A hearse is a symbol of our own mortality. Seeing one means someone has died and reminds us that, one day, we too will die, and that we should enjoy life while we can.
The Hearse Song by Harley Poe
"Don't ever laugh as a hearse goes by,
For you may be the next to die.
They wrap you up in a big white sheet,
From your head down to your feet.
They put you in a big black box
And cover you up with dirt and rocks,
And all goes well for about a week,
And then your coffin begins to leak."
Big Black Mariah by Tom Waits
A "black Mariah" (mah-rye-uh) is an old slang term for either a police wagon to transport prisoners or a hearse. Tom Waits is clearly referring to a hearse here, as he notes someone is "all boxed up" in "a wooden coat, this boy is never coming home." The wooden coat is in fact the coffin. You can read the lyrics and notes about them here. Tom's songs always give me a creepy vibe, even when they are relatively up-beat like this song appears to be.
Hearsedriver by E.J. Wells
Another oddly upbeat song about a hearse. The driver notes "I drive a hearse, things could be worse. I could be riding in the back." E. J. Wells is best known for music in the "Gothabilly" style, which combines rockabilly rhythms with spooky themes. The video linked above takes a couple of minutes to get into the song, but it's cute. I especially like the dancing zombie.
Love Me Kiss Me Kill Me by Alex Can't Sleep
1959 Cadillac Hearse by Alex Can't Sleep
Alex Can't Sleep is a somewhat obscure goth-punk band. Both these songs refer to hearses as a deliberately chosen means of transportation and contain several references to death and dying as well. Some people enjoy driving these vehicles every day-as one fan said "Don't let your first ride in a hearse be your last." :)
Phantom 309 by Red Sovine
This song is both a ghost story and a classic trucking song. The ending is the best part!
Tales of the Phantom Ship by Lennie Gallant
This song is about the Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait which haunts the body of water between Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It has been seen on a regular basis since the late 1700's; the most recent sighting was in 2008.This song has an urgent, spooky feel to it that I really like.
"Out on the wide Northumberland Strait,
A ball of fire skips o'er the waves,
And those who watch they can't believe their eyes;
There's a burst of flame and a flash of light,
And there on the tide is a frightening sight,
As a tall ship, all aflame, lights up the sky."
Have You Seen the Ghost of John
This is often sung as a round by children, even though it is quite creepy (there is a video at the above link that demonstrates this quite well-just scroll down the page). There are sometimes variations in the lyrics.
"Have you seen the ghost of John (Tom)
Long white bones with the skin (flesh) all gone?
Ooo Ooo Ooo Ooo
Wouldn't it be chilly with no skin on?"
Steven by Alice Cooper
A song about a ghost from his Welcome to my Nightmare album. Gives me the shivers.
The Ghost Song by Salty Holmes
From the 1950's, this song is interesting as a precursor to songs like Thriller. Salty Holmes did all the vocal effects himself and the voice of the ghost is particularly eerie.