Music in Media
Since other works of media generally have a soundtrack, it would only be natural for songs that can make you cry
to show up there.
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- A very Mood Whiplash-y song from comedy musician Mitch Benn, famous for brilliant comedy songs like "How To Tell The Millibands Apart", "Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now" and "Glam On A Budget" is "A Minute's Noise For John", in memory of the late John Peel.
- It's by Robin Williams and it's a song.. kinda. It's only on his "Live 2002" CD. It's called "The Grim Rapper". It starts off with Robin saying that maybe we're not taken away by the Grim Reaper but the Grim Rapper, and he does a little rap about souls being taken away. Then he does a whole routine detailing various stages in a man's life as he starts to realize he's not so invincible (some parts taken from Robin's own life), mixed with the chorus of "Those Were The Days" by Mary Hopkin. This description doesn't do it justice, it's very profound and haunting.
Live Action TV
- The Manic Street Preachers' version of the Mash theme, "Suicide Is Painless", is... words fail. Although, just the original version is sad enough.
- "Admiral and Commander" by Bear McCreary, from the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack, especially at the end when the drums kick in.
- Similarly, Something Dark Is Coming, off the Season 2 soundtrack can be heartbreaking.
- "Gaeta's Lament" shows Alessandro Juliani's amazing voice in an in-and-out-of-universe tearjerking song.
- From Kamen Rider Kiva (which happens to have pretty much a Crowning Soundtrack Of Awesome), Rainy Rose by TETRA-FANG. The video makes it even more of a tearjerker than it already is. ><
- Long Long Ago 20th Century, Kamen Rider Black's ending theme is a real tearjerker, especially when it plays during the final struggle between Kotaro/BLACK and Nobuhiko(his own brother)/Shadowmoon.
- In Stargate SG-1, the music related to Daniel Jackson's ascension is beautiful. Just a few simple piano keys, but that's all it needs. One of the best examples was when Dan Castellaneta appeared as a guest character who had learned of Daniel's "death" and his reaction is synched to this tune. Even though it sounds like Homer Simpson is crying for Daniel Jackson, it does not sound even remotely funny — but genuinely touching.
- Doctor Who:
— Never thought the plight of a Dalek
would choke you up? Thanks to Murray Gold's heartbreaking "The Lone Dalek", from the Doctor Who
soundtrack, you've been proven wrong.
- "Doomsday". Just... "Doomsday".
- That music that plays in "Logopolis" when the Doctor falls off a giant telescope and has to regenerate.
- Don't forget "Madame de Pompadour", "Father's Day" and "This is Gallifrey: Our Childhood, Our Home". Murray Gold is honest to god aiming for this trope.
- "The Dream of a Normal Death" is another one.
- "Vale Decem" belongs here, as well. The lyrics (which, granted, have fairly loose translations, but those can be heartbreaking by themselves) are bad enough, but combined with the circumstances, it all adds up to one of the series' most tearjerking moments.
- The hymns from "Gridlock". Especially the version of Abide with Me that plays in the background as the Doctor is describing Gallifrey to Martha. Though this troper hopes for her own sake that neither that nor Old Rugged Cross are played in church anytime soon for fear that she'll burst into tears.
- "The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble" belongs here, especially with it's reminiscence of "Doomsday"
- More tears of joy, but "Song of Freedom" belongs here too.
- Every track from "Vincent and the Doctor", especially "With Love, Vincent".
- "The Long Song" and its instrumental arrangement "Infinite Potential". Both initially play in "The Rings of Akhaten", and the Eleventh Doctor ultimately regenerates to the tune of the latter in "The Time of the Doctor".
- On Sesame Street, Ernie's song "I Don't Want To Live on the Moon" is one.
- "The Lonely Man" from The Incredible Hulk.
- "The Moment I Said It" at the end of "Seven Seconds" — an episode of Criminal Minds that's pretty tear jerking to start with. At first the song sounds like a mismatch for the episode, but listen to the chorus. Just imagine a little girl saying, "Please don't ..." and "You're scaring me" over and over again with the same haunted tone as Imogene Heap, and think about what Katie's evil aunt and uncle did to her — and that song playing over the ending becomes a combination of this trope and Nightmare Fuel.
- Scrubs How To Save A Life by The Fray before Dr Cox's Heroic BSOD. Rips you to shreds.
- "Inama Nushif" from Children of Dune.
- The score piece "Sacrifice" from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 5 finale.
- How can no one mention the theme song to Series/Dawson's Creek. That's a tearjerker if ever there was one. Just take one listen to [[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0qdaTTS53M the song]].
- Half the songs towards the end of Wicked, in particular "For Good" — especially if you lost someone that you loved.
- The reprise of "I'll Cover You" from RENT is one of the most heartbreaking songs she knows due to its Dark Reprise status. If you aren't visibly devastated by the time Collins sings When your heart has expired, you do not deserve to call yourself human. Almost everyone who watches RENT admits that this song has shaken them up horribly — the emotional impact triples when you remember the happiness of the original song.
- "Will I" is another one. The crescendo of the male and female voices for this song is so beautiful.
- RENT's "Halloween" is all about Mark's fear of ending up alone and have all of his friends, especially Roger, dying on him.
- The entire second half of Lou Reed's Rock Opera Berlin, where in the space of three songs, a woman falls into a drug habit to cope with her husband's abuse to her "friends'" chilling indifference, finally runs away, falls into prostitution, loses her children, and finally kills herself, all while the narrator (a bitter ex) essentially tells her she has only herself to blame. The finale, called "Sad Song," may actually be the most cheerful song on the side.
- "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables" from Les Misérables, especially shortly after 9/11.
- The finale to Les Misérables is another one... Specifically, the moment's pause just after the perfect three part harmony of Eponine, Fantine and Valjean's "To love another person is to see the face of God..." And then that soft ghost reprise of "Do You Hear The People Sing?" starts....
- "Do You Hear the People Sing?" is depressing not in the song itself, but if you know what happens after this optimistic anthem...
- "Turning" is a horribly depressing song, especially the line:
"They were schoolboys, never held a gun
Fighting for a new world that would rise up like the sun
Where's that new world, now the fighting's done?"
- "Drink With Me" is another one, especially Grantaire's solo illustrating the futility of it all:
"Drink with me to days gone by
Can it be you fear to die
Will the world remember you when you fall
Could it be your death means nothing at all
Is your life just one more lie..."
- In certain productions, the parts of this can be directed at Grantaire's idol, Enjolras, as if Granaire is despairing at his lack of self-preservation. (Remember when we were friends? How can you throw yourself away like this?)
- Then there are "A Little Fall of Rain":
"You would live a hundred years if I could show you how..."
- What makes it ten billion times worse is the final line between the two of them, Eponine doesn't finish, and Marius just gives a defeated 'grow', and then the oboe comes in... So sad.
- As well as "Bring Him Home".
"If I die, let me die - let him live!"
- "Javert's song Suicide is another one. Sure, he's the antagonist, but you have to feel sorry for him with lyrics like
"I am reaching, but I fall
And the stars
are black and cold
As I stare into the void
Of a world that cannot hold
I'll escape now from that world, from the world of Jean Valjean
There is nowhere I can turn, there is no way to go on...
- Empty Chairs at Empty Tables is, from time to time, the page quote for survivor guilt.
"There's a grief that can't be spoken. There's a pain goes on and on: Empty chairs at empty tables, now my friends are dead and gone."
- Let's not forget "On My Own" and "I Dreamed A Dream," the former if you have a painful unrequited love, the latter if you've had to let go of something or someone you really cherished.
- "Everything You Ever" from Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Furthermore, listening to the song without visual input may just intensify the effect. Towards the end of the song, the music is building up to this sinister crescendo, but then — that crescendo is aborted and Billy (Neil Patrick Harris) sings the last lyrics a capella in a perfectly emotionless tone. Sob.
- An oldie but a goodie: "Try to Remember", from The Fantasticks.
- Another one: Near the end of the show, during act 2, Matt re-appears, battered and bruised, singing a Dark Reprise of the intro to "I Can See It" - except while El Gallo tells Luisa of the world's grandness, he sings about what the world is really like to the audience (an inversion of their roles in the song's original appearance), after being beaten by Mortimer and Henry earlier in the show, during "Round and Round" as a metaphor for the world hurting him. It's really awful considering how excited he was to go out and see the world on his own, earlier in the show. Luisa then returns to the stage, after leaving to pack her things, and sees that El Gallo has left her, and begins to cry, while Matt goes over to comfort her. El Gallo then appears behind the central action, and recites a poem about how he had to hurt Matt and Luisa to make them realize what love is, and how he hurt himself in the process, and the two realize that everything they wanted was each other, leading into the song "They Were You". Matt and Luisa then sing a reprise of "Metaphor", with a deeper understanding of life. The Fathers then return and are about to tear down the wall, when El Gallo reminds them that the Wall must stay, as a way of telling them just to leave things as they are, concluding with a reprise of the final verse of "Try to Remember".
- "Send in the Clowns" from A Little Night Music.
- Thunderchild from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds. It may be hard not to shed at least one tear at "Farewell Thunderchild!"
"There were ships of shapes and sizes
Scattered out along the bay
And I thought I heard her calling
As the steamer pulled away
The Invaders must have seen them
As across the coast they filed
Standing firm between them, there lay...
"...the smoke of battle clearing
Over graves in waves defiled..."
- "Not A Day Goes By" from Sondheim's musical Merrily We Roll Along is an incredible kick to the gut tear-jerker. It can be hard to listen to it without being made utterly useless for several minutes afterwards.
- "You'll Never Walk Alone" is another one. It's sad enough in the end of Carousel, but sung by thousands of people during football matches can really be bad.
- Hell, Jerry Lewis can't get through more than a couple lines without breaking down while singing this at the end of his annual MDA telethon.
- Speaking of Carousel, the reprise of "If I Loved You" is highly tearjerking as well.
- Vanities: Cute Boys with Short Haircuts, Friendship Isn't what it Used to Be, and to a somewhat lesser extent, Looking Good.
- Just watch the last sequence of Yentl. Particuarly when your grandmother used to be a stage singer — and could then rival Striesand with this song.
"Papa I can hear you, papa I can see you, papa I can feel you. Papa watch me fly."
- The finale of Funny Girl can do it.
- A Christmas Carol The Musical has "A Place Called Home", first sung as a Distant Duet between young Scrooge and Fan, who later died in childbirth, and then by the apprentice Scrooge and his soon to be jilted fiancee Emily (Belle). More tear-jerking than the aforementioned "When Love is Gone".
- Daniel Yount's music for the Yogscast Shadow of Israphel series are pretty damn tearjerking. Particularly All Is Lost which is generally played at the saddest scenes such as Peculier's death.
- Red vs. Blue gives us "Forever" and Finding the Director, which respectively play at two of the most heart-wrenching moments in the entire series
- Futurama's infamous use of Connie Francis' I Will Wait For You in its sci-fi re-telling of the story of Hachiko.
- The song "When Somebody Loved Me" is easily one of the most heart-wrenching songs of all time. Although it's from the Toy Story 2 soundtrack, you needn't have seen the movie to be affected by it. You might still need tissues. It's worse, when you think of how it's basically about how Jessie's owner grew up and didn't play with her toys anymore. It can make you want to dig all your toys out and just hug them all. Especially your old childhood stuffed animals and/or dolls. Sarah McLachlan really has a way with the song.
So the years went by,
I stayed the same;
But she began to drift away.
Still I waited for the day
When she'd say, "I will always love you..."
"When somebody loved me, everything was beautiful.
Every hour we spent together lives within my heart."
- In Batman: The Animated Series, Clayface's Leitmotif. Just a simple set of descending chords, but so tragic. Particularly when it was used after Clayface's death in Mudslide
- Mr. Freeze's Leitmotif from "Heart of Ice" is a particularly beautiful and heartrending piece.
- "Little Soldier Boy" from Avatar: The Last Airbender .
- "The last Agni Kai" Played in the final battle between siblings Zuko and Azula http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFnnNijn_OI
- Part of the conclusion of "Endgame" from The Legendof Korra, Amon/Noatak and Tarlok are escaping in a boat. A sad, lonely violin plays, With Noatak talking about how now that they're together again they can do anything in an optimistic sense, all in all it's a rather poignant scene of family reuniting and the music reflects that. Then you see Tarlok grab a stun glove and unscrew the gas cap.
- "Everywhere I go" by Lissie from the Dollhouse's final episode the song just tugs on the heart strings.
- The use of "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac at the end of the South Park episodes "You're Getting Old" and "Ass Burgers" is just... Gut wrenching.
- "When Christmas Comes to Town" from The Polar Express can really do it.
- "Once Upon a Time With Me" by Florence Warner Jones, from the Once Upon a Forest soundtrack.
- "Somewhere Out There" from An American Tail gets a lot of people in tears, and is also the Trope Codifier for the Award Bait Song.
- Despite its origins, "Don't Look Down" from the Powerpuff Girls promotional CD/rock opera Heroes and Villains is surprisingly touching. It has a bright, happy bubblegum surf tune, but deals with Professor Untonium's fears about his girls. The chorus ("Please be strong / Wave goodbye / And don't look down") can easily bring on tears when you stop to consider that the Professor is probably not speaking to the girls so much as himself, and telling himself to be strong and supportive for their sake.
- Nothing Lasts Forever from the PB&J Otter episode Hope Castle has been known to cause fans to break down.
- "It Changes", from the Peanuts movie Snoopy Come Home, after Charlie Brown has an early morning Heroic BSOD after Snoopy leaves him (permanently, it seems) to stay with his first owner, Lila.
- It sounds unbelievable at first, but "The Branding of the Gear" from Metalocalypse; notable in that it isn't a sad song at all, but a loyalty anthem (face it, if you've ever dedicated yourself to someone who pays no attention to you, this is the song you wish they'd play for you). Also doubles as Crowning Music of Awesome for the scene in the show it plays in. Plus, it's metal.
"You're here because
You're one of us..."