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The Five Songs That Make Me Cry - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
The Five Songs That Make Me Cry
Despite all evidence to the contrary, deep down inside I am a soppy, romantic gal. There are five songs that make me teary almost every time I hear them alone. Here are the songs, the explanations and the best lines / verses from each.

Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley: Really, does this need any explanation? Few other songs come close to summing up the agony of loving and losing like this one, and in such an intensely poetic way. Jeff Buckley wasn't the first to do this song, but I'm most familiar with his version.

Well there was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show that to me, do you?
But remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was hallelujah

Well, maybe there's a god above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
It's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

End of the Innocence - Don Henley: I was working at Disney when my friend Tony gave me a CD of the best of Don Henley (formerly of The Eagles). I hated Sydney, hated being alone, and I was beginning to hate working for Disney too - let me tell you, one way to grow up fast is to watch a dream turn to dust. Around this time, I got a call from Mum to tell me that she and Dad were divorcing. The next day at work, this song came up in my Discman, and I hurried to the bathroom and cried for half an hour. I haven't been able to hear it without crying since. Even the memory makes me cry. I'm a little weepy typing this right now, how crazy is that?? Of all the songs listed here, this is the most personally powerful and meaningful to me.

Remember when the days were long
And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didn't have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standing by
When happily ever after fails
And weve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers dwell on small details
Since daddy had to fly

But I know a place where we can go
Thats still untouched by man
Well sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind

You can lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence

Romeo and Juliet - Dire Straits: Another lament for lost love, this song is made more powerful by casual lyrics reminiscent of the spoken word. It was always the following two verses that got me, at a time when I was helplessly and hopelessly in love with someone who didn't love me back. (He came around - as the song says, "It was just that the time was wrong.")

I can't do the talk like they talk on TV
And I cant do a love song like the way it's meant to be
I can't do everything, but I'd do anything for you
I can't do anything except be in love with you

And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be
All do is keep the beat and bad company
All I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme
Julie, I'd do the stars with you anytime

To Her Door - Paul Kelly: Another brilliant song from Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly, this one has a strong narrative about a couple whose relationship fell apart after they married too young and succumbed to money stresses and drinking. The man in the song spends a year away from his family and comes to realise how much they mean to him. Filled with equal parts hope and terror, he writes his wife a letter telling her that he's changed, and she cautiously asks him to come and see her. He catches a bus to her door. We don't find out what happens after that.

She went to her brother's, got a little bar work
He went to the Buttery, stayed about a year
Then he wrote a letter, said I want to see you
She thought he sounded better, she sent him up the fare
He was riding through the cane in the pouring rain
On Olympic to her door
To her door

He came in on a Sunday, every muscle aching
Walking in slow motion like he'd just been hit
Did they have a future?
Would he know his children?
Could he paint a picture and get them all to fit?
He was shaking in his seat, riding through the streets
In a silvertop to her....
Shaking in his seat, riding through the streets
In a silvertop to her door
To her door

Have You Ever Seen The Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival: This one is more a happy-teary song, I find it very inspiring. I've never looked up what it refers to - chances are it, like most of Creedence's stuff, is about the Vietnam War or the politics of the time, but it means something different to me anyway. To me it's about depression - rain on a sunny day - and a reminder that all storms pass.

Someone told me long ago there's a calm before the storm,
I know; it's been comin' for some time.
When its over, so they say, it'll rain a sunny day,
I know; shinin' down like water.

I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain
Comin' down on a sunny day?

What are the songs that get under your skin?
30 have fought ~ fight the power!
pip_malloy From: pip_malloy Date: May 29th, 2008 11:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I always think of Hallelujah as the "Someone's Leaving, Someone's Dying" song, because that's the only time they use it in movies/TV shows. Despite that, it remains the single saddest song I've ever heard.

Samson, by Regina Spektor; Lucky, by Bif Naked; I Don't Like Mondays, by Tori Amos; and Jolene, by Ray LaMontagne. Those are the four most powerful songs on my playlist, I feel.

I Don't Like Mondays is about a girl who shot up her school; aparently her response to the question of why inspired the song. Jolene is a song I will listen to for any reason, at any time. It is the single best love song I've ever heard.
rosequoll From: rosequoll Date: May 29th, 2008 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wuuh, there's a version of 'I don't like Monday's' by Tori Amos? I only know the Boomtown Rats version (the original).

I must hear this! *goes to find it*
scoutlostthewar From: scoutlostthewar Date: May 29th, 2008 11:43 am (UTC) (Link)


Coma by Paul Kelly is doing things for me at the moment.

Other songs include:
Lover I don't have to love - Bright Eyes
Broken Record -scarling
Author Unknown - Jack off Jill
Dirty Magic - The Offspring
Little Time Bomb - Billy Bragg.
Levi Stubbs' Tears - Billy Bragg
Private Universe - Crowded House
6 Underground - Sneaker Pimps
The Weeping Song - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Change Your Mind - Paul Kelly
Mess - Ben Folds Five
Soil Soil - Tegan and Sara
Down Down to Mephisto Cafe - Streetlight Manifesto

Errrr yeah I could be a while. :(
jisuk From: jisuk Date: May 29th, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ben Folds - The Luckiest

Have you heard it?
caax From: caax Date: May 29th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
peterchayward From: peterchayward Date: May 29th, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

I spent over $60 just to get that one song on CD.

"Romeo and Juliet" is one of my favourite songs. My favourite line was the first one, until I realised that I'd been mishearing it. I always thought it was "A lovestruck Romeo walks the streets of serenade". With that intepretation in mind, I named a city in All-That-Is "Serenade". The actual line isn't nearly as good.
afromann From: afromann Date: May 29th, 2008 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

A random selection from my playlist....

Andrew Lloyd Webber - Another suitcase in another hall
Cat Stevens - How Can I Tell You
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Who'll stop the rain
David Gray - Sail away
Default - Deny
INXS - Never tear us apart
John Butler Trio - Peaches and cream
Mike Oldfield - Five Miles Out
Mike Oldfield - Sunlight Shining through Cloud
Leonard Cohen - Avalanche
Rent - One Song, Glory
Sarah McLachlan - Witness
The Seatbelts - Blue
Van Morrison - Queen of the slipstream
VNV Nation - Tempest
justascream From: justascream Date: May 29th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: A random selection from my playlist....

Sarah McLachlan seems to make it on to 90% of the "this makes me cry" lists, doesn't she?
c_eagle From: c_eagle Date: May 29th, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Excellent Meme!

*wing hugs ya* ^V^
I've heard the Henley and Creedence ones, good picks!... I'll have to see if I can find those other ones and give 'em a listen too...
Here's some o' mine...

- Morning Has Broken (Cat Stevens)
- One Tin Soldier (Coven)
- Feed the Birds (The Sherman Bros)
- Songbird (Fleetwood Mac)
- Theme from Silent Running (Joan Baez)
- Tears in Heaven (Eric Clapton)
- Kyrie (Mr. Mister)

There are probably more good ones, but that's enough good tears for one entry... ^v^

Edited at 2008-05-29 01:39 pm (UTC)
justascream From: justascream Date: May 29th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Excellent Meme!

Eric Clapton wrote that song so well, it's one of those cases where an autobiographical song truly shows its guts to the world.
snooperfox From: snooperfox Date: May 29th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mad World - Gary Jules
Defying Gravity - Wicked
Come to me - Les Miserables
Castle on a cloud - Les Miserables
Into the West - Annie Lennox (LOTR:ROTK)
Memories - Cats
The Drugs Don't Work - The Verve

And a whole lot more!
justascream From: justascream Date: May 29th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Andrews/Jules cover of "Mad World" is definitely one of those songs. Stripping it down to piano and cello totally helped capture something the Tears for Fears version never quite got.

But mostly, I wanna give you cookie-points for including the Les Mis and Cats songs, because dude. TOTALLY.
jesskat From: jesskat Date: May 29th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are we only talking about romantic songs or just any songs in general?

There are few romantic songs that manage to pierce my cynic's heart. If we're talking about songs in general that mean a lot to me emotionally, here goes:

"Hurt" by Johnny Cash. I like the NIN version too, but Cash's version is more melancholy than dark.

"Syvälle sydämeen sattuu" by Tommi Läntinen. It's a Finnish song about bullying at school, from a kid's point of view. The lyrics are quite touching and it's one of those songs where I really need to be in the right (read: upbeat) mood before I can listen to it.

"Flames" - VAST. One of those few romantic songs I mentioned that can get to me. "When I am with you there's no reason to pretend / that when I am with you I feel flames again..."

"Let's Go Out Tonight" by either Craig Armstrong feat. Paul Buchanan or The Blue Nile. My favorite song in the world, 'nuff said.
pip_malloy From: pip_malloy Date: May 29th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh god, the Hurt cover by Cash. I completely forgot about that one. It still steals my breath away. Yesterday covered by Sinatra's along the same lines.
martes From: martes Date: May 29th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Since You've been Gone by Genesis
Blood on the Rooftops/An Unquiet Slumber for the Sleepers also by Genesis
Old And Wise by Alan Parsons Project
vixdraw From: vixdraw Date: May 29th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well, . . .

The Last Song--Elton John

Weekend in New England and I Write the Songs by Barry Manilow

Amazing Grace a very stirring hymn,

and then lastly, Mannheim Steamroller's guaranteed waterworks-generating rendition of Silent Night
justascream From: justascream Date: May 29th, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
You made me do something: here.

Have you heard the cover of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" by Cat Power? Or her cover of Velvet Underground's "I Found a Reason"? Things completely change from the originals in those songs, she could break your heart with the reinterpretations. Actually, I guess, Cat Power just has that power. Pardon the pun.
kubo From: kubo Date: May 29th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cat's In The Cradle
joeypoey From: joeypoey Date: May 29th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
As someone else mentioned, Gary Jules' cover of "Mad World" is incredibly powerful. There's times where I just have to turn it off if it comes on my mp3 player because I know it'll destroy any positive mood I might have.

Another one on the opposite end of the spectrum that really hits home for me is "Inside Out" by Mars Ill. It's the story of a guy who is wrongly accused of a crime and finds himself in jail angry, bitter and scared. Yet through his experiences and time there, he leaves at peace and with a new hope and joy in life. It's very much about how the events in our life might seem horrible and unjust. But yet they don't *have* to leave us worse off and can even be used to make our lives better.

Also, "Little Man" by Atmosphere really gets to me. It's sort of like a letter from Slug to his Son, his Dad and himself, taking in the spectrum of his choices in life and the choices of those closest to him. It runs the gamut from hope for the future, regrets about the past and frustrations with the present. Even though it's a really personal song for him, it connects to me on those 3 universal emotions and how I see my life a lot of times.
30 have fought ~ fight the power!