51 Country Funeral Songs

There’s inevitable sadness around funerals, especially when you lose someone you’re close to. If you’re in charge of music for the day, and country music is what you’re after, here are some appropriate country funeral songs for you to choose from.

Contents

“Just a Dream” by Carrie Underwood

Song Year: 2007

Carrie Underwood’s “Just a Dream,” from her 2007 album Carnival Ride, debuted at the number 45 spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs. Written by Hillary Lindsey, Gordie Sampson, and Steve McEwan, the track is a ballad featuring acoustic instrumentals and a string section. The lyrics center around a woman going to her husband’s funeral.

“I Can’t Write That” by Jeff Bates

Song Year: 2005

Released on the 2005 album Good People, Jeff Bates’s slow ballad “I Can’t Write That” is about reflecting on the death of loved ones and how hard it is to write music on that subject. There is soft piano playing and delicate percussion to maintain the mood. And during the choruses, other voices help amplify the passion.

“If Tomorrow Never Comes” by Garth Brooks

Song Year: 1989

“If Tomorrow Never Comes” is a country song written by Kent Blazy and released on Garth Brooks’s 1989 self-titled album. The track hit the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart, helping the track become Brooks’s signature song. Other cover recordings of this song also performed well on charts worldwide.

“Please Remember Me” by Tim McGraw

Song Year: 1999

Tim McGraw released the song “Please Remember Me” on his 1999 album A Place in the Sun. The track was originally written and recorded by Rodney Crowell and Will Jennings in 1995, but McGraw’s version was a huge success. Featuring Patty Loveless on vocals, the lyrics and passionate singing reflects on death and loss.

“I’ll Leave This World Loving You” by Ricky Van Shelton

Song Year: 1988

Released on the 1988 album Loving Proof, Ricky Van Shelton’s “I’ll Leave This World Loving You” was a hit song that hit the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Wayne Kemp and Mack Vickery originally released the track in 1980, but Shelton’s recording was far more successful.

“Holes in the Floor of Heaven” by Steve Wariner

Song Year: 1998

From the 1998 album Burnin' the Roadhouse Down, Steve Wariner’s “Holes in the Floor of Heaven” is a difficult song about losing family—in this case, the narrator’s wife and grandmother. The lyrics suggest that lost loved ones can see us from heaven. In terms of critical response, the song performed well on Canadian and American country music charts.  

“If I Had Only Known” by Reba McEntire

Song Year: 1991

Released on the 1991 album For My Broken Heart, Reba McEntire’s “If I Had Only Known” is an emotional track about the shock of losing someone and the regret of not valuing them fully while they were alive. McEntire’s singing is passionate, and the gentle musical accompaniment maintains a delicate mood.  

“I’ll Be There for You” by Kenny Rogers

Song Year: 1991

Kenny Rogers released the song “I’ll Be There for You” on his 1991 album Back Home Again. The music is a gentle country ballad that reflects the fact that loved ones are still with us even after they pass away. The soft electric piano accompaniment and Rogers’s gentle singing help create a bittersweet emotion.

“The Dance” by Garth Brooks

Song Year: 1990

From his 1990 self-titled album, Garth Brooks’s “The Dance” is a slow song that expresses the sad emotions of loss. Anthony Arata wrote the track, and many consider it to be Brooks’s signature song. The lyrics can also apply to the loss of a romantic relationship.

“The Wings That Fly Us Home” by John Denver

Song Year: 1976

John Denver released the track “The Wings That Fly Us Home” on his 1976 album Spirit. With the characteristic gentle sound of Denver’s voice and acoustic accompaniment, the song’s lyrics reflect upon the memories people have of lost loved ones.

“If You Get There Before I Do” by Collin Raye

Song Year: 1993

Collin Raye released the track “If You Get There Before I Do” on his 1993 album Extremes, and the song is a tender contemplation about losing loved ones in the form of a country ballad. Although the lyrics are specifically about the loss of the narrator’s grandfather, the emotions apply to many types of loss.

“There You’ll Be” by Faith Hill

Song Year: 2001

Faith Hill’s “There You’ll Be” appears on an album of the same name, but it is also famous because of its usage in the 2001 movie Pearl Harbor. It is a powerful country ballad orchestrated by David Campbell, with lyrics about losing a loved one and keeping them by your side in memory.

“How Can I Help You Say Goodbye” by Patty Loveless

Song Year: 1994

Patty Loveless recorded the song “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye” for her 1994 album Only What I Feel. Written by Karen Taylor-Good and Burton Banks Collins, the track is a slow ballad with lyrics about losing someone you love. There is also a famous recording of this song by Laura Branigan.

“Drink a Beer” by Luke Bryan

Song Year: 2013

From Luke Bryan’s 2013 album Crash My Party, the track “Drink a Beer” is a country ballad about the sudden loss of family. Chris Stapleton and Jim Beavers wrote the music and lyrics, which seem to relate to Bryan losing his two brothers. In 2014, the track reached the top of Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.  

“One More Day” by Diamond Rio

Song Year: 2000

Diamond Rio put out the song “One More Day” on an album of the same name in 2000. Processing grief of any kind is difficult, but this track focuses on the unique challenge of losing your romantic partner. The lyrics suggest that the narrator would give up everything just to have another day with loved ones.

“If Heaven” by Andy Griggs

Song Year: 2004

Released on the 2004 album This I Gotta See, Andy Griggs’s “If Heaven” peaked at number 5 on Billboard’s Country Singles chart. Originally written by Gretchen Peters and recorded by Halcyon, Griggs’s version takes on a personal note since he lost his brother and father during childhood.

“Roses for Mama” by C.W. McCall

Song Year: 1977

C.W. McCall’s “Roses for Mama” is a song in the popular recitation style, with McCall’s calm voice telling a story about helping a boy who lost his mother. The track was released on a 1977 album by the same name, and the choruses include singing as accompaniment. The track reached number two on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs ranking.

“How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes

Song Year: 1997

Diane Warren wrote the song “How Do I Live,” and LeAnn Rimes released it on her 1997 album You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs. The track reached the number two spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and stayed on the chart for 69 weeks. The lyrics reflect on the difficulty of living after losing a loved one.

“You Should Be Here” by Cole Swindell

Song Year: 2015

Cole Swindell released the track “You Should Be Here” as a single in 2015 and later included it on the 2016 album You Should Be Here. Ashley Gorley helped Swindell write the song, which hit the top of Billboard’s Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts. The lyrics center around Swindell’s sudden loss of his father.

“He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones

Song Year: 1980

George Jones put out the song “He Stopped Loving Her Today” on his 1980 album I Am What I Am. The track is a slow ballad about losing your romantic partner, although the lyrics can work for many kinds of loss. Rolling Stone gave this song the number 142 spot on their collection of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“Angels Among Us” by Alabama

Song Year: 1993

Released on the 1993 album Cheap Seats, Alabama’s “Angels Among Us” is particularly emotional because it includes the accompaniment of a children’s choir. Written by Don Goodman and Becky Hobbs, the track will make you reflect on those who passed continuing to be around you.

“Heaven Was Needing a Hero” by Jo Dee Messina

Song Year: 2010

Jo Dee Messina released the track “Heaven Was Needing a Hero” on the 2010 album Unmistakable Inspiration. The piano and string accompaniment in this song produces a reflective mood, and Messina’s passionate voice sings about letting a loved one go and allowing them to move on to heaven.

“When a Hero Falls” by Stephen Cochran

Song Year: 2007

From Stephen Cochran’s 2007 self-titled album, the song “When a Hero Falls” is about the specific pain of losing someone because of their service in the military. The lyrics are sad, but the lack of a slow tempo balances them by showing the more positive interpretation of someone dying a hero’s death.

“Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts

Song Year: 2004

“Bless the Broken Road,” written in 1994 by Bobby Boyd, Marcus Hummon, and Jeff Hanna, is a popular country music track that many famous artists recorded. But this version from Rascal Flatts’s 2004 album Feels Like Today was the most successful. The song held the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart for five weeks, and it won a Grammy for Best Country Song.

“He Didn’t Have To Be” by Brad Paisley

Song Year: 1999

From the 1999 album Who Needs Pictures, Brad Paisley’s “He Didn’t Have To Be” is a mid-tempo ballad with lyrics about a wife moving on from her husband’s death. The classic country sound of steel guitar accompanies the story of this mother considering dating other men. The song reached the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

“Daddy’s Hands” by Holly Dunn

“Daddy’s Hands” by Holly Dunn

Song Year: 1986

Holly Dunn released the song “Daddy’s Hands” on her 1986 self-titled album. In terms of country funeral songs, the music is more optimistic and upbeat. The lyrics center around Dunn’s father, and the track was a success on country music charts. Dunn also received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

“If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” by Justin Moore

Song Year: 2011

Justin Moore released the track “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” on his 2011 album Outlaws Like Me.  Rob Hatch, Brett Jones, and Dallas Davidson wrote the track, which was originally recorded by Rhett Akins. But this Justin Moore cover has a sad sound that expresses how people miss their loved ones.

“Just a Closer Walk With Thee” by Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson

Song Year: 1996

Even if you do not know this version by Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson, you likely know the melody of the classic track “Just a Closer Walk With Thee.” The song is traditional gospel music that is now a jazz standard that people often play at New Orleans jazz funerals. Cline and Nelson’s version is an upbeat interpretation.

“God’s Will” by Martina McBride

Song Year: 2004

Tom Douglas and Barry Dean wrote the song “God’s Will,” and Martina McBride released it on her 2004 album, Martina. The gentle music has lyrics about a young crippled boy and a narrator who struggles to accept the reality of the tragedy. The track reached the number 16 position on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.  

“Mama Sang a Song” by The Whites

Song Year: 1962

Next is an older track compared to many in this collection, and it is the 1962 “Mama Sang a Song” by The Whites. The gentle musical accompaniment compliments the recitation style of this song, with lyrics about the death of parents and reflecting on how hard they worked to raise children.

“Never Alone” by Jim Brickman

Song Year: 2007

Jim Brickman’s “Never Alone,” released on the 2007 album by the same name, features the powerful vocals of Lady Antebellum. Equally a mix of country and pop musical genres, the lyrics capture the sentimental idea that even when you lose loved ones, they remain by your side.

“Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill

Song Year: 1995

From the 1995 album When Love Finds You, Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on That Mountain” is an emotional ballad about the sorrow of losing loved ones. The tempo is slow, and the passionate singing will likely make people cry, making it a good country funeral song for grieving.

“In Color” by Jamey Johnson

Song Year: 2008

Jamey Johnson released the song “In Color” on his 2008 album That Lonesome Song. Lee Thomas Miller and James Otto helped Johnson write the track, and it reached the number 9 spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in the US. And in 2009, the song received a Grammy nomination for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.

“I’m Already There (Message From Home)” by Lonestar

Song Year: 2001

From the 2001 album I’m Already There, Lonestar’s “I’m Already There (Message From Home)” is a touching song that became popular after the attacks of September 11th. Like many tracks in this collection, military deaths carry particularly bittersweet energy.

“My Angel” by Kellie Pickler

Song Year: 2006

Next is Kellie Pickler’s 2006 song “My Angel.” Released on the album Small Town Girl, this track has a powerful chorus that grieves for the loss of the narrator’s grandmother. The lyrics center around the grandmother taking on the role of mother and the pain of losing that role model in life.

“Grandma’s Garden” by Zac Brown

Song Year: 2016

Zac Brown’s “Grandma’s Garden,” released on the 2016 album by the same name, is another track that pays tribute to a grandmother after she dies. The track is a mid-tempo country ballad that uses the metaphor of a garden to reflect on how many problems the narrator’s grandmother solved through love.

“Jealous of the Angels” by Donna Taggart

Song Year: 2014

Released on the 2014 album Celtic Lady Volume II, Donna Taggart’s “Jealous of the Angels” is a touching track about losing a loved one unexpectedly. The soft piano accompaniment keeps the mood reflective, and Taggart’s expressive voice sings about being jealous of the angels who spend time with the loved one who passed.

“A Picture of Me Without You” by Lorrie Morgan

Song Year: 1991

Next is a track by Lorrie Morgan from the 1991 album Something in Red. George Richey and Norro Wilson wrote the song, and other famous recordings include George Jones and Vern Gosdin. Morgan’s version hit the number nine spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. 

“Tell Me I Was Dreaming” by Travis Tritt

Song Year: 1995

Released on the 1995 album Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof, Travis Tritt’s “Tell Me I Was Dreaming” is a country song that tells the heartbreaking story of a disabled Army veteran. Bruce Ray Brown helped Tritt write the song, which peaked at number two on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

“Grandpa Told Me So” by Kenny Chesney

Song Year: 1995

Kenny Chesney put out the track “Grandpa Told Me So” on his 1995 album All I Need to Know. James Dean Hicks and Mark Alan Springer wrote the song, and it has gentle music and lyrics that reflect on the passing of a grandfather.

“Meet Me in Heaven” by Johnny Cash

Song Year: 1996

With the characteristic dark tone you expect to hear from Johnny Cash, his track “Meet Me in Heaven” captures the emotion of missing a loved one. Released on the 1996 album Unchained, the song is about Cash’s younger brother, who died at a young age.

“If I Could Bring You Back” by Joe Diffie

Song Year: 2004

Joe Diffie released “If I Could Bring You Back” on his 2004 album Tougher Than Nails. The country ballad expresses the sentiment that nothing material compares to having loved ones around. The narrator would trade anything material just to bring back a lost loved one.

“Down the River” by Chris Knight

Song Year: 2001

From the 2001 album A Pretty Good Guy, Chris Knight’s “Down the River” features acoustic guitar and Knight’s rugged voice. The lyrics center around memories of the narrator fishing and boating with his dad.

“I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice

Song Year: 2012

Grieving at funerals takes on different forms, and Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck” is all about the narrator grieving the loss of his brother by driving his old truck around. From the 2012 album Hard 2 Love, the track features emotional choruses.

“Over You” by Miranda Lambert

Song Year: 2012

From the 2012 album Four the Record, Miranda Lambert’s “Over You,” co-written with Blake Shelton, expresses the tragic story of Shelton losing his younger brother to a car accident. In 2013, the track earned ACM’s Song of the Year award.

“Whiskey Lullaby” by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss

Song Year: 2004

Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss recorded “Whiskey Lullaby” as a duet track for their 2004 album, Mud on the Tires. Jon Randall andBill Anderson wrote the song, and the duet captures the tragedy of the story—two lovers who kill themselves.

“Why” by Rascal Flatts

Song Year: 2009

Released on the 2009 album Unstoppable, “Why” by Rascal Flatts has intense lyrics about suicide. Allen Shamblin and Rob Mathes co-wrote the track, which uses soft piano and a slow tempo to capture the deep emotions of the lyrics. The song reached number 44 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

“Angels in Waiting” by Tammy Cochran

Song Year: 2001

“Angels in Waiting” is a country ballad that fits the category of country funeral songs too well. Released on her 2001 self-titled album, this Tammy Cochran track has lyrics that honor her two brothers who had cystic fibrosis and died.

“What Hurts the Most” by Rascal Flatts

Song Year: 2006

From the 2006 album Me and My Gang, Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most” has a fast tempo that seems unsuited to the topic of death, but the lyrics are all about the pain of losing a loved one. Steve Robson and Jeffrey Steele wrote the track in 2003, but this Rascal Flatts cover performed well on country charts in the US.

“Go On Without Me” by Brett Eldredge

Song Year: 2013

The track “Go On Without Me” comes from Brett Eldredge’s 2013 album Bring You Back. The lyrics are about a close friend dying, but the music overall has a positive message. As painful as grief can be, this is a track that will remind you of the good times.

“I’m No Stranger to the Rain” by Keith Whitley

Song Year: 1989

From the 1989 album Don’t Close Your Eyes, Keith Whitley’s “I’m No Stranger to the Rain” is a mid-tempo country ballad about processing death and tragedy. Ron Hellard and Sonny Curtis wrote the track, and it performed well on country charts in Canada and the US.

Popular Country Funeral Songs, Final Thoughts

Country music has a unique way of processing grief and dealing with death, and there are a variety of styles within the genre that capture emotions in different ways. From upbeat tracks that spark good memories to slow ballads that make you cry, music like these songs is a wonderful healing tool.

So, as sad as it can be, remember to let music help you grieve.

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