"How could I ever forget?
the moment my life was set
That day that I lost you
It's clear as the day we met
How could I ever forget?"
Someone died (or is otherwise gone), we're very sad, and we're singing about it. Frequently a Tear Jerker
. A Sub-Trope
of Songs of Solace
Compare Breakup Song
, Death Song
. See also Really Dead Montage
Songs about Death:
- In the Total Drama story, Legacy, Trent writes a song in tribute to his late girlfriend and first love. In the following years, he sings it at most of his gigs, usually as the closing number.
- Curtis Mayfield's "Freddie's Dead" from the Soundtrack to Superfly.
- In the film version of Return of the King, there is Pippin's song as Faramir's Knights of Minas Tirith charge Osgiliath. In the first film and in the book, Elves sing a tearjerking lament for Gandalf. In The Two Towers movie, Éowyn's song at her cousin's funeral is a heartbreaker, particularly when one deciphers the Anglo-Saxon.
- In the novel The Two Towers, Aragorn and Legolas sing an emotional lament for Boromir.
- In the novel The Fellowship of the Ring, the elves of Lothlórien sing a lay for Gandalf, whom they thought was dead.
- The song "Remember Me This Way" by Jordan Hill was featured in the movie Casper.
- "My Heart Will Go On", performed by Celine Dion, from the film Titanic.
- "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead" from The Wizard of Oz is an inversion, in that the death is being celebrated instead of mourned.
- In A Song Is Born, one of the professors remembers his departed wife with the song "Genevieve". The other professors join in and it becomes a bonding song.
- Many of the songs from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
- "It Don't Make Sense" from Parade.
- "How Could I Ever Forget?" from Next To Normal.
- "'Till We Reach That Day" from Ragtime
- All of William Finn's Elegies, but particularly "When The Earth Stopped Turning"
- "Anytime (I Am There)" is the show's real Tear Jerker, but it's sung from the perspective of the bereaving rather than the bereaved.
- "Gone, Gone, Gone," "My Man's Gone Now" and "Clara, Clara" from Porgy and Bess.
- "Candide's Lament" from Candide.
- Parodied in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat with "One More Angel in Heaven". Joseph's brothers know he isn't really dead, but they put on a show of grief for Dad's benefit.
- Played straight with "Close Every Door to Me," where Joseph has hit rock bottom in prison.
- Also parodied in Oklahoma!, with "Pore Jud is Daid".
- "Endless Night" in the stage musical version of The Lion King.
- "Rafiki Mourns."
- "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" is one from Timon and Pumbaa's perspective.
- The Dark Reprise of "I'll Cover You" in Rent. Subverted by "Your Eyes", after which Mimi revives thanks to The Power of Rock and a literal guardian Angel.
- The Dark Reprise of "If I Loved You" from Carousel is an interesting variant, as it's sung from the viewpoint of a deceased person who's about to leave for the afterlife after being allowed to see his wife and daughter on Earth fifteen years after he died.
- "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables" from Les Misérables, dealing with Marius' grief and survivor's guilt.
- "Days of Plenty" from the musical of Little Women.
- "Those You've Known" from Spring Awakening. Interesting in that it is sung mostly by the ghosts of the departed.
- "No More" could be seen as a variant of this in Into the Woods. For sure, though, "The Witch's Lament" is a straight example.
- Invoked by Urinetown with "Tell Her I Love Her", which is part Death Song for Bobby and this for Little Sally.
- "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" sung by Christine about her father in The Phantom of the Opera.
- The Phantom's mournful "All I Ask Of You" reprise also qualifies, as he is singing about Christine who he believes he has lost forever to Raoul.
- The final scene of Love Never Dies is a series of reprises that are either dark reprises or turn the material into Grief Songs. "Look With Your Heart", "Once Upon Another Time", and "Till I Hear You Sing", in that order, chronicle Christine's death.
- "Supper Time." Holy god, "Supper Time." From the 1933 revue As Thousands Cheer, this number is a black woman wondering how to explain to her kids that their father has just been lynched.
- Notre Dame De Paris: Quasimodo's "Danse mon Esmeralda" (doubles as BSOD Song), right after Esmeralda's death. He's witnessed the death of the woman he loves and killed his adoptive father. He's resolved to die holding Esmeralda's dead body, because "dying for you is not dying". Yeah, he's pretty broken.
- "Why" in tick, tick, BOOM. Jon has just found out his best friend Michael has AIDS. The song is about Jon remembering the good times he and Michael had, and wanting to make the best of the time they have left.
- "Alabanza" is the neighborhood grieving Abuela Claudia.
- Iolanthe features an inversion in the climactic scene. Iolanthe veils herself so the Lord Chancellor won't recognize her because she'll be executed if he does, and pleads for him to give his consent for her son Strephon to marry a certain ward of the court. She sings the ballad, "If, In the Bygone Years" in an appeal to his memories of his (supposedly) late wife, who is in fact Iolanthe herself.
- Boris Godunov has the Tsarevna Xenia's lament for her late fiancé. This was one of the parts of the opera that was recomposed from the original version.
- The "Totenklage" in Elisabeth combines this trope with Dark Reprise.
- Lestat has both "Sail Me Away" and the brief Dark Reprise of "Right Before My Eyes".
- "I Promise You a Happy Ending" from Mack and Mabel.
- "Chorale For Snow White."
- Owen's upcoming song Oh, My Izzy! in Total Drama World Tour, while it has a very up-beat tempo is sang right after Owen breaks up with Izzy, and she is taken out of the game due to head trauma.
- Coupled with the Art Shift during the song, which is done in Owen's crayon style (which is his imagination.)
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: "Leaves from the vine]] / falling so slow / like fragile, tiny shells / drifting in the foam. / Little soldier boy comes marching home / Brave soldier boy, come marching home." Sung at a makeshift memorial shrine for his son who died in the siege on Ba Sing Se... a soldier who did not come marching home. The song also acts as a dedication to Iroh's voice actor, Mako, who had died before the episode aired.
- "Ghost" by Indigo Girls
- "Yellow Butterfly" by Meg & Dia.
- It Changes from Snoopy Come Home.
- Nefertiti from Fireaxe's Food For The Gods
- "Bright Eyes", written by Mike Batt and performed by Art Garfunkel, from Watership Down.
Songs about Partings
- Double example in Ya Uhozhu (я ухожу), which counts for both death and partings. "Ya uhozhu, - skazal mal'chishka ej skvoz' grust' no nenadolgo *Gunfire*,ty zhdi menya i ya vernus', Ushel sovsem, ne vstretiv pervuyu vesnu." *Cuts to war memorial.* Prishyol domoj v soldatskom tsinkovom grobu.
- "She's Leaving Home" by The Beatles
- "The Dance" by Garth Brooks
- By Elton John:
- "Blue Eyes"
- "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues"
- "Leaving on a Jet Plane", by John Denver and others
- Project Pitchfork's "Lament" (ambiguous whether this is about just parting or the love interest's actual death).
- The title track on Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, about the departure of their co-founder and original frontman Syd Barrett, who was forced to leave due to mental illness
- Metallica's final song with bassist Jason Newsted, 'I Disappear' from the Mission Impossible II soundtrack mirrored his eventual falling out and departure from the band.
- "The Time Has Come (Pikachu's Goodbye)" from the Pokémon: 2B A Master album. Although the song itself is a perfectly straight example, when it's actually used in the anime, Pikachu immediately returns as soon as the song is over.
- "This Nearly Was Mine" from South Pacific
- "Chavaleh" from Fiddler on the Roof is an interesting case, as Tevye has to declare his daughter Chava dead to him after she marries outside the Jewish faith, but this song makes it clear it's not easy for him. He loves his daughter, yet he believes he has no choice but to disown her.
- "For Good", from Wicked.
- "Cute Boys with Short Haircuts" and "Friendship Isn't What it Used to Be" from Vanities: The Musical.