Grief can be echoed in so many ways especially through music. Sad music helps people cope with tragic situations as it is a form of emotional release. With the celebration of life and health also comes grieving and death, and listening to music about grief and loss turns something extremely negative peaceful. In an article by The Telegraph, it talks about how sad songs help people grieve based off of a University report.
Here is a list of songs from different scattered genres, all talking about one thing: healing from loss.
- “Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran
This song is the final track on the standard version of Ed Sheeran’s third studio album. ÷. The song was written from his Mother’s point of view, which also gave it an added meaning.
Ed revealed in an interview with MTV that the song is about his deceased Grandmother. He mentioned that, “She was in a hospital near my house where I was making the album, so I saw her quite a lot while making the album, and she passed away while I was in the studio. So that’s my first reaction for anything that happens to me, good or bad, pick up a guitar.”
So I’ll sing Hallelujah
You were an angel in the shape of my Mum
When I fell down, you’d be there holding me up
Spread your wings as you go
When God takes you back
He’ll say, “Hallelujah, you’re home”
2. “Only Time” by Enya
This song was not written with the loss of a loved one in mind; it just tells its listeners that nothing is certain. Every situation is not permanent; things change with time. It is a slow, soothing song that explains that Only Time would tell what happens. Like the saying goes, ‘Time reveals all truth.’
And who can say where the road goes
Where the day flows, only time
And who can say if your love grows
As your heart chose, only time.
- “I’ll See You Again” by Westlife
This song is about the passing of a loved one. The lyrics speaks about losing a loved one and not forgetting them or the role they played. It also mentions that no although the person left, their beautiful presence still remains.
I’ll see you again
You never really left
I feel you walk beside me
I know I’ll see you again
When I’m lost, when I’m missing you like crazy
I tell myself I’m so blessed
To have had you in my life, my life
- “Fly” by Celine Dion
Celine dedicated this song to her niece who died of cystic fibrosis. The songs carries a heavy feeling of early loss and life, and memories cut short. Celine’s breathy voice carried the song amazingly well, it sounded comforting yet sorrowful.
Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem’ry bittersweet
Until we meet
- “Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton
This song was written by Clapton after a six-month absence from the music scene. His absence was due to the fact that he was mourning his four-year-old son, Connor, who tragically died after accidentally falling from a 54 story apartment. The lyrics are about Clapton asking his son if he would remember him in heaven. He didn’t get to spend a lot of his time with his son when he was still alive, so this song is basically Clapton asking him, “Would you know who I am even if it wasn’t the best Father?”
Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same if I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
‘Cause I know I don’t belong
Here in heaven
- “How Could You Leave Us?” by NF
NF wrote this song to his Mother who died of a drug overdose in 2009. This song is filled with so many emotions, sadness and anger being more prominent. NF weeps as he asks his Mother why her drugs and pills were more important to her than he was. The lyrics of this song are filled with a longing to re-establish a relationship that was never there in the first place.
I got this picture in my room, and it kills me
But I don’t need a picture of my Mum, I need the real thing
Now a relationship is somethin’ we won’t ever have
But why do I feel like I lost something I never had?
- “Leader Of The Pack” by The Shangri-Las
This is a song more on the upbeat side, but the lyrics still connotes someone’s loss. It is about a young girl losing her boyfriend, who everyone around her disapproves of.
He sort of smiled and kissed me goodbye
The tears were beginning to show
As he drove away that rainy night
I begged him to go slow
But whether he heard, I’ll never know
- “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth
The song is dedicated to the actor Paul Walker who died in a car accident while filming Fast and Furious 7. The lyrics leave behind a feeling of hope and that fact that we will see again. The first verse is from the perspective of Vin Diesel and the cast of Furious 7.
It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again
- “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross
This song was written by Luther two years before he suffered a stroke that killed him. The song is a tribute to his Late Father and also one of Luther’s last songs.
If I could get another chance
Another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never ever end
How I’d love love love
To dance with my Father again
- “Dancing In The Sky” by Dani And Lizzy
This song is about someone who passed away and asking if they are happy in heaven. The music is not calm and soothing, but neither is it upbeat.
Oh-oh-oh I, I hope you’re dancing in the sky
I hope you’re singing in the angels’ choir
And I hope the angels know what they have
I bet it is so nice up in heaven since you arrived
Losing a loved one is a tragic experience, and everyone grieves differently, but hopefully, this list helps someone out there find the healing they need.
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Do you agree with the authors playlist?
Do you know any of these songs? What songs would you add for someone in need?
If you’ve written a song about your experience with loss, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can feature you!