Tear Jerker / Elton John

Turn ‘em on, turn ‘em on
Turn on those sad songs
When all hope is gone
Why don’t you tune in and turn them on
They reach into your room
Just feel their gentle touch
When all hope is gone
Sad songs say so much
Elton John, "Sad Songs (Say So Much)"

Nobody can ever accuse this singer/songwriter of only doing happy-go-lucky songs.
  • "Empty Garden", his tribute to the recently slain John Lennon. It's beyond words, mostly because his are so perfect.
  • "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" is pretty powerfully Tear-jerking.
  • Other Elton John songs that can make the trick are "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and "Sacrifice".
  • Perhaps more so than "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" would be "Goodbye" from Madman Across the Water. That song's not even two minutes long and it'll still hit you hard if you haven't heard it in a while.
  • Then there is "Daniel", which becomes arguably even more of a Tear Jerker when you learn it was written about a Vietnam War veteran.
  • And then his version of "Circle of Life."
  • "Skyline Pigeon" is another one.
  • "Rocket Man" is definitely another one, especially when Fridge Logic sets in and you understand how lonely the man in the song would be.
  • "Candle in the Wind", both the original 1974 version dedicated to Marilyn Monroe and the 1997 version dedicated to Princess Diana, can really hit some people right in the heart. In the original, he states that he never knew Marilyn personally but still feels sympathy for her, while the later version was inspired by his friendship with Diana in real life. He sounds on the verge of tears on the last chorus in the later version, and he performed it at her funeral.
    • When performing the song at Diana's funeral, Elton needed to use a teleprompter for the lyrics; not only were his emotions still raw, but the lyric change was still new to him - he didn't trust himself to not shift back to the original version. He remarked later that if he had sung "Goodbye, Norma Jean" there, his career would be finished.
    • Tellingly, he's refused to ever perform the song ever again unless requested by the royal family.
  • Then there is "American Triangle", written to commemorate Matthew Shepherd.
  • The epic intro "Funeral for a Friend" could also be one.
  • "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", especially when you know the story behind the lyrics. If it doesn't affect you then...
  • "Tiny Dancer" is a triumphant tearjerker.
  • There are also "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", "I Feel Like a Bullet (in the Gun of Robert Ford)", "One More Arrow", "Song for Guy", "Ticking", and "The Greatest Discovery".
  • "The One" is of the "Tears of Joy" variety, and Elton himself says that when he first sang it in the wake of events in his life (among other things, sobering up) and his acceptance of who he really was Taupin's lyrics really hit home.
  • "Harmony".
  • "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues"
  • "The Last Song." Do not follow this link if you wish to keep your composure.
    • I followed the link. You were right.
    • That one had some interesting timing as well. It was written with Ryan White in mind and Taupin ended up giving the lyrics to Elton shortly after the death of Freddie Mercury. Elton said he had cried throughout writing the music for it.
  • Even "All the Girls Love Alice" is sad despite being an upbeat song.
  • This verse from "Levon" always makes this troper cry, especially because she knows what Levon is feeling- you want to explore the world, escape your bubble, and yet you stay behind while everyone else goes on their merry way: "Levon sells cartoon balloons in town/His family business thrives/Jesus, blows up balloons all day/Sits on the porch swing watching them fly/And Jesus, he wants to go to Venus/Leave Levon far behind/Take a balloon and go sailing/While Levon, Levon slowly dies".
    • You mean what Jesus is feeling, surely?
      • Both of their situations seem like pretty big Tear Jerkers to me.
  • "Indian Sunset", which was sampled for "Ghetto Gospel" several decades later.
  • "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore" and the accompanying video. The song is Elton looking back on his life and apologizing, because he never really knew love; he was just singing along to the words. And the video... That's a whole other TearJerker in itself.
  • Portions of Elton's Blue Moves album, once you understand the Reality Subtext behind it. note  "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", "Someone's Final Song", "Chameleon", "Cage the Songbird", "Between Seventeen and Twenty", "Tonight" —- the album is full of Tear Jerkers.
  • "Can You Feel the Love Tonight"
  • "Carla/Etude/Fanfare/Chloe" from The Fox, certainly the "Chloe" part.
  • "Your Song." Word has it that he and Bernie Taupin challenged themselves to write a heart-wrenching love song without actually using the word love. And they succeeded.
  • "Nikita" was allegedly a revolutionary Tear Jerker during the Cold War; the music video, despite its quirkiness, is similarly heartbreaking.
  • "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" very likely already qualified as this for many people, but it acquired a whole new resonance when it was used for a scene in Almost Famous where Kate Hudson's character overdoses on quaaludes and champagne.
  • "Cold as Christmas (in the Middle of the Year)" can be this. There's just something about the lyrics and Elton's performance that screams 'tired and weary' in just the right way to get the waterworks started. A Breakup Song par excellence.