49 Rock Funeral Songs

Selecting classic rock songs for a funeral can be a challenging task, as rock is not a typical funeral genre. But, perhaps you wish to honor the deceased's love for the genre by choosing rock funeral songs.

This list of songs encompasses a wide range of emotions, from fond recollections to grief-stricken farewells, and even includes tracks that may have been meaningful to the departed, offering comfort to those left behind.


“You're My Best Friend” by Queen

Song Year: 1975

This emotional song, penned by John Deacon, beautifully conveys his unwavering love and devotion for his wife, a sentiment that resonates strongly through the lyrics.

Its relatable theme has touched the hearts of many who have found solace in its words, whether it's for a dear friend, beloved parent, or romantic partner. In situations where painful emotions might otherwise dominate, this song offers a meaningful way to express one's deepest feelings.

“Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” by Green Day

Song Year: 1997

Despite its title, this song is surprisingly sweet and contemplative. Its underlying message is one of wishing the best for someone who has departed from your life, hoping they enjoyed their time with you.

The emotional tone of the song is further enhanced by the haunting melody of the violin, making it a fitting choice for somber occasions.

“Don't Wanna Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith

Song Year: 1998

Aerosmith's ballad from the late '90s has become a timeless classic in the realm of funeral music, often requested due to its heartfelt and intimate lyrics.

The song can be interpreted in two ways: as a message from the deceased expressing their love for those they've left behind or as a love letter to those who have passed on, commemorating the precious moments they shared together.

“By My Side” by INXS

Song Year: 1990

This poignant song has the ability to unite mourners in a shared sense of grief and serve as a poignant reminder to cherish every moment spent with loved ones. It speaks to the profound sense of loneliness and heartbreak that comes with losing someone dear.

While the melody is somber, the song's emotional impact is undeniably powerful and enduring.

“Knockin' On Heaven's Door” by Bob Dylan

Song Year: 1991

Originally written by Bob Dylan in 1973, Guns n’ Roses covered it years later and updated it by adding a slightly faster tempo and a heavier rock background.

Dylan’s folk version is a classic for a reason—the lyrics are beautiful and heartfelt. This slow but emotional version of the song is a good choice for a funeral to honor a rock fan.

“Bridge Over Troubled Waters” by Simon and Garfunkel

Song Year: 1964

A line from a gospel song inspired this song, but its heartfelt lyrics have been covered by various artists from many different genres.

You can interpret the song in multiple ways, but many see it as a call to the person who has passed away that the singer will keep their spirit alive and always remember them.

“Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton

Song Year: 1992

Although most of the best rock funeral songs were not composed specifically about the loss of a loved one, they often touch on themes related to grief and bereavement. This song, however, was written directly in response to such a tragedy.

Eric Clapton penned this heart-wrenching piece after the sudden and untimely death of his young son, channeling his profound anguish into both the lyrics and the soulful melody.

“Let It Be” by the Beatles

Song Year: 1970

This poignant Beatles song was written by Paul McCartney in honor of his late mother, Mary, who is referenced in the lyrics as a representation of a divine figure.

Rather than a shared expression of grief, the song serves as a call to the listener, encouraging them to seek solace in the message of hope and resilience conveyed by the music.

The lyrics, which speak of finding understanding and purpose in the midst of sorrow, offer a glimmer of light in the darkness of loss.

“You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins

Song Year: 1999

This song is sung from the point of view of a person who has passed away. It provides a sense of comfort and reassurance to the listener, reminding them that the spiritual or emotional connection they share with their loved one will always endure, even if their loved one is no longer physically present.

It offers a message of hope, promising that their bond will remain unbroken and that their shared memories will continue to bring solace and peace. Like an angel on the family's shoulder, the departed will watch after them long after death.

“Fade To Black” by Metallica

Song Year: 1984

Although less uplifting in theme than other songs on this list, this melancholy, heavy-rock song explores the darker themes of grief and mortality. It’s a good choice for heavy metal fans and for situations where accepting reality by those listening is for the best.

As the song draws to a close, the singer bids farewell, providing a poignant moment for everyone to collectively say their goodbyes. It's a chance to acknowledge the significance of the moment and to honor the memory of the departed, allowing closure to be found in shared grief.

“Death Is Not the End” by Bob Dylan

Song Year: 1996

The song has been covered by Metallica and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, who provide heavier and alternative interpretations of the lyrics.

Through various scenarios, the song emphasizes the notion that a person's passing does not mark the end of their legacy. The recurring title serves as a reminder that the loss of a loved one and death does not signify finality.

“Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinéad O’Connor

Song Year: 1990

This version is a cover of a Prince song, but the Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor lends intensity to the lyrics of this cathartic power ballad.

There are a variety of perceived meanings for this song, but for the purpose of a funeral rock song, it can be read as a melody of loss and longing.

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