- "Blood of Eden", especially the Carnivale fanvid.
- The wordless note he hits at the end of the bridge is heartrending.
- His cover of The Magnetic Fields "The Book of Love". The song earns extra points by being pretty darn hilarious as well.
- One Word: "Biko".
- "Father, Son".
- The quiet, ending section of "Family Snapshot" (a song about Lee Harvey Oswald, or someone similar; Gabriel has sourced inspiration to Arthur Bremer, the attempted assassin of George Wallace).
All turned quiet. I have been here before
A lonely boy, hiding behind the front door
Friends have all gone home... there's my toy gun on the floor
Come back Mom and Dad
You're growing apart, you know that I'm growing up sad
I need some attention
I shoot into the light.
- "Don't Give Up" is a prime example. Sounds like a cheesy title, but the lyrics, melody and Kate Bush doing supporting vocals all make it really work.
- And then there's Shannon Noll and Natalie Bassingthwaighte's cover...
- "My Body Is A Cage", originally by Arcade Fire, has always been a tearjerker. Peter Gabriel took it and made it a triumphant one.
- Pretty much all of Scratch My Back.
- "Here Comes the Flood".
- The acoustic/piano version makes the song even more heartbreaking.
- "I Grieve". First released in 1998, the song took on more poignancy when in an interview in 2002 he revealed both of Gabriel's daughters were in New York City during the 9/11 attacks, and he had no way of contacting them to make sure they were okay. He dedicated the song to people who have been in similar situations.
- Also sad in that it was one of the last songs to feature Gabriel's friend, Pakistani vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who died in 1997 before the song's first appearance on the City of Angels soundtrack.
- "Red Rain" as well.
- "Sky Blue".
- "The Drop".
One by one, they're going out
You watch them dim
One by one, you watch them fall
And wonder where they're falling to.
- "Wallflower" from Security veers between this and Heartwarming Music.
- "Home Sweet Home".
- His cover of "Heroes" amps up the poignancy from David Bowie's original with a much more minimalist composition, giving more weight to his vocal performance, highlighting the deceptively simple lyrics and their underlying bittersweet tone.
I, I can remember
Standing, standing by the wall
And the guns, shot above our heads
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall
And the shame, the shame was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever
And we could be Heroes, just for one day
- "Mercy Street".
Anne with her father
Is out in the boat
Riding the water
Riding the waves
On the sea...
Tear Jerker / Peter Gabriel
This former front man of Genesis has a lot of incredibly depressing songs.