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Top Sad Songs

Updated on May 31, 2013

Hank Sr. Could Sing Some Sad Songs


Places to Find Sad Songs

There are many websites dedicated to sad song lists. Here are a few that I used to write this article.

Top Sad Break-Up Songs

Yesterday – Beatles

Yesterday things were good – and then we messed things up. We want to go back to yesterday and make things better again and we can’t. It’s another lesson in life that we all must learn.

Are You Lonesome Tonight – Elvis

I am left without you – you said you loved me, but you lied. Now, are you lonesome? Feelings of being dumped by someone you thought loved you – maybe someone you thought you would be with forever. And, deep down, you are hoping they really are lonesome tonight.

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Hank Williams

A great song – especially when you are feeling especially lonesome. It’s nice to know that others are as lonesome as you – so lonesome they want to cry. It makes it seem okay to be that lonesome- and makes it okay to wipe your own tears away.

Top Sad Songs For Funerals

George Jones – He Stopped Loving Her Today

This has to be one of the saddest songs I have ever heard. I remember hearing it when I was a kid and crying – and I didn’t really even understand it then. Now that I am an adult, it still makes me cry. I just think of this poor man loving a woman with all of his heart until his death. It’s the kind of love I have always wanted – and think I have finally found!

Holes in the Floor of Heaven – Steve Wariner

This is a good song for a funeral or for a wedding. My family has used it for both. It talks of young girl who has lost her mother. Her father tells her that there are holes in the floor of Heaven and when it rains it means that her mother was watching over her. When it rains on her wedding day, it is proof that mom is watching over her. It was played when my niece got married and again at my mother’s funeral.

Go Rest High – Vince Gill

This song makes me think of those who chose to end their own lives. They had troubled lives here on Earth and thought they could make it better somehow. I have to be in just the right mood to hear this song – otherwise I have to turn the channel.

Fade to Black – Metallica

Another song about suicide in my opinion. A person feels that they are not good enough – even though others think differently, so they choose to end their lives way too early. It’s too sad to think that there are people – young and old – who feel this way.

Adam’s Song – Blink 182

Another song for people who have passed to soon – people who have decided to take their own lives when they think there is no other choice. When all they have to do is to look outside the door – outside the window – and see that everyone around them truly cares – even if they don’t always know how to show it or to tell it.

Last Kiss – Pearl Jam

A horrible accident and a man does what he can to save his girl. She dies and he promises to be good so that he can one day join her in Heaven. What a wonderful sad song. He holds her close and gives her a last kiss and a promise. And then my tears fall!

Amazing Grace – By anyone – especially with bagpipes in the background

I love this song and hope that it will be played at my funeral. It has so much hope – but is sad at the same time, mostly because I have heard it at so many funerals. I love the lines – I once was lost and now I’m found – it gives me hope that maybe someday I will be found.

Candle in the Wind – Elton John

Originally written about Marilyn Monroe and then changed to honor Princess Diana, this song tells the story of an onlooker who admires the real person and not the glamorized vision of two very wonderful women. It is a very sad song when you realize that both of these women died way too young because of their fame – even though they were wonderful private people that no one really knew.

Everything I Own – Bread

This song makes me think of my mom. She gave me everything – and I would give it all away just to have her back. She was taken way too soon and when I hear this song it reminds me of all she did for me and all she gave to me.

Love, Me – Colin Raye

This song brings tears to my husband's eyes. It reminds him of his grandparents. His grandfather passed away about the time this song was popular. It reminds me of my parents. Although they didn’t run away to get married, they would have if they had to. Both couples were the type of people who would have left the type of note in this song. “If you get there before I do, don’t give up on me…” I cried the first time I heard this song – and still cry every time I hear it.

I’m Already There – Lonestar

A father reminding his family that although he is far away, he is home in all the ways that matter. I can see this song being played at a funeral as a reminder to those left behind that their loved one is still there in the hearts of the loved ones.

Johnny Cash Sang Lots Of Sad Songs


Top Sad Songs Involving Children

Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton wrote this song for his son who fell to his death from a hotel window. This is another song that brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. I can’t even imagine the pain Mr. Clapton must have been feeling when he wrote this song. Nothing can be worse than to lose a child.

Concrete Angel – Martina McBride

The first time I heard this song, I had a little girl named Dru in my classroom. A beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed, little angel that always had a smile on her face. I could tell that she dressed herself every morning and got herself ready for school, as well. And that included packing her own lunch every day. Sometimes her lunch would be nothing but candy – other times it would just a sandwich. After talking with her for awhile, I found that she and her family were living in a car. Luckily, unlike the girl in the song, Dru’s parents loved her and did their best for her. After leading them to some resources, they found a house, and Dru never became a concrete angel. Still, this song reminds me of her every time I hear it.

Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross writes about dancing with his father when he was young and how safe it made him feel. This song brings memories of my own father, who passed away when I was just a little girl. When I hear this song, I think of dancing with my father – and of cooking together and listening to the radio.

In the Ghetto – Elvis Presley

A baby is born in the ghetto. Instead of bringing joy, he brings sadness and despair. As he grows up, trouble follows him and his life ends much as it began – on a cold, lonely street in Chicago. And Elvis sings it to its ultimate sadness.

Cat’s In The Cradle – Harry Chapin

Almost everyone knows this song. A song about a father too busy to enjoy his son while he is young. Then the son turns the table and is too busy for his father. This song makes me stop and think about life and what is important in life. No one ever says “I wish I would have spent more time working,” at the end of their lives.

Alyssa Lies – Jason Michael Carrol

A young girl tells her father about a classmate named Alyssa. She lies – to cover up the real reasons for her bruises – until the day she no longer must lie about her bruises because now she lies with Jesus. As a teacher, this song always tears at my heartstrings. There are students I think of every time I hear this song – twin blonde girls who lived through so much horror – horror I never suspected until later. A little boy who came to school with bruises nearly every day – and couldn’t tell me where they came from. Another little girl with bruises – that went to a new school when we began to question where the bruises came from. All students who hopefully have a better end than this song does…

Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle

A dad talks about his little girl as she grows up. All happy memories, really - just sad that she is all grown up and the butterfly kisses are just a thing of the past.

Creep – Radiohead

This song is for all those people out there who are different and because of that can’t have the person of their dreams. It’s a good reminder that just because someone is different it doesn’t mean you can’t give them a chance.

Dear Mr. Jesus – Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

This is another song that reminds me of some of my little friends. This one is even more tearful because two little girls sing it – and then reveal that they are being abused as well. It always makes me wonder how many kids go through this each and every day.

Johnny Cash - Hurt

Favorite Sad Song

What is your favorite sad song?

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Top Sad Songs About Broken Dreams or Relationships

Hurt – Johnny Cash

This song – originally done by Nine Inch Nails – has so much feeling in it as sung by Johnny Cash. At the time Cash sang it, he was going through all of the things in the song. It made the song so real, and so raw. It was, and still is, hard to listen to. It makes me cry just think of it.

This song also was a huge part of my husband’s rehab for his drug abuse. Again – it fit in so many ways – the lyrics could have been telling his story.

Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx

This is another song that could be used at a funeral. Or just for a sad day after losing a girlfriend, boyfriend – or really just a best friend. It talks of waiting for a loved one to return – and not giving up no matter what.

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams – Green Day

We all have broken dreams – dreams that we were sure that would come true, yet didn’t. On those days that you can’t do anything else but think of those dreams, this is a great song to listen to. And maybe think about some new dreams while you are at it.

Whiskey Lullaby – Allison Kraus/Brad Paisley

A broken love – an alcohol addiction to forget – a guilty conscience. Any one of these would make a great sad song, but put them all together and wow! Sad song jackpot. If you watch the video – make sure you have a big box of tissues with you to wipe away the tears!

The Dance – Garth Brooks

This songs just says it like it is - things don’t always end up like we want them too. But by getting to the end, we will have some great times to go through. And if we want to miss that bad end – we will miss all of those good times, as well. It’s a choice we have to make.

If Tomorrow Never Comes – Garth Brooks

Garth watches his wife as she sleeps – wondering if he has told her enough how much he cares, just in case tomorrow never comes. This is a reminder to all of us to tell – and show – those around us how much we care about them.

Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell

A sad song because this man hears your laughter and songs through the lines as he works – but he is not a part of the laughter and the songs. This song brings back memories of my dad – the first time I heard this song was when we lived in California. He won an 8-track tape that had this song on it. I loved it because it mentioned our hometown of Wichita – and that made me sad because the rest of our family was still there.

Dust in the Wind – Kansas

The lesson from this song – nothing lasts forever - everything is just like dust in the wind. When you want to feel like all of your accomplishments are for nothing – listen to this song! If you want a real pity party, this is a great song to start with!

Sad Songs Can Make You Cry


Award Winning Sad Songs

Grammy Award Winning Sad Songs
Academy of Country Music Award Winning Sad Songs
Oscar Winning Sad Songs
Another Sad Love Song - Toni Braxton
The House That Built Me - Miranda Lambert
The Way We Were - Barbra Streisand
Bridge Over Troubled Waters - Simon and Garfunkel
Holes in the Floor of Heaven - Steve Wariner
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
Send in the Clowns - Judy Collins
He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones
Things Have Changed - Bob Dylan

Elvis Sang Many Sad Songs



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    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Theater girl - thanks for reading! I will check out Tangled Up Puppet -and I'll have a tissue ready!

    • Theater girl profile image

      Jennifer 4 years ago from New Jersey

      I love your collection! The Dance is a favorite. If you like Harry Chapin, may I suggest you listen to "Tangled Up Puppet" He wrote it for his daughter. The female version so to speak of Cats in the Cradle. And have a tissue handy!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Good then, it's agreed! :D

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Twilight - I'll look for it - and I'll be prepared with a tissue!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Cat - no - I was agreeing that there are just tons of songs I could have added....and thanks ...I won't change a thing! :)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York


      Oh I hope you don't think I was insinuating you left any out... this was stocked full of a plethora of just perfect songs! Actually, it was your words that made me think of the song 'Sad Songs Can Make You Cry' ... I was thinking... 'Yes, yes there are!' ... I wouldn't change it a bit!

      You're welcome!


    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Cat - thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed this! I know there are soooo many more songs I could've added, but I just ran out of time! Thanks for the follow, as well!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York


      AWESOMENESS! Yay!!! I am such a huge, huge lover of music, all kinds and this hub was right up my alley! I must thank Sir Epi for sending me this way! :D

      I started to keep track of songs on my fingers that I wanted to reference... but I ran out of piggies!

      You really covered so many bases... I was amazed as I kept scrolling to find more. I can't possibly pick a favorite... there's just too many!

      ... couldn't help but think of Billy Ocean's 'There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)! Yes, yes... there are plenty!

      Voted up and all kinds of stuff! Sharing too!


    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Funny how time slips away - a great song written by Willie Nelson and a good cover of this one by Al Green

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Colin - thanks for stopping by! I am glad you have enjoyed this hub! Thanks for the link, as well! I can't believe how quickly summer is slipping by!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Hello and good afternoon LaDena and I love your new profile photo and I really love this wonderful and evocative hub presentation and will madly and gladly post and link your 'labor of love' here to my FB page for everyone to see.

      I love sad music and writing sad pieces too and this is one of my favorite music hubs now - so nice to hang out with you again and I am sending to you warm wishes and good energy from Colin and his cats Tiffy and Gabriel at lake erie time ontario canada 5:49pm and this is our long Canada day holiday weekend but summer goes awful quick doesen't it

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      MickeySr. - thanks for reading! I will have to check out those other songs...especially Circus - haven't heard it and it sounds like I really need to! Thanks for the input!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      CyberShelley - thanks for reading! Tears in Heaven brings tears every time I hear it, too!

    • MickeySr profile image

      MickeySr 4 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

      I think Clapton's 'other' song about the loss of his son, 'Circus', has both a prettier melody and more heartbreaking lyrics than 'Tears In Heaven' . . . he had just taken his boy to the circus the day before, and wrote ~

      "And it's sad, so sad, there ain't no easy way 'round

      And it's sad, so sad, all you friends gather 'round

      'Cause the circus left town"

      . . . but also, Clapton's 'Layla' is about as gut-wrenching as music can get ~

      "Layla, you've got me on my knees.

      Layla, I'm begging, darling please."

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 4 years ago

      Wow so many of these songs have brought tears to my eyes over the years. Anything involving children can set me off. 'Tears in Heaven' does it all the time, can't help feeling for Eric Clapton losing his son. Up, interesting and beautiful.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      It is also called the 'Suicide Song' so beware!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Twilight Lawns - thanks for reading! I Will Always Love You is always a great sad song! I haven't heard Gloomy Sunday - I will have to check it out! Sorry for the tears!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I know very few of these songs, but reading your hub has brought real tears to my eyes.

      What about 'I Will Always Love You' by anybody, but the saddest son on record, and this is official, is 'Gloomy Sunday'.

      I was going to do some writing tonight... but I can't. My eyes are too full of tears.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      moonlake - thanks for reading! I love just about anything from Dolly!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Enjoyed the list. I have most of them on iphone. I love an old one by Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner.....Jeannie's Afraid of the Dark. Voted up.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Bill - thanks for reading - thought about adding that one, too, but then didn't know where I was going to stop!!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Love the list, LaDena...only one missing...."Angel" by Sara MacLachlan

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Thanks for reading Frank! I'm glad I had one of your favorites on my list!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      a very good collection of songs that wring out emotions of need, wants, sorrow, and alone.. Dust in the wind happens to be one of my favorites.. and yeah it pulls on my sad strings good share Justa Terrific Teacher..:)