10 nostalgic songs to remember someone you’ve loved and lost

01 December 2016

When a loved one dies, it is commonplace that after the initial shock and subsequent furore of the funeral, the truly difficult time is when life returns to normal and there is a hole in the routine where once there was a living, breathing person.

10 songs to remember someone you've lost

Plus, there is perhaps no greater influencer on our state of mind than the music we choose to listen to. To that end, here are songs about reflection to help keep the memories of those you’ve lost very much alive.

Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor

Ireland’s Sinead O’Connor took the music industry by storm when she released this powerful song about loneliness and longing. If you were to define the feeling of missing someone, the lyrics of this song would certainly be a good place to start.

Heroes - David Bowie

Any Bowie song comes with additional poignancy this year but Heroes, the soundtrack to the London 2012 Olympic Games, is an upbeat way to look back on memories of someone you loved, including David Bowie himself.

Rotterdam - Beautiful South

A little unrelated, but nonetheless a rousing track. The lyrics speak candidly about how uniform our lives are across the globe. What has become something of an anthem of everyday extraordinariness is a beautiful way to remember the routine of life shared with a lost loved one.

Yesterday - The Beatles

From the inarguably abstract to the indefensibly obvious. Stick on this wonderful Beatles record and immerse yourself in the memories it will inevitably conjure.

Dreams - The Everly Brothers

The ethereal message of this track, that you can always remember someone you’ve lost through pure imagination, is extremely poignant when reflecting on treasured memories of a loved one.

American Pie – Don Maclean

This epic track has become a Karaoke favourite for its accessibility and sheer relatability to our everyday lives. While the focus is on life across the pond, its lyrics talk anecdotally of past events that have stayed with the singer. Plus, thanks to its widespread popularity, there is likely to be an existing memory already attached to it for most of us.

Fairy Tale in New York – The Pogues and Kirsty McColl

Although the argument for the best ever Christmas Song will never be settled, this is generally held up as the leader of the pack. Reflective and melancholic, this song holds a thousand memories of Christmas time as the soundtrack to parties and merriment, which is often one of the most emotional for those who have lost someone.

Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks

London rockers, The Kinks were arguably as influential to Britain’s bursting 1960’s music scene as the Beatles or The Rolling Stones. The tone of this song epitomises lazy summer days and discusses the everyday with wistful melancholy, which is always a winner when affectionately looking back on memories shared.

Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen

Another high profile loss to the music industry came this year with the passing of Leonard Cohen. His legacy will outlast most, thanks mainly to this fantastically emotive record. As one of the most popular funeral songs in the UK and because of its title, it has an intrinsic link with death and ceremony and therefore is a fitting way to look back.

The Way you Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra

For those who have lost not so much a loved one as the loved one, this beautiful record about one man’s love for his partner is incredibly powerful. The lyrics transcend appearance and snapshots the way he feels about their entire relationship in just a moment.