JACKSON, Tenn. — Singer and songwriter Denise LaSalle, whose hit "Trapped by a Thing Called Love" topped the R&B charts in 1971, has died. She was 78.
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Playing music in a funeral is a special part of saying goodbye to someone who has passed away. It can be even more significant when the songs match the style and genre that interested the deceased person in life.
Because of the sorrowful, reflective and rustic way country music can portray universal human emotions, like grief, it is the perfect genre of music to play at a funeral. Today we are discussing the top country songs to include in the memorial honoring lost loved ones.
This song is for the departed souls who have died too soon, addressing the reality of losing a young person under difficult circumstances:
I know your life on earth was troubled,
And only you could know the pain.
You weren't afraid to face the devil,
You were no stranger to the rain.
The singers of this rhythmic, warbling tribute urge the deceased to go home to rest after all they faced in life. This is a rare tune that directly addresses grief, lamenting that standing at the deceased person's graveside makes the singer think of their meeting with angels in heaven.
This song is an appropriate choice for any person whose life was lost under tragic circumstances. Despite the troubles of life, the deceased person is heading toward God in heaven for eternal rest.
As he drives over the Flint River bridge, the singer remembers fishing there with his grandpa. He goes on to remember other family members, friends, acquaintances and pets who passed away throughout the years.
If heaven wasn't so far away
I'd pack up the kids and go for the day
Introduce them to their grandpa
Watch 'em laugh at the way he talked.
He has the benefit of years of reflection in grief, and now wishes that he could bring his children to visit their ancestors, saying "Losing them wouldn't be so hard to take / If heaven wasn't so far away." Visiting the dead would show them they are missed, and allow them the chance to know family they've never met.
Although it is a song full of tragedy and wistful yearning for those who will never come back, the song is a comforting choice for a funeral. Reminding guests that deceased loved ones are just in heaven is a way of considering relationships with them to be ongoing. Death is not seen as final, but as simply a change of address.
We never understand the value of a person until they are truly gone.
One more day, one more time
One more sunset, maybe I'd be satisfied
But then again, I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still for one more day with you.
In this song, the singer dreams he is granted a wish. All he wants is one more day with the one he has lost.
Aching for one last good day with a loved one is an almost universal wish for those caught in grief. Often death takes the elderly and the ill, meaning their last time on earth was painful or difficult. The singer wants time to cry, and spend time holding his loved one, telling them he loves them.
At a funeral, this sentimental song will remind guests of the unique spirit of the deceased person. Reflecting on how one more day spent with the one they miss will allow them time to remember times spent together.
In this song, the singer is comforted by the notion that when a body expires, the soul of the individual can return to earth. Teaching lessons of love and providing guidance are the tasks of the "angels among us."
Oh, I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live.
He believes that the people that bring us hope in times of darkness are angels sent by deceased loved ones. In this way, the people we miss watch over and protect us from harm.
This is a particularly comforting addition to a country funeral, as it depicts the dead as still present in day-to-day life.
This country and western piano ballad discusses the loss of the singer's grandmother "one day shy" of his eighth birthday. The unbearable pain affects him, as this is his first time experiencing grief. The singer's mother comforts him by explaining that grandma is watching over them through the holes in the floor of heaven.
Cause there's holes in the floor of heaven
And her tears are pouring down,
That's how you know she's watching,
Wishing she could be here now.
Years later, the singer also loses his wife. Again, he applies the lesson his mother taught him about grief. As the years go by, his grandmother and wife protect him through loneliness and pain. He teaches this lesson to his daughter as he raises her without a mother. On her wedding day she repeats back to him that her mother is watching over the day.
This song is particularly appropriate for the funeral of a mighty matriarch, and would make the perfect addition to a rustic funeral.
These five tunes can add meaning to the final send-off of a country music lover. Remember to honor their specific wishes. If the deceased person requested certain musical selections, those songs should be featured. However, these sorrowful western tunes will comfort mourners and honor the deceased person on the day of a funeral if no other music has been pre-arranged.
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