Death.  Sad. Natural. Inevitable. Every human being will experience it.

As professionals in the Death Care industry we touch death every working day.  Pehaps we are even more comfortable with the topic than most living beings.  We thought it might be interesting to look at death through the medium of music; favorite and famous songs that deal with the topic, give us a sense of how others interpret it, and are often used in the healing process of those affected by the loss of a loved one. 

In this video, I list 14 of my favorite songs pertaining to death.  There are many more – too many for me to spend time trying to discover.  So I’m hoping each visitor will use the comments box to add to this list of the most popular and thought provoking songs relating to death and/or the afterlife. 

Top 14 Songs Links

Famous Honorable Mentions

Tears In HeavenEric Clapton
After the death of his young son, the song proves that death not only causes pain and grief but can inspire beauty that enriches the world.

Candle In The WindElton John
Inspired by the death of Marilyn Monroe and then re-released in tribute to Princess Diana, the song is more about a PERSON who died, than death itself.  That being said, it’s one of the most popular, long-lasting songs inspired by a death.

When I DieBlood, Sweat and Tears
Such a positive outlook towards dying.  This is a celebration of music, life, and death.

Don’t Fear The ReaperBlue Oyster Cult
Most practical line:  “Seasons don’t fear the reaper, nor do the wind, the sun or the rain. We can be like they are.”

Bohemian RhapsodyQueen
The most creative depiction of the very-human realization that taking another’s life can lead to the just loss of one’s own. 

JackieSinead O’Conner
This song tells the story of a heartbroken maiden whose been dead for 20 years, awaiting the return of her lost lover who disappeared at sea.

Run Joey RunDavid Geddes
Pop-music crime story of paternal passion gone awry!  Father accidentally shoots daughter instead of boyfriend.

Leader Of The PackShangri-Las
Blame it on a dad protecting his daughter once again.  Bad boys beware! 

Wreck of the Edmund FitzgeraldGordon Lightfoot
A shipwreck on Lake Superior in 1975 inspired this some-what haunting ballad.  29 lives were lost.

Oh my darling ClementineBobby Darin
This classic American song tells a story not many of us clued in on!  Darin’s version is swingy and light.

The Night The Lights Went Out In GeorgiaVicki Lawrence
70’s Pop song that deals with corruption, murder, injustice, and a sister with a guilty secret.

One Tin Soldier
Popular theme song from the 1970’s quasi-karate movie Billy Jack.  Relays mythical story of Valley vs. Mountain communities that clash over a secret treasure.  An ironic, thought-provoking ending.  Greedy beware!

Billy Dont Be A Hero  – Paper Lace
A sad reality of war is that many great young men never return

Tell Laura I Love HerRay Peterson
Car crashes claim a lot of lives.  Mixed with 1950’s teen romance and car racing, this song is similar to Last Kiss – with the victim, however, professing his love versus the survivor.