Country songs are known for having themes of heartbreak, sadness, and desperation, so it’s no wonder that there are so many great country funeral songs. A song can be a wonderful way to commemorate a lost loved one and to share that person’s memory at a funeral, a wake, or even by yourself. Here are 55 of the best country funeral songs to help you deal with loss.
1. A Picture of Me (Without You) — George Jones
This song brings up the feeling of losing someone. Now, there’s something essential missing in life, comparing that to a world without music or a church without prayer. It was written by Norro Wilson and George Richey and released by George Jones in 1972.
2. The Dance — Garth Brooks
Known as Garth Brooks’s signature song, the lyrics to “The Dance” have two meanings: they describe both someone dying for a deeply held belief and the end of a romantic relationship. It was written by Tony Arate and released by Garth Brooks in 1990.
3. How Can I Help You Say Goodbye — Patty Loveless
Loss can take many forms in life, and this song captures the feeling that’s common among all kinds of loss, from being separated from a childhood friend to breaking up with a spouse to grieving the death of your mother. Karen Taylor-Good and Burton Banks wrote the song, and Patty Loveless recorded it in 1994.
4. Daddy’s Hands — Holly Dunn
Holly Dunn wrote “Daddy’s Hands” in 1986 as a tribute to her father, a minister. The song doesn’t mention her father dying, but it’s still a great song of remembrance that can help you cherish the memory of a lost loved one.
5. Arlington — Trace Adkins
Named after Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, a cemetery for soldiers, Trace Adkins wrote this song as a tribute to all who have lost their fathers to war. It was released in 2005 and written by Jeremy Spillman and Dave Turnbull.
6. Angels Among Us — Alabama
A gospel tune that’s been covered by many artists, this song is about angels helping people through times of loss, danger, or suffering. The song was written by Becky Hobbs and Don Goodman and released in 1993.
7. Believe — Brooks & Dunn
“Believe,” released in 2005, tells a heartbreaking story about faith and loss from the point of view of a young boy and his friend, Old Man Wrigley. He manages to keep on despite the loss of his family because of his faith that he’ll see them again.
8. Go Rest High on that Mountain — Vince Gill
Vince Gill performed this song as a duet with fellow country star Patty Loveless as a tribute to the country legend George Jones at his funeral in 2013, which proves that it’s an appropriate country funeral song. Gill released it in 1995.
9. Drink a Beer — Luke Bryan
This song is about the shocking moment of a sudden, unexpected loss. Despite its title, which might seem upbeat, the song has a bleak tone. It’s about how small rituals, like drinking a beer, can take on a whole new meaning after a loss. Luke Bryan wrote the song in 2013.
10. If I Had Only Known — Reba McEntire
Reba McEntire wrote this song as a tribute to her band members who died in a plane crash. She lost most of her friends and confidants in the tragedy, and the song captures the feeling of loneliness that follows loss.
11. I Hope You Dance — Lee Ann Womack
This song about loss takes the perspective of the lost loved one and expresses their wishes for those who are still alive. It serves as a reminder that life should be lived to the fullest so we can best remember those we’ve lost.
12. One More Day — Diamond Rio
“One More Day” is about losing your romantic partner to a tragedy and thinking that you want nothing more in the world but to see them again—even just for one day. The song was written by Bobby Tomberlin and Steven Dale Jones. It was released in 2000.
13. If Heaven Wasn’t so Far Away — Justin Moore
This song describes the fantasy of a young adult who just wants to see all of his relatives who have passed away for one day. The fantasy of going to heaven begins as the young man is driving near a place where he used to fish with his grandfather.
14. How Do I Live — LeeAnn Rimes
After a loved one has died, it’s common to have feelings of helplessness, especially when the loved one in question was a deeply important part of life. This song, released in 1997, captures that feeling, and it’s been recorded by multiple artists.
15. Just a Closer Walk with Thee — Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline
A traditional song that belongs in the annals of great American songwriting, “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” started as a gospel song, but has made its way into country music and even became a jazz standard. A great country version of the song was recorded by Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline.
16. You’re Gone — Diamond Rio
This song captures the melancholy, bittersweet feeling of remembering an old friend or someone who has affected your life after they’ve died or been left behind by life circumstances. It was written by Jon Vezner and Paul Williams and released in 1998.
17. You Should Be Here — Cole Swindell
Feelings of anger mixed with longing are common during loss, and this song captures that frame of mind. It was inspired by Cole Swindell’s sudden and unexpected loss of his father, who passed away in a work accident. The song was released in 2015.
18. He Didn’t Have to Be — Brad Paisley
Sometimes, a loss isn’t about death, but about absence. This song is about a boy whose father isn’t involved in his life, but whose stepfather takes him under his wing. As his stepfather is on his deathbed, the boy, now an adult, hopes to be just as present in his own kids’ lives as his stepfather was.
19. I’m Already There (Message From Home) — Lonestar
Another song about how long periods of separation from loved ones feel like a loss, “I’m Already There” became an anthem for those who lost loved ones to wars in the early 2000s or to the September 11 attacks. It was released in 2001.
20. When I’m Gone — Joey + Rory
Written from the point of view of a dying person, “When I’m Gone” is all about the wishes of dying loved ones for their surviving family and friends. This was written by their friend Sandy Lawrence to help her with her emotion as she cared for her dying mother.
21. Please Remember Me — Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw released the most successful version of this song to date in 1999, though it was written and recorded by Rodney Crowell and Will Jennings in 1995. It’s a touching and poetic ballad about how those we’ve lost are always with us in our hearts.
22. Remember When — Alan Jackson
Loss can be about a time in life that you’ll never get to experience again, and this song, released in 2003, is about the sense of loss that’s felt after your children have grown up.
23. I Drive Your Truck — Lee Brice
Sometimes, certain objects remind us of those we’ve lost. This song is about how a truck that used to belong to the singer’s brother, who died in combat overseas, brings back memories of the brothers’ lives together. It was released in 2013.
24. Go On Without Me — Brett Eldridge
Brett Eldridge wrote this song for a colleague who played a large role in his early career and died at a young age. It explores the feeling of unfairness in loss and the unwillingness to accept that a good person has died.
25. I’m Gonna Miss You — Dolly Parton
This song is dedicated to soldiers who never came home, and it captures how people experience loss in small moments in life, and how difficult to accept the loss of a loved one can be.
26. I Can’t Write That — Jeff Bates
This song applies equally well to romantic loss and the death of a loved one. It’s about the inability to accept that a relationship is truly over for good. It was released in 2005.
27. I’ll Leave This World Loving — Ricky Van Shelton
This song is about holding on to the memory of a lost love until the grave. The singer’s love is so strong that it will survive even when he gets to heaven. The song was released in 1988 and was written by Wayne Kemp and Mack Vickery.
28. Who’d You Be Today — Kenny Chesney
“Who’d You Be Today” is about wondering what a loved one who died before they had the chance to fully live out their life would be like if they were still around. It was written by Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney and released in 2005.
29. How Great Thou Art — Carrie Underwood
This hymn dates back to 1885 when it was written by a Swedish songwriter. It’s become a standard of Christian music, and many artists have recorded versions of it. Carrie Underwood, a successful country artist, recorded a popular version of it in 2011.
30. If Something Should Happen — Darryl Worley
This song is about the anxiety that parents feel when thinking about what should happen if they die and leave their children’s lives, particularly in the context of going off to war. It was written by Jim Brown, Dan Demay, and Dave Turnbull and released in 2005.
31. Song for Dad — Keith Urban
The narrator of “Song For Dad” is growing older and discovers that he misses his dad and values his contributions to his life more than he had realized. As he becomes more like him with age, he realizes what his perspective was and loves his memory more. The song was released in 2002.
32. Butterfly Kisses — Bob Carlisle
A touching remembrance of a young girl from the perspective of her father, “Butterfly Kisses” is about the feeling of losing one’s child due to their marriage. It could also be a song for the tragic loss of a child. It was released in 1995.
33. Sissy’s Song — Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson wrote this universal country ballad about the loss of a friend as a tribute to Leslie “Sissy” Fitzgerald, a housekeeper who worked for him and died in a crash in 2007. The song was released in 2005.
34. When a Hero Falls — Stephen Cochran
A country ballad about the loss of a young man who’s been sent off to war, this song’s brutally honest lyrics talk about how soldiers must accept that some of their comrades, or even themselves, won’t survive deployment. It was released in 2007.
35. Love, Me — Collin Raye
The first image in this song is of the narrator’s grandfather dealing with the loss of his wife. The narrator then sings to his wife about what should happen if she should go to heaven before he does. The song was released in 1991.
36. If I Die Young — The Band Perry
A great lyric, “the sharp knife of a short life,” captures what this song is about: the tragedy of a life that ended too soon. The song also explores how death can glorify a person and make them seem larger than life. It was released in 2005.
37. Lead Me Home — Jamey Johnson
Drawing from gospel music tropes and lyrical ideas, “Lead Me Home” is about knowing that death is coming soon and being ready to accept it. The song was released in 2006.
38. In Color — Jamey Johnson
This song is a touching remembrance of elderly people who have experienced a world that we’ll never truly understand. It’s about a grandfather showing his grandson pictures from decades ago.
39. Broken Halos — Chris Stapleton
The loss of a loved one before their time can be difficult to accept, to say the least, but “Broken Halos” is about how it’s possible to keep one’s faith even in the face of tragedy.
40. Holes in the Floor of Heaven — Steve Wariner
This song is a tribute to the singer’s relatives who have passed away. During a rainstorm, he imagines his loved ones crying in heaven.
41. What Hurts the Most — Rascal Flatts
Often, a loss is followed by regret at the missed opportunity to fully connect and emotionally reconcile with the lost loved one, and that’s what this 2008 country ballad is about.
42. If Heaven — Gretchen Peters
A series of metaphors for what heaven could be like, each one based on a moment of life on earth, follow each other in this song.
43. There You’ll Be — Faith Hill
Even after the loss of a loved one, we’re still able to turn to their memory and use what they taught us when they were in our lives. That’s what this 2001 song is about.
44. Tell Me I Was Dreaming — Travis Tritt
Right after the moment a loved one dies unexpectedly, it can be impossible to accept the truth of what happened. This song captures that feeling of denial.
45. God Only Cries — Diamond Rio
This song’s refrain, “God only cries for the living,” points out how hard it is for remaining loved ones to carry on after the death of someone close.
46. If Tomorrow Never Comes — Garth Brooks
A reminder to tell your loved ones your feelings for them just in case tragedy strikes, this song is told from the perspective of someone who’s thinking about his mortality and can’t sleep.
47. He Stopped Loving Her Today — George Jones
The title would lead you to think that this song is about a man leaving a woman, but it’s a classic country ballad about a man who takes his love for his wife to the grave when killed in the war.
48. God’s Will — Martina McBride
Songs that touch on the subject of children with special needs are rare, and this one is touching and heartfelt. It could serve as a remembrance for such a child.
49. When I Get Where I’m Going — Brad Paisley Featuring Dolly Parton
Everyone who’s lost someone has had the fantasy of getting to see them again someday, and this song is about that fantasy coming true. It was written by George Teren and Rivers Rutherford.
50. The Wings That Fly Us Home — John Denver
This song is full of cosmic imagery and religious undertones, and its spirituality would be appropriate as a way to find peace in a loss.
51. Never Alone — Jim Brickman Featuring Lady Antebellum
“Never Alone” is a touching reminder from a close loved one that even if their relationship wanes or dies, they’ll always remember you.
52. Roses for Mama — C.W. McCall
In this touching song, the narrator realizes the value of his mother’s love after meeting a young boy buying flowers for his mother’s grave.
53. Meet Me in Heaven — Johnny Cash
We all want to be reunited with our loved ones in heaven, and this song explores that desire with a bittersweet and darkly poetic twist. Johnny Cash’s warbling, haunting voice works well for this song. It was released in 1996.
54. Over You — Miranda Lambert
This song, recorded and released by Miranda Lambert in 2012 but written by Blake Shelton, was inspired by Shelton’s loss of his brother in a car accident.
55. Temporary Home — Carrie Underwood
Most things in life are temporary and changeable, and this song explores the feeling that the mortal world isn’t our real home, but heaven is.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.