40+ Touching Songs About Losing a Friend


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It can be so difficult to lose a friend. It’s easy to feel all alone, particularly because that friend might have been the exact person you’d turn to when you felt sad.

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Use some of these songs to assist you to write a eulogy for a friend. You may also appreciate one of our additional resources that lists poignant quotes about losing a friend. These songs about death may help you put the heartache you’re feeling into words.

Post-planning tip: If you have been made the executor for a deceased friend, it's tough to handle both the emotional and technical aspects of their unfinished business without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.

Sad Songs About Losing a Friend

Example of a sad song about losing a friend over an image of two people sitting together

No matter what, losing a friend is difficult. But it’s especially painful when you lose a friend to death. Here are some songs that reference a friend’s passing.

1. “Gone Too Soon” by Michael Jackson

Although several artists performed this song for many different reasons, Michael Jackson’s “Gone Too Soon” was written about the death of teenager Ryan White.

White was asked to leave school after receiving an AIDS diagnosis. The song was later performed at Jackson’s own funeral.

2. “Etta’s Tune” by Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash sang this song about the wife of a member of Johnny Cash’s band. The marriage between Etta and her guitarist husband, Marshall Grant, lasted 65 years. 

3. “I’ll Remember You” by Thea Gilmore

“I’ll Remember You” has not received the recognition it deserves. Not only is it a beautiful song, but it would be the perfect choice to play at the funeral for a friend. The song ends, “My dear sweet friend, I’ll remember you.”

4. “Broken Halos” by Chris Stapleton

This song is about friends and family who have gone before us. In it, Stapleton sings, “Don’t go looking for the reasons. Don’t go asking, “Jesus, why?” We’re not meant to know the answers. They belong to the by and by.”

5. “If You Say So” by Lea Michele

This song by Lea Michele is about the death of her fellow Glee cast member, Cory Monteith. Apparently, “If you say so” were the last words Monteith said to Michele.

Looking for more? Read our guide on the best sad songs.

» MORE: Planning a funeral? Get access to discounts in minutes.

Country Songs About Losing a Friend

Example of a country song about losing a friend over an image of a person playing the guitar

Are you looking for a country song about the loss of a friend? Here are some that may help you through your pain. Some songs were written about the loss of a family member, but they could be used to refer to the loss of a friend as well.

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

This song is about someone who died too young. “Who’d You Be Today” includes the lyrics: “It ain’t fair, you died too young, like a story that had just begun. But death tore the pages all away.” Kenny Chesney recorded this song in 2005.

7. “Bang the Drum Slowly” by Emmylou Harris

This song is actually about the loss of a father, but it could also be about the loss of a friend. It’s about all the questions that we never had a chance to ask the person who died.

8. “Buttermilk John” by Vince Gill

Vince Gill sings about a guitar-playing friend who passed away in “Buttermilk John.” John Hughey played for Gill’s band and was a virtuoso on the steel guitar.

9. “Sissy’s Song” by Alan Jackson

It’s common to question God when someone young dies. This song, about a 40-year-old woman, asks why a wife, mother, and sister is taken too soon. 

10. “You Should Be Here” by Cole Swindell

This song by Cole Swindell was written when the singer lost his father. It says, “You should be here, standing with your arm around me here, cutting up, cracking a cold beer.”

11. “What If I Never Get Over You?” by Lady Antebellum

This song asks the question that many ask after losing someone they love. Even though time is supposed to heal all things, this song asks, “And what if time doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do? What if I never get over you?”

Although this song may have been written about the death of a lover, it speaks to the overwhelming sadness that you may be feeling about the death of a friend. 

12. “For a Dancer” by Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne tries to describe his image of death. In “For a Dancer,” he sings, “I don’t know what happens when people die. Can’t seem to grasp it as hard as I try. It’s like a song I can hear playing right in my ear. But I can’t sing.”

13. “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood

“See You Again” is about reuniting with someone you love in heaven. The chorus begins, “I will see you again, oh, this is not where it ends.” The song is rather upbeat and hopeful in tone. 

Read our guide on country songs about missing someone if you're looking for more recommendations.

Rap and Hip-Hop Songs About Losing a Friend

Example of a hip-hop song about losing a friend over an image of a concert

Are you looking for a rap or hip-hop song about losing a friend? Some of the songs are especially poignant because they were recorded by someone who later lost his life.

14. “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans

Puff Daddy and Faith Evans performed this song in memory of the Notorious B.I.G., who was killed in 1997. 

15. “Life After Death” by Notorious B.I.G.

This song was supposed to be released two weeks after Notorious B.I.G. was shot to death in Los Angeles. The singer was 24 when he died.

16. “The Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony performed this song in memory of early rap icon Eazy-E. This song won a Grammy award in 1997.

17. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth

“It’s been a long day without you, my friend.” This song, “See You Again,” is about the death of actor Paul Walker. The song was used in the film “Furious 7,” since Walker appeared in films from “The Fast and the Furious” franchise.

18. “Life Goes On” by Tupac

“Life Goes On” by Tupac is about “brothers who fell victim to the street.” It was released in 1996.

Pop and Rock Songs About Losing a Friend

Example of a pop song about losing a friend over an image of musical instruments

Here are some pop and rock songs about the loss of a close friend. Every person experiences the death of a friend at some point in life. 

19. “In My Life” by The Beatles

You may not think of this song by The Beatles as about the death of a friend. Listen to the lyrics carefully. In it, the Fab Four sing, “Some are dead, and some are living. In my life, I’ve loved them all.” 

This beautiful, reflective song prompts us to think about the important people in our past.

20. “Pretty Angry” by Blues Traveler

“Pretty Angry” was written in tribute to a bass guitarist who played with the band. “A heart like that never dies,” the song says. The song was released in 2001. 

21. “Beam Me Up” by Pink

Pink has said that the meaning of this song is very personal. You can tell by the lyrics that “Beam Me Up” is about a loss caused by death.

In the song, Pink sings, “Could you beam me up? Give me a minute. I don’t know what I’d say in it. Probably just stare, happy just to be there holding your face.”

22. “Gypsy” by Fleetwood Mac

One of Stevie Nicks’ best friends died of leukemia. She has said in interviews that “Gypsy” is, in part, a tribute to her friend. Although “Gypsy” was written in the late 1970s, it still receives attention from young people today.

23. “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You?” by Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks’ song, “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You?” sounds like a tribute song written for a dead friend. In fact, she wrote it for Joe Walsh from The Eagles, who is still alive. It could be used as a song for a friend who died. 

» MORE: Everyone's life is worth celebrating. These tools keep their memory close.

Songs About Losing a Friend to Addiction

Please accept our condolences if you recently lost a friend to addiction. Here are some songs about people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

24. “Captain Jack” by Billy Joel

This sad song tells the story of someone who turns to drugs because he is lost and aimless. It includes the following lines:

“So you play your albums, and you smoke your pot
And you meet your girlfriend in the parking lot
Oh, but still you’re aching for the things you haven’t got
What went wrong?”

25. “Addicted” by Amy Winehouse

This song has an upbeat tone and drumbeat. However, the lyrics of the music and knowledge of Amy Winehouse’s cause of death paint a different story. 

“I’m my own man
So when will you learn
That you got a man
But I got to burn
Don’t make no difference if I end up alone
I’d rather have myself and smoke my homegrown
It’s got me addicted.”

26. “Bloodstream” by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran writes about a drug experience in “Bloodstream.” Thoughts include:

“How’d I get so faded
Oh no no don’t leave me lonely now.”

27. “Fallen” by Sarah McLachlan

It’s not clear what caused the speaker in this song to “fall.” However, they ask for empathy and understanding, “Though I’ve tried, I’ve fallen

I have sunk so low
I’ve messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come ’round here
And tell me, “I told you so.”

28. “It’s Been Awhile” by Staind

This song is on Staind’s album Break the Cycle. The song includes these lines:

“And it’s been awhile
Since I can say that I wasn’t addicted
And it’s been awhile
Since I can say I love myself as well.”

Even though the song isn’t specifically about losing someone to addiction, it may help you understand the mindset of the person you lost. 

Songs About Losing a Friend to Cancer or a Long Illness

Songwriters sometimes write about their own experiences — good and bad. Here are sad songs about fighting cancer or losing someone to cancer or another long-term illness.

29. “When You’re Gone” by Avril Lavigne

This song could be about a friend or romantic partner. It includes the lines:

“And all I ever wanted was for you to know
Everything I do, I give my heart and soul
I can hardly breathe; I need to feel you here with me.”

30. “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” by Martina McBride

The first lines of this song are beautifully poignant and may speak to someone with a similar experience. The song begins:

“She dropped the phone and burst into tears
The doctor just confirmed her fears
Her husband held it in and held her tight
Cancer don’t discriminate or care if you’re just 38
With three kids who need you in their lives. 

31. “Make It Go Away” by Sheryl Crow

The lyrics of this song are repetitive and seem deceptively simple. However, knowing that the piece is subtitled “Radiation Song” gives the lyrics more meaning. Sheryl Crow underwent treatment for breast cancer when she was in her 40s. 

32. “I Run For Life” by Melissa Ethridge

This is an excellent song to listen to as you participate in a cancer run to raise money to honor your friend. 

“And someday if they tell you about it
If the darkness knocks on your door
Remember her
Remember me
We will be running as we have before
Running for answers
Running for more.”

33. “One More Light” by Linkin Park

This song asks these questions: “Who cares if one more light goes out?

In a sky of a million stars

It flickers, flickers

Who cares when someone’s time runs out?” The answer is, “Well, I do.”

Songs About Losing a Friend to Violence

Here are some tribute songs for those who died due to violence.

34. “Mourn You ’til I Join You” by Naughty By Nature

Naughty By Nature recorded this song about violent death. It includes these lines:

“Ashes to ashes and dust to dust 
I hope you hear me now in god we trust 
even all the prayers can’t bring you back to us 
I’ll mourn you til I join you cause I'll keep in touch.”

35. “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” by Boyz II Men

Even though the song is appropriate for any type of goodbye, the group dedicated “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” to their tour manager, Khalil Roundtree after he was murdered in Chicago in 1992.

36. “Six Feet Deep” by Geto Boys

“Six Feet Deep” is about violent death in the African American community. 

“Why’d he have to die is the question that we’re under
But everyone knows that every day’s a different number
So when your time comes, just remember, G
You’ll always have a place in this world as a memory.”

37. “I Miss My Homes” by Master P

“I Miss My Homes” begins with the following lyrics:

“I want ya’ll to play this at funerals in the hood
‘Til all this black on black crime stop
Some say the blind lead the blind
But in the ghetto you never know
When it’s gon be yo time.”

38. “How Long Will They Mourn Me?” by Tupac Shakur

Here’s another song about mourning violent death. It includes these poignant lines:

“I’m tired of cryin’ watchin’ my homies leave the earth
I know soon one day I’ll be in the dirt
And my peoples’ll be mournin’
When they get a call from the coroner.”

39. “I Miss My Dawgs” by Lil Wayne

This song is about the trauma of losing a friend. “I miss you and I know you missing me.”

» MORE: Everyone's wishes are different. Here's how to honor your unique loved one.

Songs About Losing a Friend to Toxic or Abusive Relationship

This isn’t a playlist for those who want to hear upbeat, life-affirming music. Instead, this list is about some of life’s harsh realities: cancer, addiction, and now, abuse. Here are some songs about toxic relationships that may end in death.

40. “Til It Happens to You” by Lady Gaga

While this song doesn’t explicitly mention domestic abuse, it could be the “it” in “Til It Happens to You.” The speaker in this song is frustrated by the advice she is receiving from a friend who hasn’t been through the same thing. 

“‘Til your world burns and crashes
‘Til you’re at the end, the end of your rope
‘Til you’re standing in my shoes, I don’t wanna hear nothing from you
From you, from you, ’cause you don’t know.”

41. “Church Bells” by Carrie Underwood

This song about abuse ending with an act of revenge, as the victim ends the life of her abusive husband:

“Jenny slipped something in his Tennessee whiskey
No law-man was ever gonna find
And how he died is still a mystery
But he hit a woman for the very last time.”

42. “Stand By You” by Rachel Platten

This is an uplifting song about standing by people going through a traumatic event.

“And love, if your wings are broken
Borrow mine so yours can open too.”

43. “Praying” by Kesha

This song is about someone who is able to escape an abusive relationship.

“I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters. I can breathe again
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong, and now the best is yet to come.”

44. “Concrete Angel” by Martina McBride

This song is about child abuse and neglect. It begins:

“She walks to school with the lunch
She packed
Nobody knows what she’s
Holdin’ back
Wearin’ the same dress
She wore yesterday
She hides the bruises with linen
And lace.”

Music Can Help You Heal

You may have a closer relationship with your friends than you do with the members of your immediate family. You may have been through a great deal with your friend. Maybe you’ve helped your friend through sickness, divorce, or the death of a family member

Think about what kind of service you want at the end of your life. If you have strong opinions about your end-of-life services, share those details with others. Sharing your desires is the only way to ensure that your wishes will be followed. 

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