
One day the young boy goes to see his friend and realizes that something terrible has happened. The older man has died. While this is tragic, the real tragedy is that nobody bothered to show up at the funeral, which bothered the young boy. The song is a tribute to his friend. This is a story that only Lynyrd Skynyrd could tell.
22. Angel’s Son by Sevendust
There’s no doubt that this heartfelt song by Sevendust can bring tears to even the most hardened person’s eyes. The song is about losing a brother, which is one of the most important relationships a person can ever have. Sadly, he is left to raise his brother’s children as his own, which is a daily reminder of what he lost.
The words brilliant, tortured, and soulful do not even begin to come close to describing the anguish in Lajon Witherspoon’s voice as he cries out the words “I can’t believe you’re gone” towards the end of this amazing song. He is in a world of pain, and he makes you feel it deep down in your heart and soul.
23. See You On The Other Side by the Ozzy Osbourne
Who would have thought that the self-titled “Prince of Darkness” would write a song reflecting on the horrible loss of the death of a loved one? I certainly wouldn’t have thought so, but I would have been wrong. This song is about a loved one crossing over, and while he is still mourning, Ozzy simply says, “See you on the other side.”
I guess that’s just his way of dealing with a death that appeared to have been tragic, judging from the tone of this song. Ozzy Osborne has a unique voice that is easily distinguishable, and it perfectly suits this song. Zakk Wylde’s guitar playing also leads to the overall tone in this song, which is sad but optimistic.
24. Gone Too Soon by A Simple Plan
|Album||Get Your Heart On!|
There aren’t too many pop punk bands that could pull off a beautiful tribute to a partner who has passed on to the other side the way A Simple Plan can. This is a prime example of how you cannot judge a book by its cover. Pierre Bouvier and company give us a touching tribute to a love that was lost during its prime.
While the vocals perfectly suit the song, and the lyrics are beautifully written, this song is an example of something being better than the sum of its parts. When everything comes together, we get a powerful song about someone who has lost the love of their life and has written a stunning tribute to them.
25. Cemetery Gates by Pantera
|Album||Cowboys From Hell|
This song is about losing your partner and trying to seek comfort in their death wherever you can find it. While there are slow parts in this track, there are also fast, angry parts that deal with the singer’s feelings about being left alone and the way he confronts those feelings. This was the first song that I heard by Pantera, and it was one hell of an introduction.
Phillip Anselmo has the perfect vocal range for this song. He can sing anything from clean vocals to high-pitched screams. What’s even more impressive is that he manages to do all of them within seven minutes. “Dimebag” Darrell Abbot’s unequaled guitar chops take this song to new heights.
26. Drink A Beer by Luke Bryan
|Album||Crash My Party|
It’s hard to believe that I am including a song on this list by someone who sang a song titled “Take My Drunk Ass Home,” but here we are. In this song, Luke Bryan gets the news that someone he was close to has passed away. In Luke Bryan fashion, he walks down to the pier and drinks a beer.
I think the message in this song is that we all get bad news, especially when someone close to us passes away. However, it’s all in how you handle the news that matters. Sometimes you may not be able to make sense of their death. All you can do is a toast to their memory and drink a beer.
27. So Far Away by Avenged Sevenfold
In “So Far Away,” lead singer M. Shadows sings about longing for someone he loves that has unfortunately passed away. The person that he lost suffered from some form of mental or physical illness, as made apparent by the line, “Your pain is gone, your hands untied.” However, Shadows also regrets not saying everything he had to say when that person was still alive.
He talks about the light that the deceased left. He says that it still shines, but he continually asks how he is supposed to continue living without the one he loves. I love M. Shadows’ voice in this song. There is so much hurt and longing that it makes you want to cry for him.
28. Pain by Soulfly
“Pain” is yet another song on this list that is fast and furious rather than slow and reflective. Lead singer and guitar player Max Cavalera wrote this song about the death of his stepson, whose life was tragically android conspicuously ended at the age of 21. In the song, Max is demanding answers from someone.
Judging by the anguish in his voice and the way he delivers his lines, he wants answers from someone, and he wants them now. He is praying to God to give him the strength to get him through and to also carry out Vengeance against those that took his stepson. I can’t imagine how much it must have hurt him to write this song.
29. If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away by Justin Moore
|Album||Outlaws Like Me|
Let me preface this by saying that this is not your typical sad country song. In this song, Justin Moore is remembering little details about his grandfather’s life as he passes a Fruit Stand where his grandfather worked. He remembers all of the good times that they had together and wishes that his kids could have met him.
While this may initially sound like a song that is filled with sorrow and heartache, it is much more upbeat than you would think, especially considering the topic. Instead of constantly mourning his grandfather, he just wishes that he could take his kids up to heaven for a little while so that they could get to know him.
30. Say Hello 2 Heaven by Temple Of The Dog
|Album||Temple Of The Dog|
Back in 1990, Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder joined forces with their respective groups Pearl Jam and Soundgarden to create the supergroup Temple of the Dog. They wrote this song to honor their fallen friend, Mother Love Bone lead vocalist Andrew Wood. Tragically, Wood ended up in a coma as a result of a drug overdose.
As the story goes, Andrew held on long enough for his best friend Chris Cornell to get to the hospital before he died. Through Cornell’s vocal delivery, you can tell that he was shaken to the core by Andrew’s death. The accompanying music is every bit as good as you would think, with members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden filling out the band.
31. Save Our Last Goodbye by Disturbed
Disturbed has truly blessed us with this gem of a song, which is about losing someone you love to a horrible disease like cancer. At the beginning of the song, you hear a voicemail being left where somebody indicates that they are feeling better. Sadly, things take a drastic turn, and that person passes away much sooner than expected.
David Draiman’s vocals are incredibly powerful in this tune, which is incredibly effective at expressing his grief. In the middle of the song, we learned that the deceased’s voicemail cannot take any more messages. Sadly, at the end of the song, we get a message saying that the number is no longer in service. This drives home the final point.
32. Into the Light by In This Moment
This harrowing song, Maria Brink of In This Moment, gives us a chilling account of what it’s like to watch the person you want to spend the rest of your life with pass away. Although she is heartbroken, she still says that she still believes in good and light. She goes on to say that this person is the light in her world.
While I am sure that she is saddened by the fact that the love of her life has just passed on, she is relieved that they are no longer suffering anymore. Maria’s vocals are sweet and thoughtful, which is a strange juxtaposition to the lyrics of this song, which still haunt me to this very moment.
33. In This River by Black Label Society
Zakk Wylde wrote this song in remembrance of his best friend and former Pantera and Damageplan guitarist, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. Tragically, Abbott was killed on stage by a fan who was upset by the breakup of Pantera. Sadly, this can show you that life can be taken in an instant, no matter how famous you are.
Wylde’s voice can best be described as rough and soulful, which is a perfect fit for this loving tribute. You can feel his pain when he sings the line, “This storm that’s broken me, my only friend.” In the song, Zakk refers to death as a river where nothing can ever come back. The piano and guitar add to the soulful feeling of this song.
34. In Loving Memory by Alter Bridge
|Album||One Day Remains|
While the relationship is not detailed in this simple but effective song by Alter Bridge, I believe that it is the relationship between a parent and a child. In this song, Myles Kennedy sings about never feeling alone before, as if the person who has passed away had been there for him throughout his entire life.
However, instead of sinking into a pit of despair, Kennedy sings about feeling the spirit of his loved one in the wind. He talks about the memories that he has with this person and how their love set him free. That is the most loving way to pay tribute to someone who has passed away that I have ever heard, hands down.
35. I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy (featuring Faith Evans & 112)
|Album||No Way Out|
Puff Daddy wrote this song as a way to pay respect to his best friend Christopher Wallace, who was also known as the Notorious B.I.G. in the song, he reminisces about all of the things that he and Biggie used to do together before he was tragically shot in 1996. He also solemnly vows never to forget his friend.
When he delivers the line “Until the day we meet again, in my heart is where I’ll keep you, friend,” it’s easy to see how Wallace’s sudden death affected Puff Daddy. Perhaps the most effective aspect of this song is the backing vocals, delivered by Biggie’s widow, Faith Evans. That lends even more meaning to an already powerful track.
36. You’re Never Over by Eminem
Eminem wrote this song to pay respects to his best friend and D12 bandmate, Proof. In almost every interview that Marshall gives, he finds a way to honor the memory of Proof. It’s easy to see how close the two of them were, and Eminem refuses to let Proof’s memory die. Instead, he chooses to carry on his legacy.
This is evident in the line, “You may be gone, but you’re never over.” While Eminem is known for being a lyrical genius who can flip phrases and twist his tongue in a way that can perplex anyone, this song is as straightforward a track as Mathers has ever done. This is one song that I never want to be over.
37. Live In The Sky by T.I. (featuring Jamie Foxx)
I don’t know about any of you, but when I think of thought-provoking songs that honor those we care about, T.I. is not the first artist that comes to mind. However, with this song, he has indeed delivered the goods that would make anybody who knew him proud.
One of the saddest moments in the song comes when he talks about his cousin losing his life in front of his wife and child, and it is told only the way T.I. can tell it. He talks about being surrounded by death and hoping that he can make it to heaven when it’s his time to go. He managed to stick to his roots while honoring those he loved.
38. Dear Mama by Tupac Shakur
|Album||Me Against The World|
Tupac Shakur wrote this song as a way to honor his mother, who raised him by herself. This song deals with the death of a loved one and remembering everything about them. That includes some of the mistakes that they have made in their lives. He talks about his mom as someone who was not perfect, but she was well-loved.
The one line that reiterates this point in this track was when he says, “Even as a crack fiend mama, you still were a black queen mama.” Tupac and his mother, Afeni Shakur, had a rough life. This much is true. However, through it all, they still had each other. That’s something that nobody can take away from Tupac.
39. Miss U by The Notorious B.I.G.
|Year Released||Life After Death|
Sadly, here we have a case of a song that was performed by somebody whom another song was written about in this list, as “I’ll Be Missing You” was written for the Notorious B.IG. while I’m not sure who Biggie is referring to, he talks about life in the inner city and how some people don’t make it out alive.
This person meant a lot to him because he mentions how the two were supposed to come up together, making it big in the music industry so they could get out of the ghetto. Things sometimes have a way of not turning out the way we plan, and this track from biggie lets us know exactly that.
40. In Memory Of… by Gang Starr
|Album||Moment Of Truth|
I have always thought that Gang Starr was one of the most underrated rap groups not only of their time but ever. This song illustrates how much credit they truly deserve. Rather than dedicating this song to one or two people, they shout out everybody they know who has passed on to the other side in four minutes.
What I find to be just a little disturbing about this song is the backing vocals provided by The Notorious B.I.G., especially since I did not hear this song until long after Biggie’s death. In the middle of this tribute to all of their family members, I couldn’t help getting chills when I heard Christopher Wallace’s voice.
41. If I Had Only Known by Reba McEntire
|Album||For My Broken Heart|
This song primarily deals with the regret you feel that you didn’t do enough with a loved one while they were still here to enjoy it. Throughout the song, Reba McEntire reiterates that if she had only known that it was the last time she would be able to enjoy this person’s company, she would have done so much more.
Unfortunately, this is a feeling that is familiar to many of us. However, Reba sings it with such sorrow and pain that it is apparent that she has felt this kind of loss in her personal life. The song is simple enough, but Reba’s glorious voice carries it and feels it with sincere, genuine sadness that makes it honest.
42. Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley and Alison Kraus
|Album||Mud On The Tires|
“Whiskey Lullaby” is quite possibly the most heartbreaking song I have ever heard in my life. The song is about a man who goes off to war to fight for his country, only to come home and find his fiance with another man. He then leaves his fiance and drinks himself to death for several years.
Brad Paisley and Alison Kraus harmonize perfectly in this song, and it is enough to bring a tear to anybody’s eye. Sadly, the woman in the song also ends up drinking herself to death from the guilt she has over what she did. In the afterlife, the couple then meets under the willow tree where they shared so many memories.
43. If You Came Back From Heaven by Lorrie Morgan
“If You Came Back From Heaven” is a song about a person that loses the love of their life prematurely. What I find surprising about this song is that Lorrie Morgan says that if her loved one was able to come back from heaven, she’s not sure that she would know what to say or do or if things would still be the same.
Although this song may be about wanting to see that special someone one last time, I find that it has a hidden meaning that Lori Morgan delivers heartbreakingly. She realizes that her loved one may be in a better place now, and there is a reason that she can no longer be with that person.
44. Go Rest High On That Mountain by Vince Gill
|Album||When Love Finds You|
I honestly don’t know which song is played at funerals more, this one or “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” In this song, Vince Gill sings about a person who has had a troubled life on Earth and finally has a chance to rest in the afterlife. I think that this is what most of us want for our loved ones.
Vince’s vocals in this song sound like he is hurt by the loss of his loved one, but he is at peace knowing that they will finally get the rest they deserve. This song is a beautiful farewell for anybody you know who has reached the end of their time with us, whether they are young or old.
45. See You Again by Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood is one of country music’s up-and-coming superstars, and this song shows us why she is so popular. In this song, Carrie Underwood has lost somebody close to her, but she refuses to cry because she knows that she will never be lonely. Her loved one will always be with her.
Far too many times, we are wrapped up in the sadness of losing a loved one to take comfort in the message this song gives us. Instead of being sorrowful, she gives her loved ones an upbeat tribute that celebrates their life rather than mourning their death. Rather than saying goodbye, she simply says, “I’ll see you again.”
46. Ordinary World by Duran Duran
Simon LeBon sings about the most difficult part of losing a loved one in this song, which is having to pick up the pieces and move on with your life despite all of the pain. This song is about someone who has just lost his partner, and he is struggling to keep it together. His vocals are backed beautifully by an acoustic guitar.
While Duran Duran is primarily known for catchy pop tunes, they execute the melancholy feeling in this song flawlessly. LeBon manages to sound both hopeless and hopeful simultaneously as he delivers the line, “I won’t cry for yesterday. There’s an ordinary world somehow I’ve got to find.” I, for one, certainly hope he does.
47. Candle in the Wind by Elton John
|Album||Goodbye Yellow Brick Road|
The original version of this song was written in memory of the one and only Marilyn Monroe. However, Elton John released a slightly updated version in 1997 in memory of his friend, Princess Diana. This version would go on to become known as the English Rose version. Sir Elton John sang it at her funeral.
In the original version of this song, Elton John was singing to someone he did not know. When he released the updated version in 1997, you can tell by the tone of his voice that he was shaken to the core when he learned of his friend’s death. There are no backing instruments. There are only vocals and a piano, and it works wonderfully.
48. I Grieve by Peter Gabriel
|Year Released||City Of Angels (Original Soundtrack)|
If grief had a sound, it was perfectly captured in this song by Peter Gabriel. This song does a brilliant job of explaining the shock you feel when you first experience the death of a loved one. He realizes that the person is no longer in their body, but Gabriel still grieves for their loss quite heavily.
Peter Gabriel paints a picture of what it is like for that person that you love so dearly to no longer be in your life. He talks about the finality of death in the lyrics, “The news that truly shocks is the empty, empty page.” That’s a rather poetic way of saying that the person you love is no longer there.
49. Gone Too Soon by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson may have been crowned the King of Pop, but he certainly knew how to write a sad song. “Gone Too Soon” is a perfect example of how Michael Jackson could be very somber, despite his energetic outward appearance. This song is about losing someone way too soon. The song can be found on Jackson’s 1991 album, “Dangerous.”
This song was written about a young man named Ryan White who was expelled from school for being HIV positive. He and Michael Jackson formed a friendship before succumbing to this deadly disease. In true Michael Jackson fashion, he dedicated his touching song as a tribute to a friend. Usher sang this song as a tribute to Michael at his funeral.
50. Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler
|Album||Beaches (Original Soundtrack)|
Originally written for the movie “Beaches” in 1988, “Wind Beneath My Wings” is a song that pays tribute to a loved one like no other song has. In the song, Bette Midler speaks very highly of her lost friend, saying that she would not have achieved the heights that she had without her friend by her side.
She beautifully sings about her friend being brave, hiding the pain so that she could have her moment in the sun. Bette Midler’s voice is a perfect fit, giving praise to her friend and a powerfully honest manner. This song is the perfect tribute to anybody who has stood behind you for many years, whether they have passed on or not.
51. My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion
|Album||Let’s Talk About Love|
Although everybody thinks of this song as the love theme from the movie “Titanic,” it is actually about going on with your life after losing a loved one. In this song, the singer feels as though she can accomplish anything as long as she has the love and support of her partner.
Unfortunately, she finds herself in the position of being alone as her partner tragically dies. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and denial, she decides to move on with her life. Celine Dion’s powerful voice is the perfect vehicle to carry this song and convey its message with feeling and authority. She manages to put on a brave face and take on whatever challenges life may throw at her.
52. Joanne by Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga shows a much softer side of herself in this song she wrote about her aunt, Joanne. She wrote this loving tribute from her dad’s perspective, who was not ready to let his sister go. I’m sure that most of you have been in a similar situation, where someone you love has lost someone that meant the world to them.
This was one of the most selfless things that Lady Gaga could have done it. She put herself in the shoes of her father and understood how he felt. While she may have been too young to remember her aunt, she has witnessed the pain that has caused her father. She turned this into an incredible piece of art.
53. When You’re Gone by Avril Lavigne
|Album||The Best Damn Thing|
Let me preface this by saying that this is the kind of song you would expect Avril Lavigne to write about the death of someone she loves, and that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes, when you lose somebody this close to you, something slow and somber simply won’t do. You need a song with some emotion.
That’s exactly what Avril Lavigne delivers in “When You’re Gone.” Make no mistake, this is not your typical pop-punk song. Avril’s voice filled with sadness, combined with a hint of anger. The message of this song is about not being able to move on after your partner passes, to the point of not even picking up the clothes they left on the floor.
54. I Miss You by Miley Cyrus
|Album||Meet Miley Cyrus|
This song has Miley Cyrus written all over it, from the pop arrangement to the vocals. Although this song doesn’t indicate whom Miley lost, it is evident that it was someone she was quite close to, and she misses them dearly. From what I can deduce from the lyrics, this must have been a close relative or family member.
Although this is not your typical tribute, the tone of the song is in direct contrast to the lyrics. However, she delivers them in an upbeat manner. While she may indeed be missing her loved one, she refuses to let it get her down. Instead, she decides to put a brave spin on the subject and stay positive.
55. Hurt by Christina Aguilera
|Album||Back To Basics|
Many times in life, we blame our parents for our own failures. This song is about the death of a parent and not being able to take back all of the negative things said to them before they passed away. Unfortunately, this is a lesson that Christina Aguilera had to learn the hard way, and regrets everything she said.
Few vocalists on this list have the talent of Christina Aguilera, and I know that I can’t be alone in thinking that she seems to get better as time passes. In this song, her voice is sorrowful because it is too late to take back all of the hurtful things she said. Sadly, she is the one that is hurting.
56. Dancing In The Sky by Dani and Lizzy
|Album||Work Of Heart|
To be honest, I had never heard of this song before I started researching for this project. I have to admit that this song surprised me more than any other song on this list. This is a song about losing someone, as are most of the songs here. The difference is that in this song, they hope that the deceased is better off in heaven.
While the lyrics were not surprising, I found the music to be refreshing. There is a hint of blues over 1950s-style doo-wop. The vocals are bluesy, and the lyrics are sincere and thought-provoking. That combination makes this song stand out amongst a plethora of songs that are all written about this topic.
57. You’ll Be in My Heart by Phil Collins
|Album||Tarzan (Original Soundtrack)|
Once a loved one crosses over, many of us wish that we had that one final chance to tell them how we feel and to say one last goodbye. In this song, Phil Collins gets that chance and chooses to say four simple words that are probably more profound than anything he could have said. He simply says, “You’ll be in my heart.”
These words work perfectly, as it lets your loved one know that you will always remember them while simultaneously giving you that one last chance to let them know how much they mean to you. While he is not known for his vocal range, Phil Collins has a somber tone that reflects the mood perfectly.
58. Angels by Robbie Williams
|Album||Life Thru A Lens|
If this song does not have the power to bring a tear to your eye, I don’t know what can. Robbie Williams wrote this song about the miscarriage of his child. Although he is known for being a pop singer, Williams takes on the difficult task of putting pen to paper to honor his unborn child.
If the lyrics are not enough, his voice certainly delivers. Robbie Williams has a soulful, powerful, and pained voice that makes this song stand out. The chorus is the most powerful part of this song, especially when he delivers the line, “And when I think the love is dead, I’m loving angels instead.” That’s enough to break even the most hardened heart.
59. Promise To Try by Madonna
|Album||Like A Prayer|
Madonna penned this touching ode to her mother, whom she lost at a very young age. This song tells the story of how Madonna’s mother was trying to take away all of her pain when she was the one who was in pain. Doesn’t that sound like something a wonderful mother would do for her child?
Well, this beautifully sung track pays tribute to the way that Madonna’s mother took care of her for as long as she could. This shows a softer side of Madonna that we don’t get to see often. She has gone on record as saying her one regret is not having a mother for most of her childhood. She honors her memory with the song.
60. Lay Me Down by Sam Smith
|Album||In The Lonely Hour|
“Lay Media Down” may only be some incredible vocals sung over a piano, but make no mistake, there is nothing simple about the message of this song. Like many other songs on this list, this song pertains to the devastating loss of losing a partner and missing them more with every passing day.
Samuel Smith’s vocals on this song are nothing short of incredible, having the power to take this song on its back and carry it with nothing more than a few notes on a piano in the background. You can hear the loneliness in his voice, and it is evident that he misses his partner dearly by the way his voice wavers throughout the entire song.
61. You Have Been Loved by George Michael
Again, we have a song that deals with the difficult subject of losing a child. We live in an age where many marriages do not last, but that does not mean that they can’t work together for the sake of the children. In this song, we have two parents who are no longer together but have sadly lost a child.
George Michael’s soft, understated voice delivers a powerful message about the difficulties of divorce and losing a child, but having to honor the memory of that child with your former partner. Although this is not one of the dance tunes that George Michael has become known for, it is a song that should be heard by parents everywhere. This is one of the most popular songs about losing someone you love of all time.
62. Angel by Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan has the kind of voice that can touch you down deep in your soul, and “Angel” is a shining example of this. The song talks about how hard it is to have a bad day, and you have only the memory of a loved one to comfort you. That person is no longer there, only the memory of them.
It also talks about how someone can be in so much mental or physical pain that death can seem like a relief. Sarah McLachlan’s voice is exquisite in this song, especially when she is trying to comfort the deceased by saying that they are now safe In the arms of an Angel. It is heartbreaking yet mesmerizing.
63. Fire and Rain by James Taylor
|Album||Sweet Baby James|
Sometimes in life, we are blessed with a friend that stands by us through thick and thin and never leaves our side. James Taylor wrote this song as a way to honor a friend that he lost. This is never an easy topic, and it is more difficult to go through. Taylor does a wonderful job of honoring his friend with this classic.
Although James Taylor is known for being a singer/songwriter who plays music in the folk genre, this song is a shining example of why he is such a brilliant songwriter. Taylor’s voice is also subdued but fits this song as no other voice could. This is a brilliant way to pay tribute to a friend.
64. Love Is Stronger Than Death by The The
What I like most about this song is its cleverness. Instead of coming right out and saying how he feels, the singer uses the changing of the seasons as an analogy for dealing with the death of a loved one. He talks initially about winter, which symbolizes the depression you go through when someone you love first passes on.
Next, over an acoustic guitar, a thumping baseline, and an organ, he talks about spring. This is supposed to symbolize being able to move on with your life after a period of grieving. Although I am not the biggest fan of the vocals in this song, I do enjoy the lyrics quite a bit. If only more songs were this creative.
65. Heaven Got Another Angel by The Zeke
When somebody dies, most of us feel like things will never be the same again. Things just seem a little darker. There is a little less joy in our lives when we lose someone we care about. That’s what this song is about. It’s about how the singer’s world isn’t quite as beautiful as it used to be when his loved one was still alive.
While he is only backed by an acoustic guitar and some keyboard playing, Zeke manages to convey this message quite beautifully when he utters the sentiment that heaven got a little more beautiful when his loved one moved on. Even if his world is dark and gray, he realizes that indeed got another angel.
66. One Sweet Day by Boyz II Men & Marah Carey
Boyz II Men have the distinction of being the only recording artists to appear on this list twice. This time, they join forces with the ultra-talented Mariah Carey for the ballad “One Sweet Day.” Like every other song on this list, this tune is about losing someone you love, but they take joy in knowing that they will meet again.
What makes this song so special is that it combines the harmonies of Boyz II Men with the incredible voice of Mariah Carey to form one of the sweetest songs about losing someone that you will ever hear. This song is well produced and perfectly sung, and the music provides a lush background for this amazing tune.
67. Really Gonna Miss You by Smokey Robinson
|Album||The Temptations (Original Soundtrack)|
If anybody on this list can deliver a tear-jerking old to a dear friend who has passed away, it’s the great Smokey Robinson. This song is about losing a friend who is near and dear to you, and you feel this when Smokey sings the chorus, “I’ll miss you, my buddy. I’ll miss you, my friend. I promise my love for you will never end.”
Although you can tell that he has been crushed by the loss of his friend, he chooses to write a tribute to the wonderful friendship they had instead of writing a song of mourning. The results are the musical genius that we would expect from someone as talented as Smokey Robinson.
68. Make Heaven Wait by Wayne Brady
|Album||A Long Time Coming|
When I was first researching songs to add to this list, I had to do a double take. To answer the question that is on most of your minds, yes, this is the comedian Wayne Brady. However, you need to take everything you know about Brady and put it aside when you listen to this song.
Now, let’s talk about Wayne Brady’s vocal chops. Who would have thought that he could sing this beautifully? I know that his mother has to be looking down on him, proud of the man she created. His voice is soulful and full of love. This song should be required listening for anybody who has ever been unfortunate enough to lose their mother. If you’re looking for songs about the death of a family member, I know you find this song relatable.
69. Like You’ll Never See Me Again by Jacob Banks
|Album||Like You’ll Never See Me Again|
We have all had a person in our lives whom we wish that we could have spent every last second we had with them. “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” is a song that drives that point home in a heartfelt and beautiful way. In this song, Jacob Banks tells us to cherish every moment with that special someone like it might be our last.
He also proposes a very thoughtful question when he sings, “I may not really know what love is. Millions never will. Do you know until you lose it?” That’s an incredibly powerful way to get the message across that you may not know what you have until it’s gone. Well played, Mr. Banks. Well played.
70. Heaven by Beyoncé
This song deals with one of the saddest moments a mother can have in her life, which is the miscarriage of her child. Years before she gave birth to her daughter Blue, Beyoncé had a miscarriage which understandably shook her to her very core. This beautiful ballad is the result of that pain.
You can hear the pain and Beyonce’s voice when she sings the line, “I fought for you the hardest.” I believe that this is indicative of how hard she tried to get pregnant. There are many interpretations of this song, but this is what I get from it. I would strongly recommend listening to it yourself to form your theories.
71. Together Again by Janet Jackson
|Album||The Velvet Rope|
Janet Jackson earns her spot on this list for having one of the quirkiest songs about losing someone that has ever been recorded. Whereas most artists record soulful tributes to pay honor to those they love, Janet Jackson decides to flip the script and record a fast-paced song that would fit perfectly in the club.
The main focus of this song deals with losing your partner but still relying on them for the strength to carry you through each day. This song is more about celebrating their life rather than mourning their passing. While I would not say that Janet Jackson has the perfect voice, only she could have recorded a song like this.
72. These Three Words by Stevie Wonder
|Album||Jungle Fever (Original Soundtrack)|
When it comes to writing classics, is it possible to get any better than Stevie Wonder? This song deals with the regret of not saying three simple words to someone who later passes away. As you may have guessed, those three words are “I love you.” Stevie wisely says that you should take the chance to say these words whenever you can.
As you may have guessed, Stevie Wonder’s vocals and songwriting are on top of their game, just like you would expect from this musical genius. He makes an incredibly valid point when he says that you should take every opportunity you can to tell your loved ones how you feel because you may not have tomorrow.
73. Wish U Were Here by Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx was raised by his grandmother, who lived with him while she was sick and he was working on “In Living Color.” He cared for her until she grew tired of fighting the good fight and was called home. In this song, Foxx talks about the struggles of dealing with his fame, which his grandmother did not live to see.
What makes this song memorable are the lyrics. He finds himself seeking his grandmother’s advice on how to deal with this, but she is no longer there to come for him when he needs it most. Anybody who has seen the movie “Ray” knows that Jamie can sing, but his voice is incredible in this tribute to his grandmother.
74. It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday by Boyz II Men
We have now arrived at what is quite possibly the most popular song on this list and is easily the song that is most often played at funerals everywhere. This song talks about how hard it is to let go of a person once they have moved on to the afterlife while holding onto the memories that you have with this person.
As they usually do, Boyz II Men’s vocals are soulful while also perfectly harmonizing together to create one of the most beautiful songs you will ever hear. There is a reason that this song is so well known around the globe. It is the ultimate song about losing a loved one. It is perfect in every way. If you’re looking for songs about missing someone who died, this is one I know you’ll like.
75. Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross
|Album||Dance With My Father|
We have once again arrived at a song that pays tribute to losing a parent. In this song, Luther Vandross recalls memories of his parents and him dancing together. Sadly, his father has passed on, and he is left with the memories he has with him. However, he is happy to be blessed with them.
Although Luther Vandross has earned his reputation as one of the Masters of soulful music, and his ability to deliver the perfect love song, he sounds sincere and reflective in this song, also managing to sound appreciative of the life that he was able to have with his father. This is not your typical sad song, but rather a wonderful way to honor his father.
That does it for this article, but if you know of any good songs that we missed, let us know in the comments.
Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m from Butler, Pennsylvania. I’ve been obsessed with music and audio gear for as long as I can remember. I started this website to help people find professional advice related to a wide range of audio topics. We have a number of Audio Engineers on our team who have been designing and fixing audio gear for decades.