country songs about death
Entertainment & Playlists

60 Best Country Songs About Death

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Written By Will Fenton
Entertainment & Playlists

60 Best Country Songs About Death

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It’s probably easier to talk about the good times than the bad ones. 

But life beyond the grave is so terrifying it never misses in many people’s wildest dreams.

It can be painful to grieve the loss of a loved one. 

And the pain only gets worse if it’s a special someone you shared such a strong bond with.  

At that point, the only way to connect with your departed loved one could be through music.

Country songs about grief have a little bit of everything.

They give comfort when you desperately need it and strength to push on in times of hopelessness. 

So, let’s see our list of the 60 best country songs about death to spice up your current playlist. 

Table of Contents

1. “I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice 

Country songs about grief don’t come much sadder than Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck.”

The narrator can’t get over his brother’s death. 

Stuck in an unexplainable agony, he drives his dead sibling’s truck to aid his grieving.   

He concedes that he can’t see him anymore. 

But driving his truck one more time will probably cure the emptiness in his heart.

It’s difficult to listen to the song without shedding a tear. 

2. “The Dance” by Garth Brooks

It would probably be better if we never mentioned death in our conversations. 

But it is an inevitable fate we must all face. 

And Garth Brooks dedicates a reflective song to those who died for a dream. 

It is a bittersweet country song about the John F. Kennedys of this world that you should dedicate to a departed hero. 

3. “Go Rest High On That Mountain” by Vince Gill 

The least you can do when mourning a loved one is wish them eternal rest and hope to meet in the afterlife. 

That’s Vince Gill’s message in his powerful 1995 funeral song

The deceased can rest peacefully now the life of sorrow is over. 

It is one of the best country songs about death, winning Grammy awards in the Best Country Song and Best Male Country Performance categories. 

4. “You Should Be Here” by Cole Swindell 

Death is so unexpected it leaves a void almost impossible to fill. 

And, shocked by his father’s death, Cole Swindell recorded a touching tribute to someone who had a massive influence on his life. 

The song has become a funeral staple in recent years, with mourners always resonating with its lyrics. 

Cole’s only wish is to be with his father one more time. 

The same feeling anybody would have from losing a loved one. 

5. “Cryin’ For Me” by Toby Keith 

Toby Keith wrote a touching tribute to Wayman Tisdale, a friend with whom they shared their love for basketball, jazz music, and Oklahoma. 

He sadly passed away in 2009 after a battle with cancer. 

Keith recalls that his friend was a “great guy with a charismatic smile and the closest thing to Jesus I met.”

You will want to assure your friend that you will hold onto the wonderful memories in life and death. 

6. “One More Day” by Diamond Rio 

This Diamond Rio song is specifically about losing a loved one. 

The singer isn’t bothered by money or the materialistic things many people dream about. 

Instead, he only dreams of that one chance.

One more chance with his departed acquaintance.  

Won’t you have the same feeling if you lost your loved one? 

7. “Whiskey Lullaby” by Brad Paisley ft. Alison Krauss

Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss tell the story of pain, heartache, and guilt in their 2003 country song. 

Read more:  15 Best Justin Bieber Songs of All Time (Greatest Hits)

The song follows the painful story of a couple affected by their painful separation. 

They end up on the same tragic path, drinking themselves to death following the lost love. 

It is one of the saddest country songs about losing someone special.

And there couldn’t be a better person to tell the story than the incredibly talented music duo. 

8. “Why” by Rascal Flatts 

Rascal Flatts’ “Why” is a delicate ballad about suicide. 

It is written from the perspective of those remaining behind.  

The guilt and the “why” question never go away after suicide. 

And the band members can’t find the right answers in this song. 

See also: Best Rascal Flatts Songs

9. “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood 

Sometimes the best way to show love to a departed hero is to let go. 

And Carrie Underwood’s hopeful lyrics in her 2012 country song will give you the strength to do so. 

The song is about accepting the loss and moving on.

You remain hopeful that you will probably be reunited in heaven when the time comes. 

10. “Drink A Beer” by Luke Bryan 

Luke Bryan’s country ballad captures the singer’s emotions upon losing his brother and sister. 

His loneliness and grief are well captured in the lyrics. 

Many people relate to the touching tune, especially those who’ve lost a sibling. 

11. “Travelin’ Soldier” by The Chicks

Stories of American soldiers coming home or dying in the war aren’t strange in country music. 

And this emotional piece is about a teenage girl waiting for her lover to return from the war. 

The imagery is there for everyone to see, painting a picture of a truly incredible piece of art. 

12. “Who You’d Be Today” by Kenny Chesney 

Kenny Chesney’s “Who You’d Be Today” is an emotional country song about dying young.

The lyrics speak directly to the victims of premature death. 

You keep wondering how their lives would be had they been alive today. 

It’s the perfect country song to dedicate to your loved one whenever you miss them. 

13. “I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal Flatts 

Sometimes, all we can do is hold onto the beautiful memories of a departed loved one. 

And the uplifting lyrics in this song are about moving on. 

It brings the strength and the hope you need to overcome the bad times. 

14. “If Tomorrow Never Comes” by Garth Brooks 

What would you do differently if this were your last day on earth?

Garth Brooks challenges us to take a hard look at ourselves by reflecting on our paths.

It is a beautiful song with a universal message of love.

If tomorrow never came, would the deceased know how much you loved them? 

15. “If You’re Reading This” by Tim McGraw 

Tim McGraw’s emotional song is the perfect tribute to the loved ones who never returned from the war. 

The lyrics become even more painful as the circumstances unravel. 

And by the time you finish listening to the song, you will want to call your loved one to express how much you love them. 

16. “What Hurts The Most” by Rascal Flatts 

What hurts the most about death is separation from the ones you love. 

While the narrator in Rascal Flatt’s country song laments lost love, the lyrics also suit the theme of death.

When you are separated from your loved one by death, you will probably want to relive the memories by listening to these lyrics. 

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

This song takes the narrator to a dreamland, wishing he could spend time with his departed loved ones in heaven. 

It is about the pain of missing dead loved ones. 

And you can’t help but wish to spend just one day with them in heaven. 

Justin Moore released his single in 2011 as part of his “Outlaws Like Me” studio album of the same year. 

18. “There You’ll Be” by Faith Hill 

One thing that made Faith Hill stand out in the 90s and 2000s music era is her powerful voice. 

And this 2001 power ballad finds her thinking about her deceased loved ones.

The touching song expresses a feeling of sadness.

But there’s also a feeling of optimism that the departed souls will always watch over us.

19. “Over You” by Miranda Lambert 

Outdone by emotions, Blake Shelton collaborated with Miranda Lambert in 2013 to give us one of the best country songs about loss. 

Shelton was overcome with grief following his brother’s death in a fatal car crash.

The lyrics are hauntingly moving and sung in a way only Blake Shelton could. 

20. “Sissy’s Song” by Alan Jackson 

The American country music singer released this song as part of his 2009 “Good Time” album. 

His housekeeper’s death inspired the lyrics. 

And the song captures the general mood around death. 

The pain. 

The emptiness.

And the acceptance.

It’s all in the moving acoustic ballad. 

21. “Holes in the Floor of Heaven” by Steve Wariner 

Steve Wariner’s “Holes in the Floor of Heaven” is one of the saddest country singles you will ever find. 

The lyrics described the passing of the singer’s grandmother when he was just a little boy. 

It only gets worse when his young wife also passes on later on. 

The comforting lyrics affirm that the dead watch over us from heaven. 

And we hope the singer finally found the strength to move on. 

22. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones 

George Jones’ song is about a love many people can only dream of. 

When you love someone so much, nothing will ever come between you. 

The man in the song vows to stop loving the woman only when he dies. 

And he keeps his word. 

23. “Sweet Old World” by Lucinda Williams 

This song sees Lucinda Williams remembering a dead acquaintance who had committed suicide. 

She can’t get over the loss.

And the song is more about the aftermath of the tragic experience. 

She can’t stop asking questions. 

But we are pretty sure she won’t get the answers right now. 

24. “Believe” by Brooks & Dunn 

Brooks and Dunn’s emotional ballad tells the story of a man reflecting on his friendship with a neighbor, Old Man Wrigley. 

Read more:  15 Best Demi Lovato Songs of All Time (Greatest Hits)

It is written from the perspective of faith that many country music lovers resonate with.

25. “You’re Gone” by Diamond Rio 

The pain of losing a loved one is unbearable. 

And it can get even worse when you realize that the one lying inside the coffin is the same person who loved you unconditionally. 

That’s what makes Diamond Rio’s 1998 country song a timeless classic. 

The lyrics will have you reflecting on memorable moments in your life. 

But in the end, you must accept that death is according to God’s plan. 

And the best you can do is move on. 

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

This is an emotional song about love and death.

If your departed loved one believed in the afterlife, this is the best way to remember them. 

27. “Don’t Blink” by Kenny Chesney 

This song describes the different stages in life, exploring the life of a 102-year-old man. 

It affirms the need to cherish every moment. 

Because that’s what matters in the end. 

The beautiful song is about how things will unravel in your life.

And in just one blink, you could be gone from everyone’s eyes, never to be seen or heard from again. 

28. “If I Had Only Known” by Reba McEntire 

There’s an old cliché that says we don’t appreciate what we have till it’s gone. 

And no artist could put it any better than Reba McEntire in her 1991 song. 

The track is about the regret of losing someone so dear to your heart.

But if you reflect on your lives, you realize that you took all the memories for granted. 

It’s only in death that people understand the pain of missing a loved one. 

If only you could get another chance with your departed loved one. 

29. “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” by Glen Campbell 

Sometimes you find yourself loving someone so much you can’t imagine living without them.

And it’s fair to say Glen’s loved ones felt the same when the singer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 

The heartbreaking song expresses the singer’s message to his wife and children as his memory slowly begins to fail. 

He wants to express his love one last time before the memories fade. 

He doesn’t know the pain his family is going through. 

But assures that he will be okay. 

The song won a Grammy Award in the Best Country Song category. 

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

Keith Whitley’s “I’m No Stranger To The Rain” is a song about enduring life’s storms. 

It’s about survival in the face of adversities, knowing better things are yet to come. 

And that’s what some call redemption. 

Unfortunately, this was Keith’s last single to occupy the #1 spot on the US Hot Country Songs chart before he died in 1989 from alcohol poisoning. 

31. “A Lot Of Things Different” by Kenny Chesney 

Kenny Chesney oozes poetic lyrics in his 2003 country song about life’s regrets. 

The song is about regret and a desire for second chances. 

It’s basically what everybody experiences in life.

Going back to your past life and reflecting on the things you should have done better. 

32. “Lead Me Home” by Jamey Johnson 

In the midst of the pain and sorrow, the general belief is that the dead are finally reunited with their creator in a happy, peaceful place. 

That’s the message of this song, with the narrator convinced he’s lived to the fullest.

And death is just but the beginning of a new life, away from the “sweet world of sorrow.” 

33. “A Picture Of Me” by George Jones

George Jones’ golden oldie expresses the importance of caring for your loved ones when you can. 

Imagine a world where music is not playing, nobody is praying, and there’s no blue in the sky. 

Then suddenly, you picture yourself alone without your lover. 

It’s heart-rending every minute. 

And you don’t want to feel the emptiness before you show more affection to your loved ones. 

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

Patty Loveless’ song follows the story of a woman who experiences three huge losses in her life.

She was separated from her best friend as a child before losing her husband and mother. 

It’s the touching lyrics that will make you shed a tear. 

The lyrics are general but could still fit the context of saying goodbye to a departed loved one. 

Loveless’ incomparable storytelling ability is dominant throughout the song. 

And that’s one reason we think you will like it. 

35. “I Still Miss You” by Keith Anderson 

It’s hard to move on when you were so close to the deceased.

Keith Anderson initially wrote this song about a lost love. 

However, it took a new meaning when his mother suffered from brain cancer.

It’s perfect for grieving a loved one. 

36. “Clouds” by Montgomery Gentry 

Montgomery Gentry’s “Clouds” is one of the greatest country songs about missing a departed loved one. 

The narrator wonders if the deceased is somewhere up in the clouds. 

And hopes they will be reunited in the next life. 

“Clouds rolling by way up high/Sometimes I wonder if you’re up/There in the clouds.”

37. “Temporary Home” by Carrie Underwood 

The lyrics of this Carrie Underwood’s beautiful song resonate with all Christians who believe in afterlife.

It describes how the earth is just but a temporary home. 

And that heaven is the ultimate destination. 

It is a heartfelt song that echoes a message of hope. 

38. “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry 

If you need something to give you a new perception of life, The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” is the one. 

It brings out the theme of premature death.

Luckily, the woman in the song has no regrets.

She’s convinced to have lived her best life and only hopes for an elegant funeral now that her time on earth is over. 

As Kimberly describes it, this song is more about life and the theme of contentment rather than pain, sorrow, and death. 

She notices a familiar theme: people only remember you when you are gone. 

39. “Die A Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett 

What would make you die a happy man? 

Read more:  14 Best Grateful Dead Songs of All Time (Greatest Hits)

For Thomas Young, only genuine love could make him contented. 

And he gets it from her beautiful wife already.

So why not record a beautiful song to tell the whole world about it? 

The romantic masterpiece comes straight from the singer’s heart. 

And that’s probably what you would need to pay tribute to a departed acquaintance. 

40. “25 Minutes To Go” by Johnny Cash 

Remember those classic songs about gallows humor?

This is one of them, with the narrator singing about his inevitable execution. 

The song expresses the sentiments of someone awaiting his doom.

And every minute takes him closer to the grave. 

41. “I Called Mama” by Tim McGraw 

Tim McGraw’s 2020 country song reminds us to hold our loved ones dearly. 

It’s about showing our loved ones the affection they deserve when we still can. 

The song isn’t just meant for mothers. 

It could be a friend, a father, or a lover. 

But the universal message is the power of love and how we should express it. 

42. “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe 

For Christians, the ultimate goal is to meet Jesus Christ. 

And that’s only possible after death. 

Bart Millard brings out such sentiments in this song, imagining the joy of coming face to face with our Lord. 

The song will give you peace, knowing your departed loved ones are in a better place. 

The imagery in the song compliments the beautiful lyrics, with the narrator imagining walking next to God and falling on his knees. 

Indeed, everyone can only imagine. 

43. “Go On Without Me” by Brett Eldredge 

“Every man has his place in time/Everyone has a loved one they leave behind/Even though I’m not there with you/I’m watching from a distance, Just wishin’ that you knew.” 

True love also means having the courage to move on. 

Even though they are gone, you still have beautiful memories to hold onto. 

And that’s Brett Eldredge’s message in his 2013 country song. 

44. “If I Don’t Make It Back” by Tracy Lawrence 

“If I Don’t Make It Back” resonates with all the soldiers who didn’t make it back from the war. 

It connects with every soldier’s inner side. 

The soft spot for families and loved ones is what Tracy Lawrence brings out in this song. 

The soldier isn’t scared by the war or the battlefield. 

But the thought of never coming back to their loved ones sends a shiver up his spine. 

Even if they don’t come back alive, remember them for the special people they were. 

45. “I Can’t Write That” by Jeff Bates 

Dealing with loss is so painful the narrator can’t wrap his head around it. 

He doesn’t want to write about it because he will have to relive the memories. 

And reliving the memories only worsens the pain. 

46. “I’m Already There” by Lonestar 

This is the perfect song to listen to when you miss someone you love. 

It isn’t necessarily about funerals but can complete your playlist when you miss your dead loved ones. 

47. “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw

Only a few artists can bring out the theme of loss quite as well as Tim McGraw.

And in this soulful country song, the singer encourages the listeners to live their best lives. 

You never know when everything will come to an end. 

So, you better enjoy the moment while you still can. 

You don’t want to be in a situation where you are battling death and illnesses to appreciate the little things you took for granted.

48. “When a Hero Falls” by Stephen Cochran 

“When A Hero Falls” is another one in the long list of military-themed country songs. 

And the 2007 country song captures the somber mood of losing a loved one in the military. 

The bright tempo might be all you need to have a more positive outlook on death rather than sadness. 

49. “When I Get Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley 

Brad Paisley’s “When I Get Where I’m Going” resonates with many listeners because of the relatable lyrics. 

The man in the song narrates his journey to heaven. 

And when he gets there, “there’ll only be happy tears.” 

This song will lift your spirits if you’ve lost someone close to you. 

Paisley imagines the afterlife.

And the peace that his loved one is finally in a better place. 

No more pain and suffering. 

50. “If I Could Only Bring You Back” by Joe Diffie 

Many people dream of getting a second chance with their departed loved ones. 

And this song expresses a yearning to reunite with a departed loved one, even for a single day. 

51. “Angels Among Us” by Alabama 

A special someone in your life is only comparable to an angel on earth. 

And when the lead singer Becky Hobbs survived a car accident, she could only relate the miraculous event to the works of a guardian angel. 

The heartwarming song has continued to inspire generations, giving everyone hope that there’s always someone watching over them. 

52. “Threaten Me With Heaven” by Vince Gill 

Death is only as terrifying as we want to make it appear.

But if you believe in the afterlife, there’s much to look forward to when you finally die. 

The narrator can’t wait to go to heaven. 

Vince Gill doesn’t deviate from his classic soothing voice with careful word selection. 

It is just what you need to embrace God’s love.

And hopefully, get over the fear of dying. 

53. “Boulder to Birmingham” by Emmylou Harris

Emmylou Harris wrote this song to mourn her touring partner, Gram Parsons. 

Coincidentally, it also became her signature song, with the heart-wrenching chorus making it popular.

“I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham/I would hold my life in his saving grace/I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham/If I thought I could see, I could see your face.”

Quite simply, the sentiments resonate with anyone who’s lost a loved one. 

54. “If Something Should Happen” by Darryl Worley 

The upbeat country song expresses a father’s anxiety about dying and leaving his wife and son behind. 

Thankfully, he has his best friend to take care of his loved ones should the inevitable happen. 

55. “Three Wooden Crosses” by Randy Travis

In the world of country songs about grief, there are a few sadder hits than Randy Travis’ 2002 ballad. 

The song tells the story of three characters killed in a crash.

It is the song to kick-start your redemption journey.

The grouping is odd.

But the lyrics are inspiring enough to make you change your sinful ways.

56. “The Funeral” by Hank Williams 

“The Funeral” song by Hank Williams describes the story of a black kid’s funeral.

If his natural humor hadn’t made Williams famous enough, singing about a funeral surely did. 

Unfortunately, this is also one of his few songs that received plenty of backlashes. 

In all honesty, the lyrics are somewhat unacceptable by today’s standards. 

57. “Love, Me” by Collin Raye 

Collin Raye’s hit has been sung for years. 

It’s been played on radio stations and funeral services, with a strong message about undying love.

True love endures anything, from hardships to pain, old age, and death. 

58. “Thank-You” by Johnny Reid

Listen to Johnny Reid’s song when your heart is too full, and you can’t find the right words to express your appreciation. 

It expresses the sincerest form of love and gratitude that will want to dedicate to your deceased loved one. 

59. “Chiseled In Stone” by Vern Gosdin 

“Chiseled In Stone” is a great country music tune with the power to evoke emotions. 

It’s about how quickly events change in our lives.

And the importance of cherishing what we have while we still can. 

If you have a thriving relationship, treasure it before it’s too late because you don’t want to know what loneliness feels like. 

60. “Last Day Of My Life” by Phil Vassar 

The last song on our list is a ballad written by Phil Vassar and Tim Ryan.

It is an important life lesson and a beautiful love song. 

After attending a friend’s burial service, the singer realizes he should spend more time with his loved ones. 

He vows to dedicate more time and affection to his lover as if tomorrow will never come. 

Best Country Songs About Death – Final Thoughts 

It can be painful to talk about death.

It’s even sadder to grieve the loss of a loved one.  

But country music is there to walk you through the journey of grief. 

Country songs are comforting, uplifting, and inspiring. 

And there are countless hits you could play on repeat to steady your nerves when you need it.

The top 60 songs on our list are a great starting point to aid your grieving.  

Some songs will give you the strength to keep pushing when all seems lost. 

While others are meant to comfort, uplift, and inspire you by giving you the courage to overcome death

We hope you will create the perfect playlist to give you comfort when you need it. 

Similar Playlists:

Best Country Songs

Best Country Love Songs

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Will Fenton

Introduced to good music at a young age through my father. The first record I remember being played was "Buffalo Soldier" by Bob Marley, I must've been six years old. By the time I was seven, I was taking drum lessons once a week. The challenge but the euphoric feeling of learning a new song was addicting, and I suppose as they say the rest was history. Favorite album of all time? Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones Best gig you've ever been to? Neil Young at Desert Trip in 2016 Media mentions: Evening Standard Daily Mail

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