Growing up, there aren’t many people who come close to you like your parents. A good parent means the world to their kids, and losing one is one of the most devastating things to experience. One method of grieving for your dad is to listen to comforting songs about loss.
To help you better cope with the death of your father, we’ve collected the 41 best songs about losing your dad.
1. Broken Halos – Chris Stapleton
After a time, the angel that a person once was begins to fade away, as this song depicts. Their halos become broken and their wings bent. This does not mean that they were bad people, but maybe they had their own struggles in life. Just remember the kind of dad that struggled for you.
2. Candle in the Wind – Elton John
A candle in the wind is quite a precarious situation, as is life and death. Anything can take us in a single moment, and there’s no re-lighting that flame. Be sure to treasure your family just as you would the flame of a candle to keep you warm.
3. Champion – Kanye West
There are a lot of champions in life, ranging from sports champions to real-life heroes. But the greatest champion of all has got to be a dad. Many fathers, just like Kanye West’s, did whatever they could to make sure that their children would be taken care of. You may never realize what it was, but you will always know how to appreciate it.
4. Daddy’s Don’t Leave – Nikki Davis
Everyone has to go at some point, but no one is ever truly gone. Be it a spiritual presence, or their continued existence in your heart, your dad will always be a part of you and the person you grew into.
5. Daddy’s Little Girl – The Shires
A girl grows into a lot of things—a doctor, a teacher, an engineer, or a politician. They will grow up to do many great things. Yet, no matter how big that girl grows to be, she will always be daddy’s little girl. That’s something that can never be changed.
6. Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross
Some of the most important moments in a child’s life with their father are so small, so small that their dad may not have remembered them. Luther Vandross sings of these small moments he experienced, and how much he wishes he could have these moments once again.
7. Dancing in the Sky – Dani and Lizzy
Many people have many different conceptions of what Heaven is, or could be, or should be. No one can truly know what it is, but it is a comforting thought to think of your father dancing in the sky with others who have passed.
8. Deep Blue – George Harrison
Deep Blue is a song about falling into deep sadness. Things that should make George Harrison happy aren’t making him happy, like sunlight, and he is more aware of the suffering and pain of others, which only hurts him more. Losing a dad can often make us look away from the panacea and only into the pain.
9. Family Man – Craig Campbell
In many families, the father is the one who puts in the most sacrifice to keep the family together. Sometimes, they have to do some pretty low and tough jobs, and this song speaks to that so strongly. It really makes you appreciate what a dad can do for you.
10. Father To Son – Phil Collins
A good dad always wants to impart a helpful message to their kids before it’s too late, to make sure that they are able to grow up better off than they were. Father To Son is a great example of a dad wishing he could continue to guide his kids the way he used to.
11. Fear – Blue October
Fear is one of the things that control us the most, and it’s an especially powerful emotion. Fear of losing your dad, and fear of acknowledging you’ve lost him. There are a lot of things to be afraid of, and in turn, a lot of things to overcome. But you are not alone in feeling this way.
12. Forever Young – Bob Dylan
Aging sucks, there’s no getting around that, and not just because it brings us closer to our twilight years. Watching your dad getting closer is just so painful, so painful you wish that he and you could just stay the same age forever.
13. Forgiven – Within Temptation
Sometimes, our dads don’t have the most graceful lives, and our relationships are often complicated. When your father dies, one of the hardest things to do is forgive. You wish that he could have been better, but all the same, you still love him.
14. Gone Too Soon – Simple Plan
Honestly, no matter how much time you have with someone, it will never be enough. They will always be gone too soon, and this song conveys how hard it is to say goodbye to someone you wish was with you forever.
15. The Greatest Man I Never Knew – Reba McEntire
It’s one thing to grieve the father that’s raised you, it’s another thing to grieve someone you never knew—or someone you feel like you never knew. An absent father is a complicated relationship for a child, and a father who you wish you could have been closer to is perhaps even more complicated.
16. He Didn’t Have to Be – Brad Paisley
This song is a great choice to remember your stepdad, to remember that he chose to come into your life and be the father you were supposed to have. Maybe he wasn’t the perfect dad, or maybe he made mistakes, but that’s not important. What’s more important is how much love he showed, and how hard he tried to be there for you.
17. Hey Dad – Matt Stillwell
“Hey Dad”—these are two words that a father always loves to hear from his kids. Sadly, sometimes, it’s just too late for their kids to communicate this to him. All they can do is think about the good things that happened, and all the good things that could.
18. I Drive Your Truck – Lee Brice
When your dad leaves your life, a way people try to cope is to keep their father’s things close to them as mementos, and many can attest to having a lot of memories of driving with their dad in his truck. Going hunting, going fishing, going to and from school—years of moments that his truck will remind you of for years to come.
19. I’ll See You Again – Westlife
While it may pain you to lose your dad, a comforting thought many hold is that, when their time has come, they will one day join him in Heaven as well. I’ll See You Again chooses to say see you later instead of goodbye.
20. It Won’t Be Like This For Long – Darius Rucker
Time flies when you’re having fun, and you don’t realize just how quickly a daddy’s girl grows up. If you blink, you’ll be shocked to see your small daughter graduating, getting married, and having children herself. And, in time, your dad will be gone as well. Cherish those moments.
21. Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
Change is a difficult process. You grow so comfortable with what you have now, and you don’t want to grow older or see your dad grow older. The Fleetwood Mac singer made a point of dedicating Landslide to her father and mother.
22. Leave Out All the Rest – Linkin Park
A common fear of death is that, once you pass, there will be nothing to remember about you, and this applies equally to dads. We all have flaws, and it’s normal to worry that someone is seeing them as their worst parts. The best way to miss and remember your father is to remember all the good they brought to your life.
23. Let It Hurt – Rascal Flatts
Bottling up your pain and suffering might feel like a worthwhile thing at first, but in the grand scheme of things, it is only going to make it hurt so much more when you explode. Sometimes, as this song attests, you just need to let the hurt out, to let yourself cry until there are no more tears.
24. I’m Already There – Lonestar
This song helps remind us that, even when our daddy isn’t there anymore, he’s still there—just in a different way. He exists around you, overseeing you as you grow into a complete person yourself. It’s comforting to know that your departed loved one will still always be around.
25. My Little Girl – Tim McGraw
Moving on is hard, but it is important for everyone involved. This song from the film Flicka is a beautiful ballad of a father who, despite everything, will always remember his daughter as the little girl he raised. Yet, he understands that he still has to let her go, just as she must let him go.
26. My Old Man – Zac Brown Band
A dad makes an impact on their kids that will never go away, especially for those who grew up respecting and wanting to be just like him. Now that he’s gone, there’s not much you’re left with of him. The smell of his overalls and the calluses on his hands, as this song lists, are things ingrained into your memory, however.
27. My Way – Frank Sinatra
This is a song that is spoken from the perspective of a father who, rather than let others dictate how he goes out, wishes to go out in his way. This can certainly be a hard thing to contend with, especially if the things he does are not conducive to his health, but first and foremost, respecting someone’s wishes like this is the better thing to do.
28. Never Get Used To – Seinabo Sey
Loss is funny—it’s extremely intense for a very long time early on, and over time, it permeates our minds less and less. Yet, you’re never more than a stray thought away from being pulled back into that sadness. Never Get Used To, indeed.
29. One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey And Boyz II Men
There are a lot of things we want to say to our loved ones, and woefully too little time to say them. For so many years growing up, you never even think about the notion that your dad may one day no longer be in your life. Having him watching over you is nice, but this song still evokes the desire to have said these things when he was with us.
30. Song for Dad – Keith Urban
It’s funny just how much like our parents we become. Even the subtlest of things in our behavior evoke memories of what our father was like, and how much he has influenced us. Including things that we may have taken for granted at the time.
31. Song For My Father – Sarah McLachlan
A good dad provides a source of comfort, the light from the lighthouse on a stormy ocean. Whenever you need safety, he’ll be there to protect you from what ails you. This song is a beautiful message to Sarah McLachlan’s father, speaking to how valuable a presence he was in her life.
32. Thank you for being my Dad (Song For Dad) – Jon Barker
This is something that all too many don’t think to say to their dad until it’s already too late. Even if you think that your father understands exactly how much you appreciate everything he did for you, the truth is, they want to know they’re loved, that they’re appreciated, and not just through a handshake or a grunt.
33. Unforgettable – Natalie Cole
The daughter of Nat King Cole does a posthumous duet with her late father, and it’s… well, unforgettable. And it’s all too true. You never truly forget someone so important and loved, not fully. And for as much as it may hurt to remember, it hurts more to forget.
34. Until It Sleeps – Metallica
Sometimes, the best way to grieve is to acknowledge just how much you are in pain, and how much it may be in control of you. And yet, this can be an incredibly painful process in and of itself, allowing it to sink its claws into your heart.
35. Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day
Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong wrote this song for his late father, who died all too early of esophageal cancer. In this song, summer represents the good life, the life before things got bad, and come September, we just wish to return to then.
36. Why – Rascal Flatts
“Why?” is one of the most common questions asked when we lose a loved one. Why him? Why now? Why not me? Why that way? We will often drive ourselves crazy, searching for an answer that simply does not exist. Sometimes, the answer is just “because.” Accepting this is a great first step to healing.
37. Winter – Tori Amos
Growing up, it really makes you realize just how much bigger your dad’s hand was when you were a small child. Now that you can’t hold his hand anymore, you realize how fast things are changing, and how much you’ve missed since you’ve grown up.
38. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
Losing a hero is tough, and it’s even tougher when your hero was your own dad. For many, their father is the greatest hero of them all, and losing him makes it hard to tell the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, or left and right.
39. You Are Not Alone – Michael Jackson
Losing your father is a terribly lonely experience, even if you haven’t talked to him in years. Michael Jackson’s You Are Not Alone tells us that, despite the loneliness, your dad is still with you—in your heart.
40. You Can Let Go – Crystal Shawanda
A dad is involved with many of their child’s firsts and is an important guiding presence in their life growing up. Sure, he could be a little overbearing, but you know it was because he was just trying to take good care of you. But eventually, he has to be able to let go, and when he does, you need to let go too.
41. You Should Be Here – Cole Swindell
After you lose your dad, the following days will be difficult. This song lets us feel the sadness of his absence, of how much we wish our father could enjoy a sunset and a beer like he used to.
When you lose your dad, it never gets any easier to think about him. You think about all the good times you had, and all the good times you wish you could have had with him before he was gone. It’s good to never forget him, but it’s also valuable to remember to not let it weigh you down more than it already has. We can only hope that these songs about losing your father can help you cope with your grief and heal from your loss.
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.