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The Best '80s Songs About Death

Updated December 8, 2019 968 votes 111 voters 4.8k views24 items

"And it seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind" is one of many great lyrics from '80s songs about death. The lyric is of course from Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," but there are many more good '80s death songs that deserve to be remembered. Let's rank the very best '80s songs that are about dying or death, with the help of your votes.

"He Stopped Loving Her Today" by George Jones is not only a fantastic song from the 1980s, but many consider it to be the best country song ever written. It tells the story of a man who never gave up on waiting for the love of his life to return, and only stopped loving her when he passed on. Another fantstic '80s hit about dying is "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" by Cutting Crew, although it's used in a more metaphorical sense in that song.

Add your favorite tribute song from the '80s to the list if it isn't already there!

  • 1
    Fade to Black is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    72
    13

    Fade to Black

    Metallica

    AlbumsRide the Lightning

    ComposerJames Hetfield, Cliff Burton, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett

    Length (seconds)6:54

    More Fade to Black 

    #3368 of 3,866 The Best Songs Of All Time, Ranked#1 of 51 The Best Metal Songs About Suicide

  • 2
    Another One Bites The Dust is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death

    AlbumsThe Game

    ComposerJohn Deacon

    ProducerQueen, Reinhold Mack

    Length (seconds)3:35

    More Another One Bites The Dust 

    #10 of 133 The Best Workout Songs#11 of 20 The Best Bouquet Toss Songs

  • 3
    Candle in the Wind is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    40
    18

    AlbumsGoodbye Yellow Brick Road

    ComposerElton John, Bernie Taupin

    ProducerGus Dudgeon

    Length (seconds)3:49

    More Candle in the Wind 

    #9 of 97 The Best Ballads of the 70s#5 of 77 The Best Pop Songs About Death

  • 4
    (I Just) Died in Your Arms is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death

    AlbumsBroadcast

    ComposerNick Van Eede

    Length (seconds)4:36

    More (I Just) Died in Your Arms 

    #45 of 142 The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders#3 of 109 The Greatest Songs by '80s One-Hit Wonders

  • 5
    Life Without You is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    30
    19

    Life Without You

    Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

    AlbumsSoul to Soul

    Length (seconds)4:18

  • 6
    If Tomorrow Never Comes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    26
    20

    AlbumsGarth Brooks, No Fences

    ComposerGarth Brooks, Kent Blazy

    Length (seconds)3:40

    More If Tomorrow Never Comes 

    #3 of 83 The Best Country Songs for Funerals#10 of 343 The Best Slow Country Songs

  • 7
    He Stopped Loving Her Today is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death

    AlbumsI Am What I Am, Hits I Missed... And One I Didn't

    ComposerCurly Putman, Bobby Braddock

    Length (seconds)3:17

  • 8
    (There's) Always Something The is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death

    AlbumsNaked Eyes, Burning Bridges

    ComposerBurt Bacharach

    Length (seconds)3:35

  • 9
    Wind Beneath My Wings is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    19
    22

    Wind Beneath My Wings

    Bette Midler
  • 10
    Dead Man's Party is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    18
    22

    Dead Man's Party

    Oingo Boingo

    AlbumsDead Man's Party

    ComposerDanny Elfman

    Length (seconds)6:22

    More Dead Man's Party 

    #19 of 87 The Best Apocalyptic Songs#68 of 182 The Best '80s New Wave Songs

  • 11
    There Is a Light That Never Go is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death

    AlbumsThe Queen Is Dead

    ComposerMorrissey, Johnny Marr

    ProducerMorrissey, Johnny Marr

    Length (seconds)4:3

  • 12
    Pancho and Lefty is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    16
    19

    Pancho and Lefty

    Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard

    AlbumsPancho & Lefty

    ComposerTownes Van Zandt

    Length (seconds)4:46

    More 

    #6 of 54 The Best Texas Country Songs#60 of 78 The Best Country Songs About Death

  • 13
    Chiseled in Stone is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    19
    23

    AlbumsChiseled in Stone

    ComposerVern Gosdin, Max D. Barnes

    Length (seconds)3:52

    More Chiseled in Stone 

    #52 of 113 The Saddest Country Songs#162 of 162 The Best Bruce Springsteen Songs of All Time

  • 14
    People Who Died is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    14
    20

    People Who Died

    The Jim Carroll Band

    AlbumsCatholic Boy

    Length (seconds)4:59

    More People Who Died 

    #199 of 257 The Greatest Pop Songs by One-Hit Wonders#2 of 50 Best Punk Songs About Death

  • 15
    Empty Garden is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    14
    22

    Empty Garden

    Elton John

    AlbumsJump Up

    ComposerElton John, Bernie Taupin

    ProducerChris Thomas

    Length (seconds)5:7

    More Empty Garden 

    #22 of 37 The Saddest Songs From The '80s#2 of 90 The Best Songs with Garden in the Title

  • 16
    Here Today is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    12
    20

    Here Today

    Paul McCartney

    AlbumsTug of War

    ComposerPaul McCartney

    Length (seconds)2:28

    More Here Today 

    #53 of 152 The Best Paul McCartney Songs#275 of 284 The Best Rock Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

  • 17
    Living Years is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    9
    18

    Living Years

    Mike + The Mechanics

    AlbumsLiving Years

    ComposerMike Rutherford, B.A. Robertson

    Length (seconds)5:22

    More Living Years 

    #175 of 194 The Worst Freakin' Songs of the '80s, Ranked#7 of 23 The Best Meaningful Songs For A Father's Funeral

  • 18
    Dead In a Ditch is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    8
    17

    Dead In a Ditch

    Dirty Rotten Imbeciles
  • 19
    All Those Years Ago is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    13
    25

    All Those Years Ago

    George Harrison

    AlbumsSomewhere in England

    ComposerGeorge Harrison

    Length (seconds)3:45

  • 20
    Somebody Got Murdered is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death

    AlbumsSandinista!, The Clash Hits Back

    ComposerThe Clash, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones

    Length (seconds)3:34

  • 21
    Warm Leatherette is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    4
    16

    Warm Leatherette

    Grace Jones

    AlbumsWarm Leatherette

    ComposerPeter Rauhofer, The Normal

    ProducerChris Blackwell, Alex Sadkin

    Length (seconds)5:37

  • 22
    7-11 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    4
    16

    7-11

    The Ramones
  • 23
    In the Kingdom #19 is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    2
    17

    In the Kingdom #19

  • 24
    Arthur is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '80s Songs About Death
    2
    35

    Arthur

    Hoodoo Gurus
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