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25 Country Songs for Funerals

August 1, 2014

The blog isn’t changing…much! As of today the YahooContributorNetwork is quietly closing. This has provided content for Yahoo Voices, and the sports pages and beyond. I began writing for them before Associated Content bought them, then AC was purchased by Yahoo, and now, as most things get bigger then close, it’s the end of an era, sort of. It’s provided hundreds of articles for the sister blogs at the food blog and LiveTheCountryDream and beyond. Overall, this article was the #1 of nearly 700 about a wide range of topics. It was done out of a painful time when a song was needed…for Connor’s mom where the song that leads this list was played. May it continue to comfort others in time of sorrow.

For many who love music we think of country music for weddings, special days and good times. We don’t so often think of funerals yet there are many great songs for the occasion.

When one of my best friends passed away it came to country music because it was a shared interest. In the time of need it’s easy to not be able to think of songs that fit, so here are some fitting for the occasion.

1.”I Believe” – Diamond Rio hit hard with this song of loss but comfort. “There are more than angels watching over me…I Believe oh I believe…” The video drives the words home, depicting a car accident and assistance given by someone who disappears. Powerful.

2.”What Hurts The Most” from Mark Wills is another that warrants consideration from his “2nd Time Around” CD. While many are more familiar with Rascall Flatts version, Mark Wills brings a warmth to the song that I like.

3.”You Never Know” is a Darryl Worley song that, like many of his songs, cuts to the center of the emotion without mincing words. A real life story written after an unexpected loss, it’s a reminder to live for those left behind as well as honoring the life lost.

4.”Riverbank” from Jeff Bates celebrates the good times and special things shared, in this case fishing. “I wish you were here…I wish this was a Riverbank….”

5. “If You’re Going Through Hell” is a song from Rodney Atkins that was a huge hit, written on the basis of a prayer that ye ‘might be in Heaven an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.’ Not everyone wants a quiet mournful affair for a funeral and this is a song that’s a little more upbeat with a message to keep going.

6. “You’re Gone” is another powerhouse from Diamond Rio that recognizes the impact a person has on the listener’s life. Definitely worth consideration for the message!

7.”Moments” from Emerson Drive is a song with the message we’ve all had times in the sun and all have had an impact on those around us.

8. “In Color” is a look at life from Jamey Johnson. It looks back at surviving the Depression, war and life without regret. Sometimes the ordinary things aren’t captured in photos but

9.”Last Day of My Life” from Phil Vassar reflects on life changes following a death of a friend. So often it renews others to really appreciate the little things.

10.”One More Day” was released by Diamond Rio but they could not have known when they released it in February 2001 that it would become an anthem for many after September 11. So often after loss we wish for one more day and this song captures it beautifully.

11.”Who You’d Be Today” from Kenny Chesney is perhaps the ultimate ‘what if’ song.

12. “If Something Should Happen” from Darryl Worley is a song from the perspective of facing the inevitable with thoughts of the family left behind. Suitable for loss on many levels but asking friends to carry on his memory by caring for his family.

13. “Arlington” is Trace Adkins’ tribute to all who are laid to rest after serving our country. A tribute to those who for all of American history have served.

14. “If I Don’t Make It Back” from Tracy Lawrence is a “what if” that came to fruition. The story to it is of a soldier going to war – a high price that has been paid many times over the last many years. It challenges others to carry on the memory with actions that he’d have done.

15.”Clouds” is a Montgomery Gentry song that is incredibly personal. From a duo known for their upbeat edgy songs, it pays tribute to loss we all feel when someone dies. This wasn’t a single but is a moving song that captures sadness and the comfort of clouds.

16.”Don’t Blink” is another from Kenny Chesney that speaks to life and the celebration of life in how fast it goes. Getting priorities in order is a big point – few say they wish they’d spent more time at work but spending time with friends and family is important.

17.”Believe” was a huge hit for Brooks & Dunn based on loss. The youth past and present can learn much from people that just take time and this is an ode to those who give time to those not blood relatives.

18.”I Can’t Write That” is another from Jeff Bates that tells of a writer dealing with the emotion of loss. The overwhelming loss of someone can be from leaving on several fronts.

19.”If I Had Only Known” is a classic Reba McEntire song that reflects on loss that comes suddenly.

20.”Mama Was a Lot Like Jesus” is a tribute to moms that is especially moving in loss. This was played at the service when my mom passed away and so captures many situations.

21. “There You’ll Be” is from the soundtrack of the movie Pearl Harbor performed by Faith Hill. It brought tears from an entire gym of people at a service for Coach David Lapan who indeed was there for many people.

22.”When A Hero Falls” is specific to military from the most personal way that most singer songwriters never tap from – experience. We think we know what we’d do but Stephen Cochran knows from living it.

23. “A Lot of Things Different” is a Kenny Chesney look back at what things we might change if we could.

24. “I’m No Stranger To The Rain” is classic country from Keith Whitley that has meaning on several levels.

25. “People Are Crazy” is a lighter hearted but serious look at people and life’s unexpected turns. Billy Currington tells the story in song of a chance meeting that changed his life.

Country music celebrates all aspects of life and for many offers tribute and solace in death as well. These songs reflect the love of friends and family. There’s no love greater.

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