Dealing with death is immensely difficult, so if you need music to cope, try these 10 songs about the death of a loved one. These songs about a loved one passing deal with the death of family members as well as friends. The emotional courage that these artists possess on these 10 songs will hopefully lift your spirits, and allow you to remember the most positive parts of your loved one’s life – instead of dwelling on their death.
- Pete Rock and CL Smooth – “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.).” This document of the sudden death of a loved one is still arguably the most touching hip hop song ever recorded. The acronym “T.R.O.Y.” spells the name of Pete Rock and CL Smooth’s close friend, who was a dancer for rapper Heavy D, and died tragically after falling off of a stage.
- Mike & the Mechanics – “The Living Years.” The loved one who has died in this somber song is a son’s father, and it hits an emotional cord that you can only avoid if you have no pulse. This son longs to have told his father how much he loved him – in the living years.
- Michael Jackson – “Gone Too Soon.” This song finds Michael Jackson in a more mellow, poetic manner. Michael compares a loved one passing away to everything from “a rainbow fading in the twinkling of an eye” to “loss of sunlight on a cloudy afternoon”.
- Eric Clapton – ” Tears In Heaven.” ”Would you know my name, if I saw you in Heaven?” This beautiful Eric Clapton hit about personal regret, and truly missing a loved one who has died, is a soulful message anyone dealing with death can relate to.
- Boyz II Men – “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye (To Yesterday).” This tender harmony doesn’t even have any music other then steady finger snapping, and still hits the heart with ease. Not only are loved ones saluted, but the music video even tributes entertainers that have passed away such as Sammy Davis Jr. and Nat King Cole.
- Air Supply – “All Out Of Love.” This song about death is an acoustic proclamation of missing a loved one to the point that it prevents further expression of love. The yearning to be reunited is so real on the chorus, as is the desire to reconcile even though the person is no longer around.
- R.E.M. – “Everyone Hurts.” R,E.M. reminds all of us that may have lost a loved one, or “have had too much of this life” to hold on because, “everyone hurts”. It is a soothing song about strength that doesn’t have to yell and scream to be heard or understood.
- Elton John – “Candle In the Wind.” The loved one Elton John is morning in this song, was older than him, and he apparently wished to have had a closer relationship with her. The image of a person living their life like a “Candle In the Wind” can be interpreted many ways, someone who was fragile, or maybe someone who’s actions faced overwhelming odds.
- Paul McCartney – “Here Today.” This song is Paul McCartney’s dedication to John Lennon, a loved one and Beatles band mate who was fatally murdered. The lyrics vividly paint McCartney’s feelings and nostalgic memories of the time he spent with Lennon.
- Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans – “I’ll Be Missing You.” The horrific murder of hip hop superstar The Notorious B.I.G. prompted this tribute song to his memory by Puff Daddy, now known as P-Diddy, and featuring Faith Evans. This triumphant reflection samples the melody from The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”