34 of the Saddest Songs About Death

Musicians have a method of expressing grief and sadness unlike any other. Through the ages and genres, many musicians poured their heart into poignant songs about dying. Although you may not be at ease singing these during funerals, they can assist you in mourning the loss.

Rock ‘n ‘ Roll Songs

The rockers are famous for their wild ways of life which can result in the use of drugs and depression. The normally lively musicians deal with difficult topics by using emotional recollections and detailed descriptions of emotions or events to make some of the saddest music about the loss of a loved one.

The Last Carnival by Bruce Springsteen

“Sun down Sun down, sun down/Empty are the fairgrounds/Where’s you now, handsome Billy?” Sings Bruce Springsteen in this song paying tribute to the loss of a former bandmate. Springsteen conveys the grief that those who have lost their loved ones feel in their quest to live their lives without the special person they lost.

Black by Metallica. Black by Metallica

In the midst of suicidal and depressive thoughts, Metallica declares “I have lost the desire to live and have no more to offer.” The kind of terrifying thought is difficult for people who do not suffer from depression to grasp. These songs show how lonely even famous people can be at times.

Remember Me within Your Heart, written by Warren Zevon

When he was suffering from an illness that was diagnosed as cancer and battling cancer, Warren Zevon composed the lyrics to this song to say goodbye to family and friends singing, “Shadows are falling and I’m exhausted/Keep you in the heart of your soul for a few minutes.” To listeners, it’s you’re witnessing a loved one’s death in front of their eyes as they play the track.

New New by Guernica

The raw, raw track about the loss of a family member from Guernica states, “Is this the way toys feel when their batteries are depleted?” These types of lyrics that are emotional and metaphorical provide listeners with a real feeling of what sadness feels like.

Videotapes made by Radiohead

Radiohead provides a profoundly emotional goodbye with this track written by an elderly man who wishes to send his family a final message on videotape. The most poignant lyrics are “Because I’m unable to communicate in person/I’m calling you after it’s been too long.”

Who knew by Pink

Pink sings about the power of hindsight as well as grieving over the death of a close friend who died from a fatal overdose of a drug in this tense and emotional rock track. The sad lyric, “And time makes it harder/I would like to recall,” speaks to the feeling of being unable to remember the small things about someone even after their death.

Country Music Songs

It doesn’t matter if you require country funeral songs for your loved one, or simply like the music genre, these songs convey the emotion perfectly. A slower pace as well as the the twang of guitars enhance the sorrowful feeling of grief or facing death.

I Miss My Friend by Darryl Worley

Following the loss of a woman whom he was in love with, Darryl Worley recorded this chart-topper song, “I miss your gentle voice during lonely times such as today/Reminding me that it’ll all be fine.” Anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one can feel the pain of Worley’s losing something that was keeping him happy.

Concrete Angel from Martina McBride

The heartbreaking ballad of Martina McBride chronicles the life and death of a young girl who was victimized by violence. The lyrics, such as “An angel with an upside-down face/A name drawn on an polished stone/A broken heart that no one can forget,” capture the spirit of the tragedy for the listener, since there’s nothing more heartbreaking than the death of children.

Little Bonnie by Drive-By Truckers

Nothing is more depressing and sad than the loss of a small child. They Drive-By Truckers capture the emotions of those who were left behind after Little Bonnie’s passing, singing “Her Daddy stood out by the fence of the cemetery/prayed to God for forgiveness, because it is certain that all of these are punishments for my transgressions.”

Why you should be listening to Rascal Flatts

“Was there something I could have said or done? Oh, I did not realize that you had an unhappy soul,” sings Rascal Flatts about the suicide of a friend. The heartfelt track captures the grief of the people left behind when someone close to them takes their own life. It also conveys the thoughts of what they could have done to been able to have prevented this tragedy.

Whiskey Lullaby is a song by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss

The emotional and rare track about suicides and suicides connected to one another gets people crying right from the first line. The song was sung by legendary singers Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss The lyrics read, “Life is short, but this time, it was more than the strength he needed to rise from and get on knees.”

“Hurt” by Johnny Cash

The song was originally written in the early days of Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor about his self-destructing thoughts and addictions The song was then recorded by Johnny Cash shortly before his own suicide. The song is sad and depressing. Cash sings “Full with broken thought that I cannot fix the damage / I’m buried under the marks of time, the feelings vanish.”

The Flirt By You All My Life, by Vic Chesnutt

Vic Chesnutt expresses his love-hate relationship with death, as he contemplates suicideand finds the courage to live, and mourns for his family members in the heartbreaking track. With lyrics that read, “Oh, Death you make me a victim/Decimate the people who are close to me” Chesnutt goes straight to the heart of the listeners who also feel strongly about death.

If I could only bring You To You by Joe Diffie

In this song that is sad, Joe Diffie sings about how a person he loves is missing from his life, and what he’d give up to help bring them back. The singer sings “But I’d throw everything to charity, every cent I’ve earned/If only I could return you.”

Rap and R&B

Musicians from this genre are famous for their ability to address difficult subjects with a realistic voice. From natural deaths, to absurd killings, their songs tackle the pain and sorrow head-on, asking questions such as, “Why?”

“Only One” by Kanye West

Kanye West gives his own artistic spin on an interview with his mother who is in heaven, drawing inspiration from The Beatles Let it Be. Kanye West sings “So say to the voice in your head to believe me/I spoke about it with God about you, and he said that he sent an angel to you,” in reference to the spirit of his mother knowing about his own children , even although she had never met the children.

Create Heaven You Wait Wayne Brady

In this song, which is about the loss of a loved one Wayne Brady says, “when there was so much for us to accomplish/how could the angels appear so quickly?” Losing someone who had many years of life left is not easy. Listeners will feel that way from the song.

Miss You/Suicidal Thinking by The Notorious B.I.G.

The Notorious B.I.G. is raw and real in this track about his thoughts of suicide , saying “When you die f-it, I’m gonna go to hell because I’m just a piece of sh–, it’s not easy to discern.” This track isn’t for those who aren’t confident and concludes with the literal “bang.”

Stray Bullet by Organized Konfusion

In the video, the track of bullets flitting around The rap’s gritty lyrics depict the tragic and unimaginable deaths that are caused by shootings. The rap, organized Konfusion discusses how children are often affectedby gun violence, explaining, “Cause for some little girl, she’ll not live over six more years.”

It’s Not Possible to Be Life by Jay-Z, Scarface and Beanie Sigel

Jay-Z, Scarface and Beanie Sigel sing about the trials of life including the deaths of children in this sad song. With lyrics like” Baby was stillborn but nevertheless I have to move on despite my heart still breaking and life has been taken in the womb of her baby,” listeners are bound to feel sad for those innocent souls.

A Retrospect to Life Common as well Lauren Hill

The controversial issue of abortion is the main topic in this track by Common as well as Lauren Hill. Songs like “Must have believed that I had been God to end my son’s life,” give listeners a feeling of the pain experienced in this instance.

The Miss You by Aaliyah

While the lyrics of the song seem like they were written to express a desire for an old love but they were given a new meaning when the song didn’t come out until the sudden and tragic loss of the singer Aaliyah. A plethora of her friends from the world of music were featured in the video as an ode to her with lyrics such as “It’s taken me too long, and I’m lost without you/What’s I going to do?”

Modern Songs

Similar to other genres, popular artists draw inspiration from real-life incidents. These sad songs deal with death in a contemporary way.

See You Again by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth

The song was written to commemorate the passing of the actor Paul Walker, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth are featured on the song with lyrics that read, “It’s been a long day without you, my friend. I’ll tell you concerning it the next time I meet your face again.”

King’s Crossing by Elliot Smith

With lyrics such as, “I can’t prepare for death in the same way I’ve already prepared,” Elliot Smith chronicles the effects of addiction to drugs in this sad track. For those who listen to hear someone speak about themselves this way can be incredibly depressing.

Brick by Ben Folds Five from Ben Folds Five

Ben Folds Five retells the song that focuses on the intense feelings that accompany aborting the baby. The feelings of “Now that I’ve found someone , I’m feeling more isolated than I have ever felt before” convey the deep sadness caused by this difficult decision.

My Immortal by Evanescence

The song was written by Evanescence band member Ben the song is about the hurt felt even when a loved one passes away in the event that their spirit refuses to let you go to the point that you wish they were gone. Inspiring lyrics such as “Your face is haunting me/My once-pleasant dreams/Your voice took away all the sanity from me” are heartbreaking because the memory of a beloved person should be a pleasure in some way however in the lyrics of this song, they’re making you feel miserable.

Heaven by Beyonce

Beyonce composed this song to commemorate the loss of her mother’s closest friend, even though many believed she was writing about an unplanned pregnancy. People lament the idea that they’ll lose a friend Beyonce performs the lyrics, “No heaven couldn’t wait for you/So get ready to return back home” as she fights an internal struggle to be sad.

Vivian By Delta Spirit

Delta Spirit sings from the perspective of an old man who is encouraging his dying wife to go with him to heaven. The lyrics, such as “Sleep Oh, sleep my Vivian”/ Heaven is colder without you” are sure to tug on the hearts of every listener who has witnessed their grandparents go to heaven within a brief time.

1.800.273.8255 by Logic

The title of the song refers to an acronym for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number that reflects its vital message about suicide. Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid highlight the way people feel when they’re suicidal , and provide hope by sing, “I don’t wanna be alive, I just want to end my life today.”

Classic Songs

Certain songs contain so much emotional and meaningful messages in their lyrics that they transcend the passing of time or fashions. These timeless songs by iconic artists are still relevant years after their release.

Going, Going, Gone by Bob Dylan

In this timeless song that captures suicidal thoughts, the legend Bob Dylan sings, “I’m writing a book/On the pages/and the text/I don’t care about what is going to happen next.” There aren’t many who experience deep depression in the same way, so the lyrics can be a bit depressing for those who haven’t experienced the same feelings.

The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot

This unique song composed by Gordon Lightfoot pays homage to the anniversary of the sinking of a vessel. Hundreds of people died in the tragedy. Lightfoot conveys in the lyrics “And all that’s left are faces and names/Of the wives and daughters and sons.”

Trouble from Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens wrote this tune as he was recovering from serious health problems at an early age. The lyrics, “Trouble/Oh trouble please be patient/I’m not going to fight/And I’m not wasting much time Stevens,” gives readers the impression that he’s given up combating his illness.

The Killing of Georgie by Rod Stewart

The song chronicles the murder and life of a close friend, Rod Stewart sings, “Oh Georgie stay, don’t go away/Georgie please remain you make us breathless,” as he cries out that his friend wouldn’t have to be killed. Although the protagonist’s impulsive murder is enough to make you cry but the song also reveals that the person who committed the crime did not plan to kill Georgie, making it sad for all affected.

Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny) by Elton John

Elton John is no stranger to songs that are emotionally charged. In this song that he sings, he pays tribute to the memory of his friend and singer John Lennon. The lyrics include “And it’s been all day long, I’ve knocked almost every day/Oh and I’ve been calling oh Hey, Johnny/Can’t be out, could you play?” listeners can feel the sadness that comes with knowing an old friend isn’t around to create lasting memories.

“Fire and Rain by James Taylor

This powerful track by James Taylor touches on the suicide of a friend , along with his personal struggles with addiction and fame. In the song, he sings, “I’ve seen lonely times in which I was unable to meet a person/ But I’ve always believed I’d meet you again,” giving listeners a glimpse of what it’s like to feel lonely following losing a loved one.

Gone Too Soon by Michael Jackson

“The King of Pop’s”candid voice” makes analogies to things that have lost too quickly in this song in tribute for AIDS militant Ryan White. Jackson is singing, “Like a sunset/Dying with the rising moon/Dying too soon.”

Transforming Death and Life Into Music

Singers, songwriters and singers are masters in capturing real-life inspiration and turning it into work that is perceived and felt by listeners all over the world. The songs they compose capture the emotion in a variety of difficult situations, whether real, imagined, or even contemplated deaths. Some people use these songs to are a way to honor the memory of death, while other people make use of them to deal with their own sorrow.

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