- "Cats in the Cradle" is definitely a tearjerker. The chorus was probably the most tearjerking part. The song is sung from the father's perspective, telling about his son and the fact that they never got to spend time together because of his work. Every time the son asks his father to play, the father answers with little more that vague promises that they will someday have a good time together.
And the cat's in the cradle, and the silver spoon
Little Boy Blue and the Man on the Moon
When you comin' home, dad?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then,
You know we'll have a good time then...
- Despite all this, the son looks up to his father, telling that someday he'll be just like him. Sadly, the father never did get to spend some time with his son. Time passes until the day his son graduated from college, and the father wants his son to sit down for a nice talk. This time, his son was too busy with his friends to do so and instead asks to borrow his car keys. Fast forward to present day, when the son has a family and house of his own. The father called his son, asking to visit. The son replied he can't because of his work and new family. The father then realizes that his son really did grow up to be like him. If you listen to it for a few times and keep the meaning of the song in mind, you'll probably cry.
- "Mr. Tanner" is about a man who gives up everything to sing, which is what makes him feel whole, only to get poor reviews and his dreams crushed.
- "The shortest story" Is about the 20 day long life of a starving child, barely two minutes into the song the narrator simply states that there is nothing now to do but die which ends the story.
- "Shooting Star".
- "Old College Avenue," about a short-lived love affair that was years ago, but the singer still hasn't fully recovered from the loss.
- If "Last Stand" doesn't turn on the waterworks, you have no soul:
Well, so it was late last night
She left on the final flight
You watched as the last light
Went out there in your soulTake a look around the top
For now you face the final drop
You'll go down fast and you won't stop
You found a very deep holeSay you're off on the last ride
Remembering how she last cried
And you know that love at long last died
In silence, not in painYou lost your last, your last race
Stumbled in last place
Too late to find the one last face
Waiting in the rain
- "A Better Place To Be". Not really tearjerker material until the final reprise of the chorus sinks in. That total loneliness, given a moment of silence, will make you sob.
- "Sniper". Scary, yes. Haunting, yes. Heart rending, very. Anyone who has a dry eye after hearing this obviously didn't understand what the heck just happened.
- "Flowers are Red". In the end, the little boy gets out of the Assimilation Academy and has a new teacher who encourages her students to be creative. But all his pictures are of flowers in neat rows of green and red, and when the teacher asks him why, he just repeats the chorus.
Tear Jerker / Harry Chapin
This folk-rock artist is pretty much the master of tear-triggering songs.