Okay…so this subject is very subjective, I know, but I’m building a list of songs for a writing mix and what I am looking for are songs that for some reason or another elicit a very strong emotional reaction and could easily (if you are in the right mood) bring you tears. Now just because a song affects you like that, doesn’t mean it will do the same to me, but I think it could be interesting for me to hear what songs have that effect on other people.
I listen to all sorts of music so go ahead, give me your best “brings you to tears” (or pretty darn close) songs.
Unchained Melody. It was the song our parents danced to at our wedding, just five months before we found out my mom had cancer. Every time I hear that song, I think of our wedding video and how my mom snuggled up to my dad and sang the song into his ear.
I’m sure I’ll think of others, but that’s the one that springs to mind.
That one does it for me too. I think I remember a couple doing an ice skating routine to it that was so breathtaking that it just makes my heart skip a beat.
I know it’s cheesy as all get-out, but I’ve always loved Roxette’s “Listen to Your Heart.”
Also, Loreena McKennitt’s “The Highwayman”–the Alfred Noyes poem, set to music–will bring a huge lump to your throat.
Hey, cheesy works. I still have some,
bubblegum rock songs that I listen to frequently. Loreena McKennitt, yes. Good choice.
The beauty of Canon in D always makes me cry. Amazing Grace, when played as an instrumental, especially on a lone bagpipe and Taps played on a single trumpet.
Oh gosh…all of those are tear jearkers. I swear almost anything slow on a bagpipe can make me cry.
“Un bel di” from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.
Ooh…opera. Yes. I don’t know opera very well so I appreciate tips to check out.
“Cat’s in the Cradle,” Harry Chapin. As a mom, this song always hits hard.
“Where’ve You Been,” Kathy Mattea. This is an older country song that always made me cry!
“Wish You Were Here,” Pink Floyd. I’m not a big Pink Floyd fan, but this song always makes me incredibly sad, thinking about people who I’ve lost over the years.
“How can I help you say goodbye,” Patty Loveless. This one makes me sob, because the mom d-d-dies.
Oh, the How can I help you say goodbye…just gave me chills, sniff, sniff…
Oh yes. Harry Chapin. I cried at “Cat’s in the Cradle” before I had kids and even more after I had them. And “How can I help you say goodbye” . Yup. Good one.
Eric Bogle’s “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” and “It’s As if he Knows” – both songs about World War one – very poignant.
Thanks for mentioning Eric Bogle. I had never heard of him and spent some time on Amazon listening to a lot of clips. I found stuff for me and for gifts for a few friends.
He can either be incredibly thoughtful, poetic and moving, or achingly funny and scurrilous. He is wonderful live. Sadly, you’ve just missed his US/Canada tour.
The first one’s seasonal, but it’s the damned Christmas Shoes song (little boy buying shoes for dying mother).
A song by The Story called So Much Mine (about a mother’s relationship with her young teen daughter– I had to pull off the road when it came out b/c I was preggers and hormonal and it completely wrecked me every time).
The Christmas Shoes. I had forgotten that one but I cry at it too. Hmm, I wonder if I have a copy of that. Have never heard of The Story before. Thanks for the lead. (And I hope you’re all over the flu from hell.)
Thanks for the well wishes. I’m still waiting for my digestive system to return to full normal, but am no longer sick. Huzzah!
Here’s another song that wrecks me every time, from the incomparable Dolly Parton: “Me and Little Andy” will absolutely kill you. Also check out her “Coat of Many Colors”.
I thought of some other song possibilities, all from the wonderful land of show tunes:
“Close Every Door” by Andrew Lloyd Weber, from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
“A Little Fall of Rain” from Les Misérables (also, On my Own and Bring Him Home)
Thanks, Kelly. I love show tunes! I don’t know that Dolly Parton one but will have to go take a listen.
Okay, but I’m warning you — the Me and Little Andy one will rip your heart right out.
Susan, I’m gonna send you an email on this one
Thanks, Don. I got your mail (Haven’t answered yet) and agree with you.
Family Portrait by Pink makes me cry everytime.
Interesting choice. I have to say that though I have heard of Pink, I’ve never listened to Pink.
Who You’d Be Today, by Kenny Chesney
Skin, by Rascal Flatts
You’re Still You, by Josh Groban
I Can Only Imagine, by MercyMe
I had been away from country music for a while (long sad story) so I hadn’t heard of Rascal Flatts until I poked around on Amazon. Thanks for the tip because I really liked them. And “You’re Still You” oh year. Josh Groban.
I don’t own much music that makes me cry. I prefer stuff that makes me laugh. But here are a few that make me tear up sometimes, for different reasons:
BREATHE by REM
STORYBOOK LOVE from the Princess Bride soundtrack
HOPELESSLY DEVOTED TO YOU from the Grease soundtrack (this one because it was my “theme song” in a very painful breakup)
OCTOBRE by Francis Cabrel (it’s just so, sniff, beautiful!)
It’s interesting seeing what effects everyone else.
I like different types of music for differnt times in my life or different things I plan on doing. This is an experiment for this current book project because I have to dig deep into some buried stuff so I’m hoping that some music can help poke a few holes in my reserve. Well see.
Thanks for Cabrel. I love French singers but don’t know that many of them. Another great lead.
No, Woman, No Cry – Bob Marley
The Song Remembers When – Trisha Yearwood
I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Rait
Same Old Lang Syne – Dan Fogelberg
All great choices and all ones I have already. Yipee!
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” does it to me.
I’m still pondering, Susan.
Run For the Roses-Dan Fogelberg and Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
come to mind right off as well as anything played by Issac Sterns.
I agree with the first two but must confess I haven’t heard a lot of Issac Sterns. Will have to go looking.
Mine are related to movies that I have seen and when I hear them it triggers the memory I felt when watching them:
“my heart will go on” – Celine Dion (titanic song)
Theme song from “Out of Africa” – John Barry
Theme song from “Somewhere in Time” John Barry
“Remember Me”- Josh Groban, from “Troy”
sniff sniff, pass me a tissue.
Ooh…John Barry, how could I forget him?
And Josh Groban who could make me cry by reading me a grocery list.
Pass the tissues back, please.
Waterfall -Cris Williamson
Brand new to me. Will go check it out. Thanks.
James Taylor, Fire and Rain
If I could Just Hold you again (for parents of a childhood friend who committed suicide)
Oh yeah….JT rocks and If I could Just Hold you again I think about Michael J. Fox back on Family Ties. Another goodie. Thanks.
This is a great question. I like really emotional music. The one opera aria sure to never fail when I need a good cry is “Senza Mamma” from Suor Angelica. And for wordless, over-the-top emotional turmoil, Vitali’s Chaconne (with the organ accompaniement) is my favorite piece of music ever.
Oh great, another opera recommendation! I think I am going to end up with several mixes….all the opera and classical and wordless ones can go with me to work and play in the background all day. Of course then I’ll have to explain why I’m crying in my cubicle all the time but they’re used to me being a bit odd.
I prefer music without words!
I like music without words too. It’s another mix I’m building. Any favorites to share?
Although part of music is memory (where you were emotionally and physically when you heard the song), I love the Green Day song “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”
I find the memory connection to music fascinating. Some of them never fade. I will always feel a chill when I hear the that was playing when I went back in the house after being kissed for the first time. And it’s been 30+ years.