Musical Monday ~ Tribute Songs To Those Who Have Died

Welcome to Musical Monday! Music has been known to affect our emotions. Listening to music can make us happy or sad, relaxed or motivated, put us to sleep or make us want to dance. Music absolutely plucks at our heartstrings bringing to the surface a multitude of emotions.

Someone once described music to me as a time machine. When we listen it often transports us back to a place in time. A certain song can bring back feelings of someone we loved, our wedding day, someone who died, or any of the many important times in our lives.

Music has always been a big part of my life. When I am sad listening to a sad song often allows me to release that sadness. Happy songs tend to take away my sadness. It has helped motivate me to do housework. Yep, just crank up the radio or a music television station and I’m good to go. Warning: Be careful not to turn your music up too loud though. I have actually blown out the speakers in a television once doing this.

I have been known to start singing in a store when a song that I like comes on, I tend to sing along with songs while I am driving, and it isn’t unusual to see me moving to the music in my computer chair as I sit and listen to music.

This week I am posting Tribute Songs To Those Who Have Died. Please leave your favorite Tribute Song(s)To Those Who Have Died in the comments below. You may see your song posted in upcoming blog posts. If you have enjoyed this blog post don’t forget to sign up to follow my blog so you’ll never miss a Musical Monday post. Follow buttons can be found on the right side of this blog. Thank you!

Graphic source:

According to Sarah McLachlan the song Angel is about Jonathan Melvoin who was a keyboard player for Smashing Pumpkins. He died from a heroin overdose in 1996.

Eric Clapton wrote Tears In Heaven as a tribute to his son Conor who died in 1991 at the age of 4 when he fell out a 53rd story window. The song was used in the movie, Rush, about two police officers who become drug addicts.

In 1974 the Righteous Brothers released Rock and Roll Heaven, a tribute to singers who had passed away. That version included Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Jim Morrison, Bobby Darin, and Jim Croce.

In 1981 The Righteous Brothers added more deceased singers….Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Keith Moon.

In 1991 the lyrics were once again rewritten to add Roy Orbison, Jackie Wilson, Ricky Nelson, Dennis Wilson, Marvin Gay, Sam Cooke, Cass Elliot and Steve Ray Vaughan.

Better On The Other Side is a song that was written and dedicated to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The song was recorded on the day of his demise, June 25, 2009, after hearing that Jackson had died. Recording artists are Diddy, Boyz II Men, Usher, The Game, Chris Brown, DJ Khalil, Mario Winans and Polow da Don.

One of my all time favorite songs! Sung by Dion, Abraham, Martin and John is a tribute to four assassinated men who fought for civil rights. The song mentions Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr, John F. Kennedy and close to the end of the song acknowledges Robert (Bobby)Kennedy.

Michael Stipe, the lead singer in R.E.M. paid tribute to the late comedian Andy Kaufman with the song, Man On The Moon.

The Day The Music Died is referenced in the song American Pie. This tribute to February 3, 1959 when music greats Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed in a plane crash is sung by Don McLean. 

Elton John’s Candle In The Wind was originally written as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe in 1973.

In 1997 with the death of Diana, the Princess of Wales he rewrote the lyrics and Good-bye England’s Rose was a song in honor of her.

The song Happy Birthday sung by Stevie Wonder is a tribute to the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



  1. I’m glad there’s no way to vote this time because I wouldn’t know what to do. Tears in Heaven and Abraham, Martin and John tie for first, with about three others close behind. Great post!

    • Thank you! I keep forgetting to put the darn poll in the blog post. I don’t know how Eric Clapton can sing Tears In Heaven without breaking down. I don’t think I could do it

  2. We come from a time period of great music -real music – played by musicians who spent years perfecting their craft. So many get back together and show us that aging makes musicians better. I saw an article yesterday that Pink Floyd was going to tour again. The music, especially the 70’s – our youth – had words that meant something. It was the personal diaries of the writers. We hear those songs today and close our eyes and it transports us back. By the time my kids were in the puberty stage music became boring. Bands were ” put together” Songs were written for them. And even today’s super stars are told what to sing if they are going to keep their label. They rarely write their own music. (so indie music was born – for music and for authors) Music became electronic. Drums by machine. Lyrics that repeat a phrase over and over and mean nothing. Will this music create the same memories? I am a musician. For many years I sang and played keyboard in piano bars and in front of bands. I retired from gigs 14 years ago. I ruined my voice in smokey bars. But my music changed when I started writing about Jamie. It’s all over both of my blogs. The most recent one was posted 2days ago. As we age, if we keep up with our craft, it gets better. Our life experience goes into it. I decided a few months ago it was time to come out of retirement ( and promptly fell over on the floor and crushed my arm. osteoporosis is not fun). It is slowly healing. Music, like the artists you show, are the real deal. Tears in heaven makes me cry. Because I know he wrote it about the death of his son and he was sharing his pain.

    • I am sorry to hear that you fell and that you are dealing with osteoporosis. I fell a little over a year ago and broke my elbow. We have to be careful and make sure we take our calcium : ) I agree that music from the 70’s is far better than any other decade. There still is a lot of old talent still going strong : ) It must have been exciting to be a singer. I know I used to daydream of being one when I was young. Either being a singer or marrying Bobby Sherman : ) I look forward to reading more of what you write….Take care.

      • Lol! For me it was Mickey Dolenz (sp) of the Monkees. Davy was too shot. Oh I’m having sympathy pains with your elbow. My fall literally pulled my elbow apart and there is a lot of metal and 13 screws holding it back together again. And the to portion of my arm above the elbow – I crushed the ball that fits into the shoulder socket and crumbled the bone beneath it so there is a new metal ball and rod that fits down in the bone. One surgery was bad. Both at the same time was horrid. It’s a long hall and I’m trying to make my arm work like an arm. It looks like an arm, but trying to reach across a kitchen counter to flip on the garbage disposal let’s me know I have a long way to go. Tell me, how is your elbow? Do you have full function? Mine is still pretty crooked but it is improving. Sitting back when I bend my elbow I can look at my hand but I can’t touch my face by about 6″. But I can now lift my arm and touch it by pushing my hand up. I do take a very good quality calcium. I had cirrhosis of the liver and a transplant. That sucked out calcium. My numbers from bone scans were below the chart. I knew I was in trouble. My bones are like Swiss cheese. How bad would the fall have been if I hasn’t been taking it. So many women don’t check their bones and think they are okay or they take a cheap brand from the drug store made from rock and filler our body can’t absorb. Older women who break their hips don’t fall and break them. The fracture and then they fall. They can’t heal and end their lives in a nursing home. You can’t start taking care of yourself when it’s too late to be affective. Okay, that’s my lecture of the day. I try to educate people from my experiences so they don’t do what I did. But it rarely works. People usually need to find out the hard way. And yes, I loved performing, but now when I start gigging again it will just be me and my piano. I play all improvisations. I let my fingers do what they want. Here is a link. http:// Music that is background for your dreams. 33 pieces. There are favorites: Picking up Broken Pieces, For the Children, Life interrupted, are a few. I will be back. Promise.

        • I was told by the doctor when I first broke my elbow that I wouldn’t be able to fully extend my arm anymore. It was because of where I broke it. When I went back weeks later he was amazed at the x-ray. It healed so well that I was able to put my arm straight out. So I was lucky! Sounds like you did a number on yours..did this happen recently? As for teen idols I heard that David Cassidy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.How sad! I put your link in my favorites. what beautiful music!! Take care.

          • Thank you so much for playing my music. I started writing in this style for Jamie and putting them on blog posts. For the most part they are in minor keys because the emotion I felt when I played was sadness and pain. The music I play is the emotion I feel. I started recording all sessions because they are all improvised. I couldn’t play them again unless I studied what I did. After I record I don’t listen back for days so I can hear it like a stranger would and see what it tells.What is the stor. Then I title it. All of the music I wrote earlier in life are songs with lyrics. But many of the new music has poetry if you find the actual post. For example there is a post called “The Second time Around” that has both, and “Inside The Forbidden Outside” It’s the title of the book but there is also music and poetry.

            Congrats on your elbow. You are very lucky.I’ve made progress but there is still considerable pain. Surgery was a little over 3 months ago. What made it worse is severe osteoporosis. My bones are very thin so there are 13screws holding 2 plates in place. There is an 8″scar going down the back of my am above and below the elbow. My arm and shoulder were immobilized for 7 weeks before I could start therapy. I can now raise my arm in a Heil Hitler pose, as awful as that sounds. ( Did you know that was the way we originally saluted the American flag?) I can touch my opposite shoulder and I can carry a plate of food carefully. Obstacles make us stronger. There is a reason for this.

            I didn’t know that about David Cassidy. I think that Alzheimers is the saddest of diseases – to lose the memories of your life and disappear while living. Did you see Glenn Campbell’s last tour with his family?

            • You can tell that your music comes from your heart. I really enjoyed listening to it and will be back to listen again. As for the elbow, the doctor was quite impressed. He said he had never seen an elbow heal as well as mine did. I hope that your elbow heals better than expected as well. I have lost two uncles to Alzheimer’s and a cousin my age. I did see clips of Glenn Campbell’s last tour. David Cassidy was interviewed the other day and he started crying. It’s such a terrible disease. I wish there would be some medical breakthroughs and cures would be found for all the devastating diseases that people deal with.

  3. How do you decide what to include? Can followers post their choices. I can think of a lot in this category. Out of these it would be hard to pick between Eric and Elton’s Diana version.

    • I only choose 10 songs a blog post so sometimes it’s really hard which ones to include. I usually add a poll but forgot to add it. I like song suggestions…if you have any please post them in the comments : )

      • I think that is a good rule 1o. I will for sure make some comments if I have any. My music tastes are pretty eclectic.

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