If we're all being honest, who among us can honestly say that we haven't sat around on more than one occasion, sobbing our hearts out to some song that reminds us of a current partner, an ex, or just moves us in general? I love the fact that music is so powerful that it can move me to tears, because in all honestly, not many things can. I'm just not a crier, but when it comes to emotional melodies and lyrics, forget it — I'm a goner. It's a particular kind of release, and there's not just one type of song that can do it, either. Ugh, I'm getting a little emotional just talking about it.
Sometimes songs that make you cry do so for negative reasons. Like, maybe you're a little too close to heartbreak and you probably need to put on something a bit more upbeat. However, if you're anything like me and you like to let yourself just sorta get lost in great art and be moved by it, you're in luck because I've got the perfect soundtrack for you to do just that. Of course, each of us are different and so these tracks might not produce any tears, but hopefully some will resonate.
Amy Winehouse, "Love Is A Losing Game"
Pretty much every track on Back To Black could be listed here, because every one of them is heartbreaking and emotive and a million other things, but "Love Is A Losing Game" masters a particular melancholy I don't even have words for. It's just beautiful, and I'm going to be sad that Amy Winehouse is no longer here and making music probably for the rest of my life.
Jeff Buckley, "Lover, You Should've Come Over"
I haven't listened to Buckley's Grace in years because the whole thing just reduces me to an emotional wreck, but I love it so much, and even thinking about it takes me back to being 17 and hopelessly in love for the first time and hearing "Lover, You Should Have Come Over" and feeling that heartbreaking yearning and oh man, it's such a good one.
Billie Holiday, "Strange Fruit"
I'd be surprised if there was a single soul alive who's heard Holiday's voice but hasn't been affected profoundly by it. There have been so many wonderful vocalists over the years, but no one's ever been able to come close to the incredible power that Holiday had. "Strange Fruit" gives me chills for many reasons, and definitely gets the tears flowing.
Florence + The Machine, "Never Let Me Go"
Whenever I try and tell people why I love Florence + The Machine so much, I end up relaying the experience of seeing her live for the first time. It was in a tiny room tucked in the West Village and about 300 of us were packed like sardines in a tin can and Florence sang and it felt like we were in church and had some spiritual awakening. Every song of hers has that transcendental effect, but "Never Let Me Go" also carries a deep emotion in it too that makes me cry every time.
Ralph Vaughn Williams, "The Lark Ascending"
That's right, I went classical. I've always loved classical music and there are many sonatas and symphonies that make me emotional, but "The Lark Ascending" is just so starkly beautiful that it manifests in seriously watery eyes every single time I hear it. You don't need words to convey emotion, that much is for sure.
Band of Horses, "Detlef Schrempf"
I don't necessarily know that this track will be as tear-producing to anyone else as it is to me, but "Detlef Schrempf" gets me every time. Upon Googling, it seems that Detlef Schrempf is actually a retired basketball player, which is vaguely confusing, but no matter. This song is romantic and wonderful and really, really good.
Everything Bjork does is just so haunting and gorgeous, but Joga is a particular favorite of mine because it's just so rife with passion and longing and all the elements of a really great (albeit unconventional) love song. It sorta makes you breathless with how lovely it is.
The Beach Boys, "God Only Knows"
I mean, I know this is a bit of a corny one and I'm outing myself as a total softy, but WHATEVER. If you don't think this song is super sappy and romantic in the best possible way, I don't even know what to say you, because you clearly have no soul.
Neko Case, "Magpie to the Morning"
I've always adored Neko Case and felt a deep connection to her music (to the point that I have one of her lyrics tattooed on my inner forearm), but "Magpie to the Morning" is special. It's so sweet and comforting, like a lullaby, and now I'm gonna start crying just writing about it.
Rufus Wainwright, "The Art Teacher"
It's not even the lyrics of this song that gets me, it's the piano. I'm a sucker for the piano and Wainwright's playing on this song is just... ugh, it's other-worldly. I love it so much.
I don't really get embarrassed or have guilty pleasures when it comes to music, so I'm not ashamed to say that I love Coldplay SO MUCH, and their debut album still gives me chills. "Sparks", in particular, takes me back to some teenage angst and just kills me, every single time.
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