Best Songs About Death

Don’t know if we’ve ever gone down this morbid highway to discuss the very best songs about shuffling off the mortal coil, but it seems like as good a time as any. So dredge the lake for the very best of them and make your nominees. Mine is this one from Elbow: Switching Off.

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15 thoughts on “Best Songs About Death

  1. David Bazan doing Vic Chesnutt’s “Flirted With You All My Life” is one of my faves:

    Modest Mouse’s “Satin in a Coffin” also comes to mind… not even close to my favorite MM song but perhaps their song that most explicitly talks about death:

  2. Here’s the link to the acoustic version of For A Dancer on YouTube. I don’t know how to do the embedding thing.

  3. At a concert I attended Jackson Browne explained this song is about a friend of his who was a professional dancer and died in a house fire. The best line: “In the end there is one dance you’ll do alone.”

  4. I’m not a big Jackson Browne fan, but that’s a good song. It’s a piano song, not a guitar song, so I’m not sure what you mean by the “acoustic” version. What does the other version sound like?

  5. Just about every song Dax Riggs has written is about death, so I nominate his entire catalog.

    Gillian Welch has some good ones too. My fave being this one:

    One morning, one morning as work I begun
    What did I see riding out of the sun
    On the road from Lexington?

    One rider, one rider bent in the breeze
    Down on his saddle, low to his knees
    Coming through my willow trees

    Now closer, the terrible work of the gun
    Was stiffened and black where his blood all had run
    But I knew my wayward son

    One morning, one morning the boy of my breast
    Came to my door unable to rest
    Even in the arms of death

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