21 Willie Nelson Funeral Songs
Willie Nelson is a country music superstar with millions of fans worldwide. His style, music, and personality made him a household name. Country music is known to bring out emotions in the listener. Many country songs can make you sad and reflect on what's lost in the past.
Here are some Willie Nelson funeral songs that work perfectly. There’s a mixture of sad and uplifting tunes, remakes, original Willie Nelson songs, and contemporary and classic tunes.
“Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1980
The movie may have received mixed reviews, but the song is a winner. The lyrics are powerful. Nelson's vocals and guitar playing will evoke emotions that will have you joyfully remembering your loved one that has passed.
It's love that encourages and comforts us in our time of grief. This song plays honor to unselfish and undying love. It speaks wonderfully of our short-lived existence.
“Nightlife” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1960
This slow-paced song would be good during a video slideshow. The lyrics speak of how empty the nightlife can be. Many claim that the nightlife is something to live for, but Nelson lets us know that the world of broken dreams continues in the nightlife despite what many think about it. In other words, the nightlife, and all that comes with it, is not as pleasurable as one may think.
“Nothing I Can Do About It Now” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1989
Although this is a very low-tempo song, and you may think it's a downer, the lyrics are uplifting, making it a perfect funeral song. Nelson sings about moving forward despite everything going on around you.
Everyone attending the funeral will be encouraged to remember the one that has passed from this life by looking forward and not backward.
“Bloody Mary Morning” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1974
This song is part of the soundtrack, Honeysuckle Rose. It's an uptempo song that will lift the spirits of all attending a funeral. It's classic Willie Nelson strumming his guitar to the lyrics.
Play this song at the funeral, during a slideshow, or even at the repast.”Bloody Mary Morning” will have your attendees dancing, maybe even square dancing, to the roaring, lightning-fast tune of this country tune. Be sure to serve Blood Marys to top it off.
“My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1976
If your loved one was a cowboy, or many of your attendees are, this would be a perfect song to play at the funeral. It tells of the life of a cowboy. Although the life of a cowboy is often depicted as heroic, Nelson speaks of the reality of the life of a cowboy.
The melody is slow and steady and will cause you to reflect on life – past, present, and future. Cowboys have always been heroes, but someday these heroic cowboys will be gone.
“Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1982
Although he wrote many songs he didn’t sing but left for other artists, this song was a remake for Willie Nelson. And many people think he did it justice. His remake received three Grammy awards.
The song is a staple across many music genres. It's a perfect funeral song, full of reflection and emotion. What a beautiful tune to remember your loved one – they are, and will be, always on our minds.
“Heartland” by Willie Nelson, Featuring Bob Dylan
Song year: 1993
This social awareness song is co-written by Bob Dylan, who also sings along with Nelson. One can hear his influence throughout the song. The lyrics will have you reflecting heavily on societal issues we all face. This would be a great funeral song for someone who loved and was concerned about the country.
The song speaks about the environment, hunger, financial downturns, hard-working Americans living in the heartland, and the suffering they endure from economic hardships.
“The Warmth of the Sun” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1964
This song is a great collaboration the Beach Boys did with Willie Nelson in the 1990s. It's a remake of the group's tune – and it's a perfect remake. The Beach Boy's harmony blends very well with Nelson's mellow, laid-back vocals.
The song is great for a funeral. It speaks of the loss of a loved one. Although that person is gone, it’s like they are still there. The love you have for your loved one is still there, despite the fact they are gone, and that love is like the warmth of the sun. This tune will bring back beautiful memories.
“Hello Walls” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1962
This popular tune is another remake by Willie Nelson. The original song was by Faron Young, but Nelson put his signature on it. The lyrics are about someone so sad and lonely because the love of his life is gone, and he is alone.
The tune is perfect for a funeral because it speaks to the emotion of being alone and feeling at times like your loved one has left you by yourself, feeling sad and down.
“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1975
Attendees with blue eyes at a funeral will relate to this song. Their blue eyes will cry in the rain or the sun when they remember or reflect on the loss of a loved one.
But as the lyrics state, one day you will see them and be with them again, and understanding that will hopefully turn those tears of sorrow into tears of joy. The song with its simple production soon became a classic.
“Georgia On My Mind” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1978
We all know Ray Charles put this song on the map. No one can top his verson. But Nelson did a great job remaking this classic song. His version brings another level of emotion, which makes it appropriate to play at a funeral.
Nelson's version will cause you to reflect and remember”the” Georgia on your mind. It may cause a flood of emotions, but that's okay. The song has a slow pace that brings comfort and determination to keep going on.
“Pick Up the Tempo” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 2003
In this uptempo song and collaboration with his longtime friend, Waylon Jennings, Nelson tells his critics that he can even go fast since they think he's living too fast. Why play this at a funeral? Because there will be people who tell you how you're supposed to grieve.
And your response to your critics is that you will grieve the way you see fit. If they think you're taking it too slow, let them know you're not going to pick up the pace for them. If they think I'm moving too fast, let them know you're not going to slow down for them but will go at the pace you feel is right. The song is also a tune from the movie Honeysuckle Rose.
“Me and Paul” with Paul Collins by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1971
This song depicts a relationship between two people who have shared life together and all that comes with it – the adventures, the disappointments, the ups and downs, and the good and bad.
The song is upbeat and works well for a memorial or repast. The tune will help you reflect on your loved one or that special friend that was as close to you as one can be. Willie Nelson displays his signature guitar playing in this tune.
“On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1981
One of Nelson's most popular songs, this tune describes the hardships of the life of an entertainer. Nelson could sing this with all his heart because he lived it. The lyrics speak of reuniting with friends and family, traveling, and having a good time.
The song can be played at a funeral to uplift and encourage others to”get on the road again,” not necessarily traveling but since the death of a loved one can knock you down, get back up and get on the road to recovery again.
Encourage and comfort yourself by getting back on the road again. Look ahead and move forward by”getting back” on the road of life again.
“Pancho and Lefty” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1983
Another remake by Willie Nelson that became a number-one hit, this song speaks of looking back on one's life and mistakes made. The tune is also about remembering the life of someone who impacted our lives, but we may have overlooked and ignored them.
“He Won’t Ever Be Gone” by Willie Jennings
Song year: 2017
A fitting song for a funeral of a male loved one. Nelson shows why he is a music legend with this song. The tune is laid-back with a slow tempo and his signature guitar playing.
The lyrics speak of one who has passed, but who will always live on in the hearts and minds of those who loved him. His memory will live on forever. Play the song at a funeral or a memorial.
“Still is Still Moving to Me” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1993
This upbeat song can encourage and comfort those who have lost a loved one like a husband, wife or a dog. Although they are no longer alive and their body is”still,” know in your heart that they will always be”still moving.” Your loved one is still alive to you. Play the song during a memorial service or a funeral.
“The Great Divide” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 2002
A song that will have you reflecting and remembering your loved one. Although the lyrics could be about a broken relationship, they can also be about the loss of a loved one who has passed over into the great divide of death.
Nelson speaks of remembering the days of holding his loved one tight and how he misses his loved one with the passing of each season. The musical composition is beautiful, with violins playing in the background.
The melody will have you remembering the days gone past, how you spent precious moments with your loved one, and how time flies. Be ready to shed a tear or two, but the memories will put a smile on your face.
“Crazy… And Then I Wrote” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1961
This song was written by Willie Nelson and sung by Patsy Cline, and it became a huge hit. This classic ballad by Nelson speaks of being crazy in love with someone. It's a great song to play at a funeral or a memorial service. What better way to remember your spouse who has departed, they may no longer be here physically, but you're still crazy about them.
“The Harder They Come” by Willie Nelson & Friends – Stars & Guitars
Song year: 2002
Willie Nelson showcases his immense talent with an odd mix of country and reggae music. But Nelson pulls the combination of these two genres nicely. Play this song at the funeral of one who was a strong pillar in the family or community.
Play the song at the funeral of someone who went through a difficult health battle but you can now rejoice because they overcame it.
“Goin’ Home” by Willie Nelson
Song year: 1971
This song is a reflection of what has passed and of days gone. Beautiful memories will flood your mind, causing you to reflect on those who once were but are no longer with us. This song will probably bring out a mixed display of emotions, so make sure you have tissue available.
Nelson reminds us that we can't help but remember those who made an impact on our lives. If we could see them again, how wonderful that would be, but at least we have memories.
Top Willie Nelson Funeral Songs, Final Thoughts
Those were the best Willie Nelson funeral songs of all time. If your loved one that passed was a country fan, playing Willie Nelson songs will be a great idea and a great honor to that person. Willie Nelson has a wide selection of tracks that will cause one to reflect on their loved one, uplift the attendees, and encourage all to continue remembering the life of their loved one that has passed.
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