If you were to compile a list of songs about death, odds are most of them would be country music songs. Country music somehow allows for a display of emotion not always found in other genres.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Best George Strait Songs for Remembering Mom and Dad
- Best Sad George Strait Songs for a Funeral
- Best Happy George Strait Songs for a Funeral
George Strait, the “King of Country”, has been in the music industry for almost fifty years. He is one of the best selling musicians of all time, irrespective of genre.
After five decades of writing music, he has many songs that could be on a playlist of funeral songs. If you’re planning a funeral Strait’s catalog is one worth flipping through. Here’s a good place to start.
COVID-19 tip: If you're hosting a Zoom funeral using a service like GatheringUs, ask your online guests to request songs them remind you of your deceased loved one, then play them during the virtual reception. Make a digital playlist of the requested songs and send the playlist's link out with your funeral thank you cards.
Country music is all about honoring your roots and where you came from. You can remember the place you grew up, or celebrate your parents. All these songs make excellent tributes.
1. “So Much Like My Dad” from "Holding My Own"
Strait is a natural storyteller. His straightforward style keeps this song from becoming too maudlin. Even though the song title is “So Much Like My Dad”, that is something of a misnomer. The song is really about the narrator’s relationship with his mother.
2. “Carrying Your Love With Me” from "Carrying Your Love With Me"
This song is usually read as an overt love song. But there’s enough nuance in the lyrics that it can work as a tribute to mom and dad. It shows you’re carrying their love with you.
3. “Love Without End, Amen” from "The Road Less Traveled/Holding My Own"
Also called “A Father’s Love” this song is one of Strait’s more religious. The opening and second stanzas are about the love between a father and son. And the final verse is about love from a heavenly father. Through it all though, the themes of love and forgiveness remain.
4. “The Best Day” from "Latest Greatest Straitest Hits"
This song follows a father and son through the years. In the first verse, a 7-year-old goes camping with his dad. In the second the son gets a classic car to restore with his father during his teen years. And in the third verse, father and son share a moment as the son prepares to get married.
5. “I Saw God Today” from "Troubadour"
In another one of Strait’s more religious songs, a new dad notes all the things around him. A flower growing from the sidewalk, a sunset, his newborn daughter are all examples of him seeing God. The song focuses on becoming a parent and how that role strengthens our relationship with God.
6. “Amarillo By Morning” from "Strait from the Heart"
This classic George Strait song represents everything zen about country music. Our protagonist lives a minimal life, traveling with only the clothes on his back.
7.“God and Country Music” from "Honky Tonk Time Machine"
In this song, God and Country Music can be stand-ins for parents. They’re always there when you need them and always have something to teach you.
8. “Troubadour” from "Troubadour"
This nostalgic honky-tonk tune is a great reminder that you’re only as old as you feel. And what you see the mirror doesn’t reflect who you are on the inside.
The line “I’ll be an old troubadour when I’m gone” says only you can decide when you’re old. Play this song to honor someone’s childlike personality.
9. “I Cross My Heart” from "Pure Country"
This lovely, heartfelt ballad is from the movie Pure Country. It’s simple and sweet. It would make a meaningful memorial song.
10. “Carried Away” from "Blue Clear Sky"
This song tells the story of a stoic and pragmatic man who finally gets swept away by love. But it’s the metaphors that make this song an appropriate choice for a memorial service.
Country music knows how to break your heart. But it can also help heal a broken heart. Sad songs like these can help funeral mourners process their grief.
11. “Baby Blue” from "If You Ain’t Lovin’, You Ain’t Livin’"
Strait’s daughter Jenifer inspired this emotional song. She died in an accident at age thirteen. It’s incredibly hard for a parent to lose a child. Strait and his family keep Jenifer’s memory alive with the Jenifer Lynn Strait Foundation.
12. “You Look So Good In Love” from "Right or Wrong"
In this song, a man realizes how beautiful his ex looks when she moves on and loves someone else. It illustrates that sometimes you don’t know how good you have it. This song would be appropriate for showing how special someone was to you.
13. “Murder on Music Row” from "For the Last Time: Live from the Astrodome"
In this duet with Alan Jackson, Strait takes on the age-old country music trope of murder. Unlike “Goodbye, Earl” or “Two Black Cadillacs” this story is about the death of country music. An over-commoditization of the genre is to blame. If you’re going to play a song about murder at a funeral, this is probably the most tasteful route to take.
14. “Give It Away” from "It Just Comes Natural"
Don’t let the jangly tune and uptempo beat fool you: this song is as sad as it comes. The message is clear: it’s heartbreaking to be the one left behind.
15. “Run” from "The Road Less Traveled"
This song is about how hard love can be over a long distance. In the context of death, it becomes much sadder. There is no distance that you can traverse to get back to your loved one.
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When you want to keep the mood more upbeat you should pick a more uplifting song. These George Strait songs will keep the mood lighter.
16. “Check Yes or No” from "Blue Clear Sky"
This is one of the sweetest songs of all time. It follows the path of true love over a lifetime. It’s sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.
17. “Write This Down” from "Always Never the Same"
George Strait might be the only person who can take a breakup song and turn it into something wholesome. The message he has for his ex is that he loves her and doesn’t want her to go, and he wants to make sure she writes it down. At a celebration of life, this tune could remind everyone to celebrate the deceased.
18. “I Got A Car” from "Love is Everything"
This recent track has Strait telling the story of two people who are game to take on life’s challenges. That includes finding their final resting place. It’s inspiring and energizing.
19. “I Just Want To Dance With You” from "One Step at a Time"
This celebratory tune is all about leaving behind the impulse to hesitate. It encourages you to follow your heart, and dance with the people you love while you can.
20. “She Let Herself Go” from "Somewhere Down in Texas"
Sometimes having something sad happen is the best thing for you. This song is about a woman who finds freedom after a loss. It shows that when a chapter ends, a new one can always start. Use this song as a reminder to keep living.
Finding the Best George Strait Song for a Loved One
George Strait is one of the finest storytellers of all time. The stories he tells are both unique and universal. Odds are, no matter what part of the human experience you want to highlight, he has a song for that. Whatever you need it for, George Strait’s music will rise to the occasion.