Rock music, even though it can get loud and hard, is not immune to creating songs that can make one cry
Note: Keep in mind that we want rock
songs on this page, not pop
songs. Metal songs are fine, until we come up with enough to warrant giving that genre its own page.
Examples (In Alphabetical Order)
- "Your Fancy" by 1000 Funerals. A short lived Funeral Doom Metal project from Iran who between dirges of misery and torment recorded a melancholic instrumental that is simply heart-wrenching. Listen and you will hear a sorrow that resonates with all humanity.
- "Radio Protector" by 65 Days of Static. It's an instrumental, but that doesn't stop it from being absolutely beautiful.
- Abandoned Pools (the band from Clone High) has a few:
- "Renegade" off the album Armed to the Teeth.
- Also from Armed to the Teeth are "Hunting (The Universe Breaks My Heart)" and "Goodbye Song". ...*sniff*
- Abyssmal Sorrow, funeral doom/black metal band. Just listen...
- Ryan Adams has a couple:
- When the Stars Go Blue" is such a beautiful song and the melancholy in his voice makes it just so... so...saddening... Though a lot of his songs have a melancholy tone in the vocals, there's just something so much worse with this one.
- In the week after 9/11, just hearing the opening notes of "New York, New York" was enough. The song's not about 9/11, but it sure could be...
- ''Seawinds'' by Accept.
- Practically everything by Agalloch, but "Falling Snow" tends to really stick out. Particularly at the final line: "The snow has fallen/ and raised this white mountain/ on which you will die/ and fade away in silence".
- "Only Women Bleed" and "I Never Cry" by Alice Cooper.
- In Loving Memory by Alter Bridge, a beautiful Grief Song dedicated to the lead guitarist's late mother.
- Silent Waters by Amorphis. Throughout the video, Tomi Joutsen seems to be trying his damnedest not to start crying himself.
"To the river let me go, and fetch my son away."
- A lot of Anathema's songs can fit here.
- "One Last Goodbye" must be the best one.
- Even their more positive and happier stuff, like "Closer", has a melancholic feel.
- Anberlin has a few:
"Patron saint, are we all lost like you?"
- Later in the same song...
"Ripping and breaking and tearing apart
This is not heaven
This is my hell."
"Because of you,
I'll never write another love song."
- Andrej Bukas wrote a song called "Seryoga". It's about his friend who died in war. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX4Lb92qAEE
Seryoga- forgive me, bro I couldn't save you. Seryoga, forgive me, it wasn't me! Seryoga! Seryoga! Seryoga!?
- "I Can Stop The Sun" by late '60s power trio Andromeda. It's just a break up song, but the way it's presented makes it sound like the person in question passed away.
- "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals.
- The concept album Hospice by The Antlers is one long Tear Jerker. It tells the story of the doomed relationship between the narrator, a hospital worker, and the deeply troubled patient for whom he works as a home visitor. After they rush into marriage, she has an abortion, her mental condition deteriorates, and then she gets leukemia. In the hospice, she fades in and out of consciousness, going through violent mood swings, physically and mentally abusing the narrator if he so much as tries to talk to her, let alone give her medical treatment. And through all of this, he still loves her. The album ends several months after her death, and he still sees her in his nightmares.
- Anything by Apocalyptica.
- In particular, Hope.
- And let's not forget Farewell.
- ...and Epilogue (Relief)
- Keep in mind that all of the above have no lyrics.
- As Cities Burn has two particularly noteworthy songs. "The Widow" is already a song that's pretty heart wrenching, but when Cody played it live at Cornerstone in '07 there couldn't possibly have been a dry eye in the whole place. The second is a song called "Timothy", which is about a friend named Timothy who committed suicide prior to the writing of their second album, Come Now Sleep.
- At the Drive-In has a few tearjerkers — especially "Invalid Litter Dept.", maybe even "Napoleon Solo".
- One can be affected by a number of tracks on "So Long, Astoria" by The Ataris. See "Unopened Letter to the World", "The Hero Dies in this One", among others. Ohhh, the nostalgia.
- Athlete's "Wires" is pretty bad even before you find out it's about a newborn baby in intensive care...
- Audioslave has a few:
- There's something about "Like a Stone" that usually kicks in sometime around the halfway point of the guitar solo that suggests that, if a guitar could cry, that's what it would sound like.
- Also from their first album, "I Am the Highway" and "Getaway Car".
- The Avett Brothers:
- Even though it is downright weird, the video for Axis of Awesome's Birdplane (explicit-ish) (and the song itself, in some respects) qualify as this. It's about a half-bird-half-bird man... ''thing''. And it is heartbreaking.
- From Brazil, "O Poeta Está Vivo", written by Barão Vermelho for the former bandleader who died.
- Barcelona's "Please Don't Go" can really have you in tears.
- "She Walked Away" by Barlow Girl.
- The Beastie Boys' "Instant Death," a mournful solo piece sung by Ad-Rock, was shoved all the way across the Tear Jerker border in the wake of Adam Yauch's death from cancer.
- Nearly the entirety of Beck's Sea Change.
- "Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies" & "Glorious Years", two songs by the Hong Kong rock band Beyond. The latter is a beautiful song which talks about Mr. Nelson Mandela and his struggle and final triumph in apartheid South Africa; the former is a song of sorrow and regret, but most notably it was the final song of Beyond's singer, who died a short time later due to a stage accident. See the other Wiki for details.
- Black Label Society do a good line in these:
- A particular favourite includes "Just Killing Time".
- "In This River" brings a tear to many a metalhead's eye. It might make one look for black ribbons.
- It's even more of a tearjerker when you see it played live... Zakk performing this song with tears running down his face. Seeing the normally Badass Biker break down in tears over the loss of his best friend while playing it is both heartwarming and sad at the same time.
- And it's even worse when you know who's the receptor of this song. For those who want to know...
- "LIFE ~ In Memory of KEITEN ~" by The Black Mages qualifies once you know who it was written for: one of the band's fans who died of leukemia.
- "In My Blood" by Black Stone Cherry is about the lives of those who fought in the War in Iraq. Whether you supported the war, or not — it's still an incredibly moving song. The video can make it even more so.
- "Brother, My Brother" by Blessid Union of Souls.
- For a band that writes about accidental fellatio innuendos and Snape in a thong, The Blibbering Humdingers' "I Lose Myself" is surprisingly touching. This video amplifies the tear-jerking by using it as a homage to the singers' defunct shop. It made them cry.
- The tearjerker potential for many Blind Guardian songs is closely related to how much you like whatever character Hansi is singing about. However, "The Eldar" should do it, whether or not you like Finrod Felagund — and, whether or not you like Turin,"Harvest of Sorrow" should also do it.
- Blur has a few:
- "Battery in your Leg" is deeply moving.
- Likewise "Badhead", "This Is a Low", or "The Universal".
- Bloc Party's "I Still Remember" is haunting, especially for anyone who's lost a sweetheart.
- Bomb the Music Industry!'s Jeff Rosenstock writes a lot of songs about depression and self-destructive behavior in a way that anyone who's ever been even remotely sad can identify with.
- ''Skinny Love'' by Bon Iver. "I told you to be patient/I told you to be fine/I told you to be balanced/I told you to be kind/Now all your love is wasted?/Then who the hell was I?/Now I'm breaking at the britches/And at the end of all your lines" Actually, that entire album is this trope.
- The second album takes this up to eleven; "Calgary," "Perth," and "Holocene" are beautifully depressing in a way that not a lot of songs are, and the first of those can be downright painful to listen to if you're already sad.
- Bon Jovi has a few:
- "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night". Something about the stories of so many hopeless lives can be distressing.
- "August 7, 4:15" by Jon Bon Jovi, a tribute to an employee whose six-year-old daughter had been kidnapped and murdered. The killer was never found.
- "I Don't like Mondays" by the Boomtown Rats tells the story of a teenage girl who shot her classmates. The song is inspired by a true, if slightly dissimilar case where a girl shot a group of playground children with a sniper gun and later told the police:
"I don't like Mondays, this just brightens up the day."
- "Amanda" by Boston.
- "Letter From Iraq" by Bouncing Souls:
"All that's left of Bullet Billy-
is a pair of bloody boots.
His mom is on the phone,
His girl is all alone.
We all stand in the rain
for a twenty-one gun salute."
- "Open at the Close" (a Chapter 34 song) and "End of an Era" compete for the saddest song by Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls.
- Brand New's "Limousine (MS Rebridge)" lyrics are heartrending. The despair in Jesse Lacey's voice singing from the perspective of the mother whose daughter was just killed in front of her... it needs to be heard for the full effect.
"I'll never have to buy adjacent plots of earth,
We'll never have to lay together underneath dirt,
I'll never have to lose my baby in the crowd,
I should be laughing right now."
- Brave Saint Saturn has a couple:
- "Estrella". The fact that it was written for a close friend who had recently died from cancer makes it even sadder.
- "Daylight". The desperate cry for help and the glorious return of hope at the end of the song are bound to bring tears to the most stoic of eyes. Especially poignant when taken in the context of the story the album "The Light of Things Hoped For" tells, how at this point in the story the protagonists have eclipsed behind Saturn's moon, Titan, lost contact with Earth, and now are just biding their time as the ship shuts down without sunlight for energy and they all wait for death.
- Their third album, Anti-Meridian, is just full of tear jerkers. Notable examples of this are "Fields of the Fallen" and "INVICTUS", which despite being very beautiful, is liable to bring you to tears.
- Also the song "Gloria" from their first album.
- Practically every one of Breaking Benjamin's songs can be a tearjerker.
- Especially "Breath", "Rain", and "Anthem of the Angels".
- "Unknown Soldier":
"Show me what it's like
To dream in black and white
So I can leave this world behind."
- The discography of Buckethead, who's basically a malfunctioning robot with a guitar, is made of three types of songs: pure, ridiculous shred, terrifyingly weird stuff, and songs that evoke more emotion than nearly any on this list without uttering a single word.
- Examples include albums "Electric Tears" and "Colma", which he wrote for his mother when she was ill, and Soothsayer, which he wrote for his elderly Aunt Suzie.
- The last two thirds of "Nottingham Lace" can be absolutely haunting and tragic — made all the more jarring because it is pure, ridiculous shred. How that managed that, we may never know.
- "K" by Bump of Chicken is a real tearjerker. "Dandelion" and "Sharin no Uta" aren't far behind, either — once you look up the lyrics.
- This basic claymation may be more effective to jerk some tears out, mostly due to its better translation.
- Bush has a couple:
- "Letting the Cables Sleep" is rather tear-inducing just as a song, but together with video it can cause severe dehydration.
- ... And then there's Out Of This World. An incredibly haunting, poignant song about death, and what happens afterwards. It is strongly recommended that you don't listen to this song if a loved one has died recently. It is gut-wrenching.
- Kate Bush has a few:
- The song "This Woman's Work" is a tearjerker in and of itself, but the video can especially reduce one to tears upon seeing it. Especially the ending, which doesn't tell you whether the woman dies or not.
- Other sad Kate songs include "And Dream of Sheep", "The Man With the Child in His Eyes", "Cloudbusting", "The Kick Inside", "Breathing", "Moments of Pleasure", and "A Coral Room".
- Live renditions of "Chapter 34" (about Harry's walk to his Heroic Sacrifice ) and "Alone", by The Butterbeer Experience, tend to make everyone in the room cry.
- "The Longest Drive" by The Capricorns is about finding out about the death of a friend (presumeably by suicide or overdose) and the singer driving to his funeral.
Day that she told me I'll never forget / She said "sit down on the bed and light a cigarette" /I replayed every conversation in my head / I've cried in public, I've tried to talk to the dead ... How many miles to San Diego? / How many hours, how can I ever let go? / It's a long long night / This could be the longest drive of my life.
- "Shake Me Down" by Cage the Elephant. It's the video that does it. In the video, the man is dying and is having his life flash before his eyes 0 and that's when the tears can start coming out. The video shows memories of him with his kid, playing football, and him with his wife, presumably on the day he proposed to her.
- Carbon Leaf has a couple:
- "What About Everything" is bittersweet all on its own. But add Miyazaki footage, and...
- "The War Was In Color". Seriously may be one of the saddest songs about war one might ever hear.
- "Dreams" by Brandi Carlile
- Caroline's Spine has a few:
- Try and listen to Wallflower without tearing up, especially during the end. May double as a Heroic Sacrifice
- And it that dosen't get you, "Sullivan" will. That song is about the five Sullivan brothers lost when the USS Juneau (CL-52) was sunk during World War II. This was even before he found out about the details of the loss of the Juneau and the Sullivans, including survivors being left hanging in the lurch because reports of them got lost in a flurry of paperwork. Eight days after the sinking, the remaining ten of an estimated 100 survivors (two of the original survivors were from the Sullivan family, but later died while awaiting rescue) were finally retrieved.
- Neko Case has a couple:
- "Furnace Room Lullaby" can make some people burst into uncontrollable weeping.
- Not to mention the sad and frightening "Deep Red Bells." Notable lines include "It looks a lot like engine oil and tastes like being poor and small and popsicles in summer," "When speckled fronds raise round your bones, who took the time to to fold your clothes?" and, worst of all for some, "Does your soul cast about like an old paper bag?"
- "As the footsteps die out forever" by Catch 22, which is about somebody with a terminal illness.
- Nick Cave has a few of these.
"Hey little train! We're jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We're happy, Ma, we're having fun
And the train ain't even left the station..."
- Celtic Frost's "Drown in Ashes", "Obscured" and "Winter" from their final album Monotheist.
- Creed's "Lullaby". No one dies in it, there are no broken hearts...it's just that single guitar playing that sad melody, those lyrics, that make it seem equally suited to a funeral as a lullaby.
- Alistair Crosbie's "The Six Million Dollar Man," allegedly excluded from "Learning To Draw" because it was so depressing. It starts of with the Epic Riff as he sings about the speaker's capability to repair the body of a mortally injured woman with such verses as Our work is done, we can patch up anyone then goes straight into a somber tone while singing about how the repairs have worn out, and that the speaker isn't sure he can do anything anymore.
- Although the text isn't originally theirs, Spancil Hill by Cruachan is a really sad song about a young man, who just arrived in America, longing for his native Ireland. Shane MacGowan's raw voice doesn't help brighten the song either.
- Weirdly enough, "Lethe" by the death metal band Dark Tranquility is a song that can bring tears, depending on when it plays.
- Death's "Voice of the Soul" from their final album, which is a somber acoustic piece with electric guitar noodling throughout the song. A sharp contrast from the death metal/progressive metal workings of the rest of the album.
- You've got Demon Hunter. Hard medal, head-banging awesomeness. And then there's this song, especially if you really listen to the lyrics.
- "Fiddler on the Green" and "Love's Tragedy Asunder" by Demons & Wizards.
- "Louder than Thunder" by Devil Wears Prada. Not only does it never say "louder than thunder" once in the whole song, but its defining phrase is "What would it take for things to be quiet/ quiet like the snow?" It can make one very heart-wrenched and often a teary mess.
- Since the death of Ronnie James Dio many of the songs he sang have become tearjerkers.
- "Temple of the King" by Rainbow ("It meant the time had come for one to go/To the temple of the king.") and "Heaven & Hell" by Black Sabbath ("The lover of life's not a sinner./The ending is just a beginner.") can be amongst them.
- Also by Rainbow: Rainbow Eyes and Catch The Rainbow, both were mild Tear jerkers but since his passing the Tear Jerkiness has upped considerably.
- It can be ridiculously hard to listen to "Holy Diver" since Dio's death... if only because the song can produce imagines of Dio as an angel, working on the most epic metal album ever with Randy Rhodes.
- For pre-Dio Sabbath, "It's Alright" (Guns N' Roses' version too).
- "Zakuro" by Dir En Grey. It's hard to listen to this song all the way through more than once without literally wailing — though it helps when it's the live version, and the vocalist is pretty much having an emotional breakdown himself. "the time is too long/the time is too painful/the dream will not stop/my love is frozen dead..."
- Dire Straits has a lot of this:
- "Brothers in Arms" is about a dying (or dead) soldier talking to those he shed blood with.
- "Romeo and Juliet", "Iron Hand", and "Tunnel of Love" are prime candidates.
- The cover of "Romeo and Juliet" by The Killers with Brandon Flowers sounds like he was going to cry- *sobs*
- Also, "Private Investigations". "What have you got at the end of the day? / What have you got to take away? / A bottle of whisky and a new set of lies / Blinds on the windows and a pain behind the eyes. / Scarred for life, no compensation."
- "The Man's Too Strong". A dying man confesses the sins he committed serving a totalitarian regime.
- "Heroes of our Time" by Dragonforce. Though it's practically a case of Word Salad Lyrics, there's just just about the imagery and tone that can make one tear up.
- "Information" by Dredg?
- Emerson, Lake, and Palmer has a few:
- "Lucky Man" details a rich young man who goes to war, but he gets shot and dies.
"No money could save him
So he lay down and he died..."
- The message is pretty shallow, but it can still be very moving. Combine that with the sad acoustic guitar, and you have one sad ballad. Especially heartbreaking with this video, which was a tribute to the user's dad who died of cancer. "Ooh, what a lucky man he was..." * sniff*
- "Feint" and "Cry for the Moon" by Epica.
- There's something horribly sad and horribly creepy about "Cellar Door" by Escape The Fate.
- Fear Factory had "Final Exit". Just look it up on Youtube.
- Filter has a few:
- "Miss Blue" is a song about loss and someone slowly dying. The orchestration of this song is just... man...
- Just about the whole of Filter's Anthems of the Damned album is one giant tearjerker, especially considering that it was inspired by real life Iraq War veterans.
- How about a Christian Rock tearjerker, "Unbreakable" by Fireflight? Particularly the music video.
- "Love of a Lifetime" by Firehouse.
- Five Finger Death Punch has a few:
- "Far From Home". It appears to be told from the perspective of a weary soldier.
- "Remember Everything". It's a song about singer Ivan Moody's strained relationship with his parents
- "Coming Down". It's a song about being bullied and feeling suicidal. The video for the song is especially effective.
- Flyleaf has a few tearjerkers:
- "Cassie"s about a school shooting where, according to many statements, a girl (Cassie) was asked if she believed in God. Replying yes, she was shot, dead, right then and there. Unfortunately, it's basically a fact that the actual event didn't happen, but hey, it's still a sad story with a sad song to go with it, at least in the acoustic version.
- Actually, that did happen, but the girl in question was named Rachel.
- It's about Columbine. Cassie Bernall, age 17.
- "Fully Alive" is about Layla Palmer, a woman who has some form of crippling disease, to the point that she rarely wakes up without being in agony. Listening to the acoustic version of this is especially recommended, since it is much more about Lacey's vocals.
- Also "Supernatural" - it starts out about a woman who is in constant, crippling pain from some kind of unmentioned disease, then about her son, after her death.
He is teaching me what love really means.
- "Waltz Moore" by From First to Last. It's especially heartbreaking if you've ever hated yourself, or had an eating disorder.
- "Close my eyes forever" by Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne.
- Anything by Good Charlotte... "Emotionless" and the hidden track at the end of "Meet My Maker" are some particularly notable examples...
- Dan Fogelburg's "Leader of the Band", written for his dad. Anyone who has lost a father knows what it's like when you get to the last verse:
I thank you for the kindness, And the times when you got tough, And, papa, I don't think, I said, "I love you" near enough
- Strangers in the Darkness and Empty Rooms by Gary Moore from Thin Lizzy.
- Competition Smile, 29, Until I Fall Away by Gin Blossoms
- Halestorm's "I'm Not an Angel".
- Hammerfall has a few:
"Nothing on earth stays forever
But none of your deeds were in vain
Deep in our hearts you will live again
You've gone to the home of the brave"
- A kinda unique brutal death metal Tear Jerker comes from Hate Eternal's "Tombeau (Le Tombeau De La Fureur Et Des Flammes)". Have the lyrics at hand to better understand what he says, though; it's dedicated to his best friend who died.
- Helloween has a couple:
- "Forever and one (Neverland)", from The Time Of The Oath. Even if it's a Breakup Song, an Anti-Love Song, a Love Song, or even a dedication towards Ingo Schwichtenberg, the dead ex-drummer of the band who committed suicide note , it makes you cry. And the Unarmed version is even worse in the tearjerking thanks to the redone music.
- "Born On Judgement Day" combines this trope with pure distilled Nightmare Fuel. It is sung from the perspective of a new born child as he sees the world coming apart at the end of the days.
- Jimi Hendrix has a few:
- "The Wind Cries Mary" and "Angel" - which even works as a spoken poem.
- Listen to the lyrics of "Castles In The Sand" and see which verse you can get to without crying. Nobody ever makes it past verse three.
- "The Chosen Pessimist" by In Flames takes lyrics that would sound extremely cliche coming almost anyone else, and gives them a genuine sense of vulnerability and woe. Even hairy mid-thirties Swedish metal singers have feelings, apparently.
- Incubus has a ton of examples, because their music is so passionate.
- One that stands out is "I Miss You," which is about long distance relationships.
- "Love Hurts" is another one.
- Melodic Death Metal band, Insomnium has a lot of these. Most poignant is probably the song "Daughter of the Moon", which is a widower's lament, and "The Elder", which is about the death of a lonely old man.
- Jethro Tull has a few:
- "Aqualung" is about an old, senile, homeless pedophile freezing to death alone on the streets.
- Try "Requiem", from the Minstrel In The Gallery album, for a Tull "tearjerker". Made more poignant when you you realize it, and much of the rest of the album it's on, is about the impending separation and divorce of Ian to his first wife, Jennie Franks. Franks wrote the lyrics to "Aqualung".
- "Life's A Long Song" ...but the tune ends too soon for us all...
- Other Tull tear jerkers: "Reasons For Waiting", "A Time For Everything?", "The Chequered Flag (Dead Or Alive)", and "Elegy".
- "Hear You Me" by Jimmy Eat World. "May angels lead you in..." Especially when you're aware of the song's background. The two founders of the Weezer fanclub were killed in a car crash, and this song was written as a message to them.
- Joy Division has a few:
- "Love will Tear Us Apart". Between Ian Curtis' haunting vocals, the fact that he committed suicide a month after the song was recorded; and, well, the song in general, it's a hell of a spectacle of sorrow.
- Though when New Order have played it live it's become a bit of a singalong anthem. Guess enough time has passed.
- Also there's "Decades", "Atmosphere" and "Ceremony". (The latter was released as the first single by New Order after Ian's death). The absolute pit of misery has to be "The Eternal" though. Really don't listen to it if you're feeling down.
- New Order's own "Your Silent Face" has one of the most tear-jerkingly lovely synth-choruses ever.
- For a metal band, you wouldn't expect Kamelot to pull out one of these - but, surprisingly enough, they do.
- "Don't You Cry" (written by one of the members about their deceased father) certainly qualifies. The irony only makes it worse.
- Then there is "Love You To Death", which is a song about the singer's wife dying. Roy (the singer) even cried on stage performing it. Despite it's supposedly happy tone, Anthem by the same band has the same reaction.
- Kansas has a couple:
- "Dust in the Wind". Nihilism at its finest.
- "Carry On My Wayward Son" is also quite melancholy.
- Nearly everything written by Katatonia, but "Departer" sticks out. "Omerta" and "Idle Blood" are also good examples.
- The Kinks has a few:
- "Shangri-La". You can't go anywhere...
- There's also "Waterloo Sunset" and "Days", the former about two lovers seeking solace in the sunset at London's Waterloo station; the latter a eulogy thanking a friend who passed away for the good times they spent together.
- Inverted in "Daddy" by Korn, in which the lead singer Jonathan Davis himself breaks into tears and sobbing for a good few minutes.
- King Crimson:
- Avril Lavigne has a few:
- "Slipped Away", which was written about Lavigne's grandfather passing away. The line "There you go, somewhere I can't bring you back" is particularly jarring.
- Then there are "Things I'll Never Say" and "When You're Gone".
- Led Zeppelin has a few:
- "All My Love" is a Grief Song that Robert Plant wrote after his five-year-old son died of a stomach virus.
- Can also include: "Stairway To Heaven", "Over the Hills and Far Away", "Thank You", "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do", "That's The Way", "The Rain Song", "Tangerine", "Ten Years Gone", "Going To California", "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You", "No Quarter", and "The Battle of Evermore".
- "Working at Perfekt" from Geddy Lee's underrated solo album ''My Favorite Headache'.
- Lifehouse has a couple:
- The song "Everything" by can bring one to tears. Whether they're happy tears or sad tears is quite ambiguous.
- "From Where You Are", especially when you learn that the singer wrote it about a friend who died when he was sixteen in a car accident.
- Roughly half of Lynyrd Skynyrd's songs.
- Specifically "Simple Man" and "The Ballad of Curtis Loew". Both have just incredibly sad guitar riffs combined with singing that is just absolutely gut wrenching.
- A big one is "All I Can Do Is Write About It", specifically the lines "Well you can take a boy out of ol' Dixieland/But you'll never take ol' Dixie from a boy".
- "Free Bird", especially with the opening line: "If I leave here tomorrow / would you still remember me?"
- From their Christmas album, "Mama's Song".
- "La Venganza de Gaia", by the Spanish band Mägo de Oz will make you bawl even if you're not an environmentalist —better if oyu know Spanish, or course.
- "Televators" by The Mars Volta. Seriously, listen to De-Loused in the Comatorium from beginning to end and see if it doesn't make you cry like a little girl.
- It's a lot worse if you know the album is about a friend of theirs who committed suicide. "Televators" is the song that describes the friend's suicide.
- Megadeth has a few:
- "A Tout Le Monde". The narrator telling all of his friends "I love you all, but I have to go"? * sniffle* ...
- "In My Darkest Hour" is a tearjerker, too - especially when you find out that Dave Mustaine wrote the music after he learned that Cliff Burton had died.
- Thirdly, "Promises", which is ostensibly about a Romeo And Juliet type situation — but could well be based on a real breakup in Mustaine's life. It may be the best ballad Dave Mustaine has ever written.:
"I will meet you in the next life (I promise you)
Where we can be together (I promise you)
I'll wait till then in heaven (I promise you)
I promise, promise..."
- As with The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, a huge chunk of The Moody Blues' output falls into this trope.
- Included are songs like "Tuesday Afternoon", "Voices In The Sky", "Om", "Never Comes The Day", "Are You Sitting Comfortably?", "Have You Heard/The Voyage", "Eyes Of A Child", "I Never Thought I'd Live To Be a Hundred", "Watching And Waiting", "And The Tide Rushes In", "The Story In Your Eyes", "Emily's Song", "You Can Never Go Home", "New Horizons", "For My Lady", and "Isn't Life Strange".
- "Nights in White Satin" has some of the most heartbreaking lyrics ever written during the 1960's. The classical components from the London Festival Orchestra makes it even more beautiful but depressing at the same time.
- Motörhead - '1916'. If you are or are related to a soldier, you just might cry.
- 'Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me' is a very sad one too since it's about a girl who is sexually abused by her own father.
- NOFX, despite being known largely for either crass toilet humor or political content in their lyrics, has a few absolutely heartbreaking songs.
- "My Orphan Year," a song about the death of Fat Mike's parents and his rocky relationship with his dad.
- "Whoops, I OD'd," about a fatal drug overdose, obviously.
- "The Decline," widely considered the band's magnum opus, essentially about... well, EVERYTHING wrong with the USA, in their opinion. Seems like it wouldn't be something to get personally worked up over, but the verses include vignettes about a man feeling guilt over murdering his brother ("I swear, I never thought I could..."); another being raped in prison and killing himself due to a draconian sentence for marijuana possession ("Jerry only stayed a couple months..."); and, perhaps the most personally relatable for a lot of Americans, an aside about the soul-crushing reality of paycheck-to-paycheck living, and how it keeps good Americans from doing anything about the injustice around them ("The going gets tough, the tough get debt, don't pay attention, pay the rent.").
- The Offspring has a few:
- "Million Miles Away".
- "Gone Away", which is a Grief Song dedicated to the girlfriend of Dexter Holland, who died in a car accident.
- "The Kids Aren't Alright" is also horribly depressing if you listen to the lyrics closely and realize the entire thing is about a bunch of kids with hopes and dreams for the future on a single street corner. But to a man are consumed by drugs, accidental pregnancies, and a billion other sad events that ruin their hopes and dreams forever. Particularly depressing if you really know anyone like this in real life.
- Also "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?" and "Fix You," although admittedly they sound nothing like any song that they've ever done (and that's not a compliment at all).
- Opeth has a couple:
- "Isolation Years", because it has a light beautiful melody (in stark contrast with the rest of the album it's on) and extremely sad lyrics. And Akerfeldt's voice continues to push it in.
- Off the same album, "Hours of Wealth" is a quiet, atmospheric barely-there piece with only keyboard, guitar and Akerfeldt's voice that has pretty much the same effect.
- Our Lady Peace has a few:
- "Innocent". "I remember feeling low/I remember losing hope/I remember all the feelings and the day they stopped..." "she wishes she were a dancer/and she'd never heard of cancer..."
- Also "Somewhere Out There".
- More tears of joy and hope, but "Life"
How many times have you wished you were strong?
Have they ever seen your heart?
Have they ever seen your pain?
Life is waiting for you
It's all messed up but we're alive
Life is waiting for you
It's all messed up but we'll survive
- "Thief" is pretty sad. It's about a young girl who has a brain tumor. Especially sad is the part at the end where a clip of the girl herself singing a Sunday school song is played.
- "Whatever" could be this since Chris Benoit's death. note
- Think Pantera doesn't have tearjerkers? Think again!
- Try "Floods" and "Cemetery Gates".
- Or "Hollow". DEAR GOD, "HOLLOW"!
- Pato Fu's "Canção pra você viver mais" ("Song to make you live more"), inspired by the sick and dying father of singer Fernanda Takai.
- There's just something about how the music builds and builds in "Three Libras" by A Perfect Circle.
- Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance."
- Plumb has a few:
- "Cut". It ends on a positive note, but one can still feel sad after listening to it.
- "Damaged" by the same artist.
- And "Stranded", moreso when you realize it's about two people who are in love but are too scared to say anything
- Poison was a hair metal band with a long-haired pretty boy singer, but they do have a couple moving songs:
- Coming Right Along by The Posies , the final track off of Frosting on the Beater. Especially when Jon Auer's backing vocals come in around the 2:20 mark
"Cry as if to say you're sorry.
sight a life and hate your own
Try to think of what you mention
Leave the television on.
And please be strong.
You don't know it, but you're coming right along."
- Elvis Presley's "In the Ghetto". It's not just the sad story of the life of one man in the slums, but the fact that the same thing happens in an unending cycle.
- "You" by The Pretty Reckless.
- A fairly obscure metal band by the name of Primordial has a song that goes by the name of "The Coffin Ships." Just listen to the song and read along to the lyrics, it hits very close to home if you are of Irish heritage. It helps that the vocalist sings it with very intense conviction.  if interested...
- Puddle of Mudd's "Blurry". Especially the video.
- "This Lullaby" by Queens of the Stone Age can really bring one to tears. Mark Lanegan's deep raspy voice singing it doesn't help.
- Queensrÿche has a few:
- "Silent Lucidity". The mournful music plus those lyrics can hurt ones heart, they're so sad. "Hush now don't you cry/wipe away the teardrop from your eye..."
- The album American Soldier is full of these, but by far the most powerful one is "Home Again." In a duet between vocalist Geoff Tate and his daughter Emily, it is meant to be intterpretted as a story about a soldier exchanging letters with his family as well as a message to Tate's own family.
- Electric Reliquem from Operation Mindcrime:
"Dont leave me
Dont leave me
- "Deathbed" by Relient K. The narrator's life is pure crap, then we get the final chorus where he goes to Heaven. Also, only a toy piano is playing.
"I can smell the death on the sheets covering me
I can't believe this is the end
I can hear you whisper to me,
'It's time to leave
You'll never be lonely again.'"
- Most of Damien Rice's stuff is pretty depressing, but "Accidental Babies' from his second album can really reduce one to tears. It's just so raw.
- "Not What You See" from Savatage's Dead Winter Dead.
"And I'm out here - waiting
I don't understand what you want me to be
It's the dark you're hating
It's not who I am, but I know that it's all that you see..."
- "Alone You Breathe" is another one, written after the death of one of the founding members of Savatage. The second half of the song is especially tearjerking.
- Scorpions has a few:
- "Still Loving You", especially the last few lines. It doesn't help that Klaus Meine actually sounds genuinely heartbroken when he sings it.
"Yes I've hurt your pride
And I know what you've been through
You should give me a chance
This can't be the end
I'm still loving you..."
- "Winds of Change" can be a tearjerker, when you compare how hopeful the song is with the current circumstances in the world. What ever happened to all those bright, optimistic outlooks of the future?
- White Dove is another.
- Lanegan's voice makes his band, Screaming Trees', "Make My Mind" and "Dollar Bill" a couple of heart breakers.
- Sick Puppies has a couple:
- "Howard's Tale" is a very nice example.
- "That Time Of Year" If you've watched the NCIS ad that this song was played over, then you'll know how tearjerking this song is.
- Silverchair has tons of these. Especially "Ana's Song" which is about Daniel's struggle with male anorexia.
- Simple Plan has a couple.
- To say that the song "Untitled (How Could This Happen To Me?)" could make someone cry like a family member died is an understatement. A breakaway from their Pop Punk sound, the music video features the lead singer standing in the rain.
- "Save You", by the same. The song itself is about the lead singer's brother and his battle with cancer.
"If you fall, stumble down, I'll pick you up off the ground
If you loose faith in you, I'll give you strength to pull through
Tell me you won't give up, 'cause I'll be waiting
If you fall, I'll be there for you."
- Sixx Am's "Girl With Golden Eyes".
- "Snuff" by Slipknot - as well as "Vermillion Part 2" , the slow version. Chilling. And "Til we Die"
- It'd be quicker to list the Staind songs that aren't an example of this trope. Special mention goes to Fade. While the song is specifically about neglectful parents, the line "I just needed someone to talk to" will resonate with anyone who has felt loneliness.
- Steely Dan: "Charlie Freak", "Doctor Wu", "Any World That I'm Welcome To", Third World Man"
- Sting has a few:
- "Fragile", especially when you realize that the song was slated for a concert performance in the 'States on the evening of September 12, 2001. He had to decide on 9/11/01 whether to sing this. He did, and it was haunting.
"Perhaps this final act was meant to clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are..."
For the ship had turned into the wind
Against the storm to brace
And underneath the sailor's hat
I saw my father's face...
- 1987's Nothing Like The Sun was the tribute album for his mother, particularly "The Lazarus Heart".
From the wound a lovely flower grew\\ From somewhere deep inside.
- Bother by Stone Sour. You can practically feel the pain.
- "A Perfect Place" by Filipino rock band, Stonefree, also falls here. Not only do the lyrics fit (In time, I'll join her / Be with her as she is / Above the sky / Till then, I must get by), the vocalist does sound genuinely sad while he's singing the song.
- "Silver and Gold" by Joe Strummer seems to be a cheery folk song about the singer's plans for a happy future:
"I'm gonna take a trip around the world
I'm gonna kiss all the pretty girls
Do everything, silver and gold
But I've got to hurry up before I grow too old."
- Then you realize that it's the final song on a posthumous album.
- "Babe" by Styx.
- A song of mental patients, "Institutionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies is poignant for a punk song, especially the Pepsi verse. "All I wanted was a Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me, just one Pepsi."
- "Pieces", by Sum 41.
- Superchic[k] has a few of them.
- "Breathe" is the epitome of tearjerker. Especially for those who have lost someone close to them.
- Tearjerkers can be their entire library. "Stand in the Rain" definitely qualifies.
- Supertramp has a few:
- Swallow The Sun's "Plague of Butterflies", a 35-minute piece (comprised of three songs in one) that tells the story of a man in search of his lost love while an unusual plague ravages the land.
- The title track from their album Emerald Forest And The Blackbird is also quite sad, as the lyrics seem to be the words of a man reading one last bedtime story to his son, who is dying from a disease.
- Soldier side by System of a Down. Listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJd1Zs_Ugl4
"They were crying when their sons left
God is wearing black
he's come so far to find no hope; he's never coming back!
They were crying when their sons left,
all young men must go
he's come so far, to find the truth, he's never going home!"
- T-Rex's song "Teenage Dream", especially if you associate it with the one scene in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. - MGC
- Taking Back Sunday's "New American Classic" can really affect people who went through a break-up.
- The Tea Party has a few:
- "Messenger" can be incredibly saddening when she was a child.
- From that same album, "Gone." Jeff Martin even sounds like he's... Floored. "Chimera" is another one. "These Living Arms," "Taking Me Away," and "Heaven Coming Down" also qualify. For those keeping score at home, that makes at least half of the album.
- Hell, at least half of TP's entire discography falls under Tear Jerker.
- Tenacious D's 'Dio' has become quite the sad song. "Dio has rocked for a long, long time now it's time for him to pass the torch."
- Christian band Tenth Avenue North has You Are More. Behind the band is a chalkboard, on which people have written things like "I am angry at God sometimes for taking my dad away", "My boyfriend hits me" and "Do I matter?". In the last chorus, water starts running down the chalkboard ... erasing everything as the last chorus begins:
You are more than the choices that you've made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You've been remade.
- "Clavicula Nox" and "Raven of Dispersion" by Therion.
- Thin Lizzy has a couple:
- The riff from "Downtown Sundown" can make one misty-eyed.
- "Little Girl In Bloom", from the underrated Vagabonds of the Western World, is a tender ode to an expecting mother complete with a wrenching guitar solo coda.
- Never Too Late by Three Days Grace. If you think it's not sad enough, you should see the video.
- Three Doors Down has a few:
- "Look Away", "Watching Over Me", and Already Home" by Thousand Foot Krutch are Tear Jerkers.
- Several songs by Thursday are Tearjerkers: "M.Shepard", "The Lovesong Writer", "Voices On A String", and "Appeared and Was Gone". (yes even though it is an instrumental)
- The original version of that instrumental "In Silence" also counts. Their swan song "Stay True" is another memorable one.
- "Wings for Marie" and "10,000 Days" by Tool, being a sort of tribute to Maynard James Keenan's mother. And the line "All right, now, it's time for us to let you go" at the end of the first part is shaking. "Fetch me the Spirit, the Son, and the Father, tell them their pillar of faith has ascended. It's time now! My time now! Give me my... give me my wings!" has already been mentioned on the Crowning Musicof Awesome page, but the emotional catharsis and heartwarming is what really brings tears.
- Train's "Drops of Jupiter": Lyrical Dissonance, what the song is about, and the whimsical sadness in the whole experiment...Taylor Swift's version is also tear jerking.
- Trans-Siberian Orchestra has a few:
- "Ornament". To put it in some perspective, imagine you're separated from someone you care about. You don't really know why. You don't know where this person is, and have no means to contact them. Oh, and it's Christmas.
- The concert version tells it as a full-blown story, then resolves it in the next song, "Old City Bar". See: Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- And then the third tear-jerker in a row, "This Christmas Day," about that beloved individual returning to you on said holiday.
- "Wetsuit" by The Vaccines. The melancholy organ in the background of the song when accompanied by such lyrics as "We old got old at break-neck speed" should have any person dreaming about their lost childhood.
- Van Der Graaf Generator has a few:
- "House With No Door" is about a mental patient who desperetly wants to be cured, but just can't no matter how hard he tries. Especially heartbreaking when Peter Hammill sings "won't somebody help me" at the end of each chorus.
- "Man-Erg" is another one.
- "W". If there was a song that could define Despair Event Horizon, this is it:
You wake up, look to your left
And see no reassuring head
You stay in bed all day
At six o' clock, you realize you're dead.
- Speaking of VDGG, there's Hammill's "Autumn", from his solo album Over; the song deals with a couple coping with their kids leaving the nest and wondering what to do next.
- "Dreams" and "Top of the World" by Van Halen.
- "Wie" (who) by Herman van Veen.
"Wie heeft jouw net als ik te weinig liefgehad?" Who, like me, hasn't loved you enough?
- "Amitriptyline" by John Vanderslice: angsty lyrics delivered in a quietly wrenching tone. The song is about being forced to take prescription drugs (amitriptyline is used to treat depression), and the singer sounds so desperate and yet resigned, telling the listener "please remember me as I was" and not to worry about him as he sings goodbye. To date, it may be amongst the most claustrophobic and depressing songs ever.
- Luther Vandross tends to make teary songs, but what can really do it is "Dance With My Father." It was his last hit before his death. His mother had four children and she outlived all of them.
- "The Queen And The Soldier" by Suzanne Vega, for much the same reasons. Not-conventionally-saccharine female vocals, well-meaning protagonist desperately trying to end a senseless waste of life, the feeling that just once they'll listen to reason and everything'll be okay, but no.
- Alternate Character Interpretation holds that the Soldier may have fallen in love with the Queen in addition to trying to stop the war, and she killed him because she couldn't risk falling in love with him and abandoning her responsibility to the country. Also, the Soldier had just told the Queen that he was a deserter, making him legally subject to execution. Oh, and we never actually find out whether the war is pointless or not. Because the song needed to be more depressing.
"The young queen, she fixed him with an arrogant eye
She said, "You won't understand, and you may as well not try"
But her face was a child's, and he thought she would cry
But she closed herself up like a fan..."
- "Luka" could also fit into this category.
- Especially if you were a small child yourself in 1987. Gives it that little bit extra.
- "Penitent" can evoke the feeling of being lost and looking for guidance.
- Velvet Acid Christ's "Slut" is so sadly desperate.
- "In Another Life" by The Veronicas might be the most heart-breaking song ever. Here's the chorus:
"You know I love you
You know I do
I just can't, fight
Anymore for you
And I don't know, maybe we'll be together again
Sometime, in another life
In another life..."
- "Everything You Want" by Vertical Horizon. It sounds like standard relationship advice at first, but the last chorus changed the pronouns and pushed it from "a little bit sad" to full-blown Tear Jerker. "I am everything you want, I am everything you need / I am everything inside of you that you wish you could be / I say all the right things at exactly the right time / But I mean nothing to you and I don't know why." This Kingdom Hearts video in particular made it even worse.
- The Verve has a couple:
- "Drugs Don't Work". Depressing enough on its own but once you know that its about the singer watching his father die slowly in the hospital and being powerless to help him... yeah you will bawl.
- "Bittersweet Symphony" might also get you sad.
- "The Freshmen" by The Verve Pipe.
"My best friend took a week's vacation to forget her
His girl took a week's worth of valium and slept
And now he's guilt stricken sobbin' with his head on the floor
Thinks about her now and how he never really wept he says"
"I can't be held responsible
'Cause she was touching her face
I won't be held responsible
She fell in love in the first place..."
- "Return to You" by Visions of Atlantis.
- "Elephant in the Room" by Richard Walters.
- Warning's "Watching from a distance" album is an example of the emotional power of great songwriting. Each song is the tale of a man who is pouring his heart out to the woman in his life. The voice of the singer may be irritating to a few but to most captures a real and heart wrenching emotion in a way that pop music could never capture. Listen to the whole album here, and read the lyrics here.
- "Virtue the Cat Explains Her Departure" the sequel to The Weakerthans "Plea from a Cat Named Virtue" is one of the most hearbreaking songs ever. It's told from the p.o.v of a lost housecat as she faces the elements and slowly starts to forget her beloved owner.
"After scrapping with the ferals and the tabby,
Let you brush my matted fur
How I'd knead into your chest while you were sleeping
Shallow breathing made me purr
But I can't remember the sound that you found for me."
- Weezer has a few as well, particularly "Butterfly" (the ending track of the dark Pinkerton album based on Madame Butterfly, about Pinkerton singing reptentedly about his actions) and "Mykel and Carli" (which has taken on a new context to become one of the saddest songs in the world following the real Mykel and Carli's death. One can be brought to tears after reading the whole story, particularly the bit at the end where Rivers himself choked up while playing an acoustic version at their funeral).
- It's surprising that no one's mentioned "Say It Ain't So" yet. The song is about a child having to endure seeing his parents divorce and suffer from alcohol abuse. If the topic wasn't intense enough already, the bridge will burst open your flood gates guaranteed.
"Dear Daddy, I write you
In spite of years of silence
You've cleaned up, found Jesus
Things are good or so I hear
This bottle of Steven's
Awakens ancient feelings
Like father, stepfather
The son is drowning in the flood."
- Tony Joe White & Shelby Lynne, "Can't Go Back Home": "I'm strong enough/'Cept when I'm not..."
- Sydney band The Whitlams definitely have a few that come under this category. The band started in the early nineties with Tim Freedman, Stevie Plunder, and Andy Lewis. Stevie committed suicide in 1996, Tim wrote Charlie No. 3 two weeks later. Andy committed suicide in 1999, prompting Tim to write "The Curse Stops Here" and Blow Up The Pokies. These three songs, along with Stevie's earlier ode to self-destruction, "Following My Own Tracks", are hard not to cry to. (Especially the live version of "The Curse Stops Here", where Tim usually ends up welling up as well.)
- "Love Reign O'er Me" by The Who.
- Although the intended meaning was entirely different, 9-11 makes Wilco's "Jesus Etc. virtually unlistenable. Not because it's bad, but because the imagery the song gives you evokes such agony. Click on that link. It's very difficult to listen to this without something getting into your eye. Oh, and to make matters worse this song was written BEFORE 9-11.
- "Ticking Mouth" by Wir. What takes it from merely sad (the music) or bitter (the lyrics) to outright heartbreaking is the vocal delivery: The first few lines are delivered as by someone who has just finished weeping heavily.note
- Several songs from the album "Ghosts and Spirits", by artist Phil Woodward, most notably "The Grey Town", "Safety", "First Love", "Vetoing Heaven" (for sad), "The Lizard and the Stallion", "Saint Sarah" and "The Sunrise" (for happy). It's based on C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce.
- Most Wrock songs named after Chapter 34 of Deathly Hallows tend to be this.
- This song is about Merope Gaunt. It is fittingly heart-wrenching.
- X Japan's "Forever Love" is sad on its own, but just watch the live version, and try not to cry. To make matters worse, bear in mind that the band thought that this song was the last they'd ever perform together, AND that hide, the pink-haired guitarist, had just a few months to live at this point. Never mind tissues, you're going to need a bucket.
- Also speaking of which, the first music video X Japan did when they reformed recently seemed to be a standard performance PV, spiced up by random clips of the Saw films. That is, until the camera showed a billboard with a massive picture of the deceased hide's face on it, before cutting to a close-up of his old guitar on a stand. Nnk.
- "Walker of Dissonant Worlds", easily the most soul-crushing song Xasthur ever recorded.
- Xenomorph's song Capitalist Infiltration. Most of the album it's from (Demagoguery of the Obscurants) has a similar effect, Harbringers of Extinction in particular. But hey, it's dark psytrance, so it's not surprising.
- The Yeah Yeah Yeahs song "Turn Into". Listen at your own risk.
- Yellowcard's "Believe", a song about firefighters on 9/11 who die saving people. "everything is going to be alright, be strong, believe..." There is even an audio of one of the Mayor's speeches to the city at the end. Of course, that just makes it worse.
- The Crüxshadows - "Winterborn (Sacrificial Acoustic Version)".