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Tear Jerker / Iron Maiden

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This classic heavy metal band has some very sad songs.

  • "Paschendale". The battle it talks about is bad enough, but this magnificent song both makes you angry and brings a tear in your eye. "Rust your bullets with his tears/Let me tell you 'bout his years."
    • The lyrics of this song are absolutely devastating. The closest thing it has to a chorus is the refrain of "home far away, from the war, a chance to live again." This is then repeated but with minor changes, "home far away, but the war, no chance to live again." There's also a poignant section between the solos - "the sound of guns can't hide the shame, and so we die at Paschendale." This suggests that the trauma of having to kill another human being has emotionally "killed" these men whether or not they survive the battle. Finally, the ending lines "friend and foe, we'll meet again, those who died at Paschendale," suggests that the men who fought were only enemies because of the decisions of politicians and can make peace with one another in the afterlife.
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  • "Montsegur", inspired by one of the last stands of the Cathars, a Christian breakout sect which was utterly massacred by the medieval Catholic Church during the crusades.
  • "Blood Brothers", inspired by the death of Steve Harris' father. The fan base has admitted to tearing up after having heard Bruce dedicate it to Ronnie James Dio and the 2011 earthquake victims in Japan in the Final Frontier tour.
  • "Lord of Light" offers a sympathetic view of Lucifer. If you listen closely to the lyrics and the mention of how very tragic of a figure he was, you'll require plenty of Kleenex.
  • The whole A Matter of Life and Death for that matter, especially "For the Greater Good of God".
  • "The Man Who Would Be King" is without a doubt the most soul crushingly depressing song they've ever written, and probably one of the most depressing songs ever. It is about a man slowly losing mental balance after killing someone he didn't want to.
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  • "No Prayer for the Dying".
  • "When the Wild Wind Blows", from their recent album (being inspired by a tearjerking graphic novel/film helps a lot).
  • Also, most of The X Factor, but most notably "2 A.M."
  • "Afraid to Shoot Strangers", which is about the American invasion of Iraq in 1991. The lyrics are sad, but what really gets the waterworks going is a beautiful, tragic riff that starts about two and a half minutes in.
    • The line "And we know, deep down there's no other way...", which hits home to war vets. A beautiful, poetic song indeed.
    • "Fear is the Key", the following song on the album, which is arguably the angriest song Maiden have ever written, is about how people dust the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic in African countries off their shoulders but mourn celebrities and try to make people live in fear, as well as use the AIDS epidemic to scare homosexuals. It's way sadder than it sounds, and leaves you thinking "Humans Are Bastards indeed..."
  • "Como Estais Amigos", about a group of Englishmen during the Falklands war trying to make peace with the Argentines. The tear jerker factor is heightened when two years later, the band performs "The Trooper" as Bruce waved the Union Jack. Bruce tries to get the crowd going after the song's over, to which the crowd responds by shouting "The one who doesn't jump is an Englishman" in Spanish.
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  • "These Colours Don't Run", about showing pride in your country.
  • The final lyrics in "The Trooper". "And as I lay forgotten and alone, without a tear I draw my parting groan."
  • Depending on your mood, "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate".
  • "Wasting Love".
  • The end of the song "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is more hopeful than you might expect, given the subject matter, which takes out some of the Nightmare Fuel but makes it much more of a Tear Jerker.
  • "Still Life" is pretty sad, especially given the theory that it's meant to be a metaphor for alcoholism.
  • Hell, by now they're practically defined by their ability to write Tear Jerkers to the point it might be easier to list songs of theirs that didn't qualify to at least someone.
  • "Tears of a Clown", from Book of Souls, is dedicated to Robin Williams and his suicide after a long history of depression. Bruce has said that the band were just stunned that such a funny and seemingly happy man would end up killing himself. With lyrics such as "Who motivates the motivator" and "there's something that inside has died", the song is both upsetting and yet deeply insightful.
    Bruce: I ask myself how could he be so depressed when he always seemed to be so happy.
  • "Empire of the Clouds", which is about the fatal maiden voyage of Britain's greatest and largest airship, the R101. The last 4 minutes will make you sob for the 48 people burnt to death in the explosion to the sheer weight of the tragedy. Guaranteed. These lines in particular:
    Here lie their dreams as I stand in the sun
    On the ground where they built, and the engines did run
    To the moon and the stars, now what have we done?
    Oh, the dreamers may die, but the dreams live on
  • "The Nomad", both because it's a tribute to a group of Nomadic warriors, and because the entire second half, a grand and sweeping instrumental section capped off by a magnificent final verse, is so magnificent that it can bring one to tears.


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