Best Country Funeral Songs

What are the best country songs for a funeral or memorial service?

Country music is known as much for its storytelling as for having depressing or sad subject matter….and for that reason, country music can be some of the best music to play at a funeral service. There are lots and lots of country songs that describe pain, loss and healing. Many of the songs listed here could be considered uplifting despite dealing with the difficult subjects of loss, saying goodbye, and moving on. There are a lot of different factors to consider when choosing country music for a funeral or memorial service. Most often, people try to select at least one or two songs by an artist that the deceased had liked.

If he or she liked country music, and you think it would be appropriate, then you should consider playing it. Try to find music that symbolizes the person as well as helps people at the funeral deal with their grief. Remember, there are no set rules when it comes to choosing music for a funeral service – however it’s always best to check with your minister or church staff to make sure they approve of your selection.

We have put together a list of the best country songs for funerals. For your convenience, we have compiled the songs in a playlist, making it easy for you to listen to a sample or purchase a song. Additional information about each song, including significant verses and choruses, is provided below the playlist.

Best Country Songs for a Funeral

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Angels Among Us

Performed by Alabama, this song starts out as a story about how the singer was walking home as a child, got lost, but was guided home by an unknown “angel.” The rest of the verses talk about how angels are all around us to help us through the dark times of our lives. The song is very touching, especially when the children’s choir chimes in.
Chorus:

I believe there are angels among us

sent down to us from somewhere up above

They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with the light of love

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Annie’s Song

John Denver wrote this song for his wife, Ann. It is at it’s heart a love song and, while the title mentions her by name, there is no mention of Annie in the song. It’s one of Denver’s most popular songs and appears on over twenty of his albums. Almost everyone will recognize it once Denver starts his opening line of “You stir up my senses.”

Chorus:

Come let me love you
Let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter
Let me die in your arms
Let me lay down beside you
Let me always be with you
Come let me love you
Come love me again

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Back Home Again

Another classic by John Denver, this song talks about how good it is to be back home on the farm. The chorus of the song says “Hey its good to be back home again / Sometimes this old farm feels like a long-lost friend / Yes n hey, its good to be back home again.”

Significant Verse:

Its the sweetest thing I know of, just spending time with you
Its the little things that make a house a home
Like a fire softly burnin’ supper on the stove
The light in your eyes that makes me warm

*************************

Bless the Broken Road

Rascal Flatts sings this soulful ballad that is very reminiscent to “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. The message of the song is about how all the heart break that the singer endured was necessary in order for him to find his one true love. It’s a nice song that urges people not regret their past mistakes.

Chorus:

Every long lost dream lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

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 Bury Me

An upbeat song by Dwight Yoakum, “Bury Me” talks about how he wants to be remembered after he dies. The song is typical of Yoakum with a strong honky tonk twang to it.

Chorus:

Now don’t you mourn for me when my soul is free
Woman don’t you cry
Just bury me along the big sandy
Under a blue Kentucky sky

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Can You Hear Me When I Talk to You

Ashley Gearing was just 12 years old when her country ballad “Can You Hear Me When I Talk to You” broke into the Billboard charts. However, her voice has a mature to sound it–few would guess she is so young when she sings it. While most of the song would be appropriate for any funeral, the very last line of the song says “I miss you Daddy.” However, my favorite line of the song has to be ” You know I never said some things that I meant to.”

Significant Verse:

Time passes by so quickly
But I guess I thought you’d be here forever
I never even had a chance to say goodbye
There’s so many things to tell you
Left unsaid until now

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Don’t Cry a Tear

Lyle Lovett sings this slow song, which is heavy on guitar. The lyrics lean towards being more about a break up than a death, but they are just generic enough that it could go either way.

Chorus:

So go if you must go
Turn if you must turn away
Don’t cry a tear for me.

*************************

Go Rest High on that Mountain

Vince Gill began writing this song after the death of Keith Whitley, but didn’t finish it until a few years later after the death of his brother. The song became a tribute to them both. The song is directed at the person who is passed on, and urges them to move on because they’ve earn the rest.

Significant Verse:

Oh, how we cried the day you left us
We gathered round your grave to grieve
I wish I could see the angels faces
When they hear your sweet voice sing

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Holes in the Floor of Heaven

Steve Wariner performs this song. Like many country songs, it tells a story about his life. It starts out with him as a small boy after his grandmother had died. His mother urges him not to be sad because the grandmother is still watching over them. As proof, the mother tells him that rain is actually her tears that come through “holes in the floor of heaven.” The second verse fast forwards and shows how he married but his wife dies young. The third verse talks about his daughter’s wedding day when it starts to rain, “She takes my hand says daddy don’t be sad cause I know momma’s watchin now.”

Chorus:

And there’s holes in the floor of heaven
And her tears are pourin’ down
That’s how you know she’s watchin’
Wishin’ she could be here now
And sometimes when I’m lonely
I remember she can see
There’s holes in the floor of heaven
And she’s watchin’ over you and me

*************************

How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?

Patty Loveless sings this story song about dealing with loss in life. The song starts up when she is a little girl who is moving away from her best friend and her mother tries to help her deal with her grief. The song then talks about having to deal with her divorce, again with her mother’s help. Finally, the mother is on her death bed and, for the last time, tries to help her daughter deal with loss.

Chorus:

I called up Mama, she said, time will ease your pain
Life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same
And she said, how can I help you to say goodbye
It’s okay to hurt, and it’s okay to cry
Come let me hold you, and I will try
How can I help you to say goodbye?

*************************

How Do I Live

“How Do I Live” was written for the 1997 movie Con Air by Diane Warren, who intended Leanne Rimes to sing the song. However, the producers felt that Rimes’s version was too “pop” and wanted her to re-record it. When Rimes refused, the producers chose to have Trisha Yearwood record the song for the soundtrack. Both versions became quite popular, with Yearwood taking home the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her version. However, Rimes version outsold Yearwood’s by more than 3 million copies. Either version is beautiful.

Chorus:

And tell me now
How do I live without you?
I want to know,
How do I breathe without you?
If you ever go,
How do I ever, ever survive?
How do I, how do I, oh how do I live?

 *************************

 I Believe

Diamond Rio sings this song about love and loss. The singer is talking to a lost love who has died. More specifically, the song tells the person that, even though they are gone, at times it feels as if they are still together and that “And with all my heart I’m sure we’re closer than we ever were / I don’t have to hear or see I’ve got all the proof I need / There are more than angels watching over me.”

Chorus:

I believe
That when you die your life goes on
It doesn’t end here when you’re gone
Every soul is filled with light
It never ends and if I’m right
Our love can even reach across eternity

*************************

I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing

Something about Diane Warren songs seems to urge competition between artists (see “How Do I Live” above). “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” was written for the movie Armageddon soundtrack and became a number one hit for Aerosmith. Shortly there after, Mark Chestnutt recorded his own version of the song. Chestnutt’s version spent two weeks at number one on the country charts.

Chorus:

I don’t want to close my eyes
I don’t want to fall asleep
cause I’d miss you
And I don’t want to miss a thing
cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
I’d still miss you
And I don’t want to miss a thing

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I Miss My Friend

This song would only be good for the funeral of a spouse since it says “I miss the power of your kiss when we made love.” It also gives very specific descriptions of the person such as “those blue-green eyes” and “soft brown hair.” Otherwise, the song is a very touching country song sung by Darryl Worley about all the things he misses about a person who has died.

Chorus:

I miss my friend
The one my heart and soul confided in
The one I felt the safest with
The one who knew just what to say to make me laugh again
And let the light back in
I miss my friend

*************************

I Will Always Love You

This song was written by Dolly Parton and not intended to be a traditional love song. It was aimed at her friend Porter Wagoner, after Parton decided to end their long-term partnership for a solo career. The song talks about how much she appreciates all they have shared but that its time for them to part ways. Parton later recorded a second version for the 1982 film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and it became a Country hit. Ten years later, the song was recorded again, this time by Whitney Houston for the movie The Bodyguard. Both versions of the song are very nice.

Significant Lyrics:

Bittersweet memories
that is all I’m taking with me
So, goodbye. Please, don’t cry
We both know I’m not what you, you need

*************************

If I Had Only Known

Reba McEntire sings this song. The song talks about what she would have done had she known that she was going to lose the person she loved. The song is perfect for a funeral of someone young, but would work for almost any type of funeral.

Significant Verse:

If I had only known
I’d never hear your voice again
I’d memorize each thing you ever said
And on those lonely nights
I could think of them once more
Keep your words alive inside my head
If I had only known
I’d never hear your voice again

*************************

I’m Already There

Lonestar sings this song about a man who missing home while being on the road, but realizes when he calls that he’s heart has never left his family. It’s a good song to pass on the feeling that despite the death, the person will always be with you.

Chorus:

I’m already there
Take a look around
I’m the sunshine in your hair
I’m the shadow on the ground
I’m the whisper in the wind
I’m your imaginary friend
And I know I’m in your prayers
Oh, I’m already there

*************************

I’m Movin’ On

Rascal Flatts sings “I’m Moving On. The song is a good choice if you are looking for one to represent the idea that the deceased has gone on to a better place. Probably the most significant line in the song is “For once I’m at peace with myself / I’ve been burdened with blame / trapped in the past for too long / I’m movin’ on.”

Significant Verse:

I’m movin’ on
At last I can see life has been patiently waiting for me
And I know there’s no guarantees, but I’m not alone
There comes a time in everyone’s life
When all you can see are the years passing by
And I have made up my mind that those days are gone

*************************

I Would’ve Loved You Anyway

This song is performed by Trisha Yearwood. It is a very beautiful song that talks about how she would have loved the person anyway despite the feelings of heartache that she’s experiencing. It would be appropriate for almost any funeral of a loved one since it contains no specific reference to a loved one. One of the best lines in the song is “And even if I’d seen it coming / You’d still’ve seen me running / Straight into your arms”

 Chorus:

I would’ve loved you anyway
I’d do it all the same
Not a second I would change
Not a touch that I would trade
Had I known my heart would break
I’d have loved you anyway

 *************************

Landslide

Originally a hit for Fleetwood Mac, Dixie Chicks recorded this song as well as performed it at the 2003 Grammy Awards. The song has to do with a father-daughter relationship and was written by Stevie Nicks shortly before she joined Fleetwood Mac. The lyrics are generic enough that it could represent almost any type of relationship.

Significant Verse:

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I’m getting older, too

 *************************

Love Without End, Amen

“Love Without End, Amen” is sung by George Strait. The song follows a man through his life and three major points in his life. The first is when he learns about how much his father loves him. The second is when he passes this lesson onto his son. The third is when the man dies and learns that God has this same love for him.

Chorus:

And he said, Let me tell you a secret, about a fathers love
A secret that my daddy said was just between us
He said daddies don’t just love their children every now and then
Its a love without end, amen

*************************

One More Day

This song is performed by Diamond Rio. The lyrics talk about what everyone would like after a loved one has gone — one more day — and what he would do with that added time. Diamond Rio is a country group and this song has a slight country feel.

Chorus:

One more day, one more time
One more sunset, maybe I’d be satisfied
But then again
I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you

*************************

Ships of Heaven

This Blackhawk is perfect for any water or boating enthusiast. The tempo is a little fast, but the lyrics are excellent. The chorus talks about how “I’ll be sailing on the ships of heaven / When the tide rolls out for the last time” while “Waiting for the day I come sailing back to you.

Significant Verse:

Don’t cry for me when I’m gone
Keep the faith and be strong
‘Cause through it all I’ve been blessed
I faced my fears
And I’ve passed the test
So when you look up in the sky
On a sunny day
Imagine me drifting away

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Smile

Lonestar sings this song. Don’t let the title throw you–it’s not the song most people are familiar with. Instead, this song talks about saying good-bye and how the singer wants it to be a good one. He says that “I’m gonna let you go in style / And even if it kills me / I’m gonna smile.”

Chorus:

I still remember the night we met
You said you loved my smile
But your love for me was like a summer breeze
Oh, it lasted for a while
I could hold on a little tighter I know
But when you love someone you gotta let ‘em go so

*************************

Tell me I was Dreaming

Travis Tritt released this song in the 1990s. It eventually became the second in a trilogy of videos about a paralyzed war veteran, Mac Singleton. The first video is “Anymore” which tells the story of how Mac is reluctant to have a relationship with Annie again because of his disability. In the second, “Tell Me I was Dreaming,” a now pregnant Annie slips and falls on a dock. She dies, but her baby survives. The song is all about how difficult is to accept the loss of a loved one. (The third video “If I Lost You” shows what happens to Singleton and his daughter after the filming of his second video.)

Chorus:

Tell me I was dreaming
That didn’t leave me here to cry
You didn’t say, you don’t love me anymore
It was just my imagination telling lies
Tell me that you didn’t say good-bye

*************************

The Dance

“The Dance” was written by Tony Arata and Henry Drysdale-Wood. It makes a statement that it is best not to know how things will end, because if you do then you may deprive yourself of certain experiences. It became a best seller for Garth Brooks. Unfortunately, Garth Brooks is what is known as an “online holdout” and his songs are not currently available on iTunes. So, country fans will have to purchase the entire album if they want to hear it–no mp3s are available (except from sound-alikes which I which I have linked to iTunes here).

Chorus:

How could I have known you’d ever say goodbye
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance

*************************

There You’ll Be

This song is also written by Diane Warren and was featured on the Pearl Harbor soundtrack. Faith Hill performs the song. The song talks about how that special person has always been there for her and that she will always be there for them as well.

Significant Verse:

You were right there for me
In my dreams I’ll always see you soar above the sky
In my heart there’ll always be a place for you for all my life
I’ll keep a part of you with me
And everywhere I am there you’ll be

*************************

When I Get Where I’m Going

Brad Paisley sings this song, although Dolly Parton sings harmony for part of it. The song talks about all the thing he plans to do when he reaches heaven. Some of it is fantastical (such as ride a drop of rain), but most of it is talking about how there will be peace and understanding after death.

Significant Verse:

Yeah, when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here

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Who You’d Be Today

“Who You’d Be Today” by Kenny Chesney is one of the most touching songs and seems almost written specifically for a child’s funeral. It is a country song, but not heavily so in my opinion. It is worth listening to since it has moving lyrics such as “I feel you everywhere I go / I see your smile, I see your face, / I hear you laughin’ in the rain / I still can’t believe you’re gone” and “The only thing that gives me hope, / Is I know I’ll see you again some day.” But the meaningful lines come with the chorus.

Chorus:

It ain’t fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I’ve been through,
Just knowing no one could take your place.
And sometimes I wonder,
Who you’d be today?

*************************

Wish You Were Here

“Wish You Were Here” was a hit by Mark Wills in 1999. That’s important to note because the song sounds almost as if was written about the 9/11 tragedy. The song tells the story of a man about to get on a plane. Before he boards, “He bought a postcard, on the front it just said Heaven / With a picture of the ocean and the beach.” The man then writes the words of the chorus before mailing the postcard. Sadly, the man’s plane crashes but a few days later, the wife receives the postcard.

Chorus:

Wish you were here, wish you could see this place
Wish you were near, I wish I could touch your face
The weather’s nice, it’s paradise
It’s summertime all year and there’s some folks we know
They say, “Hello, I miss you so, wish you were here”

*************************

You’re Gone

Paul Williams wrote “You’re Gone” with Nashville songwriter Jon Vezner. According to Williams, the song is based on his own life events. The message of the song basically states that the singer is glad for the moments that were shared, even though that person is gone. Williams also claims that Garth Brooks recorded but never released a version of the song. To date, the most popular version of the song is Diamond Rio’s.

Significant Lyrics:

And I bless the day I met you
And I thank God that He let you
Lay beside me for a moment that lives on
And the good news is I’m better
For the time we spent together
And the bad news is you’re gone

*************************

A few other songs you might consider:

“Angels in Waiting” performed by Tammy Cochran

They were angels in waiting
Waiting for wings to fly from this world,
Away from their pain
Treasuring time, til time came to leave,
Leaving behind sweet memories
*************************

“I Miss You a Little” performed by John Michael Montgomery

I miss you a little since you’ve been gone
A few little memories keep hangin’ on
I miss you a little, I guess you could say
A little too much, a little too often
A little more every day
*************************

“Looking Through Your Eyes” performed by LeAnn Rimes from Quest for Camelot

I see the heavens
Each time that you smile
I hear your heartbeat
Just go on for miles
And suddenly I know
My life is worth while
That’s what I see
Through your eyes
*************************

“Not a Day Goes By” performed by Lonestar

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you
After all this time you’re still with me its true
Somehow you remain locked so deep inside
Baby, baby, oh baby, not a day goes by

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