Tear Jerker / Rush

This Canadian progressive rock band can write some incredibly moving songs.

  • "Red Sector A", in a sense. Despite being undiluted Nightmare Fuel, it's pretty sad if you know where the inspiration came from.
    • This interview explaining the lines "Are we the last ones left alive/Are we the only human beings to survive" just makes it more heartbreaking, since it basically summarises the actual reactions of Holocaust survivors, victims of governments' brutality against indigenous people, and so on. A sort of Fridge Tear Jerker, if you will.
  • In a non-musical sense, Neil Peart's late 90s tragedies are heartrending, especially when you read his book "Ghost Rider" and realize that he felt so bad, so emotionally dead, his only option was to run. The longer he ran, the longer he went before he killed himself. Then he met his current wife... and now they have a baby daughter of their own. There's another picture out there of Neil holding his baby girl for the first time and he looks at her like she's made of gold. He's certainly earned his happy ending. *sniffle*.
    • The worst part of reading Neil's experiences in "Ghost Rider" is how much he wants to dissociate himself from his previous life because thinking about it is just too painful. He has Rush's bookkeeper draw up some credit cards under the name "John Ellwood Taylor" because he can't think of being Neil Peart of Rush anymore. When a traffic cop recognizes him and asks him "Didn't you used to be a musician?" he replies "I used to be a lot of things."
    • It's also tragic how Neil's grief hits him at random times during his trip (just like in real life). While riding down a desert road he passes by an RV and sees a grandpa playing with his grandkids through the window. He has to pull over and cry, realizing he'll never be a grandpa.
  • "Emotion Detector", "Open Secrets", "Available Light", "Everyday Glory"
  • "The Pass" is another one.
    • The lyrics seem to be told from the point of a father who knows his child is going through difficult times and depression and he understands how his child feels, but can't get through to them, the line "Christ what have you done?" seems so real, like the child committed suicide, it's just so tear jerking.
  • Also: "Bravado", "Tears", "Subdivisions", "The Trees", and "Afterimage" could be included.
    • "Afterimage" was written as a tribute to Robbie Whalen, a longtime friend and employee of the band. At the end of the music video, look at Neil. He looks like he's close to tears.
  • "Losing It" and "Time Stand Still".
  • "Middletown Dreams".
  • "Vapor Trail".
  • The final three tracks of Clockwork Angels ("BU2B2", "Wish Them Well", "The Garden") which bring a finality to the story showing the main character having endured trauma after trauma can believe in a way of life that can give while grieving, forgive without judging and measure a life on the kindness and love displayed to others which is a beautiful message, especially taking into account unfortunate events of Neil's own headlong flight.
    • BU2B sounds like your typical "god does not exist" song, but if you consider Neil Peart's tragedies he suffered, it becomes sob-worthy, not just lyrically but its heavy instrumentation too- both make a sad and heartbreaking song:
    All is for the best
    Believe in what we're told
    Blind men in the market
    Buying what we're sold
    Believe in what we're told
    Until our final breath
    While our loving Watchmaker loves us all to death
  • Really, the entirety of Vapor Trails alternates between tearjerkingly, awesomely optimistic (the line "Nothing can stop you now" in "Ghost Rider") and heartbreakingly sad. The refrain of "The Stars Look Down," an agnostic Rage Against the Heavens about Neil Peart's grief following his late-90s Trauma Conga Line, immediately comes to mind, especially considering the mournful high notes Geddy hits in "What is the meaning of this?" and "Was it something I said?":
    What is the meaning of this?
    And the stars look down
    What are you trying to do?
    And the stars look down
    Was it something I said?
    And the stars look down
    Something you'd like me to do?
    And the stars look down
  • "The Garden". Come on, if that song doesn't at least make your eyes water then you ain't human, my friend.
  • "2112". Imagine your life is controlled entirely by religion. What you do, where you go, who you marry… you get the point. So you find an artifact, a guitar, and teach yourself how to play it. You really like it, not entirely for the sound, but for the expression. You bring it before the leaders of your theocracy, and tell them that society could do great things. They blow you off. You keep pushing them, so they grind your beloved guitar to splinters beneath their feet. You have a dream that night about the people that populated your world before, the Elder Race, who are still searching for their home that was so viciously taken from them. When you wake, you cannot bear to live in your world anymore, not after seeing the wonders made by your ancestors. So you commit suicide.