The future of music

58 Best Goodbye Songs

December 6, 2023
goodbye songs

I’ve carefully selected a collection of heartfelt goodbye songs, each capturing the bittersweet emotions of farewells and partings.

This article offers a musical embrace for those moments when words fall short, but a song can speak volumes.

Table of Contents

Top Goodbye songs

  • Eric Clapton – “Tears In Heaven”
  • Placebo – “Song To Say Goodbye”
  • James Blunt – “Goodbye My Lover”
  • Billie Eilish – “Goodbye”
  • Madonna – “The Power Of Good-Bye”
  • Paul Simon – “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”
  • Franz Ferdinand – “Billy Goodbye”
  • Sunrise Avenue – “Hollywood Hills”
  • Green Day – “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”
  • NSYNC – “Bye Bye Bye”

1. Eric Clapton – “Tears In Heaven”

Without a doubt, “Tears In Heaven” is one of the most popular farewell songs.

Eric Clapton wrote it after the tragic death of his 4-year old son, Conor. It was his way of saying goodbye.

It’s a sentimental song full of love, longing, and heartache.

“I’ll find my way
Through night and day
‘Cause I know, I just can’t stay
Here in heaven.”

2. Placebo – “Song To Say Goodbye”

The title says it all. It’s clearly one of the songs about saying goodbye.

And it has Placebo’s recognizable mood.

Yes, it’s a rather dark song. But it’s also powerful, and it captures the essence of having to say goodbye perfectly.

3. James Blunt – “Goodbye My Lover”

If you’re searching for romantic songs to say goodbye to, this one is for you.

It’s a sad leaving song about a girl James Blunt dated. He wrote the song years after the relationship ended.

Did I disappoint you or let you down?
Should I be feeling guilty or let the judges frown?
‘Cause I saw the end, before we’d begun
Yes, I saw you were blind and I knew I had won.

4. Billie Eilish – “Goodbye”

On her debut studio album, Billie Eilish released a hauntingly beautiful song for saying goodbye.

It’s melancholic and dreamy, just as you would expect from Billie Eilish. 

Don’t ask questions
Wait a minute
Don’t you know I’m no good for you?

5. Madonna – “The Power Of Good-Bye”

“The Power Of Good-Bye” is arguably one of Madonna’s most captivating songs.

It’s very sentimental and almost spiritual, and it tells a relatable story of saying goodbye.

The lyrics are also very thoughtful.

Your heart is not open, so I must go
The spell has been broken, I loved you so
Freedom comes when you learn to let go
Creation comes when you learn to say no.

6. Paul Simon – “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”

When it comes to songs about leaving, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” is definitely a classic.

Paul Simon gave us only 5 ways to leave your lover though.

I’d like to help you in your struggle
To be free
There must be fifty ways
To leave your lover.

7. Franz Ferdinand – “Billy Goodbye”

Released in 2021, “Billy Goodbye” is proof that we’re not saying goodbye to Franz Ferdinand.

It’s one of the happy goodbye songs you can even dance to.

Bye bye, Billy goodbye
When it comes to recollecting
Don’t forget the best bits.

8. Sunrise Avenue – “Hollywood Hills”

“Hollywood Hills” is one of the most sentimental songs about moving away.

The lyrics can also be interpreted as leaving this world, but that’s for you to decide.

Bye bye, Hollywood Hills
I’m gonna miss you, where ever I go
I’m gonna come back to walk these streets again
Bye bye.

9. Green Day – “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”

“Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” is one of the popular graduation and high school farewell songs.

It’s about the acceptance of leaving certain things in life behind. It’s like an end of a chapter. 

It’s something unpredictable
But in the end, it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life.

10. NSYNC – “Bye Bye Bye”

“Bye Bye Bye” was definitely one of the most popular goodbye songs in the early 2000s.

Young Justin Timberlake, a suitable choreography, and a pure boy band vibe; it’s just iconic.

I know that I can’t take no more
It ain’t no lie
I want to see you out that door
Baby bye bye bye.

11. Jorja Smith – “Goodbyes”

“Goodbyes” by Jorja Smith is one of those beautifully sad goodbye songs.

Jorja wrote it when she was 16. It’s about her friend who passed away.

‘Cause they’re never coming back down
They belong to the stars in the clouds
Goodbyes, good times
L-O-V-E was all for you.

12. Rihanna – “Farewell”

The message of Rihanna’s “Farewell” is pretty clear.

The song is about the pain of letting your lover go. And it’s about realizing that’s the right thing to do.

‘So farewell
Somebody is gonna miss you
Somebody is gonna wish that you were here
That somebody is me.

13. Coldplay – “See You Soon”

‘In a bulletproof vest
With the windows all closed
I’ll be doing my best
I’ll see you soon.

It’s much easier to say “see you soon” than “goodbye.”

And sometimes that might as well turn out to be true.

14. The Beatles – “Hello, Goodbye”

When it comes to funny goodbye songs, it doesn’t get more iconic than “Hello, Goodbye.”

It’s a nice positivity boost for less positive situations. Always look on the bright side of life, right?

“You say, “Goodbye” and I say, “Hello, hello, hello.”

15. Rusted Root – “Send Me On My Way”

“Send Me On My Way” is also one of the upbeat goodbye songs.

In a way, this song will help you accept unpredictable changes in your life.

You’re right where you’re supposed to be!

16. LP – “Goodbye”

Laura Pergolizzi, known as LP, released an uplifting goodbye song in 2021.

It’s a song about saying goodbye, letting go, and finally moving on. It’s about setting yourself free.

“And I don’t know why all I do is try
It’s a lonely night that talks to me, talks to me
And it takes its toll on the sweetest soul
To release into peace and to tell yourself to let it go.”

17. Tegan and Sara – “Goodbye, Goodbye”

“Goodbye, Goodbye” by Tegan and Sara will help you find the courage to say the word.

And eventually, a strong need to see and hear that other person will simply vanish.

I don’t wanna
Feel the need
To hear your voice.”

18. Sam Smith – “Too Good At Goodbyes”

And maybe you feel like you’re too good at goodbyes?

Well, it can be scary to get close to someone; there’s always a risk of getting hurt. But does that mean you should say goodbye right away?

“But every time you hurt me, the less that I cry
And every time you leave me, the quicker these tears dry.”

19. Maroon 5 – “This Love”

When you have a feeling that something has to come to an end, that’s usually a sign that it should.

In “This Love”, Adam Levine believes that his relationship has taken its toll on him.

Just like Sam Smith, his girl said goodbye too many times before.

“This love has taken its toll on me
She said goodbye too many times before
And her heart is breakin’ in front of me
And I have no choice
‘Cause I won’t say goodbye anymore.”

20. Pink – “Please Don’t Leave Me”

In her contagious 2009 hit, Pink doesn’t want to say goodbye.

“Please Don’t Leave Me” is a song about a love-hate relationship and it actually alludes to the breakup of Pink’s marriage.
“I always say how I don’t need you
But it’s always gonna come right back to this
Please, don’t leave me.”

21. Woody Guthrie – “Dusty Old Dust (So Long It’s Been Good to Know Yuh)”

This is one of the classic saying goodbye songs.

“Dusty Old Dust” was first released in 1935, so it’s fair to say it’s rather timeless.

“So long, it’s been good to know yuh
This dusty old dust is a-gettin’ my home
And I’ve got to be driftin’ along.”

22. Smashing Pumpkins – “Farewell and Goodnight”

This is one of the tender songs of farewell.

It has a calm and nostalgic melody and heartfelt lyrics.

“Goodnight my love to every hour in every day
Goodnight always to all that’s in your heart.”

23. Apparat – “Goodbye”

“Goodbye” by Apparat hits different.

It featured in the TV Shows “Dark” and “Breaking Bad.”

It’s definitely one of the most captivating goodbye songs.

“Lay down next to me
Don’t listen when I scream
Bury your doubts and fall asleep.”

24. Feder and Lyse – “Goodbye”

After being released in 2015, “Goodbye” by Feder and Lyse quickly became a universal hit.

They sampled The Dø’s “The Bridge Is Broken” and made a memorable, contagious track.

“Now I’m living
My own life
Got you out of my path
I’ve been wasting
Too much time
Gonna leave you far behind.”

25. DeVotchKa – “How It Ends”

If you’re looking for songs about endings, look no further than “How It Ends” by DeVotchKa.

It’s a beautiful, genuine, and emotionally intense song.  

“No longer shall you need
You always wanted to believe
Just ask and you’ll receive
Beyond your wildest dreams.”

26. Led Zeppelin – “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”

Speaking of emotionally intense songs, for some reason “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” immediately comes to mind.

It’s powerful, sad, energetic, nostalgic. It’s everything you need from a goodbye song.

27. Leonard Cohen – “So Long, Marianne”

Yes, songs about saying goodbye to a loved one can be pretty emotional. But “So Long, Marianne” is somewhat hopeful and calming.

It was inspired by Cohen’s girlfriend Marianne Ihlen who was previously left by her husband, a Norwegian writer Axel.

“Now so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began
To laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again. “

28. Supertramp – “Goodbye Stranger”

“It was an early morning yesterday
I was up before the dawn
And I really have enjoyed my stay
But I must be moving on.”

“Goodbye Stranger” is one of the classic songs about leaving and moving on.

Just be careful: it might inspire you to pack your bags and go on a long road trip.

29. The Temper Trap – “Sweet Disposition”

“Sweet Disposition” could easily be categorized as one of the goodbye songs for friends.

Rather than mentioning sad goodbyes, “Sweet Disposition” talks about appreciating moments.

In a way, it’s about love, youth, and not giving up.

“Just stay there
‘Cause I’ll be coming over
While our blood’s still young
It’s so young, it runs
Won’t stop ’til it’s over
Won’t stop to surrender.”

30. Blink 182 – “Going Away To College”

Well, who would write a song about going away to college if not Blink 182?

This is also a song that celebrates (or condemns?) young love and all the complex feelings it entails.

“I haven’t been this scared in a long time
And I’m so unprepared, so here’s your valentine
Bouquet of clumsy words, a simple melody
This world’s an ugly place, but you’re so beautiful.”

31. Glass Animals – “The Other Side Of Paradise”

You can interpret “The Other Side Of Paradise” however you want.

Either way, it’s a rather quirky and catchy indie tune.

“Bye bye baby blue
I wish you could see the wicked truth
Caught up in a rush, it’s killing you
Screaming at the sun, you blow into.”

32. Fleetwood Mac – “Go Your Own Way”

It’s not easy to experience unrequited love.  

And sometimes, the only and the best thing to do is to go your own way.

“Loving you
Isn’t the right thing to do
How can I ever change things
That I feel.”

33. Phillip Phillips – “Gone, Gone, Gone”

After you separate from someone you love, the feelings you have for that person will not fade away so easily.

And “Gone, Gone, Gone” talks about these “after feelings”; it’s about being (and wanting to be) there for someone even after saying goodbye.

“For you, for you
Baby, I’m not moving on
I’ll love you long after you’re gone.”

34. The Four Seasons – “Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye)”

Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye) is hands down one of the most memorable and charming goodbye songs.

It’s incredible how music can be cheerful and heartbreaking at the same time.

“I could love you but why begin it
‘Cause there ain’t any future in it
She’s got me and I’m not free.”

 35. Duffy – “Warwick Avenue”

“I’m leaving you for the last time, baby
You think you’re loving but you don’t love me
I’ve been confused, out of my mind lately
You think you’re loving but I want to be free
Baby you’ve hurt me.”

In her signature song “Warwick Avenue”, Duffy is leaving her lover for the last time.

And she is doing it with a lot of charm.

36. Beyoncé – “Sorry”

The price you pay for not being faithful to Beyoncé is having a studio album written about all the things you’ve done.

And “Sorry” is Beyoncé’s way of saying “I’m fine without you. Bye.”

“Middle fingers up, put them hands high
Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye
Tell him, boy, bye, middle fingers up
I ain’t thinking ’bout you.”

37. MARINA – “Goodbye”

Marina Diamandis released her version of a song for saying goodbye in 2021.

And in “Goodbye”, she’s also talking about her old self. Sometimes that’s the most important goodbye we say.

“Goodbye to the girl that I’d been
Goodbye to the girl that I was
Goodbye to the girl that you lost.”

38. Cage The Elephant – “Goodbye”

“Goodbye” by Cage The Elephant is one of the sentimental songs about saying goodbye.

It’s touching, delicate, and nostalgic.

“All my life I read between the lines
Held on too tight
You know I tried
But in the end it left me paralyzed
It’s alright
Goodbye, goodbye.”

39. Wolf Alice – “Don’t Delete The Kisses”

“Don’t Delete The Kisses” by Wolf Alice is also nostalgic, but in a different way.

It’s somehow very lively and hopeful.

“But I can’t, I’m too scared
And here’s the night bus, I have to go
And the doors are closing, and you were waving
And I like you, and I’ll never let it show.”

40. Bon Jovi – “Never Say Goodbye”

This is one of the good songs to say goodbye to a friend.

“Never Say Goodbye” is about remembering the good old days and wishing for some things to always stay the same.

“Never say goodbye
Never say goodbye

You and me and my old friends
Hoping it would never end.”

41. Bee Gees – “Don’t Forget To Remember”

After you have to say goodbye to someone, you also want to say: don’t forget to remember.

In a way, we never truly leave people and places.

“Oh my heart won’t believe that you have left me
I keep telling my self that it’s true
I can get over anything you want my love
But I can’t get myself over you.”

42. Blue Boy – “Remember Me”

“Remember Me” by Blue Boy is definitely one of the upbeat goodbye songs.

It’s a sample of Marlena Shaw’s live version of “Woman Of The Ghetto.”

43. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Don’t Forget Me”

“Don’t Forget Me” is another way of saying goodbye.

Whether it’s your friend, lover, or a bad habit you’re saying goodbye to.

“I could show you to the free field
Overcome and more will always be revealed
Not alone, I’ll be there
Tell me when you want to go.”

44. Ghostpoet – “Sorry My Love, It’s You Not Me”

Ghostpoet’s “Sorry My Love, It’s You Not Me” is a unique, captivating song about leaving.

Well, saying “Sorry, it’s you not me” to someone would definitely be a dealbreaker.

45. Ed Sheeran – “Castle On The Hill”

“Castle On The Hill” can be described as one of the songs about leaving home.

It’s Ed Sheeran’s nostalgic look back at his childhood and the place he grew up in.

46. DMX – “Goodbye”

In “Goodbye”, DMX is rapping about all the people he lost without having a chance to say goodbye.

We all need closures to move on, and this song will help you appreciate the opportunity to say goodbye.

47. Noah And The Whale – “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.”

There’s something that DMX and Noah And The Whale agree on: life goes on.

What you don’t have now will come back again
You’ve got heart, and you’re going your own way.”

48. Kasabian – “Goodbye Kiss”

There’s something very sad and final about the term “goodbye kiss.”

And it’s the same with Kasabian’s 2011 track.

“Maybe the days we had are gone
Living in silence for too long
Open your eyes and what do you see
No more laughs
No more photographs.”

49. Spice Girls – “Goodbye”

You can also say goodbye in Spice Girls style.

As it turns out, they’re pretty optimistic about it.

“Goodbye my friend
I know you’re gone, you said you’re gone
But I can still feel you here
It’s not the end.”

50. Alicia Keys – “Goodbye”

Alicia Keys released “Goodbye” on her debut studio album.

It’s a tender and soulful song about the end of a relationship.

51. Kings of Leon – “The End”

Kings of Leon recorded one of the most captivating songs about endings.

There’s something very heartbreaking in the line: “This could be the end.”

52. Pearl Jam – “Last Kiss”

At first, you might think that “Last Kiss” is one of the happy goodbye songs.

And then you look at the lyrics and story behind it: the song is based on the true story of Jeanette Clark and J.L. Hancock who died in a car crash when they were 16.

“Oh, where oh where can my baby be?
The Lord took her away from me
She’s gone to heaven, so I got to be good
So I can see my baby when I leave this world.”

53. John Mayer – “No Such Thing”

In  “No Such Thing”, John Mayer is reflecting on his high school years.

It’s also a song about leaving certain parts of yourself behind and forging your own path.

54. Roosevelt – “Moving On”

Once you say goodbye to a person or a place, the only thing left to do is to start moving on.

And that’s always easier with good music.

55. Simple Minds – “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”

If you’re looking for famous songs to say goodbye to, this one is for you.

“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” is a timeless classic. And it’s still a popular hit on the radio.

56. Cat Power – “I’ll Be Seeing You”

In “I’ll Be Seeing You”, Cat Power tackles the topic of leaving in such a gentle way.

It’s a song full of sweet romance, respect, and tenderness.

“I’ll be seeing you
Every lovely summer’s day
And everything that’s light and gay
I’ll always think of you that way.”

57. Nick Mulvey – “Begin Again”

Listening to Nick Mulvey’s inspiring music will help you to process your thoughts.

Whether you want to move forward or begin again, you’ll be sure to make the right decision.

58. Billy Boyd – “The Last Goodbye”

“The Last Goodbye” was featured in “The Hobbit” trilogy, and it’s arguably one of the best film farewell songs.

Therefore, it’s a perfect ending to our little goodbye playlist.

“And though where the road then takes me
I cannot tell
We came all this way
But now comes the day
To bid you farewell.”

Final Thoughts

We created a list of our favorite goodbye songs, but don’t worry – we’re not going anywhere!

If you’re ready to say goodbye or you’re missing someone, these songs can help you deal with uneasy emotions.

Saying goodbye can actually feel very strange. We are creatures of habits, after all.

On the other hand, goodbye songs can be happy. They can remind you of all the good experiences.

And if you’re saying goodbye to toxic people or unhealthy habits, the feeling can be quite liberating.

In the end, everybody has their own reasons and ways of saying goodbye, as you can see in our today’s playlist.  

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Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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