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Tear Jerker / Metallica

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Even this thrash metal band is capable of doing tear-triggering songs.

  • This scene from the documentary "Behind the Music: Metallica", looking at Burton's death while "Fade to Black" and "Nothing Else Matters" play in the background. There's no shame in shedding some Manly Tears while watching.
    • The saddest point is when Hammet recalls at 4 AM that very night Hetfield, in a drunken state (having drank from his grief), wanders the streets yelling "Cliff! Where are you!?" at the top of his voice, causing Kirk to break into tears.
  • "Orion" by Metallica can be a tear-jerker. It's a cool song, but what makes it a tearjerker is the fact that this is the song that was played at Cliff Burton's funeral after he was killed in a bus accident in 1986. Until 2006, the remaining members of the band had never played it live in full, partially as a tribute to their bandmate.
  • "To Live Is to Die" is another one. What makes this song special is that the band didn't sully their feelings by putting them in words. In the entire 10 minute song, the only lyrics are the following poem written by Cliff shortly before his death:
    "When a man lies, he murders a part of the world.
    These are the pale deaths, which men miscall their lives.
    All this I cannot bare to witness any longer.
    Can not the Kingdom of Salvation take me home?"
    • The first part of the poem was written by Paul Gerhardt. Cliff provided the last two lines.
    • The first ever live performance of "To Live Is to Die" is intensely depressing.
  • "One": about a war soldier who loses his limbs and senses, and has nothing to live for. Especially with the video.
    • "He says "kill me". Over and over. Kill me."
  • "Fade to Black": about a man contemplating suicide, and follows through on it.
    • How good is this song? James Hetfield commented that when the song premiered, he visited a friend's house and he reckoned that his friend's little sister simply couldn't stop playing the track over and over again. He gathered that the band might have been onto something right then and there.
    • "Fade To Black" was the last song Jason Newsted performed with Metallica, during a televised performance at the VH 1 Music Awards. If you keep your eyes on him, you see him playing with a sadness and intensity uncommon for him, as it was clear he'd decided to leave the band at that point (though nobody else knew that at the time). When James sings "Now I will just say goodbye", Jason waves to the crowd. He knew exactly what he was doing.
  • Everything Jason Newsted suffered for 14 years. He was literally an example of an Ascended Fanboy to join one of his favorite bands, and what did he get for those long 14 years? Nothing but disdain by fans and his bandmates for one reason: He wasn't Cliff. God only knows what he dealt with for those long 14 years before quitting.
  • The straightforward ballad, "Nothing Else Matters".
  • "The Unforgiven" trilogy.
  • The video for "The Day That Never Comes" can be intensely depressing.
    • The demo version of "The Day That Never Comes", "Casper" is maybe even more depressing.
  • "Low Man's Lyric" is about a drug-addicted vagrant who begs forgiveness from his loved ones for becoming the abject person he is.
  • The guitar solo halfway through "Master of Puppets".
    • "Master of Puppets" in general can be a Tear-Jerker.
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  • The music video for "Turn the Page" is another major downer.
  • "The God That Failed" becomes a Tear-Jerker when you hear the story behind it: it's James Hetfield's personal Rage Against the Heavens, his feelings after the death of his mother, who could have been saved if her Christian Scientist beliefs didn't forbid her from seeking medical treatment.
    • "Until It Sleeps", anyone?
    • "Bleeding Me" and "The Outlaw Torn".
    • Its Lighter and Softer counterpart, "Mama Said", about a man (probably based on James himself) who basically treats his mother like crap and loses contact with her after he leaves home. After he's grown older and wiser he wants to reconcile with her, but she died before he had a chance to do it.
  • "Low Man's Lyric", a song about a homeless heroin addict who is dying, so he writes a letter to his estranged family begging them to forgive him for the choices he's made.
  • "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is not only a tremendous song with devastating lyrics out of the great book by Ernest Hemingway, but its lyrics are tremendously well crafted for a then 21-year-old orphaned Californian metalhead such as James Hetfield.
  • Freaking "The Unnamed Feeling". Through and through, a very disturbing video with a shocking tearjerker in that girl who reveals herself as bald and breaks down in tears, mirroring how some cancer patients feel when they are undergoing treatment.
  • "Blackened". The sorrowful intro to the song should set an example for how depressing the song is- but that's nothing compared to the lyrics about how the world is ending and it's all because of how we are causing it to- deforestation, war, littering, etc. The line "See our mother put to death, see our mother die!!!" pretty much sums it up.
  • A lot of Lulu can have this effect, at least after it sinks in. Within the context of the album, "Little Dog" may be the standout example, but the Reality Subtext (it was the last album Lou Reed recorded) makes almost the whole album one in hindsight, particularly "Junior Dad".
  • Metallica's song "Mama Said", James' ode to his mother, who died when he was 16.
    Mama, now I'm coming home, I'm not all you wished of me
    A mother's love for her son, unspoken, helped me be
    Yeah, I took your love for granted, and all the things you said to me
    I need your arms to welcome me, but a cold stone's all I see.
    • According to an interview the song "Junior Dad" is about parental loss, when listening to the finished recording Kirk Hammett and (of all people) James Hetfield had to walk out, due to them breaking down into tears.

  • Disposable Heroes is a song about military recruits becoming desensitized to violence and being sent to death in war. It shifts between the narrative of a young man watching his friends and eventually himself die, his commander deliberately sending him to his death, and a regretful narrator. Hetfield’s melancholy is clear in his vocals, and the song has only become more relevant after Iraq.
  • Dyer’s Eve, about Hetfield’s parents. Despite being one of their hardest songs, the melody in the chorus is beautifully depressing.

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