Tear Jerker / Porcupine Tree

This progressive rock band can write some very moving songs.

  • First off, to quote Steven Wilson, The Face Of The Band himself,
    "This is a very sad song, but, if you're like me, I always find the saddest music is also the most beautiful. And this is one of my favorite songs that I've ever written, and it's called Stop Swimming." —Warszawa Live Album
  • "Blackest Eyes" is nothing short of overwhelming... but when you look at the lyrics: Oh, Crap!.
    • It's remarkable how such a gorgeous song can have such cutthroat lyrics: [1]
  • "Heartattack in a Lay By"? Steven Wilson's mournful voice, the final verse of the song, and the sad keyboard make this the saddest song ever. The guy in the song had a fight with his wife and goes to cool off in a rest stop, but dies of a heart attack before he goes back. Steven has said that the song is essentially about regret, and the fear of being unable to make things right before it's too late.
    "I guess I should go now
    She's waiting to make up
    To tell me she's sorry
    And how much she missed me
    I guess I'm just burnt out
    I really should slow down
    I'm perfectly fine but
    I just need to lie down
    We'll grow old together..."
    • The beauty of the album that song is from is that all the songs are pretty ambiguous and can be interpreted any way you want, but the song takes on a darker tone when you think about the fact that it's on a concept album about psychopaths and serial killers. Especially when you learn about Fred West, suddenly the last four tracks on the album — including this one — seemed to fit in with the story of how West was caught and brought to justice.
  • While the music from Heartattack in a Layby is incredibly depressing — the ending verse of "Collapse the Light into Earth", the last song on the album, can be more heartbreaking.
    "I won't heal given time
    I won't try to change your mind
    I won't feel better in the cold light of day
    But I wouldn't stop you if you wanted to stay..."
    • Throughout the whole song, Steven says "Will" in a way that it's interchangeable with "Won't", so it can be taken as optimistically bittersweet or just a straight downer.
  • Shesmovedon.
    "She changes every time you look
    By summer it was all gone - now she's moved on
    She called you every other day
    So savour it it's all gone - now she's moved on"
  • The video for "Way out of Here", which is dedicated to the founder of the PT myspace group, who was killed by a train.
    • Just the video?
      "I'll try to forget you
      And I know that I will
      In a thousand years
      Or maybe a week
      I'll burn all your pictures
      Cut out your face
      And the shutters are down and the curtains are closed
      And I've covered my tracks
      Disposed of the car
      And I'll try to forget even your name
      And the way that you look
      When you're sleeping
      Dreaming of this..."
  • Most of the songs on Fear of a Blank Planet, but particularly Sentimental. There's something heartbreaking in the way Wilson sings:
    "I've wasted my life
    And I'm hurting inside
    I don't really know
    And I'm not really sure
    Sullen and bored the kids stay
    And in this way they wish away each day"

    "And my ashes find a way beyond the fog
    And return to save the child that I forgot
    And my ashes fade among the things unseen
    And a dream plays in reverse on piano keys
    And my ashes drop upon a park in Wales
    Never-ending clouds of rain, and distant sails
  • Not to mention "Buying New Soul" or "Where We Would Be". Just saying. Oof.
    • Especially the solo in "Where We Would Be," so full of hopeless longing that it aches just to hear it.
    • The very reminder that we'll all die is beautiful, heartbreaking, and horrifying all at the same time.
  • "Normal", "Stop Swimming", "Shesmovedon", "Feel So Low", "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here", the ending of "Anesthetize", some others depending on context... probably the majority of their music. Then again, Steven Wilson, the main songwriter/leader of the band, feels that the most beautiful songs are the saddest, so this makes sense.
  • "I Drive the Hearse".
  • "Black Dahlia".
    There's nothing here for you under the sun
    There's nothing new to do, it's all been done
    So put your faith in another place
    Never seem to get away from this
    It's all falling into an abyss
    So put your foot on the pedal, boy
  • As early as their first Delerium album we have "Radioactive Toy", which Steven wrote after seeing Threads. He sings the macabre lyrics about the aftermath of a nuclear attack as if the narrator in question is so traumatised as to be unable to express emotions, with the effect being completed by the slow, funeral-march tempo of the song, the Pink Floyd-ian guitar solo and the ominously creepy bridge and "malfunctioning synth" conclusion.
  • "Lazarus" off of Deadwing, especially when you take into consideration that it's part of a scrapped-screenplay-turned-concept-album about a boy's relationship with his mother, who happens to be a ghost.
    "My David, don't you worry.
    This cold world is not for you.
    So rest your head upon me.
    I have strength to carry you."
  • The chorus of "Every Home is Wired" from Signify. It's only Steven Wilson singing the title of the song repeatedly, but the arrangement of the vocals (all 37 layers of them) and melody is enough to anyone cry.
    • "Waiting (Phase One)". The vocal melodies are among some of Wilson's most haunting yet.
  • "This Is No Rehearsal", which was inspired by a famous case in which a young child was brutally murdered.
    "And still I remember how I dressed him this morning
    And then he was gone - stolen, my only one"
  • "Time Flies" is a pretty saddening song, being about Steven Wilson's childhood. While Steven's childhood wasn't tragic or depressing, it seems more like if Wilson's having a nostalgic flashback about his childhood and past. It's actually pretty heartbreaking but nice to see him look back at who he became later on.
  • The title track off Lightbulb Sun. Nuff said.
  • The Start Of Something Beautiful is another tear jerker - both musically and lyrically. It's a very lovely song, though.
    • Three words: Glass. Arm. Shattering.