5 meaningful songs about death, loss and grief

Music can transform, transcend and take us to higher places. This guide explores 5 songs to help celebrate the life of someone you have loved and lost.
5 meaningful songs about death, loss and grief

Listening to music can help you manage stress, regulate your mood, express emotions, and make you feel less alone. If you're dealing with the loss of a loved one, you might be looking for songs that capture the emotions of grieving and healing. Here are five songs with excerpts from their lyrics to help you navigate your grief and remember someone special in your life who has passed away.

Dancing With Your Ghost

Sasha Alex Sloan

I stay up all night

Tell myself I'm alright

Baby, you're just harder to see than most

I put the record on

Wait ‘til I hear our song

Every night I'm dancing with your ghost

Don’t be fooled by the title of this song. Whether you believe in ghosts, the afterlife or something else entirely, this song is a reminder to honour and remember those we have lost, while learning to move forward without their physical presence. 

Bigger Than The Whole Sky

Taylor Swift

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

You were bigger than the whole sky

You were more than just a short time

And I’ve got a lot to pine about

I've got a lot to live without

I'm never gonna meet

What could've been, would've been

What should've been you

This emotional and heartbreaking ballad explores themes of grief, loss and the idea of never getting to see who someone may have become. Many Swifties have said that the lyrics in the song have helped them cope with their feelings after experiencing pregnancy loss

Always Remember Us This Way

Lady Gaga

So when I’m all choked up

And I can't find the words

Every time we say goodbye

Baby, it hurts

When the sun goes down

And the band won't play

I’ll always remember us this way

This beautiful ballad from the 2018 remake of A Star Is Born features the stunning vocals of Lady Gaga. It is about treasuring the memories of a moment in time and holding onto it forever. It is equally as moving a funeral or memorial service song as it is a first wedding dance.

Carry You

The Teskey Brothers 

Well I’ve always known

Pain’s like a heavy stone

It's too much to carry

To carry alone

That's the story of love

It takes time to know it's true

You need someone to lean on

I need someone to lean on too

Someone to help you through

Themes of companionship, support, and the importance of leaning on each other through difficult times are prevalent in this song. The lyrics convey the idea that pain and burdens can be overwhelming, but having someone by your side can help you through. The song feels hopeful, tender and above all – loving.

Let It Be

The Beatles

And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me

Shinin' until tomorrow, let it be

I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me

Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

This iconic song was the last Beatles single before Paul McCartney left the band. In 2018, McCartney shared on James Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke segment that his mother, Mary, who passed away from cancer when he was 14, inspired him to write and sing the track. 

‘Let It Be’ carries a positive message inspired by a dream McCartney had about his late mother. (The “Mother Mary'' reference is influenced by his mother’s name.) McCartney has recounted how his mother’s words motivated him to write the uplifting song.

A playlist of meaningful songs about death, loss and grief

If you want to hear these songs, there's no need to go hunting around. We’ve compiled them into a single Spotify playlist here.

Wrap up 

Whether you play these powerful songs at a funeral, at an intimate memorial service, or during a solo listening session, we hope these lyrics and melodies offer you solace during challenging moments. Music possesses the incredible ability to unite us all. The experience of grief and loss is universal, and these artists skillfully encapsulate the essence of both mourning and celebrating a life that has departed.

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