Some days you fought, others you were best friends. One brother or a few; they are always in your corner. Brothers are someone you can count on to have your back, and you have theirs.
We've compiled a list of songs about losing your brother. From country ballads to rap, we’ve songs that’ll help express those feelings of pain, anger, love, and loss when a brother dies.
“If Heaven Was Needing a Hero” by Jo Dee Messina
Song Year: 2010
This popular country song is about a steadfast person in your life and someone you count on. Who represents that idea more than a brother? He is your hero.
The death of your brother seems incomprehensible.
Jo Dee Messina suggests that the only way to understand his death and that he's gone is by thinking and believing that heaven must have needed a hero. The biggest hero you know—your brother.
“At Your Funeral” by Saves the Day
Song Year: 2001
We all know someone who has lost a brother to drug addiction. Your childhood best friend becomes someone else. You offer help, but they never take it, and you watch them slip away.
Pop punk band Saves the Day expresses the addiction cycle after a brother falls further into the grasp of drug addiction, ultimately losing the fight.
All the things left unsaid, and all the alternate scenarios play out in your head. So why couldn't it have been you? What else could you have done?
Remember the good times and remember your brother in the best light. In the end, you realize you did all you could.
“Dead Homiez” by Ice Cube
Song Year: 1999
The rap culture looks at social issues, violence, and death in a way mainstream music overlooks.
This popular rap song shows how we all act like someone else to be seen as tough or invincible. But, when life goes sideways, we learn that being invincible isn't a possibility. It never was.
Sometimes the anger and desperation of another cause them to do unthinkable things. As a result, people get shot, and people die.
Ice Cube understands that all brothers are not blood-related. He tells the story of those close to him who have gone into the afterlife. Brothers, because of friendship and experience, taken too soon. The effect on the mothers and brothers is life-altering.
“Hard Days” by Brantley Gilbert
Song Year: 2019
Country artist Brantley Gilbrey tones down his rock-tinged country style and croons about losing a brother. How it is a feeling like you have lost a piece of yourself. You are heartbroken, wondering why, and questioning everything about life.
The pain makes simple things complicated. The loss you feel is everywhere and in everything.
In “Hard Days,” Gilbert Brantley reminds us that loss is devastating. Hard days happen to all of us, and those times are what help us grow, even though painful.
No matter how many bad days there are, there is always hope for a brighter tomorrow.
“You Made Me Want To Be a Saint” by The Wonder Years
Song Year: 2011
The pop-punk group The Wonder Years released this 2011 hit about a funeral and the time that passes afterward. The pain, the anger, the disbelief that a “brother” has died. So many memories made together that feel like a lifetime.
“You Made Me Want to Be a Saint” is a song about remembering, even though it hurts. The Wonder Years also sings about something many of us don't face—the fact that visiting a grave is too much and will not happen.
Your brother makes you want to be a better person. So live up to that thought because that is what he would want.
“Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day
Song Year: 2019
A band that combines pop and punk is Green Day. “Wake Me Up When September Ends” is about the pain and memories that hit when the anniversary of someone's death is upon us.
Time stands still, and we wish that we could just fast-forward. As the anniversary of the death of a brother draws near, it is easy to wish that you could just sleep through the pain.
“Dancing in the Sky” by Dani and Lizzy
Song Year: 2016
R&B/Soul duet Dani and Lizzy hit the scene with “Dancing in the Sky.” Not a dry eye can be seen when this song plays.
The song asks about what it's like in heaven with questions about what it's like. Are you singing? Are you happy? We miss you, and certain things feel empty.
Definitely a song that reminds you of your brother and how close you were.
“A Long December” by Counting Crows
Song Year: 2009
Counting Crows originally wrote this song in memory of a friend, a brother, seriously injured in a car accident. The accident didn't result in death, but the reality was close enough to scare everyone.
When death does result, we struggle through that first year afterward.
It is a song about looking back on the past and all the trials and tribulations, knowing it will get better if we can just make it through this hour, this day, this week, this month.
After the death of someone, time moves on, and this song reminds us that our lives go on as well.
“Daniel” by Elton John
Song Year: 1973
This popular, mainstream song is open to vast interpretation. It's easy to associate the song “Daniel” with a brother who has gone. It provides the feeling of being left behind, wishing you really did see your brother's face in a crowd, even though it's impossible.
Elton John describes how Daniel, his brother, has gotten on a plane and gone away. While it may mean a trip or that he has grown up and moved away, it can certainly also mean that the brother has passed away.
This song says goodbye.
“Brother” by Beck
Song Year: 2019
Softly singing this ballad, multi-genre musician Beck tells us what he would do if his brother were still here.
The slow tempo and lyrics tell us that anyone experiencing the loss of a brother is not alone, and big spaces are left behind. Beck would hire his brother to remain by his side if he could.
This is one of the most somber songs about losing your brother. It's the perfect background for sobbing.
“Try Not To Breath” by R.E.M.
Song Year: 1992
Indie pop singer Michael Stipe leads the way in R.E.M.'s song about dying and what you should remember about someone as they leave us.
Someone that knows they are dying doesn't want to leave their family with sadness. They're telling you they have had a good life and to go out and do great things. So don't mourn—LIVE.
“Ordinary Lives” by The Bee Gees
Song Year: 1989
After the death of their brother, Andy, the brothers Gibb finished this song in his memory.
Known for their upbeat pop music, the Bee Gees slow down this ballad and tell us about life being ordinary. Even death is ordinary. Tragedy, the death of a loved one, shakes you from your complacency, forcing you to look around.
What did you miss? Nothing. We are all just leading ordinary lives.
“The Other Side of Life” by John Starling
Song Year: 1982
A beautiful country song about leaving this life and what lies beyond death. A brother wants his family to know he's okay and at peace. He wants to give them one last goodbye and wishes them nothing but love.
A sad song, but one with a beautiful message. We all lose people we love, and this song gives us a beautiful thought.
“If I Could Be Where You Are” by Enya
Song Year: 2005
Enya's beautiful voice asks where her loved one has gone. Is there a way to bring them back home? The loss of a brother is so keenly felt. The grief feels as if a piece of us has been torn away.
We all are struck with a deep sense of loss and left bewildered when we lose a loved one.
Enya sings about questions we struggle to understand.
“Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel
Song Year: 1977
This upbeat, popular rock song may be just what you need to make you smile while remembering your brother. Billy Joel sings about being the “bad boy” and enjoying life to the fullest, no matter what.
If your brother lived a fun-loving lifestyle, this song might bring back the memories of all the crazy things he did. All the things that made him unique and made him the best brother anyone could have,
“Hot Summer” by PGF Nuk
Song Year: 2022
This hip-hop song might not be what comes to mind when you think of a funeral, but it perfectly describes the death of brothers growing up on the streets and the tough life they face.
Dangerous lives encompass a lot of things. Not everyone leads a life of safety. If your brother was in law enforcement, grew up socioeconomically diverse, or lived in the moment, this song provides the angry, vital outlet many of us need to cope.
“Really Gonna Miss You” by Smokey Robinson
Song Year: 1998
The Motown soulful voice of Smokey Robinson provides an unforgettable way to remember your brother that has passed away.
Smokey tells us it's okay to miss them; we will never forget them and think of them every day. Forever.
This song is a good choice when you want to remember your brother. It lets us do just that, but in such a sad way that tears don't roll down your cheeks.
“It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men
Song Year: 1991
R & B group Boyz II Men sing in harmony this wonderful ballad about how hard it is to say goodbye following the death of a loved one.
Your brother is there with you making plans, daring each other to ask for that date, try that move. When he's gone, an overwhelming feeling of loss envelopes you. Don't think about what you didn't do together. Instead, think of all the things you did do.
Saying goodbye is hard, but the memories will last. Boyz II Men provide the perfect words for why we struggle and why it's so hard to say goodbye.
“DRS” by Gansta Lean
Song Year: 1993
Contemporary R & B group Gansta Lean provides a soulful way to remember your brother. Although, from the memories, you have to struggle to keep “steppin' on,” keeping the memory alive in your heart makes the loss of a brother easier to understand.
By remembering with others, the pain seems a little less, and each day is a step forward.
One day, you'll see each other again, and until then, I'll raise a drink in your name.
“Moments” by Emerson Drive
Song Year: 2006
Not everyone is close to their brother. Sometimes harsh words are said, sometimes we lose our way. But, before it's too late, we must think about forgiveness.
Country singer Emerson Drive sings about a homeless man who was once someone's brother and all the things he's done wrong, but also about the good memories he has inside.
When you lose a brother that isn't as close as he once was, this song eases those feelings of loss and sadness.
“Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit
Song Year: 1999
Fred Durst of the alternative rock band Limp Bizkit tells us there are just days where grief and anger take over. So rather than face anyone and have the anger explode at anyone else, you cut yourself off and tell the world to stay away.
“Break Stuff” is the perfect song to turn the volume up and just let go of the pain of loss while singing at the top of your lungs.
Get in your car and turn the volume up as loud as possible. You'll feel better afterward.
“Gone Too Soon” by Simple Plan
Song Year: 2011
Emo pop punk artists in Simple Plan give us a way to deal with the unexpected loss of a brother. With no chance to say goodbye, you can only wonder what happened and why, with no opportunity to say goodbye.
You'll never be the same after the loss of your brother. You feel lost and vulnerable.
The memories keep coming and flash before your eyes—like shooting stars. This song reminds us that things happen, and sometimes those things are painful. But, it's the good moments that we will remember.
“Farewell Transmission” by Ohia
Song Year: 2003
This song by indie rock artist Ohia centers around the loss of someone that gave up the struggle to make sense of life. Suicide is never something we expect, and the loss is crushing when it's your brother.
This slow, bluesy style makes it okay to listen, sit back, and cry.
As Ohia suggests, farewell is not permanent. Instead, we try and make sense of loss as we go through the motions.
“How Ya Doin' Up There?” by Scotty McCreary
Song Year: 2021
Deep-voiced Scotty McCreary, former American Idol star, croons this country song about looking to heaven and asking how it's going up there in heaven.
While not necessarily written about the loss of a brother, it certainly fits how we feel some days.
Time goes by, and you wish you could just talk to your brother. Look up and just talk. Life without your brother seems so crazy some days.
Talking to your brother is the best medicine for those empty spots left behind.
“I Grieve” by Peter Gabriel
Song Year: 1998
Famous English pop artist Peter Gabriel sings about the steps he goes through in the experience of grief and loss. Life will carry on, but it's so hard to understand.
Why your brother? Why did it happen? Did it even happen at all? Grief can play tricks.
You will never forget your brother, even when everyone else's life just continues on. Each day, you will continue to wonder if it was all a bad dream.
Heartfelt words to help us deal with and relieve some of the pain of loss.
“Ocean Breathes Salty” by Modest Mouse
Song Year: 2004
A song about the dreams you had as kids, the chances of growing old, and all of the things you'd do together, both good and bad.
As a result of your brother's death and burying your pain, you make some terrible decisions that he would not be proud of. After spending time getting your life together, you realize this is not how your brother would want your life to be.
You think of all the things he has missed, but know that maybe someday you'll be together again.
He wouldn't want it to be any other way.
“I'll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy
Song Year: 1997
Rapper P. Diddy wrote this for his “brother” Notorious B.I.G. after his accidental death. Shocked to the core, Puff Daddy remembers everything he and B.I.G. did together and what their friendship meant to him.
You don't have to be a famous artist to have a brother that means the world to you. A brother that you made incredible memories with just doing everyday things.
The collaboration with other famous artists makes this song an unforgettable way to remember your brother, making this one of the most poignant funeral songs for your brother.
Every day, in everything you do, you'll miss him—everyone will.
Popular Songs About Losing Your Brother, Final Thoughts
A brother isn't always a brother by blood, but he is no less family. A brother knows you better than anyone else, and that special bond continues throughout life.
When you lose a brother, you lose more than that. So whether you're looking for songs about losing your brother, songs about losing your brother-in-law, or someone you considered a brother, this list will help soothe the soul.