35 Powerful Songs About Losing a Friend

Published January 25, 2021
Sad woman lovingly touching gravemarker

Songs about losing a friend often express the deep emotions and sadness you feel when a friend passes. Listening to some of these songs about the death of a friend can offer comfort and a release of your overwhelming feelings of loss.

Powerful and Sad Songs About Losing a Friend

There are several types of songs about the death of a friend. You may find what is a good goodbye song for friends in a music genre you have never considered.

What Is a Good R&B Goodbye Song for Friends?

A R&B (Rhythm & Blues) music genre song about losing a friend can be extremely powerful and moving. Contemporary R&B is more of a hybrid R&B that often features several other music genres, such as soul, pop, hiphop, and electronic music for a truly unique musical sound.

One Sweet Day

One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men is a contemporary R&B song, often referred to as a ballad. It is a powerful heart-tugging song about losing a friend.


The main difference between R&B and blues is the tempo. Blues music tends to be sorrowful with a story that conveys these sentiments.

Life Without You

Life Without You by Stevie Ray Vaughan is a blues song, or more aptly a ballad. This slow ballad was written as a tribute to Charley Wirz, Vaughan's friend who founded Charley's Guitar shop located in Dallas, Texas. Vaughan sings, "Fly on, fly on, fly on, my friend."

Rock Songs About Death of a Friend

Originally called rock-and-roll, modern rock music still takes its influence from a mixture of other genres, such as jazz and classical. The main instruments are still the electric guitar with a bass guitar and, of course, drums.

The Last Carnival

The Last Carnival by Bruce Springsteen is a song about a made up character from another song, Wild Billy's Circus Story. Springsteen was inspired by the Clyde Beatty/Cole Brothers circus that visited his town when he was a child, and Billy sprang from Springsteen's imagination.

Brendan's Death Song

Brendan's Death Song by Red Hot Chili Peppers is about their longtime friend and music promoter, Brendan Mullen. Mullen was the founder of a punk rock club, The Masque. Upon learning of Mullen's passing, the group spontaneously began playing music that became Brendan'd Death Song.

Lance's Song

Lance's Song by Zac Brown Band is a tribute to drummer Lance Tilton. The band felt Lance was never properly recognized for his talent.

Back on the Chain Gang

Back on the Chain Gang by Pretenders is considered a rock/pop style of music and written by Chrissie Hynde in tribute to Pretenders' guitarist, James Honeyman-Scott. James died from an overdose at the age of 25.

Fire and Rain

Fire and Rain by James Taylor is considered a soft rock or folk rock song. There is the typical Taylor soft folksy voice and style that makes this a good goodbye song for friends.

Bird Song

Bird Song by Grateful Dead was written in tribute to rock star Janis Joplin, who died from a heroin overdose at the age of 27. She had performed a few times with the Grateful Dead.

Light Years

Light Years by Pearl Jam dedicated the song to Diane Muus (Sony Music). Diane died suddenly, and the band lamented that they never had the opportunity to say goodbye. The song is a way of saying goodbye to this good friend of the band.

Wave Goodbye

Wave Goodbye by Chris Cornell is a tribute to his friend and guitarist/singer Jeffrey Scott Buckley. Buckley died when he decided to swim in the Mississippi River at night, fully clothed and drowned from the wake of a passing boat.


Stars by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals was written by Grace Potter. Grace has said in interviews that she first started writing Stars as a song about loss, when she realized she was actually writing about a friend who had passed. The emotions in the song convey how painful her loss is, since she cannot bear to even gaze at the stars without being reminded of her friend.

Black Gives Way To Blue

Black Gives Way To Blue by Alice In Chains is a tribute to the lead singer Layne Staley. Staley died of an overdose.

No-One But You (Only the Good Die Young)

No-One But You (Only the Good Die Young) by Queen was the last song recorded and was a tribute to former lead singer, Freddie Mercury. Brian May wrote the song after Princess Diana died. The band stated it was a eulogy to Freddie and all who die young.

Into It. Over It.

Into It. Over It. by Connecticut Steps is the story of receiving the news of a friend's sudden death. The lyrics describe the emotions and trying to cope with such an unexpected loss of a friend.

My House

My House by Lou Reed is considered a musical eulogy to his friend, mentor, and teacher, poet essayist Delmore Schwartz. Schwartz died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 52.

Hear You Me

Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World was written in tribute to two women who were big fans. The women were on their way home from a Weezer concert (they ran the Weezer fan club) and died in a car wreck.

Heavy Metal

Heavy metal is a rock genre. It emerged on the music scene in the 1960s and 1970s.

So Far Away

So Far Away by Avenged Sevenfold was written by lead guitarist Synyster Gates. The song is a tribute to one of the band members, drummer Jimmy Sullivan, known as The Rev. Sullivan, the band's drummer who died from an overdose.

Punk Rock

Punk rock evolved around the mid-1970s. It was a response or more aptly a revolt against the 1970s style of rock.

J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva)

J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva) by Green Day is a tribute to one of Green Day's friends, Jason Andrew Relva. The song tells of the impact that a death, especially of someone young, and how it drives home the reality of mortality.

Hip Hop/Rap

Hip hop and rap also have songs about losing a friend expressed with a traditional hip hop feel.

See You Again

See You Again (feat. Charlie Puth) by Wiz Khalifa is from the 2015 movie Furious 7 soundtrack. It was written as a tribute to actor Paul Walker, who died during the movie production.

The Message

The Message by Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Rell is a tribute to Dr Dre's half-brother, Tyree Du Sean Crayon. Tyree was killed when he attempted to break up a street fight.


Pop music is a good choice for a contemporary message of loss. The songs are typically popular and well-known, making them a familiar and comforting choice.

Dancing in the Sky

Dancing in the Sky by twins Dani and Lizzy is a tribute to a dead friend. The song was written by Lizzy soon after their friend died.

Who Knew

Who Knew by Pink was originally written as a tribute to a man named Sekou Harris. Harris died of an overdose. The song tells of the unexpected way death takes someone you love, and until it happens, you believe it can never occur.

If You Say So

If You Say So by Lea Michele is supposedly about the death of Lea Michele's fellow Glee cast member, Cory Montheith. According to interviews Lea gave, these were the last words that Cory spoke to her were, "If you say so."

What Is a Good Goodbye Country Song for Friends?

Country music is all about powerful emotions and how you feel about something or someone. This genre is an excellent expression of what it feels like to mourn and suffer the loss of a friend.

I Still Miss You

I Still Miss You by Keith Anderson started writing the song with Jason Sellers and Tim Nichols. By the time the song was finished, it was about other losses.

Who'd You Be Today

Who'd You Be Today by Kenny Chesney is a song that mourns the loss of someone who died young. The song explores what the person may have grown up to do in life had they lived.

I'll Remember You

I'll Remember You by Thea Gilmore was written by Bob Dylan and released in 1985. The song tells how the deceased friend always supported him and shall be remembered above all people and things.

You Should Be Here

You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell is about his father, who was also his best friend. The song expresses how he misses his father and he should be there to help celebrate Cole's successes.

Dress Blues

Dress Blues by Janson Isbell is a tribute to Marine Cpl. Matthew D. Conley (21) and 2nd Lt. Almar L. Fitzgerald. Both soldiers were killed in Iraq. Isbell and Conley attended the same high school, although Conley was a couple of years ahead of Isbell. The lyrics give two different types of homecoming scenarios.

Buttermilk John

Buttermilk John by Vince Gill is a tribute to his friend and fellow musician John Hughey. A steel guitarist, John played on Gill's records for almost 20 years. In an interview, Gill revealed that John was nicknamed Buttermilk John because of his love for buttermilk and cornbread.

See You Again

See You Again by Carrie Underwood is a song about mourning the death of a friend. The song reflects Underwood's faith and belief that people are reunited with their loved ones in the afterlife.

Cryin' for Me (Wayman's Song)

Cryin' for Me (Wayman's Song) by Toby Keith is a tribute to his friend Wayman Tisdale, NBA and Jazz bass guitarist. Tisdale had bone cancer and was receiving radiation treatment when he died of complications.

Heaven Was Needing a Hero

Heaven Was Needing a Hero by Jo Dee Messina is considered a military funeral song. Messina wrote the song after the first female American soldier was killed in the Iraqi War.

Go Rest High on That Mountain

Go Rest High on That Mountain by Vince Gill is a song about a friend whose work on Earth is done. Gill started writing the song when Keith Whitley, another country singer, had an untimely death, but Gill didn't finish the song until after his brother died. He dedicated his song to both men.


Jazz can be melancholy or uplifting. Songs about life's experiences is often part of the story jazz songs tell.

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat by Charles Mingus is an elegy that Mingus wrote for his friend Saxophonist Lester Young. Known for his wide-brimmed pork pie hats, Charles Mingus died two months before he was scheduled to record an album.


Gospel songs about death usually have an uplifting Christian message about the promise of Jesus, the christ. The songs are often about the pain and sorrow that come with the death of a loved one.

That Day Is Done

That Day Is Done is a gospel song that talks about walking in a friend's death parade. The pain and sorrow are heard in the music and the lyrics that she won't be coming back.

Songs About Losing a Friend for Comfort

You can find comfort in your time of grief when you listen to songs about losing a friend. When you explore these songs, you can discover what is a good goodbye song for friends you have lost.

35 Powerful Songs About Losing a Friend