Tear Jerker / Ben Folds
aka: Ben Folds Five

Whether it's a Lonely Piano Piece or super depressing lyrics set to a happy tune, Ben Folds knows how to hit listeners in the gut.

  • Technically Darren Jessee's song, but "Magic" by Ben Folds Five is particularly touching if you've ever lost someone to a painful disease.
  • "The Luckiest." It's love incarnate.
  • "Don't Change Your Plans" is another one.
  • "Kylie From Connecticut." That chorus is heartbreaking.
  • "Cigarette," which packs a heck of a lot of tragedy into a Single Stanza Song. Worse, the lyrics are taken verbatim from a newspaper clipping about a man who wanted to divorce his wife because her brain tumor made her "become a different person."
  • Then there's the unofficial Sequel Song, "Fred Jones, Part 2," about the titular character, an elderly but dedicated newspaper employee, being forced into retirement, fading away, unremarked on by the universe at large.
  • "Brick," especially if you know the very real backstory behind it.note  There's a reason it's Ben Folds Five's most popular song.
    • The lines "Then I walk down to buy her flowers / and sell some gifts that I got" have sometimes been taken as some sort of metaphor - it turns out he was literally selling his Christmas presents the day after Christmas to help pay for the procedure.
  • "Late," his eulogy to the late Elliott Smith. It doesn't say much about the man himself, as Ben didn't know him that well personally, but it says more than enough about why he was important.
    Elliot, man, you played some fine guitar
    And some dirty basketball
    The songs you wrote got me through a lot
    Just wanna tell you that
    But it's too late
  • "Still Fighting it" is a song about how teenage years are hard. Depends on your interpretation: others might read it as an ode to parental failure.
  • "Picture Window." What sick individual tells their child that they can't afford the hope that she'll get better?
  • "Evaporated" is a pretty strong tear magnet.
  • "Carrying Cathy," especially if you know someone who's suicidal or eventually committed suicide.
  • "SMOKE!"
  • "From Above." Don't let the catchy tune fool you.
    It's so easy from above,
    You can really see it all,
    People who belong together
    Lost and sad and small.
    But there's nothing to be done for them,
    It doesn't work that way.
    Sure we all have soul mates, but
    We walk past them everyday.
    • And the music video doesn't help either.
  • Dear God, "Belinda"...
    I love you,
    Don't leave me,
    I need you.
  • The chorus of On Being Frank just sounds hopelessly lost.
    And I don't know where I might be going
    I rode the wind, the wind stopped blowing,
    Left me on the roadside, thumbing home.
    But home, for me, was always someone else, you know?
    How shadows always fall when the sun goes down....
  • "Still" from the Over the Hedge soundtrack, a somber reminder than, whether we like it or not, change is going to happen. And the extended version on the album is even worse.
  • "Landed" can be this for anyone who realized too little too late that they were the victim of an abusive relationship, and that you ended up shunning your true loved ones as a result.

Alternative Title(s): Ben Folds Five