Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Tear Jerker / Music

Go To

"My youngest son came home today,
His friends marched with him all the way,
The fife and drums beat out the time,
While in his box of polished pine,
Like dead meat on a butcher's tray,
My youngest son came home today."

These songs will surely make you cry. If not? Well... there's not much else we can say to ya. Sometimes involves Soundtrack Dissonance.

Note: any song can be a Tear Jerker if it gets associated with the wrong thing. We ideally want songs that are tearjerkers in themselves.

Artist subcategories

Album subcategories

Genre subcategories

Examples (Artist Specific, Alphabetical Order)

  • The Rahman song, "Khwaja Mere Khwaja", by Jodha Akbar (the first minute might be a little grating to western ears). Even though it isn't necessarily sad, it can make one cry tears of sentimentality. Immigrant nostalgia, anyone?
    • Also his song 'Luka Chuppi'. The visuals are tearjerking in their own right, particularly when the dead pilot's mum nearly collapses when a soldier delivers her son's personal effects back to the family.
  • "Falling" by Alice in Videoland is very sad.
  • In Israel, Dan Almagor's "A Ballad for the Medic", despite winning numerous prizes, was not played on radio except during Yom Hazikaron for decades, because numerous families of fallen soldiers requested it.
  • "Da Slockit Light" by Tom Anderson.
  • Aphex Twin has a sweet little piano song off of drukQs called Avril 14th.
  • Amon Amarth's "The Fate Of Norns". The song is about a Viking warrior carrying the lifeless body of his six-year-old son (the last of his line) to a funeral pyre, stricken with grief, demanding the Norns why they took his son from him and questioning the point of life if it can be taken so easily. In the end, he chooses to join his son on the pyre.
  • ''I'm Not Jesus'' by Apocalyptica and Corey Taylor. It's about a man who was molested by his priest as a child, and now, as an adult, is confronting said priest. The sheer rage and pain in Taylor's voice is heart-rending, and if the comments on the YouTube video are to be believed, the lyrics ring a little too true for some people.
  • Arcade Fire's "Abraham's Daughter"—-even without the The Hunger Games tie-in.
  • Army of the Pharaoh's "Into the Arms of Angels" is a hip-hop example that's a chronicle of life in about as crapsack as a Crapsack World can get.
  • Asia's 2012 album XXX gives us "Bury Me In Willow," a mature, humble approach to looking at death. It hits hard when taking bassist/vocalist John Wetton's alcoholism and heart problems into account.
    "Save me and give me the peace to surrender at last.
    When I'm gone, do those things for me,
    for this is my final day, you know I would not joke,
    just bury me in willow, not in oak.
    Give me no standard, no eulogy.
    No red, white and blue, no scepter and no cloak.
    Just bury me in willow, not in oak."
    • The song hits harder following Wetton's death on 31st January 2017 from cancer.
  • 3000 Feet by Assemblage 23. The entire song is a guy calling his lover because he's on a plane that's going to crash. It's his last chance to talk to his lover. The worst part? When the poor guy has one more thing to say, and he gets cut off by the plane impacting.
  • ATB's 2005 ballad remake of his single "Let You Go".
  • Atmosphere has a few:
    • "The Waitress". It's about a homeless man's bickering relationship with a waitress and how he honestly doesn't have much life left in him. Oh ,and the waitress he's been arguing with the whole song? Yeah, that's his daughter.
    • "Yesterday". Just listen to it. All the way through.
    • Atmosphere example - "Caved In", about one of the rappers losing his father at an early age. The instrumental alone is haunting.
  • "Wait for you" by Atreyu
  • "Boston" by Augustana. Beautiful lyrics made even better by the Epic Riff, but for anyone who's ever felt that hopeless and desperate to escape and start over, it can manage to bring a tear to their eye.
  • The Avalanches:
    • "Pablo's Cruise"
    • "Zap"
    • "Park Music"
    • "Stepkids"
  • The Avett Brothers:
  • Badly Drawn Boy's "Minor Incident", especially in the context of the film, can really get to one. It sounds like a suicide note to her son.
  • "Hands To Heaven" by Breathe. It is not quite clear what this song is really about, but based on the lyrics, it seems to be about a guy having to leave a girl he has loved for a long time (whether he has to leave for a job, join the army, etc, who knows). Alongside the lyrics, the instrumentals in the background simply add to the heartbreak.
  • To Build A Home by The Cinematic Orchestra. One of those songs to listen to if you are feeling down and want to make yourself cry.
    And now, it's time to leave and turn to dust...
  • Rich Fantasy Lives by Rob Balder. "Some whispering poem was calling us home, to a place we know never existed..."
  • In the songs from Fairy Tales by Eric Lane Barnes, they had several heart breaking songs. "The Ballad of Tammy Brown", "Dear Dad", "When You Meet an Angel" will all make you feel punched in the soul. But "A Humming Bird" may very well take the cake, a song about a man tearfully trying to cheer up his dying lover, as he has a breakdown not knowing how he can help, or how he'll manage to live without him.
  • The song "Wanting Memories" by Ysaye M. Barnwell. It's a beautiful song, but at some point it becomes a serious Tear Jerker.
  • Not very well known, but "The Beaches of St. Valery" by Battlefield Band is a heartbreaking WWII song.
    • Those who have seen it live before the sad passing of Davy Steele - who sang it so well - would have to agree. Also, the final verse of Jenny O' the Braes from the same album - "Rain, Hail or Shine" - can be a bit of a tearjerker too, but in a bittersweet way.
  • After the sudden death of Christina Grimmie in 2016, a number of tribute songs were released that certainly qualify (see "Christina's Song" by MAX and "Blink of An Eye" by Tori Kelly), but arguably the saddest is "Clouds" by Before You Exit, the band Grimmie had been touring with when she was killed. The piano melody in the first 10 seconds alone could start the waterworks, but the lyrics are sure to.
    Please just tell me you're alright
    Are you way up in the sky
    Laughing, smiling, looking down
    Saying "One day we'll meet in the clouds..."
    • "Soldier" by the same band also qualifies, especially the video, about a girl named Melissa with arguing parents. The song uses war metaphors to show that the singer will fight any battle to protect the one he loves.
  • Original Thin Lizzy guitarist Eric Bell put out "Song for Gary" in 2017: a spoken-word tribute to his friend and guitar legend Gary Moore, who died in 2011. Eric's blazing solo at the end will rend you.
    One summer evening, the Deltones,
    The group I was playing with at the time,
    Was booked to play a gig in Holywood
    (Holywood, Northern Ireland.)
    When we arrived, as I was getting out of the van,
    I heard the sweet sound of an electric guitar.
    As we walked in, there was a kid up on the stage
  • Alec Benjamin's "I Built a Friend", which became famous (or infamous) as the song that 12-year-old Merrick Hanna danced the story of in an emotional America's Got Talent audition. Said story: a lonely kid builds a tiny robot friend from scratch, and they "have so much fun together"... until the boy leaves for college. The next time they see each other... the "friend" is so lonely and depressed that he spills water on himself, and the boy finds his remains with a note. That's right: The robot commits suicide. The youth in Alec's voice is heartbreaking. And when you watch Merrick's dance...
    • Alec has since proven to be a master at this. Check out "1994", "Water Fountain" and "The Book of You and I".
  • Betty Who usually has some peppy electro pop tunes. One that defies that is the wistful song "A Night To Remember." At first it seems like a Silly Love Song, until the Wham Line of the refrain:
    A night to remember, the rain was pouring down the bathroom window
    A night to remember, I let you touch me like a scene in slow-mo
    And I had a hopeless, teenage heart I lost back then
  • Blackmore's Night have several Tear Jerker songs.
    • "The Circle", depending on how much you think about the lyrics.
    • "Ocean Gypsy".
    No one noticed when she died
    Cries no more, her tears have dried
    Oceans weep for her, the ocean sighs
    • "Catherine Howard's Fate".
    • Their cover of "Streets of London" (mentioned below) is just as much a Tear Jerker as the original.
  • "Ain't No Love in The Heart of The City" by Bobby 'Blue' Bland. It's about a break-up that's so soul-crushing that the protagonist sees no value to his urban environment:
    Every place that I go
    Oh, it seems so strange
    Without you there
    Things have changed
    The nights are cold
    There's a blanket of gloom
    Another teardrop falls
    In my lonely room
  • "Tha Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, which is about reuniting with the souls of loved ones on judgement day, can give some people a good cry every time they hear it.
    • The music video adds an extra punch to the lyrics. While the group is coping with the loss of their friends and family, a mysterious black-clad man gathers the souls of the dead and takes them up to the top of a mountain. As they await the day of judgement, the man is revealed to be the angel of death. A glimpse of Eazy E, smiling in the clouds, is sure to bring on tears to those who remember him.
  • When the British Coldstream Guards who normally protect the Royal Family played 'Star Spangled Banner' shortly after the 9/11 attacks. One user described it thusly: "If nations are people and anthems are their lullabies, then here was Mother England singing to her grieving American child."
  • "Smile in your Sleep (Hush, hush)". The rendition by the Browne Sisters, singing it more as a lullaby... it's very sad.
  • "Flaming June" and "Mercury and Solace" by BT can be quite heartrending.
  • Carbon Leaf has "The War Was in Color", which starts out as a kid asking his granddad to tell him about old photos and progresses through the perspectives of different soldiers. Some of the descriptions are painful as hell... and then comes the verse from the perspective of a soldier who died. "Now I lay in my grave/ At age twenty-one. Long before you were born/ before I bore a son. What good did it do? Well, hopefully for you/ a life without war/ a life full of color."
  • "The Greening Of Belfast" by Michael Card. Beautiful song about The Troubles that doesn't take sides, but pleads for peace. The chorus: "Pray for the greening of Belfast/That what is now barren might bloom and be fair/God loves the city of Belfast/For so many children who love Him live there." Combined with a stunning melody and lovely accompaniment, it will drive you to tears.
  • "The Minstrel's Prayer" by Cartel is the right blend of extreme melancholia and cautious optimism.
  • The Caretaker's entire album An Empty Bliss Beyond This World is pretty tear jerking alone on it's own, but it gets worse when you hear the idea of how it was brought together. The album idea came from The Caretaker reading a study in 2010 saying that Alzheimer's patients have an easier time remembering information when it's placed in the context of music. The album is a vague Concept Album taking place in the mind of someone with Alzheimer's remembering pieces of sound from their past.
  • The Caroline's Spine song "Sullivan" is about the five Sullivan brothers lost when the USS Juneau (CL-52) was sunk during World War Two. 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.
  • Celtic Thunder's cover of the song "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straights. The lyrics are the last musings of a soldier who knows he won't live to return home with his fellow fighters, mixing gratitude for the relationships he had with his "brothers in arms", resignation about his incoming death, and finally, an expression of the foolishness of war. The beautiful but wrenching music does not help.
  • "Tell Me What to Swallow" by Crystal Castles.
  • "On Your Mark" by Chage and Aska. The song itself is so sadly nostalgic, just the lyrics can make you tear up... but the video... "You can do it, angel girl! Be free!"
  • Renowned men's choir Chanticleer. Franz Biebl's rendition of Ave Maria. Although, some might find it far more uplifting than sad. The lyrics are celebratory, anyway.
    • Another Chanticleer performance: "Calling My Children Home". Hearing this one live and can break one's heart.
  • The Chain Gang of 1974 has Sleepwalking. The song itself shares some Lyrical Dissonance, having a rather cheerful, high-life feeling, while the lyrics describe a breakup. The song only gets worse in the context of Grand Theft Auto V, where it plays during the Kill Michael ending, which in itself is widely considered to be the worst ending in the game.
  • "A Thousand Heartbreaking Reasons" by Jacky Cheung.
  • Chicago's "Little One", from their eleventh album, features guitarist Terry Kath on lead vocals and was a minor hit shortly after his death in early 1978. Although written by drummer Danny Seraphine for his two girls, Terry clearly sang it with his own toddler daughter in mind. One gets the feeling he somehow knew he wasn't going to be around to see her grow up.
  • "What Would You Do?" by City High. "What would do if your son was at home/ Lying all alone on the bed crying cause he's hungry / What would you do if the only way to feed him / Is to sleep with a man for a little bit of money/ and his daddy's gone / somewhere smoking rock now, in and out of lock down / I ain't got a job now / So for you this is just a good time / but for me this is what I call life." The second verse really does not help.
  • "Poison and Wine" and "Falling", both by The Civil Wars. "Please tell me you know/I've got to let you go/I can't help falling/out of love with you."
  • "Tell Me There's A Heaven" by Chris Rea, a sad song which can either be interpreted as a song about Child Abuse, Death or War. This song will absolutely bring tears to your eyes. Regardless of which context it is in.
  • "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton, with out a doubt he saddest song ever written, if you know the story behind it. Make sure to have a Kleenex.
  • "Somebody else not me" by Duran Duran is even more sadder if broke with your boy/girlfriend
  • "Boy Soldier" by Johnny Clegg, especially the chorus.
    "Once we played in the morning light
    Once we were children
    Then one morning they came
    The soldiers took us away..."
    • Also, Clegg’s “Warsaw 1943 (I Never Betrayed the Revolution.”
  • "Many Rivers To Cross", by Jimmy Cliff (also covered effectively by Joe Cocker). Even with the singer's perseverance, the adversity and temptation can be too much to bear at times.
  • "The Doctor's Wife" by The Clockwork Quartet.
    "And I swear!
    I can see the gleam
    of her eyes
    amidst the new machines!
    and at night
    I can hear her whisper..."
    • As much terrifying as it is Tear Jerker; same goes for the wife's refrain.
  • Biffy Clyro's "Folding Stars". Sure, it's a depressing song in itself — but, when you find out who Eleanor is, then it really hits you.
    • "Many of Horror": "When we collide we come together / If we don't we'll always be apart"
  • When Crows Tick On Windows by Dutch black metal band Carach Angren. Yes, it does qualify as a healthy dose of Nightmare Fuel - as do most of their other songs - but the lyrics easily count. The song itself is about domestic abuse and two children trying to escape from their abusive father, and ends with them discovering that their mother has killed herself. The way Seregor screams "Mama, why? Oh, mother, goodbye" sounds for all the world, despite the harsh vocals, like a child desperately trying to make sense of the situation.
    • What makes it worse is that Seregor himself has said that parts of This Is No Fairytale (the album that the song appears on) are 'autobiographical'; he said in at least one interview that his own mother was a heavy drinker and he was neglected as a child: "...all the shit we went through was not done by ghosts."
  • "Flame Trees" by Cold Chisel. Especially in the movie Little Fish, where this song about lost loves and small towns and long gone glory days is sung by a children's choir.
    "Do you remember, nothing stopped us on the field, in our day..."
  • "Hush Hush Hush," by Paula Cole, is a lullaby sung by a father to his dying son. One might break down when the song gets to the line "Maybe next time, you'll be given a chance."
    • Cole’s album ‘’Harbinger’’ has several of these, including “I Am So Ordinary” and “Bethlehem.”
  • In a rarity for power electronics, there is Con-Dom's How Welcome Is Death to I Who Have Nothing More to Do But Die. The album frankly and candidly discusses the Humiliation Conga that is life with an incurable neurodegenerative disease, with emphasis on the later stages of said illnesses. It is not the least bit positive in its handling of the subject matter. It's also loaded with Reality Subtext, from his relationship with his dementia-ridden mother ("Living Death") to his own brush with terminal illness ("Chocolates"). And that's not even getting into the interludes, recorded, some say, in the hospice where his mother died...
  • Converge's fifth album Jane Doe begins with their trademark blend of hardcore punk and thrash (with some bloody demented vocals), but the music just gets more and more powerful and emotional as the album goes along, culminating in the impossibly moving 12-minute long title track. It might be hard to speak for some time after hearing the album for the first time.
  • Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come", especially when you consider what's it's about. It's one of the last things Cooke recorded before his untimely death.
    • Similarly, "(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding is heart-wrenching when you hear Otis giving his whole self to the performance of said song and realize he didn't live to see the song be the big success he was craving for: he and about four members of his backing band The Bar-Kays all perished in a fatal aviation accident while they were in transit to perform some concerts.
    • To add to the last point, the famous whistling at the end of the song was completely improvised. Redding couldn't come up with more lyrics and decided to whistle. Knowing that makes the song more powerful and sad when you consider his tragic death.
  • Aaron Copland. In life he was on McCarthy's Hollywood blacklist, not for being a Communist, but for being gay. Today he is probably the single most universally beloved American Classical composer and his music is played at every Presidential inauguration. Oh yeah, and it's seriously all-time great music, too.
  • Elvis Costello has a few, one of the most memorable being 'Tramp the Dirt Down''. The sheer bitterness and anger in his voice and in the lyrics is heartbreaking, especially to people who have less than positive memories of Margaret Thatcher.
  • Even Cowboy Mouth (which might be the ultimate feel-good band) has a few: in particular "The Avenue" and "Maureen".
  • "Superman's Song" by the Crash Test Dummies. It's the perfect eulogy to give the Man of Steel.
  • "Spancil Hill" by Michael Considine is a heart-wrenching song about, and by, a man longing for his native Ireland. Considine died in California shortly after writing it.
  • "Pressed Rat And Warthog" by Cream. I can hear the laughter now, but when you realise it's about two friends forced to give up their dreams due to outside circumstances....
    Pressed Rat and Warthog have closed down their shop
    They didn't want to; it was all they had got
  • "I Know What Kind of Love This Is" was kind of depressing when The Nields did it, but when Cry Cry Cry covered it... yeah.
  • Most songs by Rebekah Ann Curtis are tearjerking, but "Byron's Song" can really make one tear up. It's about a friend of hers who died of cancer. Not to be confused with the film Brian's Song, whose protagonist also died of cancer.
  • Heather Dale has a few songs that qualify.
    • "Mordred's Lullaby". It's about how Morgan le Faye is manipulating Mordred (when he's just a child) to hate Arthur and carry out her revenge.
    • "War Between Brothers".
    War between brothers
    Sire fighting son
    Only division where once there was one
    • "Joan" becomes this once you remember what happened to the historical Joan.
    • "Changeling Child" is one long Yank the Dog's Chain. The female protagonist and her husband have wanted a child for twelve years, but she has never been able to bear one. She goes to the faeries and manages to bargain them into giving her a child — only for said child never to grow beyond babyhood.
  • Anything by Dark Sanctuary. Just try it. (Actually, this type of song was the premise of the band.)
  • "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree" can make one mist up a little, especially the chorus and final verse.
  • The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets have the song "Burrow Your Way To My Heart". At first glance it's Body Horror Played for Laughs, but think about it; it's about a child so starved for love that they consider wasp stings to be physical affection and ringworm blemishes to be companions.
  • Skeeter Davis' "The End of the World". After seeing Girl, Interrupted, you may not be able for a time afterward to hear it without feeling a) deeply depressed or b) deeply disturbed.
  • "The Host of the Seraphim" by Dead Can Dance is incredibly haunting. Never mind its use as Background Music in The Mist, or accompanying the terrible scenes of abject poverty in Baraka.
  • "Fatal hesitation" by Chris DeBurgh. "Oh Romeo is standing in the rain... I know I have let her slip away... Fatal hesitation..."
  • "The Light Before We Land", by the Delgados. There is a good reason it's the opening theme to Gunslinger Girl.
  • Grey Delisle's cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody" is possibly the most heartbreaking song one might ever hear. It takes on an even deeper meaning when we realize this woman also voiced Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Although, your mileage may vary on that one ...
  • Demon Hunter's "Carry Me Down". Especially this story from Jonathan Dunn that accompanied the music video:
    In December of 2001, Aaron [Barkland] took his own life, just weeks before Christmas. I don't know what was going through his mind to drive him to that point, but it is safe to assume he felt alone and that no one cared. It was a terrible tragedy and was very hard for me to deal with, as well as his family and other friends. I kept thinking that if I was only more in touch and not away at school maybe things would be different. Aaron had written me a note in high school about our friendship that I had always carried around in my wallet, and still have to this day that I used to read whenever I was feeling down and out. It's a painful reminder of the pain of that loss. Fast forward to December 14th, 2007. We are shooting the video for "Carry Me Down" in North Eastern Washington, up at Whidbey Island. I wasn't really aware of where we were shooting and all the locations and such. The first location we shot at was a bridge called Deception Pass, which was the bridge where Aaron took his life, 6 years earlier on almost the same day. I had not been up to the bridge in those 6 years, and now showing up there unannounced was a little unsettling. Interestingly enough, we were shooting a video for a song about a funeral and the hope we have of Life after death.
  • Demons & Wizards. "Love's Tragedy Asunder" probably qualifies, but "Fiddler on the Green" definitely does:
    "Just hold my hand
    I'll take you there
    Your pain will go away..."
    • It's sadder if you know the story. Hansi Kursch saw 2 car accidents a week apart - one killed a little boy, another a little girl. They were barely a mile apart. The song says that the fiddler, Death, took the boy by accident and had to take his soulmate as well, because she'd never be truly happy without him.
  • Sandy Denny's "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?".
  • "Thorn Tree in the Garden" by Derek and the Dominos.
  • Devo's "No Place Like Home". Especially sad if you stop and think about what the lyrics are trying to say.
  • DeVotchKa's "How It Ends." A 7-minute, accordion-lead indie balled with VERY emotional vocals, an extended cello solo, haunting and vaguely Canadian pianos, and lyrics such as this:
    "In your soul
    They poked a million holes
    You never let them show
    Come on it's time to go."
    • It's like... orphans boarding a train through Siberia... or something.
  • The song "More Beautiful You" by Jonny Diaz can bring some people to happy tears every single time.
  • "Grafton Street", by Dido; all the more so because it's so quiet... (The song was apparently composed after the death of her father.)
  • "There Were Roses" performed by Cara Dillon. Deeply ironic Northern Ireland violence.
  • Dion
    • Abraham, Martin, and John can do it, especially the last verse.
    • "Teenager in Love" perfectly captures the angst of falling for someone in adolescence and facing the possibility of the relation not working out.
    "I've cried a tear for nobody but you
    I would be a lonely one if you should say we're through.
    Well, if you want to make me cry, that won't be so hard to do
    And if you should say goodbye, I'll still go on loving you
    Each night I ask the stars up above
    Why must I be a teeanger in love?"
  • "Me and My World" by Disbelief. That guy is so emotional! You're like "wow! You're not very happy are you, Mr. Singer?"
  • "Things Left Unsaid" by Disciple.
  • "Sunrise" by The Divine Comedy is a resigned, jaded song about the troubles in Ireland that builds first to despairing rage at the futility of it all ("Who cares what name you call a town? Who'll care when you're six feet beneath the ground?") then goes from there to a glorious, crying-with-joy crescendo.
  • "Little Ghetto Boy" by Donny Hathaway. Not to mention "A Song for You".
  • Donora's Photograph, which is a gorgeous but heartrending song about a relationship that, despite the promises of lasting forever, just didn't.
  • "Laleña" by Donovan.
  • Rob Dougan's "Furious Angels" and "Left Me For Dead".
  • Mike Doughty's "Ft. Hood," named after the army base in Texas that's produced the most US casualties in the Iraq war.
  • Nick Drake. His biography is depressing alone, but the album Pink Moon can leave some people weeping. It doesn't help that Nick committed suicide a few years after this album, and you can hear how completely he had given up on the world.
    • "Fruit Tree" can do it, especially since Nick wound up living the song.
    • Even Bryter Layter, probably his most cheerful album, isn't immune to this — as seen with "One of These Things First" and the closing instrumental, "Sunday".
  • Nika Costas "On My Own" is both Heartwarming and Tearjerking
  • "Out Here On My Own" by Irene Cara, from Fame. "When I'm down and feeling blue. I close my eyes so I can be with you. Oh baby be strong for me baby belong to me help me through help me need you."
  • "O Children" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The lyrics are chilling and heartbreaking, and the passsion and pain in Nick Cave's voice just takes your breath away.
  • Dream Academy's "Life in a Northern Town". So often dismissed as a Chorus-Only Song, yet the verses are wonderfully evocative, and the "bye bye" in the third verse can trigger the tears.
  • "Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife" by Drive By Truckers seems at its surface to be about a man realizing the importance of his family after he's died unexpectedly, but the entire tone of the song is changed once you discover that actually it's about the grisly murders of Bryan Harvey (the lead singer of the indie rock band House of Freaks) and his family. (More at Songfacts.)
    • Their "Little Bonnie" can hit some people hard in the gut.
      • Decoration Day as well.
    "It�s Decoration Day
    and I�ve got a family in Mobile Bay
    and they�ve never seen my Daddy�s grave.
    But that don�t bother me, it ain�t marked anyway.
    Cause I got dead brothers in Lauderdale south
    and I got dead brothers in east Tennessee.
    My Daddy got shot right in front of his house
    he had no one to fall on but me.
  • Duran Duran's 1993 album (commonly known as The Wedding Album) contained two emotional songs, "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone". Flashing back earlier to their 1988 album Big Thing, the song "Do You Believe in Shame?" (which was a single off the album) brings tears to the eyes when you find out it was inspired by the death of a very close friend of lead singer Simon Le Bon's and someone else who was rather close to the entire band (producer Alex Sadkin, who co-produced 1983's Seven and the Ragged Tiger and died while the band were recording Big Thing).
  • "Riding a Tiger", by the filk band Echo's Children. It's set for a science fiction series — but, despite that, one might cry if you so much as play the opening notes.
  • Julia Ecklar is mostly known for some fannish power ballads, and cheery stuff like "Born Again Trek," but then she sings "Lullaby for a Weary World." It might be a good song to pass along to anyone at an anti-war rally...
  • "Friend of Ours" by Elbow is the band's goodbye to a dead friend of theirs. The words "love you, mate" can be so heart-wrenching.
  • Embrace seems to have at least one of these on every album they've released, but the title track from "Drawn from Memory" (consisting of seven minutes of pure melancholy) is probably the winner.
  • Brian Eno has a few, including "On Some Faraway Beach", "Taking Tiger Mountain", "Everything Merges With The Night" and "Spider And I".
    • Lest we forget "An Ending (Ascent)", especially when combined with a sad occasion. Top Gear featured it in a segment lamenting the impending death of high performance cars, and it was used during the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, as part of a montage of pictures of people who had died since London being awarded the Olympics, with a strong hint that it was in memory of the victims of the 7/7 bombings.note 
  • "Celestial Bonds" by Ensiferum. The instrumentation is surprisingly gentle compared with much of the rest of the album, and Emmi Silvennoinen's voice is just so beautiful and fragile.
  • "Fly" by Epik High, an upbeat hip-hop song which is about how you can "fly and do anything". The music video, however...
    • The video shows a man who goes crazy and thinks that he has no reason to live so he goes and holds a woman hostage. The message being conveyed in the video is that you can't always do everything you want because there are rules that will restrict what you can do. Thus this song and video are juxtapositions of each other. Epik High has been sarcastic the entire time in the song, and the music video's message is that "You can't really "fly" and achieve whatever you want in life".
  • Raúl Esparza's Kennedy Center performance of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 must be seen to be believed. It will rip your guts out.
  • The entirety of Low Teens by Every Time I Die, detailing the vocalist's entire family nearly dying as a result of a premature birth, and him contemplating suicide if they don't make it out alive.
  • "Ooh La La" by The Faces can do it for people who are going through rough times. "I wish that I knew what I know now" can take on more and more resonance, as the time goes by.
  • Fairport Convention's Crazy Man Michael. Haunting lyrics + Sandy Denny's voice = Incredible Tear Jerker.
    • "Farewell, Farewell" can also do it.
    • "Meet On The Ledge" also, although it can also be uplifting. A song that is often played at British funerals
  • The Fall Of Every Season's "From Below" is the kind of depressing that will drive a person to suicide.
  • For everyone who has had that one friend who never left, no matter what - Órla Fallon's "Always There" will bring tears to your eyes. It's something about Fallon's soothing, husky voice - it is entirely possible that her singing voice is, in fact, balm for the soul in musical form.
  • Fallout fans unite: The Inkspots took melancholy to an art form. "Maybe", "I Don't Want to Start the World on Fire", and "If I Didn't Care". Mix and match with 50's nuclear apocalypse, art deco, underwater distortions, and objectionism. Keep a tissue handy as well.
  • "Feanch Times" by Alan Feanch is a beautiful instrumental song that can invoke a funereal mood.
  • Out of all of Fiction Junction YUUKA's songs, the one that might make cry the most is "Hitomi no kakera" - although, "Akatsuki no kuruma" is also quite the tear jerker.
  • "World" by Five For Fighting, and this can double as a LiveActionTV for its use in the PBS documentary Carrier..
    • Five for Fighting's "Superman", cliche or not, can also get some people choked up during it. This video makes it a million times worse.
    • "A Hundred Years" is one that can change your entire view on life. It can have that much of an effect, including mass tears.
  • "Do You Realize??" by the Flaming Lips: The most life-affirming song about death ever.
    Do you realize
    That happiness makes you cry?
    Do you realize
    That everyone you know someday will die?
    And instead of saying
    All of your goodbyes
    Let them know
    You realize that life goes fast
    It's hard to make the good things last
    You realize the sun doesn't go down
    It's just an illusion caused by the world
    Spinning round...
    • "Mr. Ambulance Driver", which has many of the same themes as "Do You Realize??".
  • Flanders and Swann's 'The Slow Train'.
  • "He Doesn't Know Why" by Fleet Foxes has the power to make some people incredibly emotional.
    • Then follow it up with the more recent "Helplessness Blues" and try not to lose it.
  • This particular song from the Fleischer Brothers' "Gulliver's Travels" can bring a tear to ones eye. It doesn't help that it's preceded by the Heroic Sacrifice of the most lovable character in the film.
  • "Happy Birthday" by Flipsyde. The song is an apology to the unborn child of the narrator, which was aborted. It talks about how he wonders what the kid would be like, and lights a candle every year for it. The song can make one choke up. "I love you, whoever you would've been"
  • Flobots' song "Handlebars" can actually be depressing; according to the music video, it's about two brothers going off on different paths: one becomes a protester with little money but happy nonetheless, the other becomes an evil, power hungry dictator who accidentally kills his brother during a political protest gone riot.
    • The music video interpretation can be different from the official interpretation. According to the band itself, it's about human potential, and about how it could be used to create or destroy, and how, unfortunately, mankind tends to prefer the latter option.
  • Quite a few of the works of Dan Fogelberg qualify. "Leader of the Band" is probably the saddest one.
    • But "Same Old Lang Syne" is in the running. As is "Hard to Say."
    • After the dual tragedies of Barbaro and Eight Belles coming so close together, it can be tough to listen to "Run For the Roses" without welling up. It's so sad because it's about how the whole point of the horse's life is the Triple Crown races, especially the Kentucky Derby.
    • "Leader of the Band" can absolutely affect some people upon hearing it. Just thinking of the words can be enough to break one.
    "I thank you for your kindness, and the times when you got tough
    And Papa, I don't think I've said 'I love you' near enough."
  • Jay Foreman, "Martin Was A Monkey". It's about a monkey who wants to go skiing. And it's heartbreaking.
    "But that's the way life was
    And there was nothing he could do,
    It seemed that all things had a place
    And his was in the zoo."
  • Jon Foreman has a song named Somebody's Baby
  • Fort Minor's "Slip out the Back", particularly the ending.
    "I didn't wanna be around just to bring you down.
    I'm not a hero but don't think I didn't care."
  • Most anything by Jeffrey Foucault can make some people tear up. Especially "Battle Hymn (of the College Dropout Farmhand)" and "Stripping Cane".
  • "All Kinds Of Time" by Fountains of Wayne can make some people cry Tears of Joy. There's just a sort of perfect happiness and tranquility about it.
  • In the "joyful tears" category: The Frames, "People Get Ready", somewhere around "all the love in the world".
  • "How to Save a Life" by the Fray. Maybe not so much due to the song itself - but because of how effectively it was used during the tragic climax of the Scrubs episode "My Lunch". Although, the song itself is concerned with the writer's real attempts to prevent the suicide of a boy he was counselling, which failed.
    • Also, "You Found Me"
  • Freezepop's "Swimming Pool" can do it, particularly the last few lines "I went under and you followed/let's not think about tomorrow/everything is perfect now". It can be even more so, if you associate it with Snake and Otacon from Metal Gear Solid 4.
  • Rie Fu's Life Is Like A Boat is remarkably touching. Really, just listen.
    "And every time I see your face
    The oceans heave up to my heart
    You make me wanna strain at the oars
    And soon, I can see the shore..."
  • Maggot Brain by Funkadelic. Legend has it that Eddie Hazel was asked to play his guitar as if someone told him his mother had died and later found out that she was okay.
    • "Cosmic Slop", about a woman who works as a prostitute to care for her family, but hides this from her young children.
  • "Going Home" by Kenny G, not to be confused with the others of that same name. There's a reason it's often used at funerals.
    • His version of "Auld Lang Syne", especially the "Millennium Mix", which intersperses it with audio clips of some of the most notable events/pop culture of the 20th century; and the "Freedom Mix" a few years later, which is more or less the same thing, but a few minutes shorter and now covering up to The War on Terror. Regardless of how you feel about Kenny G's music, these can really hit hard.
  • "Amor Eterno" by Juan Gabriel, interpreted by Rocío Dúrcal.
    "How much I'd like
    That you were alive,
    That your little eyes
    Had never closed
    And to be looking at them.
    Eternal and unforgettable love,
    Sooner or later I'll be with you
    to keep on loving each other."
  • "The Prince's Tale" from The Final Battle. Lena Gabrielle is a master at these.
  • "The '59 Sound" by the Gaslight Anthem. Its about the narrator's theoretical conversation with a dead friend, asking him questions such as if he heard his favorite song one more time before he died.
    "Young boys, young girls, well they/ain't supposed to die on a Saturday night..."
  • "Taion" by The Gazette, especially during the chorus. Look up the lyrics and the backstory while listening, especially during the live version. The vocalist seems to begin tearing up at the start of the song. Unfortunately, it's hard to blame him.
  • "Oklahoma" by Billy Gilman is a rather powerful mix of this and heartwarming.
  • "Flowers and Football Tops" by Glasvegas, a song about the brutal murder of Scottish schoolboy Kriss Donald. The song is written from his father's perspective.
    "My baby is six feet under
    Just another number
    My daughter without her brother"
    • Most heartbreakingly of all, the song segues into "You Are My Sunshine" towards the end, but James Allan changes the words:
    "I hope you noticed how much I loved you
    How could they take my sunshine away?"
  • "Cry" by Godley & Creme.
  • Jean-Jacques Goldman:
    • Pas Toi, about a person who realizes that a relationship was one-sided when the breakup hurts them, but not the other person. Link is here.
      Whatever you do, wherever you are, nothing erases you: I'm thinking of you
      Whatever I learn, I just cannot know why I'm bleeding
      And not you.
    • Comme toi, where a narrator tells a young girl that he knew another girl who was just like her. He proceeds to list everything the other girl liked ("just like you"), then heavily suggests that she died at the hands of the Nazis.
    Her name was Sarah, she wasn't even eight.
    Her life was sweetness, dreams and white clouds,
    But other people had decided otherwise.
    She had your clear eyes and she was your age,
    She was a good and well-behaved little girl
    But she was not born here and now like you were.
    • Puisque tu pars, where a parent mourns their kid's departure, feeling that they never did enough for the kid.
    I could have given you so much strength and so much love,
    But everything I could still wasn't enough
    • Là-bas, where a man states that he needs to leave for another country in order to remain himself and fulfill his dreams, while his fiancée tearfully begs him to stay by her side ("as a husband and a father"). Made even more poignant when you know that the girl who sang the fiancée's parts was murdered by her jealous boyfriend not long after recording the song.
  • "Running for Home" by Matthew Good can tug on strings that you didn't even know your heart had.
  • Hold On by Good Charlotte. The video features a bunch of people who either failed suicide or lost a loved one to suicide. That song has saved many lives.
    • The story behind the song put the whole video in perspective - Good Charlotte was getting a lot of fanmail saying "Thank you for giving me the courage to go through with killing myself". This did not sit well with the band. They realized that if their music could have such a profound effect on their fans, that they could do something to help suicidal listeners, and when they went on TRL to premiere the video, they essentially turned their segment into a suicide prevention PSA.
  • Gotye
    • "Somebody That I Used to Know". It expresses the dissolution of a relationship in such frank terms, with such affecting Background Music to match, that it's bound to at least yank your heartstrings a little. "You didn't have to stoop so low/Have your friends collect your records and then change your number/I guess that I don't need that, though/Now you're just somebody that I used to know."
    • "Heart's a Mess" is another one, this time about someone who is closed off from love after getting hurt. Gotye sings from perspective of a person wanting to break through their resistance: "You have lost/Too much love/To fear, doubt and distrust/(It's not enough)/You just threw away the key/To your heart"
    • "Bronte." Letting go of someone is bad enough — especially a beloved animal friend, which is what this was inspired bynote  — but Gotye managed to compress all of the heartache into one song. Bastard. Also, here's the music video to go along with it. It interprets the lyrics as a little imaginative girl who grows up and leaves behind her imaginary friends. Why? Because someone wants you to drown in tears. And yes, the Miyazaki-esque art style does make it more depressing.
  • "Held" by Natalie Grant. Even non-religious people can cry upon hearing this song, if they lose someone that they loved.
  • Great Big Sea's Fisherman's Lament. The lyrics speak for themselves, but it's about losing the only life you've ever known, the loss of much of what your home province is known for, the future of said province... the anger and hurt and the feeling of betrayal are there in spades.
    • Also "Safe Upon The Shore", especially when hearing a live performance of it.
  • Gred and Forge is a band that plays lively rock songs with hilarious (and sometimes WTF-inducing) lyrics - which makes "Page 637", a slow, instrumental song about Fred's death, so heartwrenching.
    • Also, their "Fred's Dead."
  • Huns and Dr. Beeker has "Ghost Town," about the Chernobyl disaster. Singing of the brave firefighters who lost their lives in a futile effort to quench the fire in Reactor no.4, struck down by radiation exposure, the people driven out of their homes, and the ecological devastation the Red Forest suffered is bad enough, but the chorus is even worse.
"Mama where are you?
Papa where did you go?
Where are the children who used to play here?
Only Heaven knows..."
  • Keith Green's "On the Road to Jericho" veers between Tear Jerker and Heartwarming territory. It's the story of the Good Samaritan, from the perspective of the wounded man.
    Lying almost slain, and wounded by the road
    Crying out in pain for a sympathetic soul
    First a priest and then another of my kind
    Well, they were men I could have trusted, but they acted deaf and blind
    They were strangers on the road to Jericho
  • "The Last Spring" by Grieg.
  • Der Weg from Herbert Grönemeyer. He wrote it for his wife, who died in a car crash. It's about her love, the fact that its too late, and the knowledge that he would have to live on alone.
    "Haben uns verzettelt, uns verzweifelt geliebt
    (We made mistakes, loved each other desperately...)"
  • Groove Coverage - "Little June" is about a fun-loving girl named June being kidnapped and murdered ("taken away on a beautiful day... by the hands of a man that she barely knew"). Worse, it's set to a high-energy Euro-trance melody.
  • Guillemots' "If the World Ends" can make some people want to break into a sad puddle of tears upon hearing it. That it's actually about the end of the world and not just a metaphore for a break-up makes it such a killer. "If the world ends/I hope you're here with me/I think we can laugh just enough to not die in pain..."
  • Marc Gunn's Catnipping Green. If you're a Kindhearted Cat Lover, you won't make it past the first verse.
  • Electronic Dance Music pioneer Guru Josh's 2013 single "Ray of Sunshine" became even more heartbreaking in hindsight following his suicide in 2015.
  • Woody Guthrie's Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) has all the subtlty of an anvil to the heart, which only adds to the punch.
    "The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
    A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
    Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
    The radio says, "They are just deportees"
  • Ayumi Hamasaki's "A Song for XX" (specially the more emotional re-recording for the A BEST) can make some people tear up. Finding the translation of the lyrics can make things even worse.
    • Also, "End of the World"
    • "A song is born". It's doubly sad when you remember that it is about the September 11 tragedy. Also, if you're listening to it on her I am... album, it's followed immediately by "Dearest". Listening to both of those songs back-to-back can leave you crying for a long time. And for a more recent example, "You Were..." The lyrics are sad enough, but the emotion in her voice can really make one crack — and that's not even counting the music box version on the single!
      • "Dearest" can especially be depressing when put into the context of Inuyasha.
    • Memorial address (which is rumored to be about her father). Anger, rage, hurt, and grief.
    • And teddy bear, which finds her thinking back to the day her father abandoned her and her mother.
  • Much of Lisa Hannigan's work, particularly "What'll I Do", "Swan", and most of her album At Swim.
  • "Two Little Boys", most famously sung by Rolf Harris. "Do you think I would leave you dying... When there's room on my horse for two..." Even Harris has said that when his grandfather sung it to him as a kid, he thought it was the twee-est thing ever until it got to the line "Did you think I would leave you dying..."
  • "Goin' Up Yonder", originally by Walter Hawkins.
  • Words by Darren Hayes. The quiet, understated music video just helps, or makes things worse.
    "But your words are like weapons
    You'll keep them inside
    They cut like a knife
    And you keep it together,
    All those feelings inside
    There's nowhere to hide but away from me
    And I just wanna listen..."
  • "Midnight Radio" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, especially at "All you strange rock and rollers... you know you're doing all right!"
    • How about "Origin of Love"? Massive tearjerker!
  • Hem's "We'll Meet Along the Way".
  • "Another Pilot" by Hey Rosetta! can be a bit of a tearjerker.
  • "Room, Y-shirt, and me" by Eri Hiramatsu. The music video has a concept of a Coming of Age Story story that takes place in the room during the entrie video.
    • Also "The Simplest Thing" and "Bandages".
  • This version of "Silent Night". Words by Stacey Randall. Recitation by Bob Holiday.
    • Here's a video rendition of Silent Night 9/11. Some may find that it is silly or borders on Narm, but it can bring tears even to non-Christians.
  • The Hoosiers' "Everything Goes Dark" and "A Sadness Runs Through Him". You can tell from the titles, but here's a sample from "A Sadness Runs Through Him":
    "Time and again, boys are raised to be men
    And impatient they start, fearful they end
    But here was a man mourning tomorrow
    He drank, but finally drowned in his sorrow..."
  • Jennifer Hudson's "Can't Stop The Rain" is a song about drunk driving, and is quite depressing.
  • Hussalonia's album The Somewhat Surprising Return of the Hussalonia Robot Singers is made up of songs sung by synthetic robot voices. The first track is hilarious, the second one is hilarious bordering on creepy, and all subsequent tracks are either Tear Jerkers or at least very disturbing. Special mention goes to "I Can Still Wave," which features the most Woobie-ish robot since Marvin The Paranoid Android and "You Owe Me No Apologies, Maryann", which makes some of the best use of found-audio (a really old home-recorded track from an unknown family) one might ever hear.
  • "My First Friend" by Hyadain.
  • "Just For Today" by Hybrid. Despite being instrumental, it can give one the feeling of a Hopeless War and a Last Stand.
  • The late Phyllis Hyman had a couple of those. Songs like "Living All Alone" or "I Refuse To Be Lonely" become hauntingly tragic when you consider that Hyman suffered from depression for years, which drove her into suicide in the end.
    • Also, this performance which she sung in remembrance of a deceased friend. Breathtaking and devastating.
  • "Godspeed" by Ron Hynes, in tribute to his late friend Gene Mac Lellan, a famous songwriter ("Put Your Hand In The Hand", "Snowbird") who committed suicide after suffering from depression:
    "But God damn, God damn
    You put your hand in the hand of the man
    Must have believed he would understand
    Forgive a sweet soul a desperate deed
    Godspeed, Godspeed."
  • The Grey by Icon For Hire.
  • "Mama" by Il Divo.
  • Imogen Heap:
    • "Hide and Seek". Yes, despite the "Dear Sister" Memetic Mutation (or maybe because of it, actually). Or, even if you haven't heard of these memes on the song, it might still you cry. However, others might find it more horrific.
    • "Half Life" and her cover of "Hallelujah". A lot of Imogen Heap songs can be considered tearjerkers, just because of how incredible they are.
  • Interface's Where All Roads Lead has an overall Darker and Edgier mood, but "North Park (Only A Memory)" and its Siamese Twin Song "We Will Never Be Together" take the cake for his most depressing songs to date. Honorable mention goes to the title track "All Roads" and the One-Woman Wail finale "Hiraeth".
  • "Fever Dream" and "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by Iron and Wine can make some people cry, simply because of how beautiful they are.
    • Other Iron and Wine examples include "Radio War," "Each Coming Night," "Naked As We Came," and "Passing Afternoon," which has the particularly poignant line, "There are sailing ships that pass/All our bodies in the grass/Springtime calls her children till she lets them go at last."
    • Or "Upward Over the Mountain", which is about a young man trying to come to terms with leaving his mother as he comes of age and reflects on his life. It's never made clear if the mother has died, or if the speaker is just preparing to leave home. Either way, the mournful tone can make anyone shed a tear.
    "Mother, don't worry, I killed the last snake that lived in the creek bed,
    Mother, don't worry, I've got some money I saved for the weekend,
    Mother, remember being so stern with that girl who was with me?
    Mother, remember the blink of an eye when I breathed through your body?
    So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten,
    Sons are like birds flying upwards over the mountain.
  • "Edge of the Ocean" by Ivy.
  • "Daddy's Little Girl" by Frankie J, made even worse by the official video.
  • Little Did She Know (She Kissed a Hero) by Kristy Jackson. It can leave people very shaken and misty-eyed for some time even after the song ends.
  • Etta JamesI’d Rather Go Blind. Beyoncé’s version of the song is no slouch in that department either (skip to 1:15).
  • Gay Pirates by Cosmo Jarvis, particularly the final verse:
    I hope they didn't tie up,
    Your hands as tight as mine,
    I'll see you on the bed of this
    Blue ocean babe, sometime
    —> But I'm yours you know
    And I'll love you still in hell
    Down we fell...
    • The acoustic version is possibly even more of a tear jerker...
  • "September Song". Taken on its own, with someone like Frank Sinatra singing it, it can be pretty moving. Then Tony Jay covered it.
    "And the days dwindle down to a precious few: September... November...
    And these few precious days, I'll spend with you. These precious days, I'll spend with you..."
  • Jay-Z's "Young Forever", which samples "Forever Young" by Alphaville and stirs the nostalgia.
  • Jedi Mind Tricks are a rap group best known for putting out a lot of thoroughly aggressive gangsta rap, including some rather viciously homophobic material. Then, out of absolutely nowhere, their album Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell gave us Uncommon Valor: A Vietnam Story. The first third is JMT's work but after that R.A. the Rugged Man takes over. His section was written based on the experiences of his father, Staff Sgt. John A. Thorburn, who served in the U.S. Air Force during The Vietnam War. This includes S Sgt. Thorburn's helicopter being shot down over Cambodia in 1971, only to have his whole platoon slaughtered by the NLF; then, to add heartwrench to heartbreak, coming home to discover that his exposure to Agent Orange resulted in several of his children being born with severe disabilities, including cerebral palsy and quadruplegia. The whole thing is a definite Tear Jerker but the second section is heartbreaking.
  • Everyone who's been through the New South Wales public school system in the last few years knows Ian Jefferson's "Always Remember". It's a song about a war, where the persona appears to be singing about his friends from the army: "There was Charley and George, Thomas and Joseph, Patrick McGee and James..." But then, we reach the third verse's "And I'll not forget the roll-call at dawn, when a soldier's name brought no reply." And they realise who Charley, George, Patrick and James really were.
  • "The Ballad of Barry Allen" by Jim's Big Ego. It describes the life of Barry Allen, also known as the second Flash; this song makes a power that seems like a blast more like a condemnation to a lifetime of lonliness ("And I'd like to get to know you, but you're talking much too slowly").
  • Blind Willie Johnson's acoustic blues rendition of "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground," a traditional hymn about the Crucifixion. No words, just subdued moaning in tune with the guitar melody. It's widely considered one of the most moving recorded blues performances of all time.
  • Howard Jones, "No One Is To Blame".
  • Janis Joplin's version of "Little Girl Blue" can bring the tears forth.
  • "Legends" by Juice WRLD. It was originally released after the deaths of fellow rappers XXX Tentacion and Lil Peep, with Juice wondering if his own fame is worth the risks. Then he died a year later, six days after turning 21.
  • The Gary Jules version of "Mad World" can make one awfully quiet and introspective.
  • Jump Little Children's "Cathedrals".
  • "Fatima" by K'Naan brings a whole new level to Unlucky Childhood Friend. The abduction of a close childhood friend and crush never sounded so jolly.
    Fatima, what did the young man say
    Before he took you away
    On that fateful day?
    Fatima, did he know your name
    Or the plans we'd made
    To go to New York City?
  • "Aria" by Kalafina, especially in the context of the fourth The Garden of Sinners movie, where it is used as the ending theme.
    "From within the endless darkness
    The bonfire you gave me
    Is lighting the life
    That was born within my hollow chest"
    "Rowing this lonely boat
    The bonfire keeps assembling grief
    In this hollow world
    Your aria is resounding..."
    • Similarly, "Sprinter", used as the ending theme for the 5th movie. Especially harrowing since it follows a tear jerking heroic sacrifice — which is made all the more tear jerker by the fact that it was unnecessary yet unavoidable.
    "In meeting you
    I saw a dream that could never come true
    An eternity that could be overcome within a single second"
    "Facing the wind I wave a torn flag
    On this way where you are not
    I will live my life for myself
    Till the end of the world..."
    • Then there's also "Manten"/"The Whole Sky":
    "I don�t need a bouquet of flowers
    to mourn me
    Just grant my wish while my heart isn�t crushed
    I want to see for myself
    the moment when people�s wishes
    are filled with brilliant light"
    • Also "To The Beginning":
    "My scream and prayer
    for a world where people will no longer cry
    go nowhere but vanish instead in the sky tainted red
    So I�m able to throw away all solace and go on"
  • Patricia Kaas' "Et s'il fallait le faire" is a major tearjerker. Particularly her performance of the song at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.
  • Hubert Kah's 1995 single "C'est la vie", released after a five-year hiatus in which he struggled with depression, is likely to depress the listener as well.
  • Kaizers Orchestra's "170" is about an soldier who's sent out on the battlefield and knows that he won't return to see his wife and kid again. It gets especially heartbreaking when the general asks him if he's ready (we're waiting for an answer, 170).
  • Tomas Kalnoky's "As The Footsteps Die Out Forever".
    • Imagine those over the top love films about people who suddenly find themselves with only days to live, and magically tie up all the loose ends of their lives and die happy. This is a song about a woman who spends her last days nearly catatonic, and her child so desperate to make a final connection that he hallucinates her final words of kindness and reassurance.
  • "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.
  • Christian Kane does a cover of Tracey Chapman's song "Fast Car" that may be even more of a tearjerker than the original.
  • Butterfly In The Still by Kaori Kano. May sound rather Narmish to some due to the Engrish on part of the Japanese singer — but nevertheless, other people do weep at hearing it.
  • And if you got a minute, why don't we go/ Talk about it, somewhere only we know. Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" is about the pining remorse from missing your lost childhood, and the notes and intruments chosen for each part just pulls at your strings.
    • It was used in the 2010 trailer for the Continuity Reboot of Winnie the Pooh, where it takes on a whole new meaning. In hindsight, it also acts as a sendoff for the 2D era of Disney animation.
    • Lots of Keane songs have an odd ense of melancholy to them. The passion behind "Might as Well Be Strangers" is another one, definitely.
      • "A Bad Dream" is particularly sob-inducing if you know that it's based off of "An Irish Airman Forsees His Death" by William Butler Yeats. "In a better time you could be my friend" and "Wouldn't mind it if you were by my side but you're long gone yeah you're long gone now" are particuarly sad lines.
  • James Keelaghan's "Captain Torres" is about the real-life sinking of a freighter in the Cabot Strait; conditions were so bad that there could be no rescue. The crew lined up and was given a few minutes to call home and say goodbye. The song is from the point of view of one of the wives, and if the verses don't get you, the bridge will be a punch in the gut.
    "Do I count myself lucky
    I was home the phone was ringing
    What of other's wives who missed it
    Came home to red lights blinking..."
    • Also by James Keelaghan, "Cold Missouri Waters", a retelling of the 1949 Mann Gulch Fire, in which 13 firefighters were killed in a wildfire in North Montana. Definitely a tear jerker, particularly the Cry Cry Cry cover version.
      • OUCH. "La mer ne pardonne pas", indeed. Then the long playout with the cello mimicking the stormy sea and the almost-audible voice breaking through every so often.
  • Luke Kelly's powerful tenor and genuine emotion in his rendition of "The Town I Loved So Well" is so moving, especially the end of the penultimate verse:
    "With their tanks/and their guns/Oh my God, what have they done/to the town I loved so well?"
  • Pittance of Time by Terry Kelly can make many a person break down in tears.
  • "It Just Is" by Rilo Kiley is a tribute to the late singer-songwriter Elliott Smith who had just committed suicide, but its damn sad with or without the context.
    • Although, "Ripchord" might be a much more tearjerking example. The way Sennett's voice just breaks brought the tears.
    • "A Better Son/Daughter" hits really close to home for anyone who's had depression.
  • JENINA from Kimagure Orange Road
  • "You Don't Have to Be Afraid" by Kaki King.
  • "Fallen Angel" and "Starless" by King Crimson. The former is about a man mourning his younger brother who died in a street fight; the latter a devastating ballad filled with images of hopelessness, which leads to a climatic build-up that soars to the heavens at the end.
  • "Pyro" by Kings of Leon, despite its title, is pretty melancholy. Caleb Followill has stated that it was inspired by the story of a fundamentalist Christian group who were massacred by federal agents.
  • "Guide You Home" By Rebecca Kneubuhl and Gabriel Mann should be just another sappy romance song. Except that it was played at the conclusion of The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, the end of a trilogy in a series. Add this to the fact that it followed a Thank You to the fans of the series for the last ten years, and... yeah. Tears ahoy.
    "There is an open door
    Somehow it feels so familiar
    We have been here before."
  • Kokia's Daichi wa mono wa mabuta no ura. Lyrics and translation for them here. The lyrics, mainly the chorus, imply that both the singer and someone else are slowly dying after something has happened, and the singer desperately begs him to hang in there, even as her own life fades away.
  • "Oboro" by Shibasaki Kou aka RUI. It may be hard to listen to the song at all without bursting into tears.
  • "Dead Actor's Requiem" by L'Âme Immortelle can be particularly sad.
  • The song "Jueves", by the Spanish band La Oreja de Van Gogh; a hauntingly beautiful song about a girl confessing her love to a man she saw every day when they took the train together, only to find that he loved her back. While one may originally find the song to be heartwarming... the feeling can became rather depressive upon learning the song was in rememberance to the deaths caused in the 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings.
    • La Oreja de Van Gogh have several tear jerker songs, "La Playa" tells the story of a young man who meets a girl, promises her to see her again, only to wait 50 years in vain.
    • "Rosas" tells the story of a young girl who meets and fall in love a man, they have a relationship but one day he just leaves, she just keep waiting for him to reapear in her life with a bouquet of roses.
    • "Cuídate" is an upbeat song about a pair of ex-lovers who met again, there seems to be still some feeling between them, but the girl just tell the guy to "Take care of yourself, I'll be fine. Forget about me, I'll remember you".
  • The ending song from Arcen Games' The Last Federation (written by Pablo Vega, sung by Corinne Tabor), if you listen to the lyrics. It goes double if you (say) let the Thoraxians take over a couple planets.
    "Oh how (oh how) will I pick up the pieces?
    Oh how (oh how) will I live with these scars?
    Will it take me a life time of sorrow to finally be free?"
  • Mad Season's "Wake Up", from the remorseful vocals to the beautiful instrumentation, especially taking Layne Staley's untimely death into account.
  • Mercedes Lackey's "Herald's Lament" is beautiful and evocative.
  • Meryn Cadell has "The Cat Carol", which is almost torturous in how sad it is. A cat is locked outside the house on Christmas Eve, meowing at the door but no one lets her in, even though it's a blizzard. A hypothermic mouse arrives but instead of eating him, she keeps him warm and they sleep together. Unfortunately, by the morning, she has died, and Santa Claus puts a cat constellation in the sky.
  • "The Ballad of Ira Hayes", by Peter LaFarge and its numerous covers.
    "He died drunk one mornin'
    Alone in the land he fought to save
    Two inches of water in a lonely ditch
    Was a grave for Ira Hayes."
  • I'm Fine, Thank You by Ladies Code. The song in and of itself is a beautiful song about breaking up with someone, but thinking back on them and fond memories - and being fine. In September 2014 the girls were involved in an awful car accident resulting in the deaths of Go Eunbi (September 3rd, announced dead on arrival) and Kwon Risae (September 7th, after being resuscitated during surgery more than once). The song reached number one on several charts after their deaths - Eunbi dreamed of reaching number one on a music chart. Chances are, it'll be years before a fan can listen to the song without crying. (It all gets even worse when you know that when asked which member she wouldn't want to leave alone, Risae answered Eunbi, and died a few days later. Even in death, she didn't want to leave Eunbi alone.)
    • For the anniversary of both Eun B and Risae's deaths, their company released two songs; a cover/remake of I'm Fine Thank You done by Polaris (their company) artists for Eun B, and a new song by the three remaining members called Smile Even If It Hurts for Risae.
  • "All the Wild Horses" by Ray LaMontagne almost sounds like a sweet, quiet lullaby, but anyone who's seen Rescue Me knows how heartbreaking it can be. If you haven't, it plays during the death of Tommy's son Connor.
  • Oddly enough, the old song "Laurie (Strange Things Happen in This World)" by Dickey Lee. It's a retelling of the old ghost story about the mysterious girl at the dance who asks for a ride home, and the young man realizes he forgot to get his sweater back from her, only to go back to her house and discover "she died a year ago today." The part that can especially do it is the last lines (if not so much the words, then the tune): "And then he saw his sweater/Lying there upon her grave."
  • "All of Me" by John Legend is a beautiful yet poignant love song played entirely on piano. Legend's heartfelt vocals combined with the solemn piano playing in the background makes for a rather tearjerking combination.
  • "I Will Wait For You", written by Michel Legrand for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. The song (and by extension the entire film) is sad enough, but then they used it at the end of the Futurama episode "Jurassic Bark," an incredible tearjerker in its own right. Kudos to all the funny people behind Futurama for making their audiences cry.
  • Annie Lennox's rendition of Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye". Especially the video.
    • "Why" is also pretty heartwrenching, considering the lyrics.
    • "Into The West" is pretty and sad at the same time and more so if you put it in context with what happened at the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. It won best original song at the 2003 Academy Awards.
  • Less Than Jake can really bring on the wistful melancholy sometimes, just listen to "Screws Fall Out": "Friends leave as time fades away/The people and the places along the way/Without a doubt/Yeah, screws fall in and screws, they fall out", and then try looking at some old school photos.
  • English folk punk group The Levellers offer "Another Man's Cause", a tragic account of a young soldier marching off to war in the footsteps of his dead father and brother.
  • Jenny Lewis presents "She's Not Me," about an ex-lover who's happy without her, and her regretting their relationship falling apart because of unfaithfulness:
    "Remember the night I destroyed it all?
    When I told you I cheated?
    And you punched through the drywall?
    I took you for granted.
    When you were all that I needed..."
  • Ivri Lider's "Jesse". Think unrequited love is sad enough already? Try listening to the story of a homosexual man in love with a heterosexual one.
    "But everytime he smiles at me
    I know we are the same
    And that he'd change his world for me
    If he just knew my name..."
  • It's a very obscure space filk song — but Karen Linsley's "The Challenge", about the Space Shuttle Challenger, can makes one go very quiet.
    "They tried to meet the challenge
    Of reaching for the stars/to touch their lights,
    So near and yet so far
    They tried to leave the cradle
    To explore the great unknown
    To proudly stride the Cosmos on their own."
  • If you've ever suffered from suicidal thoughts or even lost somebody to depression, Logic"s "1-800-273-8255" will strike a nerve. "They say every life is precious, but nobody care about mine..."
    • Even worse, the song gained widespread radio airplay during the summer of 2017, around the same time that Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington died by suicide. The exponental rise of calls made to the titular hotline afterward, however, is a pure Moment of Heartwarming.
  • She's Falling Apart by Lisa Loeb, which is about a girl whose struggling with an eating disorder (possibly anorexia) and self harm.
  • Connor Kirby-Long's switch is usually flipped to the other position, but he's no stranger to this sort of thing. Handwriting, written as Khonnor, features such numbers as "Man From The Anthill," "Kill 2," "A Little Secret" and "An Ape Is Loose." Meanwhile, his work as Grandma features such gems as "Kl", "Are We Dead Yet" (from For Your Broken Heart), and "Mexico" (from Tiny Fashion).
  • London Grammar has a few in the forms of "Wasting My Young Years," "If You Wait," and arguably "Strong."
  • "Andmoreagain" by Love:
    "And when you've given all you had
    And everything still turns out bad
    And all your secrets are your own
    And you don't know how much I love you..."
    • Three more from Forever Changes: "Alone Again Or", "Old Man" and "You Set The Scene".
  • "Don't Forget" by Demi Lovato.
  • Any of the songs on "Nobody's Daughter" by Courtney Love, but specifically Letter to God. Think what you like about her as a person, listen to the album thinking of how it's being sung by a woman who never knew her parents, had a shitty childhood, suffered from substance abuse, and had the love of her life kill himself, and a lot of people blame her and hate her for it. One might cry just thinking about her situation, never mind adding lyrics like "I been tortured and scorned/Since the day that I was born/But I don't know who I am..."
  • "Runaway Love", by Ludacris and Mary J. Blige. Especially live. Enough said.
  • Both editions of Lunar's The Unknown
  • "The Ordeal" by Anders Lunqvist is Darker and Edgier then most of his songs, and evokes images of a stalemated Hopeless War.
  • Lush's "When I Die"
  • Not a well-known song (the Internet knows the lyrics and that it was by one Jenna Lynn, but doesn't seem to have a clue who Jenna Lynn is), but there is a song called "Flying Free". You've all heard "Somewhere Out There", right? It's precisely that kind of song.
  • "Lower Your Eyelids to Die with the Sun" by M83. It breaks everyone down. Never watch this over a sad video.
    • "Farewell/ Goodbye" may just be even sadder.
    • And then there's "Dark Moves of Love," which is about a lover who's implied to have died. There's one sung line, and that's all that's needed to bring on waterworks.
    "I will fight the time... And bring you back..."
    • The buildup in "Wait"....holy crap. Especially heartwrenching if you're in a long-distance relationship/friendship.
    • The outro from Hurry Up, We're Dreaming rivals "Wait" in its epic build-up and ability to conjure tears.
  • Jesse Mac's song "Invincible". It's about his friend who drove drunk and died. Very sad.
    • Other songs include Beautiful Soul, Because You Live, Right Back In The Water
  • "Take Me In My Sleep" by Mac Lethal, about his mother, who died of cancer, its about how he had to deal with everything else, and the last 2 mins... so sad.
  • The song "Sugar and Spice" by Madness describes a marriage dissolving through describing the couple meeting and falling in love. It's also an example of Lyrical Dissonance with its cheerful tune, but it can still reduce some people to tears.
  • "Mistakes We Knew We Were Making" by Mae. This song is about a couple preparing to have their first child and how scared they both are. Beautiful lyrics and a beautiful voice.
    What can now be said, oh little one on the other side?
    Dance until the band stops playing,
    Sing with all your might.
  • The Magnetic Fields has quite a few of these types of songs, but especially "All My Little Words".
    • "Why I Cry" is a depressing little number.
    • Or "100,000 Fireflies". Or the _entirety_ of "The Wayward Bus".
  • The Mandisa song "You Wouldn't Cry (Andrew's Song) is enough of a Tear Jerker for anyone who has lost someone close to them, as it is sung from the perspective of the deceased as they describe Heaven to and try to comfort their loved ones. The sob factor shoots up to eleven, though, when you read up on the background of the song: Mandisa wrote it after a friend of hers had delivered her first baby and he was stillborn. The baby's name was Andrew.
  • Aimee Mann's contributions to "Magnolia" as mentioned above. And "Coming Up Close".
    • The Lost in Space album. That record is the purely distilled sound of loneliness, and it can really WRECK one.
    • "Just Like Anyone" for anyone who's ever lost a friend to suicide.
  • Mannheim Steamroller's "Stille Nacht". Especially if you've heard the version that replaces the voices with a single cello. Just to prove it, the comment boxes on YouTube are constantly flooded with sob-worthy personal stories.
  • "Lover Dearest" by Marianas Trench is based on an assignment lead singer Josh Ramsay did while he was in rehab at age seventeen, where he had to write a love letter to heroin to demonstrate how important it had become to him. He often tears up while performing it.
    • A lot of Marianas Trench's early works definitely qualified as this. In Particular Feeling Small and Skin and Bones which chronicle the lead singer's battle with Bulimia.
  • Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" from Uprising was as close as one can come to writing one's own epitaph, but Joe Strummer's cover is just gut wrenching.
    • Try listening to Joe Strummer and Johnny Cash dueting on "Redemption Song" and remaining dry-eyed.
    • "No Woman No Cry" from Live has the opposite effect to it's title. Just listen to it! "Good friends we have and good friends we've lost/Along the way/In this great future, you can't forget your past/So dry your tears, I say/Everything's gonna be all right!" Blubbing Central, and that's before we reach the line about "My feet are my only carriage..."
  • "Spotlight" by Marshmello and Lil Peep. Even if you find the song itself to be kinda narmy, it takes on a sadder undertone after Peep's very premature death by OD at 21.
  • Martika's "Toy Soldiers". Not only it's heartwretching in itself, and more when you learn that Martika wrote it for a friend who was struggling against his drug addiction... and won.
  • "Marvin, I Love You" by Marvin might be hard to hear all the way through without getting teary eyed.
  • "Gone" by Mary and the Black Lamb
  • The often clinical, sinister Everything Is an Instrument electronic duo Matmos have "For Felix (And All The Rats)", a tribute to their deceased pet played on the bars of his cage. It is almost impossible to not cry while listening to it.
  • "Gravedigger", off Dave Matthews' solo album.
    "Muriel Stonewall, 1903 to 1954
    Lost both of her babies in the second Great War
    Now, you should never have to watch
    As your only children are lowered in the ground
    I mean, never have to bury your own babies."
  • Have a girl/guy in your life you can't have anymore and just can't see with anybody else? Mayday Parade's "Miserable At Best" will probably get you:
    "And this'll be the first time in a week that I'll talk to to you but I can't speak. It's been three whole days since I've had sleep cuz I dream of his lips on your cheek. And I got the point that I should leave you alone, but we both know I'm not that strong. I miss the lips that make me fly..."
    • "Jamie All Over". "And please don't tell me that I'm dreaming, 'cause all I ever wanted was to dream another sunset with you..."
    • Also, from Mayday Parade, "Terrible Things." Holy mother of God.
  • Mayor McCa has loads of stuff like this. "One Million Songs For You" and "Watch Out" are especially sad. (You're witty and smart and your eyes are like art!)
  • The covers of A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes and When You Wish Upon a Star by Jesse McCartney can do it, because he voiced Roxas in Kingdom Hearts II. Roxas is Sora's Nobody. Nobodies don't have hearts. And people wonder why fangirls feel so sorry for Organizaion XIII...
  • Concrete Angel by Martina McBride. It tells the story of a little girl who's mother beats her. She goes to school everyday in the same dress to hide her bruises, and her teacher wonders, but doesn't ask a thing. The girl befriends a boy, who lives in an empty house next door. While looking at each other through the windows, the boy witnesses the girls mother barge into the room and beat her. The neighbors hear the commotion but by the time the police arrive it's to late. We then see the girls funeral, and the boy phases through the adults and hugs the now angelic girl, (implying he himself is the ghost of a child abuse victim). The two join a group of ghost children, who all happily run to the afterlife.
    Through the wind and the rain, she stands hard as a stone, in a world that she can't rise above. But her dreams give her wings and she flies to a place where she's loved...
  • Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon.
    • There are at least three other songs on John McCutcheon's Live at Wolf Trap album that can bring some people to tears: "High Hearts", "Old Brown's Head Light", and the cover of "Joe Hill".
  • Her version done of "Marvin, I Love You" on her Christmas album A Winter Garden is even especially heart-rending thanks to her haunting instrumentation, gorgeous voice, and vibrato.
  • Lover is Childlike by The Low Anthem. The fact that it was written for The Hunger Games soundtrack, and fits well with Finnick and Annie's love story (and we all know how that ends) just makes it worse.
  • Matt McGinn is relatively obscure nowadays outside of his native Scotland, but was an important contributor to the British folk music revival in the late 50s–early 60s. He wrote at least two football songs during his prolific singer-songwriter career. "Why Did I Ever Become a Footba' Referee?" is hilarious, but then there's "Ibrox Disaster", written in response to the Real Life crowd crush at Ibrox Park (now Ibrox Stadium) in 1971 as commemoration to the lives lost; as such, the song recounts what happened that day with respectful solemnity that makes for a poignant listening experience.
  • Sarah McLachlan's "Angel". The ASPCA uses it (and her) in their advertisements for a reason, and that reason is the song itself is an endless fountain of tears (made worse when you know Sarah wrote it for The Smashing Pumpkins keyboardist Jonathon Melvoin, who overdosed on heroin.)
  • "Over It" by Katherine McPhee can have some people bawling even after the song ends.
  • "Streets of London" by Ralph McTell. "One more forgotten hero, and a world that doesn't care...."
  • "Monster" by Meg & Dia deserves its own page. At first, it seems like it's just a song about rape (which is tear-jerker material by itself). But if you read the lyrics, you realize that it's really about how society's "monsters" have suffered just as much as their victims...
    • Also, Meg & Dia's "Yellow Butterfly." Many people who have heard it have cried.
    • Halloween by them is rather sad as well. It's about the death of someone close to Dia.
  • "Beloved Wife" by Natalie Merchant, a slow piano ballad with lyrics from the point of view of someone who's just lost their wife of 50 years.
    • "My Skin" may already make some people cry ("I've been treated so wrong / It's as if I'm becoming untouchable..."), but then they went and put it on one of those commercials with the abused animals, the words on the screen saying "Why did they hurt me?"
  • "Red" by Daniel Merriweather, especially the live version.
  • Jeremy Messersmith singing Beautiful Children always make some people cry. Unfortunately, this isn't the full song, but you get the idea.
  • With some of their slow songs, especially in their earlier years, Metric have a few. Notably, The Twist, Ending Start, Too Little, Too Late, and Love Is A Place. The music is so slow and depressing you find yourself feeling sad without knowing why.
  • MGMT's "Love Always Remains". It's about trying to live in the past and denying the bad things that happen. Rape is explicitly mentioned. The line "And no one has to hear the sound of people laughing at their fear" is usually what gets the tears started.
  • "The Rose" by Bette Midler will have you bawling if you've just been through a loss or breakup, or even had a fight with your significant other.
    • And then there's this version by Deedee Magno Hall and Susan Egan, the voices of Pearl and Rose Quartz on Steven Universe. The real clincher is the outro, where Deedee sings a bit of "It's Over Isn't It" from that show.
  • "If Only Tears Could Bring You Back" by Midnight Sons.
  • "The Living Years" by Mike and the Mechanics is a real killer. Father/Son angst rendered huge.
  • Gavin Mikhail's "God in this Moment" It's a beautiful song about a person narrating their lives, starting with doubt about a higher power, then belief when their daughter is born, and finally, an anguished, saddened hope that there is one when the daughter and their family dies. The last few lines always get to me. "And now you're gon and I'm fading...And I-I hurt in all these new ways....Though I'm praying you've gone to a better place now, I...just can't say... but I hope...there's a God in this moment..."
  • "Caught In The Crowd" by Kate Miller-Heidke.
    • Even worse is Fire and Iron, which tells the story of a young love story cut short by the girl dying in a car crash as a result of her boyfriend driving drunk, and her, as a ghost, silently watching over him, now a shadow of himself.
    Then one morning, right on dawn.
    You the lost the wheel, you missed the turn.
    The whole world rolled on top of us.
    You said my name, but I never woke up again...
    Let it go, let it go.
    Where's the guy I used to know?
    The girl I was died years ago, now she's a ghost.
    Let me go...
  • White Wine In The Sun by Tim Minchin. By itself it's a beautiful, touching, and funny song - it'll probably make you tear up a bit. If you're a traveler or in the military, and you've ever spent Christmas away from your family and everyone you love... Jesus. Can lead to profuse, snotty tears.
    • Or how about Not Perfect? Relatable and beautiful. Or for some, Rock 'N Roll Nerd. He's got quite a few beautiful songs, it's just that most people pay attention to his comedy.
      • "Not Perfect" is merely poignant until the final verse, but then it swerves into pure Tear Jerker. It's beautiful throughout, though.
  • Kylie Minogue's "I Believe In You", because it is so beautiful. The ballad version is even more beautiful than that.
  • Matt Maltese's "As The World Caves In" is a massively powerful and tearjerking love song about a couple enjoying their last moments together before humanity nukes itself to extinction.
  • The Minutemen's nostalgic "History Lesson Pt 2" is a bit of a tear jerker when you consider the writer (D. Boon) died in a road crash a year after recording it.
  • "The Tracks Of My Tears" by The Miracles: "So take a good look at my face/You'll see my smile looks out of place/If you look closer it easy to trace/The tracks of my tears". Any version can do this, but Billy Bragg's solo version will, probably hit the hardest.
  • "The Year Summer Ended in June" by Misery Signals is pretty heartbreaking. A couple of the band's current members used to be in another band. The reason they aren't anymore? The other members of the band died in a car wreck they were all in. This song is about that. The line, "Man, I'd give this whole thing up for you" can be especially hard for some people to hear.
  • "Where You End" by Moby.
  • "I Know You Are, But What Am I?" by Mogwai. Childish name, moving tune. It could be played at a damn funeral.
    • "Take Me Somewhere Nice" is definitely one, especially the lingering line "What was that for?"
    • "Friend of the Night", although it's also Awesome Music, there's a solemnity to it that just gets to you, even when it builds, and then it falls back down again to a quiet loneliness that's just...
  • Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn by Japanese post-rock band MONO.
  • "The Knit Cap Man" by the Moonriders is a peppy song about a businessman befriending a homeless person (nicknamed "Fujio-san"). In the final verse, the narrator is looking for Fujio-san for old time's sake and ends up finding him dead. There's a brief pause after this revelation before the song returns to an equally peppy chorus in which the narrator wonders how to handle Fujio-san's body and belongings. For an extra melancholy touch, the music video ends with footage of an Olympic torchbearer who may or may not have been Fujio-san himself.
  • Another that one could recommend would be Mandy Moore's "I Wanna Be with You".
    • Mandy Moore has a duet song with Jonathan Foreman called "Someday We'll Know". The song itself is about two people who, for some reason that is as absolute and inexplicable as the sky being blue, are in love with each other and can't be together, but the lyrics are just vague enough to where the listener can interpret it for themselves. The Lyrical Dissonance plus the metaphor-heavy lines make it customized suffering.
      • "Someday We'll Know" is actually a New Radicals song (remember "You Get What You Give"?) The original is quite sad as well. The Hall & Oates cover feat. Todd Rundgren? Not so much.
  • One might bawl upon hearing Craig Morgan's "Almost Home".
  • Lorrie Morgan's cover of "My Favorite Things" isn't really tearjerker, but the music video for it most definitely is. Consider that you're likely to see it playing around Christmas and it's all the worse.
  • Perfect by Alanis Morisette, about parents who expect perfection.
    "We'll love you... just the way you are... if you're perfect..."
  • "Our Revolution" (particularly the original version) by Italo Disco act Moses, for its somber lullaby-like melody and a vague political message warning on the consequence of inaction.
    "Please rescue the world.
    It's dark and it's cold.
    I know it will snow.
    Go rescue the world."
  • "L.G. Fuad" (Lets Get Fucked Up and Die) by Motion City Soundtrack
    "I believe that I can overcome this and beat everything in the end
    But I choose to abuse for the time being
    Maybe I'll win, but for now I've decided to die..."
    • So is "Hold Me Down", "My Favorite Accident", "Time Turned Fragile", "Mary Without Sound", and "Broken Heart" when coupled with its music video.
  • Moxy Früvous is half a peppy, quirky, Canadian folk band. The other half of their songs will rip your heart out. For instance, "The Drinking Song", apparently about a friend who drank himself to death:
    "Till the end, he passed out on the sundeck that morning
    Quietly saying goodbye
    But I was so hammered I sputtered and stammered
    Told him he couldn't just die
    He was a rock, went straight for his own armageddon
    Face froze in a grin
    Ambulence flyin' in, I never drank again
    Can't really call that a loss or a win
    And the band played on..."
  • John Munro has collaborated with Eric Bogle note  several times, so this should come as no real surprise:
    • "The Ballad of Charles Devonport" is about a real person. It's sung from the point of view of the mother who was forced to give him up for adoption. The whole song goes over the reasons she did it and what happened to him, including getting shipped across the ocean and being told she was dead. It's sad enough as all the things that the mother and son missed out are ennumerated in painful detail and all the things she wants to make up for. Then you find out in the end you find out that it's her ghost singing the song as her son kneels at her gravestone.
  • "Another Lonely Day" by Mute, which is the unofficial theme song to the indie movie A.K.A, can make one cry buckets, because the lyrics can resonate with them.
    "and will I ever find my way
    Lord only knows
    It's just another lonely day..."
  • One of the many MOD pieces that can bring one to tears is "Alertia" by Myvoice & Reptile.
  • "Tanjyou" ("Birth") by Miyuki Nakajima. "Remember, when you were born, someone must have said it. Listen closely and remember the first time you heard someone say 'Welcome'. Remember that you were born. Remember that we met. Remember that we lived together, and that you remember."
  • Gianna Nannini and Edoardo Bennato's "Un'Estate Italiana", the anthem of the 90's Italian FIFA World Cup.
  • Nas's Doo Rags moves from nostalgia, to how life can be unfair, to how even in adversity and struggle one can find faith and beauty.
    • Dance is his tribute to his dead mother.
  • The original, piano-only version of the Kate Nash song "We Get On" can cause one to shed a tear or two. "But I must admit that there is still a part of me/That still thinks that we might get on" The way she sings the song, just simply and so honestly, can do it.
    • "Nicest Thing": "Look, all I know is that/You're the nicest thing I've ever seen/And I wish we could see if we could be something/Yeah, I wish we could see if we could be something."
    • "Merry Happy" really hurts, even though the lyrics put up a brave front: "I can be alone, yeah/I can watch a sunset on my own/I can be alone, yeah/I can watch a sunset on my own/I can be alone/I can watch a sunset on my own."
  • Ne-Yo's song "Never Knew I Needed" from the The Princess and the Frog soundtrack.
    • As well as "So Sick", "Time", "Go On Girl", and most of the second half of Year of the Gentleman.
  • Nelly's "Just a Dream".
    I was thinking bout her, thinking bout me
    Thinking bout us, what we gonna be
    Open my eyes, it was only just a dream...
  • "Zero" by Hawk Nelson. The music video made it all the worse.
  • Jerry Nelson's album Truro Daydreams is, for the most part, a life-affirming slice of folk-style originals... and then you get to the penultimate track, "Eye of the Storm", a heart-rending song about various people in his life who had died. Even if you don't realize certain lyrics are directed to Jim Henson and Richard Hunt, it's still a tearjerker. Then there's the last verse, dedicated to Jerry's daughter who died of cystic fibrosis.
  • "Emily" by Joanna Newsom. Especially the last minute.
    • Likewise with another song on the same album; Only Skin, the whole song is something of a tear jerker, but the final crescendo can have one weeping tears of pure joy.
    • "En Gallop" on her debut album The Milk-Eyed Mender. Even when she isn't singing, the last two minutes of the song can be a tear jerker just because of the way she plays the harp.
    • If those weren't enough, Have One on Me has "No Provenance", "In California", and "Kingfisher" to stir the soul-sickness.
  • Britt Nicole's "When She Cries".
    Every day's the same, she fights to find her way
    She hurts, she breaks, she hides and tries to pray
    She wonders why
    Does anyone ever hear her when she cries?
  • If you're on a downer, try listening through the whole thing of City and Colour's Bring Me Your Love.
  • "I'll Wait for You" by Joe Nichols. Especially at the last verse.
  • Nickel Creek's "The Lighthouse's Tale". Odd as having a narrator being a lighthouse is, the song is still weep material — unless you were too busy being in awe over how PRETTY the song is to be sad.
    • It's especially tearjerking when you combine it with some incredibly emotive ASL-singing. (Yes, it's possible to sing in sign language. Have a look. Bring a tissue.)
    • "Doubting Thomas" is even worse, even for people who aren't religious.
  • "It Kills Me" by Synthwave songstress NINA is a heavily bittersweet Break-Up Song, especially the finale.
  • Immortal Technique's "Dance With The Devil tells the story of a young man losing his soul in the ghetto.
    • On the flipside of Immortal Technique's immense storytelling ability is "You Never Know about a man off the streets falling in love with a smart, educated Woman. Just as sad, but so incredibly different to Dance with the Devil. The (independent) video contributes to the tearjerker quality.
  • Noah & The Whales "Second Lover". Self-explanatory, really. But the lyrics are quite haunting.
    • "Hold My Hand As I'm Lowered" may qualify for this trope. Due to the music kicking in combined with the lines "Well, I fell in love with the world in you/And now I feel cold..."
  • Bebo Norman's "Britney". A beautiful song that serves as an apology to Britney Spears for all the crap the media put her through.
  • Norwegian Recycling's "Viva la Viral". Though a mix of relatively cheesy songs, somehow they make something wonderful together. All we have is the past; let's make sure we make it worth remembering.
  • "A Prayer For The Unborn" by Gary Numan. On first hearing, it's sad enough — but then you find out it's about his wife's miscarriage. The power of the line "If you are my shepherd then I'm lost and no one can find me" can really get to one.
    • If you thought "A Prayer For The Unborn" was bad, wait till you hear his other song Little Invitro. The lyrics are twice as devastating, and the guitars exploding at the end of the song can really signify breaking down as hard as you've ever been broken down before in your life.
      • Simon Baron-Cohen writes and lectures about how autistic people lack empathy — to the point of portraying them as sociopathic, or without souls. He has never heard this.
  • "Breaking Ties" from Oceanlab.
  • Phil Ochs's rendition of the Alfred Noyes poem "The Highwayman".
  • Sinéad O'Connor’s ‘’I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got’’ is full of these. There’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” of course, but also “Black Boys on Mopeds” and “The Last Day of Our Acquaintance.”
  • "Moonlight Shadow" by Mike Oldfield. And the piano version by Groove coverage (not the techno version).
    • Also, his rendition of a funeral song "The Hero", from Voyager. This piece says, so effectively, "The End."
    • "On Horseback" can also do it. It's not as sad as it is nostalgic and beautiful, though.
    • That whole album. Ommadawn is the greatest thing he ever wrote.
  • It's a lovely song in its own right, but for anyone who has ever watched NANA, Olivia's "A Little Pain" is a guaranteed tear-jerker.
  • "Falling Slowly" from Once. While the song is definitely about hope, it's the kind of hope that you only believe in to keep going — "We screwed up, but at least we don't hate each other — maybe we can try again?" instead of "LOVE OVERCOMES ALL!" The lyrics are full of that sort of hopeful resignment, that might be why people find it so sad.
    • "The Hill", however... just listen to the lyrics, and the emotion in her voice when she sings them.
      • In the film, she slowly falls apart throughout the song, unable to even finish the first chorus.
  • Chihiro Onitsuka's "castle.imitation", mostly due to its capacity as the end theme to Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter. They're more bittersweet tears of the "triumphing over adversity/hoping through sorrow" sort though.
  • Orbital's "One Perfect Sunrise", the closer of The Blue Album and their planned swan song at the time, features the heartbreaking One-Woman Wail vocals of Lisa Gerrard over an otherwise bright instrumental melody.
  • "Perfect" and "Everyday" by Maren Ord can bring some people who have lost loved ones to tears.
  • "Broken Home" by Papa Roach, which deals with Jacoby's (the lead singer's) Dark and Troubled Past with his alcoholic father.
  • "Live", by Paul and Storm about a desperately lonely scientist trying to create his own perfect bride. Starts out as a parody of "Mad scientist" movies but the ending, where the two are killed by a rampaging mob just as the scientist FINALLY brings his creation to life, is a tear jerker.
  • Pavement's "We Dance" can bring tears to some. "Maybe we could dance...together?" The Malk just sounds so sad and vulnerable and lonely.
  • Pearls Before Swine with the desperate "Another Time" and the mournful "Images Of April".
  • "Pills" by the Perishers. All the love and hopelessness in there is enough to make you never want to have a relationship again.
  • "Little Digger" by Liz Phair. It's about her son coping with her new boyfriend after she splits up with his dad. "Now you're thinking little thoughts about it, taking every inch of him in. What does it mean when something changes how it's always been? And in your head you keep repeating the line, 'My mother is mine'."
    • "Divorce Song".
    "And the license said you had to stick around until I was dead
    But if you're tired of looking at my face, I guess I already am..."
  • "Strange Chameleon" by The Pillows, particulary the verse after the bitching guitar solo.
    "If everything is a lie that's made to look okay
    And the cat that I tamed was just hungry for food
    Even if it's an illusion that bursts with the sound of a snap
    The palm of my hand is still warm..."
  • "In My Arms" and "Taken" by Plumb.
  • Poe's "Amazed", particularly this line (especially within the context of the album):
    "The voice of my father, still loud as before
    It used to scare me, but not anymore..."
  • If Poets of the Fall's "Late Goodbye" doesn't get you, the video will. Bonus points for featuring heavily in Max Payne 2, which is incredibly depressing all by itself.
  • Karine Polwart's "Light on the Shore". A painfully honest song about the inevitability of death, with not the slightest crumb of comfort. Beautiful (especially the live version), but an Awesome Moment Of Downer.
  • We must mention The Pogues, and not just "Fairytale of New York". After a few beers on a winter's evening "The Broad Majestic Shannon" will also start the waterworks.
    • "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda". That is all.
    • "A Rainy Night In Soho" is another one.
    • There is also "Dirty Old Town".
  • Prelude's cover of "After The Gold Rush" takes an average-quality Neil Young song, turns it a capella, and somehow manages to wring the tears out of those who hear it.
    • YMMV about the "average quality" part, the original on the After the Gold Rush album (sung in Neil's purest choirboy alto) is just as heart-wrenching.
  • Tristan Prettyman's heartbreaking break-up track, "I Was Gonna Marry You," which she wrote after her ex-fiancé Jason Mraz broke off their engagement. The music video is even more painful.
    "Just so you know, just so you know, I never thought you'd let me go. I don't even know the truth. Yeah, we were fine, yeah, we were fine, then all at once you changed your mind. And I was gonna marry you..."
  • "Hello in There" by John Prine. And he wrote the song when he was only 16!
  • Proof's Forgive Me. The song is desperate plea for help and it's depressing already, but given Proof's fate it's just on a whole new level.
    "God you ain't got to forgive me, just don't forget me."
    • Talking about Proof, the last song of that album, Kurt Kobain is a suicide letter through a song. Everything about it is sad, from his voice (which breaks at some points) to the lyrics to the beat. It's called Kurt Kobain (correct spelling of the song) because of the suicide aspect.
  • While we're on the subject of hip-hop, Tupac's repertoire has a good few of these; Dear Mama, Changes, Runnin' (Dying to Live) and Thugz Mansion are just a few examples.
    • Four words: “Brenda’s Got a Baby.” Still harrowing after all these years.
  • The song Walzer für Dich by the German band PUR about losing one's father can bring some people to tears, even if their fathers are still alive.
  • "Momma Sed" by Puscifer. This disturbing fan video set to clips of Fantastic Planet doesn't help. If you think the original is bad, check out the Tandimonium Mix.
  • A good part of Joe Purdy's existing music. Take, for example, Cowboy Song.
  • "Potemkin City Limits" by Propaghandi. Anvilicious? Yes. Horrifyingly sad? YES.
  • Rancid's "Otherside" - A tribute to Lars's brother. "I love you Robert, and I always will"
  • Rasputina has "A Quitter". A suicide note? Check. Strings? Check. Too-believable emotion from singer. Tear-smudged check.
    • "Rose K." as well. Directly inspired by Rose Kennedy's life, but is about aging and Alzheimer's in general.
    She knows that there's a story, and she can't recall the plot. Of course her family fought over the furniture. 'Oh, I don't know why they have taken all my favorite things away, but one thing that's for sure, I don't know what they were.'
  • "Late Bloomer" by the now-defunct Reality Twitch will sound familiar to anyone who's ever battled with parents over bad grades, anti-social tencencies, ADD, or just being "different".
  • Some of RED's songs.
    • "Of These Chains".
    • "Hymn for the Missing".
    • "Start Again".
    • "Lie to Me (Denial)".
  • The chorus of "Guardian Angel" by Red Jump Suit Apparatus.
  • "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay", by Otis Redding, both in terms of the song being recorded just days before his untimely death and the song itself.
  • "A Walk In The Light Green/I Was Only Nineteen" by Redgum.
    • Although the cover by The Herd isn't as much of a Tear Jerker, its film clip certainly is. Especially when cut with the original song.
    • "Then someone called out 'Contact' and the bloke behind me swore and we hooked in there for hours, then a god-almighty roar. Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon. God help me, he was going home in June." So powerful they put it on the Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra.
  • The Reindeer Section's "Will You Please Be There For Me" can really grab your heart and yank it real hard.
    • "Where I Fall", also by The Reindeer Section.
  • "Ocean Gypsy" by Renaissance.
    • Also, "Cold is Being", based on "Adagio in G minor" - see Classical Music page.
  • “Hard Mode” by Stephen Rezza. His hoarse voice cracks as he explicitly details the past few years: from losing his beloved girlfriend to a senseless murder, to almost dying himself from a brain tumor and having conscious surgery, leading to him flat-out believing God singled him out to suffer. What could get people, though, is hearing said girlfriend’s voice in the background.
  • This is the point of Damien Rice's career; he's become the default choice for angsty episode-ending montages for this reason. "Nine Crimes." "The Blower's Daughter."
    • And then you hear "The Professor", about how he's fucked over his own love life again and again. And you know it's autobiographical. It can leave one speechless.
    • The little hitch he gets when he sings "So come on courage, teach me to be shy" in "Cannonball" is kind of heart wrenching.
    • "Accidental Babies": "Well I know I make you cry, and I know sometimes you wanna die, but do you really feel alive without me?"
  • Kim Richey's A Place Called Home, especially if you've watched the Angel episode "Shells".
  • For Jo Fight or Flight These two songs by Riddle TM The video with clips from the films make it more tear inducing.
  • Minnie Riperton's truly glorious Les Fleur. It's tears of joy, but tears none the less. Your heart will rise and you will not be able to stop the tears.
  • “Munjana,” by the indigenous Australian singer Archie Roach, is the story of an indigenous woman and the child taken from her by the government. Just try not to tear up at “They’d found her son…and more bad news for Munjana.”
  • Some people may find themselves bawling at Sam Roberts' "Hard Road".
  • "Shine Your Light" by Robbie Robertson. Thanks to a beautiful fanvid done to honor Doyle from Angel with the song, one might lose it at this line:
    "I thought I saw him walking by the side of the road
    Maybe trying to find his way home..."
  • Kelly Rowland's "Stole" can move one to tears by the story of young students having dreams and then their lives being taken away from them by carelessness and negative thoughts. The music video, which accentuates the story, was then put into rotation on MTV.
  • Kate Rusby's "Broken Hearted I Will Wander" in the "Music of Sharpe" collection. Her haunting voice captured the universal grief of those who have lost family and friends to war.
  • The entirety of Tom Russel's The Man From God Knows Where can be a gigantic Tearjerker. The album is based off of Russel's family tree, traced back carefully over 100 years. Many of the simple songs have captivating lyrics that accurately portray characters going through struggles. Probably the worst of the tracks for Tearjerkers is the track "Chickasaw County Jail" which was written about Tom's father, Charlie Russel. It details his life as someone who tried hard to get far in his life, failed miserably, lost his wife for many years, and ended up forgotten "in an old folks' home". Then the singer continues on through the track only to be cut off by the fade out. Then the Fridge Brilliance kicks in and you cry because it was Russel's way of depicting just how forgotten his father had become.
  • Ryan Dan's song "Tears of an Angel" is a poignant tribute to their four-year-old niece, who died of leukemia while they were recording their 2007 album.
  • Sabaton's "Purple Heart".
    • For that matter, "Cliffs of Gallipoli" is a serious tear jerker.
    • Add "Light in the Black" to that list too, the lyrics to the chorus should explain all.
    • For that matter, "Angels Calling" needs to be here. If you read any of the Real Life tearjerkers, even if you've got a stone heart, while listening to this... It'll likely really open the waterworks up.
  • Saint Etienne's "Teenage Winter", the centrepiece of the Tales From Turnpike House Concept Album. "Holding on to something / And not knowing exactly what you're waiting for" can really do it. The four-fold repetition of the chorus with the strings in the middle is just gorgeous, and by the closing coda even the album's characters are in tears.
    "Mums with pushchairs outside Sainsburys
    Tears in their eyes
    They'll never buy another Gibb Brothers record again
    Their old 45s gathering dust
    The birthday cards they couldn't face throwing away..."
    • And the main character of the album gets a Tear Jerker all to himself four tracks earlier, with "Last Orders For Gary Stead" - having spent most of the album as a comedy alcoholic, we finally find out exactly why he's Drowning His Sorrows (it's because of a rather awkward divorce).
  • Mark Sandman has had many in his songs, but two are the most heartbreaking because of their later usage. In the Morphine song, "French Fries With Pepper" he references the date of 09/09/99, which is the same year he died. In the Treat Her Right song "No Reason" he recounts that his brothers all died at young ages as well as the stabbing that would lead to his fatal heart attack.
  • The Say Anything... song "Goodbye Young Tutor, You've Now Outgrown Me" is just one of the many tearjerkers from the double-album In Defense of the Genre, an album all about the lead singer (Max Bemis) and his descent into mental illness coupled with a rapidly souring relationship. When you start the album the ensuing 90 minutes of music will build you up and break you down only to leave you with one last glimmer of hope at the end.
  • ANYTHING Mark Schultz has done. But especially "He's My Son" and "Letters From War" — as well as "Remember Me".
  • "Be Human" by Scott Matthews. Sang from the perspective of either a computer or robot, its opening lyrics sound a bit boastful, talking about its skills with analysis and memorizing...and then suddenly he sings about how he wishes to be human, and what he would do if he were.
    "If I just could just be more human/I'd have so many little babies and maybe a wife/I'd roll around in mud and have lots of fun and when i was done/build bubble-bath towers and swim in the tub."
  • "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" by The Script. Mostly because of the lyrics, in which the titular Man clearly has some mental health issues, but believes that by sleeping on the street where he met his lost love he's making a big romantic gesture that will win her back.
    • "Breakeven", also. And at the end of their debut album, "Anybody There".
  • Swedish Synthwave artist The Secret Chord's Tranquility Base album is one of the bleakest records in the genre, featuring such heart-crushers as the '80s nostalgia song "Back in Time", the Gaia's Lament songs "How Do We Move On?" and "End of Anthropocene", and the Anti-Christmas Song "Christmas on the Moon".
  • Selah's "Moments Like These" is a song about a father and him cherishing the time he has with his daughters. That's tearjerking in itself, but then comes this verse:
    I�ve got a little girl in heaven right now
    Those streets of gold are her playground
    The two hours she lived was enough to fall in love
    She�s the sweetest thing I ever let go of
  • "Immediate Music" by Serenata.
  • Shadows Fall is not really a band you'd expect this from. However, "Another Hero Lost" is just heartwrenching. There was this one Captain America tribute on Youtube with the song....oh dear....
  • It can tough to keep a stone face upon hearing "We Are Pilots" by the Shiny Toy Guns.
  • "Breathe Me" by Sia. Especially if you're a fan of Six Feet Under. The breakdown near the end will break your heart.
    • Likewise for "She Wolf (Falling to Pieces)" with David Guetta.
  • The last song on The Crow OST, "It Can't Rain All the Time" by Jane Siberry is just absolutely shattering. Her partially spoken word account of what happened to Eric and Shelley is so full of grief that it's almost unbearable to hear.
  • "Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása" by Sigur Rós. You will weep after seeing the video. See also the entirety of their () album.
    • Hoppipolla, also by Sigur Ros. Knowing what the lyrics mean can make it even worse.
    • The music video to "Untitled # 1" can make one her curl up in the fetal position sobbing wretchedly upon watching it.
  • "Tear by Tear" by Sister Hazel. The lyrics to the bridge include such gems as
    "And the fat kid at school couldn't take anymore
    All the taunts and the names and the ugliest words
    No one even stopped to notice
    Went on with their day
    Till he pulled out a gun
    and blew himself away."
  • The Sisters of Mercy, "Nine While Nine."
    "I'm talking to myself again and it's so damn cold it's just not true..."
  • Skrillex's "With You, Friends (Long Drive)". Rumor has it the song is about his biological mother (he's adopted) who recently passed. Although the lyrics are different depending on who you ask (official lyrics haven't been released), they sound something like:
    "Please tell my mother I'm down on my knees
    And I really miss you mom
    I love you, you, you
    All I love, all my love"
  • Sarah Slean sings two of these. She specializes, it seems, in heartbreaking piano melodies. "I Know" is Slean's reflection on violence against women, and she just sounds so damn resigned about it. Then, another, "Last Year's War" about a couple getting over infidelity.
  • The song "1000 Candles, 1000 Cranes" by Small Potatoes is about an American woman who lost two sons in WWII and a Japanese woman who lost her parents when the bomb was dropped on Japan.
  • The song "Italy and France" by Debi Smith, a song about a mother comparing her "different" special-needs child with flying to Italy when she thought she was going to France.
    "We landed in Rome, and I had to make
    The best of what seemed a colossal mistake.
    But as it turned out, as it unwound
    I loved Italy; I was spellbound..."
  • The circumstances of his death doesn't help, but Elliott Smith's "Waltz No. 2" is a punch to the gut.
    • Mainly because of the circumstances of his death, the entirety of "From a Basement on a Hill" can give one shivers. Particularly "King's Crossing". ...."I can't prepare for death anymore than I already have..."
      • "Give me one good reason not to do it (because I love you)" The line in parentheses was provided by his girlfriend. The whole song is heartbreaking, and that line is the culmination.
  • "The Fields of Athenry" by Hollie Smith.
  • "Halfway Pleased" by Curt Smith (the other half of Tears for Fears). It's a song about his relationship with his mom, who had postpartum depression. What the little girl says in the beginning of the track ("What is it? What is it, Mama? Where are you?") makes it even sadder — and that only got into the song by accident.
  • One Moment More by Mindy Smith is a plaintive, heartbreaking song which Smith wrote after the death of her adoptive mother. You can almost hear her fighting back tears in the chorus.
  • "A Boy and His Frog" by Tom Smith
    • "'Dave" is another one.
    "I had a friend, not close to me
    but still someone I liked and he
    had passed away quite suddenly
    had passed away quite suddenly..."
  • "Runaway Train" from Soul Asylum is quite depressing because of the theme of the song, and also at the end of the video if you know that not all the (real) runaways that are shown got a happy ending.
  • Something Coporate's 'Konstantine'. Near the end, all he says is, "Did you know I missed you?"
  • 'Bad Days' by Space is one of the saddest songs they've ever written, to the point where Tommy Scott cried while recording it. And 'Avenging Angels' becomes one when you realise it's about the band members' dead loved ones.
  • "Collapse" by Sparta. If the shockingly dark lyrics don't do you in, the cello out of nowhere at precisely the right moment will.
  • "Some Fantastic Place" by Squeeze. It can be hard make it to the guitar solo without breaking down and crying.
  • Star Sailor's "Tie Up My Hands"
    • Also "Way To Fall", particularly since it plays right after the soul-crushing ending of Metal Gear Solid 3.
  • "Zoe Jane" by Staind
  • "Personal" by Stars (the Canadian ones, not any of the other manifold musical groups under the name) can brings tears to one's eyes at total random. It's somewhat eerie (they went for the foreboding effect, so it sounds like the male of the song — who we only meet through personal ads — is about to murder someone or something) but emotacular whispered lyrics notwithstanding, it's quite powerful. It layers on the depression and angst without ever going beyond the realm of plausibility. Single M seeking single F. Single F replies and sends a photograph. They arrange a date... and single M never shows up. No reason is ever given So- 'is it you, or me?'
    • Speaking of Stars, their song "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" can also bring one to tears.
    "All of that time you thought I was sad
    I was trying to remember your name."
    "I'll write you a postcard
    I'll send you the news
    From a house down the road from real love..."
    "Live through this and you won't look back..."
    • "Calendar Girl" perfectly captures the mental state where just surviving the day is a hard-won victory.
    "Calendar girl
    Who is lost to the world
    Stay alive...
    November, December, yeah all through the winter
    I'm alive."
    • "In Our Bedroom After The War." Enough said.
    • As well as "Barricade". Gay football hooligans who fell tragically in love.
    • No mention of "Dead Hearts"?
    "Was there one you saw too clearly?
    Did they seem too real to you?
    They were kids that I once knew
    They were kids that I once knew..."
  • Sara by Starship "I'll never find another girl like you... for happy endings it takes two... with fire and ice, your dream won't come true..."
  • Stereolab's "Feel and Triple" is a goodbye song to one of the band's vocalists, Mary Hanson, who had died 2 years previously. Calling it a tearjerker is an understatement.
  • "Local Boy In The Photograph" by Stereophonics. "He'll always be 23, yet the train runs on and on/Past the place they found his clothing"
  • In the time of turmoil between the States and Soviets in the 1980s, there was Sting's 1985 ballad, "Russians".
    Believe me when I say to you, I hope the Russians love their children too...
  • "Wasted" by Angus and Julia Stone.
  • "Coma Therapy" by Strata. Even without knowing what the lyrics are about, the song might make you break down.
  • "Later That Year" by Straylight Run. It starts "So later that year, the bodies came home to Dover wrapped up in flags and lined up in rows" and ends with "we did the math,it wasn't worth it after all."
  • Try listening to the Stone Roses "Waterfall" when you're driving in the northern English moors.
  • When former One Direction member Harry Styles announced his first single, many people thought it would be another bubblegum-poppy, teen-bait jingle. Instead, we got Sign Of The Times, a David Bowie-influenced classic rock ballad. It could be about the mutual end of a relationship...but it actually sounds more about the end of the world, possibly by World War III. It's unexpected, disarming, soul-shattering...And with the lunacy in the world today, it rings all too true. And ironically, it's the refrain of "Just stop your crying, it's a sign of the times" that might make you cry the hardest...
    We gotta get away from here
    Stop your crying, baby, it'll be all right,
    They tell me that the end is near, we gotta get away from here
    • In 2022, when Styles was already deep into his solo career, he released the song "As It Was", about how his depression increased due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
      Answer the phone
      "Harry, you're no good alone
      Why are you sitting at home on the floor, what kind of pills are you on"
      Ringing the bell
      And nobody's coming to help
  • Superchick has several songs that count.
    • "Hero".
    No one talks to her, she feels so alone
    She's in too much pain to survive on her own
    • "Crawl (Carry Me Through").
    • "Beauty From Pain".
    • "Courage".
  • Matthew Sweet has a few of these on the sentimental parts of his album Girlfriend.
  • Symphony X's ''The Odyssey". Particularly the last verse of the final part; "Champion of Ithaca":
    "Seems like forever that my eyes have been denied
    Home — I'm finally home
    It's been twenty years away from all I ever knew
    I have returned to make my dream come true..."
  • "Cry" by System F, featuring Saskia Lie Atjam on vocals. The original is sad enough, but the Rank 1 remix takes the cake.
  • James Taylor's That Lonesome Road, which he first performed for John Belushi's funeral.
  • A rather obscure example, but "Read Me" by Tearwave.
  • "Jumper" by Third Eye Blind. "I wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend/You could cut ties with all the lies that you've been living in/And if you do not want to see me again/I would understand." This song can affect someone who has either been suicidal or knows someone who is (or was).
    • "Semi-Charmed Life" can be as well, even being an incredibly upbeat-sounding song, as the whole thing is essentially about crystal meth addiction "I'm scared but I'm not coming down./And I won't run for my life/She's got her jaws just locked now in smile/But nothing is all right."
    • "Deep Inside of You" hits hard, too. It tells about a relationship ending in a breakup, until the realization that said relationship was the thing that made him happy. "We were broken, didn't know it/And some great need in me starts to bleed..."
    • "The Background" with it's dark and empty atmosphere it's easily one of their most heartbreaking songs. If you lost a loved one it's absolutely soul-crushing to listen to.
  • Same with "The Salt Would Routine" by Thirteen Senses.
  • Rob Thomas's "Now Comes the Night." If you ever manage to hear it on the radio while driving, be sure to pull over before the bridge starts. It doesn't really make you cry — it simply destroys your soul.
    • "Ever the Same" is already an extremely poignant song: "You tide me over with a warmth I'll not forget/But I can only give you love." It becomes a sad Tear Jerker when you find out that he wrote it when his wife was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, and it must have been hell for both of them — then it rolls right back to happy because it's just so hopeful and reassuring. How many songs are both happy and sad Tear Jerkers, at the same time?
    • Her Diamonds is a song about a man who wants nothing more than to alleviate his wife's depression, but can't.
  • Richard Thompson's "Beeswing."
    • And "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" especially the line "I see angels on Ariels in leather and chrome/Swooping down from heaven to carry me home..."
      • Ah that's a fine moment. Another would be the lone acoustic-guitar coda of "The Great Valerio". Which incorporates a tribute to Erik Satie: oddly, considering how that composer's work is so closely associated with the piano. But Richard can play anything on guitar.
    • And, on the punch-in-the-gut tragic side, "God Loves a Drunk". Richard is good at these.
    • "End of the Rainbow" is a devastating song that is utterly bereft of hope.
    • And "Guns Are The Tongues", though that's more of the despairing-angry tears department.
  • Thrice's ''Daedalus''. The fact that the song's written from Daedalus's point-of-view — and, thus, has lines like "But son, please keep a steady wing/And know you're the only one that means anything to me" can really get to some. The last verse doesn't help, either:
    "Oh Gods!
    Why is this happening to me?
    All I wanted was new life for my son to grow up free
    And now you took the only thing that meant anything to me
    I'll never fly again, I'll hang up my wings..."
    • "Like Moths to Flame" is another one.
  • "Comptine d'un autre été ; L'après midi'' by Yann Tiersen. The song by itself (a simple piano piece) is breathtakingly beautiful and sad, but when considered with this video it becomes especially poignant. The part with his dead wife and war buddies can especially do it.
  • Thriving Ivory's song "Angels on the Moon". Finding out it was written about 9/11 makes it even sadder.
  • "Losing my Way" by Justin Timberlake. It's about a drug addict who learns a bit too late what the consequences of his actions are, and it's an utterly heartbreaking desperate cry for help. Here's a link.
  • ''Rainbows in the Dark'' by Tilly and the Wall. There's just something about it.
  • "In Die Nacht" by Tokio Hotel. Not because it's sad, but because of the love that flows from the singer to the guitarist, the subject of the song.
    • An introduction to a live performance of the song: "What we've got is pretty rare, I think. We're probably going to spend the rest of our lives together. We'll never part. Tom and I are going to go off together, into the night."
  • "Superman" by Oliver Tompsett. It's so sweet and sad, the last line of the bridge is "maybe it's time I faced the fact that I should get over you".
    • "without you I'm not superman at all" or "I don't know what I've done to make this heartache mine, I want you to love me for who I am til the end of time. I'll forgo who I'm meant to be so that you will love me too..."
  • Tony and Vixy's song Strange Messenger tells the semi-true story of an entire tribe dead and lost to history. All that remained of their language and history were forty words spoken by a parrot that nobody else understood. All those stories and all that history just gone. The intensity of the loss hits you right in the gut.
    Were they beautiful and gentle? Would they call us friend or foe?
    What wisdom did they live by? What secrets did they know?
    It's a symphony reduced to what a single bird can sing
    The forest lost their language, and they lost everything
  • "Nobody Knows" by The Tony Rich Project.
  • "Nur zu Besuch" from the Toten Hosen. A song about the sadness of losing a beloved person. Made extra sad as the lead singer dedicated it to his dead mother
  • Aside from writing Quadrophenia, ("Love Reign O'er Me"), Who's Next ("Behind Blue Eyes"), and most of The Who's work, Pete Townshend has struck a few chords with his solo work.
    • The highlight of tear-jerking is found in his second effort: All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes. From Up-lifting Poetry ("Stop Hurting People"), to Retrospective Balladeering ("The Sea Refuses No River," "Slit Skirts"), this album is more of a positive tear-jerker, motivational to the perhaps naive thought of surpassing human brutality and misjudgment. It must be heard to be believed.
  • "Shattered" by Trading Yesterday has the ability to make some people break down in tears upon hearing it.
    "Without love gone wrong
    Lifeless words l carry on
    But I know, all I know
    Is that the ends beginning
    Who I am from the start
    Take my home to my heart
    Let me go and I will run
    I will not be silent...''
    • "Love Song Requiem" and "One Day" can also do it.
  • "Dear Mr. Fantasy" by Traffic.
  • "Drops of Jupiter" by Train. It's the imagery combined with the lyrics that does something to your heart.
    • Lots of Train songs are tearjerkers. "Blind", "Hopeless", "When I Look to the Sky", "All I Ever Wanted", and "Brick by Brick" to name just a few. Yeah, there's that many sad ones.
    • "Bruises" does an amazing job of combining this with Heartwarming.
  • On the Fear & Bullets album by Trust Obey (made to accompany reading the original graphic novel), the song "Sleeping Angel (The Dreaming)" just breaks you.
  • "Kuroi Namida" by Anna Tsuchiya. The pure emotion in her voice is breathtaking.
  • In 2010, Kurt Hugo Schneider, Sam Tsui, and Christina Grimmie posted cover of Nelly's "Just a Dream" that became very popular, with over 100 million views. 6 years later, Christina was murdered at a meet and greet for her fans. As a tribute, Sam posted a heartfelt solo version of "Just a Dream", with only him and a piano and skipping Christina's original verse. It's a fitting tribute, but incredibly heartbreaking.
  • "Rain City" by Turin Brakes can make one choke up. Such a gentle and loving acoustic number. The fact that it was played as the Background Music to a sad scene in The OC can ruin it somewhat for some, though.
  • "Sayonara" by Yato Turia.
  • The part of the end theme from We Were Soldiers called "Mansions of the Lord" (sung by the United States Military Academy Glee Club). Oh, and by the way, it's such a heartrending piece that the U.S. Army decided to make it THE official song to be performed at military funerals after the movie came out. Top that.
  • Unkle's got quite a few, but especially "Burn My Shadow" and "Rabbit In Your Headlights."
  • "Castles In The Sky" by Ian Van Dahl can be the ideal way to make one start to cry.
  • "OK" by Farin Urlaub. The song itself sounds like a fairly standard Break-Up Song - until you see the video and realize what's really going on here is that the person addressed "left" by dying.
  • Paul Van Dyk also had a song called The Other Side, with Wayne Jackson singing. It was written in the wake of South East Asia Tsunami, in recognition of the loved ones of the people there lost in the water. It is just so... powerful.
  • わたしのココ has done some pretty depressing stuff, but it's hard to top "神様お願い," an upbeat waltz, (A Surprisingly Gentle Song by most of the album's standards) about witnessing love without having ever been loved. But what really clinches is is the last two stanzas:
    ねえ神様どうして (O God, why)
    わたし生まれてきたの (Was I born?)
    誰にも愛されずに(Never to be loved)
    壊れてゆくだけなの(Before I fell apart?)
    その答えはいつでも(The answer will never)
    風のなかで聴こえなくて(Make itself heard in the wind.)
    ねえ神様お願い(Please, O God,)
    わたしの全てを消して。(Destroy me in my entirety.)
    ねえ、神様。(O, God.)
  • The Weakerthans' cycle of songs about Virtute the emotionally-neglected cat and her depressed owner can destroy anyone with who loves cats or can identify with either the owner or Virtute. The coda song, sung by former frontman John Samson on a solo album, is absolutely heartbreaking.
  • Say what you will about Kanye West's public persona, but "Hey Mama" can be pretty hard not to cry to. There's even a video of West performing the song in concert after his mother's death, and being overcome by tears and staggering off the stage.
    • "Welcome to Heartbreak" and "Coldest Winter" from 808's Heartbreak. The former's about the life he could've had, the latter a farewell to his mum. "Street Lights" is also a bit depressing, given that it's mostly that one sad chorus repeated who knows how many times... In fact, the whole damn album is sure to move someone in some way.
    • "Blood On The Leaves" from Yeezus counts as well; the sample of "Strange Fruit" does not help.
  • Many of Eric Whitacre's choral works can be just overwhelming.
  • Although Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree is often known for writing beautifully-heart-wrenching melodies coupled with dark and sometimes controversial subject matter, he's managed to kick the Tearworks Factory into overdrive with the albums he's produced under his own name, especially his two most recent releases: The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) and Hand. Cannot. Erase..
    • The former is riddled with 50 minutes worth of tear-jerking material, including tracks like "Drive Home", which tells of a couple getting into a car accident on a rainy night, leaving the main character in a wheelchair and killing his romantic partner altogether, and the title track, which is the story of an old man who lost his sister when he was younger coming across a raven many years later, leaving him to believe that his sister has come back to him reincarnated as that bird.
    • Hand. Cannot. Erase., while it does feature moments of hope and lightheartedness, also features a number of tracks that highlight the more somber nature of the story, including "Perfect Life", "Transience", and "Routine", all of which center around the melancholy aspect of nostalgia and the idea that one may never be able to return to an ideal and more peaceful moment in time. There's also the final track of the album's narrative "Happy Returns", which deals with the main character trying to reconnect with her family via a letter to her brother after having having been isolated from everyone for so long. Word of God, however, says that the main character doesn't die, leaving many other options to explore with the character's fate.
      • The animated video for "Routine" deserves a mention all on its own. In it a woman repeatedly goes about her daily routine - preparing meals, folding clothes, scrubbing floors, making packed lunches, etc. - but with no one else in the house to do it for. Halfway through the video, she suddenly snaps and starts making a mess of everything she tidied, and a shot of a newspaper thrown on on the floor reveals why there's no one else in the house: "FATHER AND TWO SONS KILLED IN SCHOOL SHOOTING".
  • "Tong Hua (Fairy Tale)" by Michael Wong. The music video will make you cry. You don't even need to know what the words mean.
  • Wrabel's "11 Blocks." The singer has some serious attachment issues, and he knows it: Three years after a breakup, he is still so hung-up on his ex that he counts the distance in blocks from her house to wherever he goes. When he tries to go to a party, he heads in the door, immediately turns back "to grab a smoke"...and then he finds himself driving toward her house, against his own will. He is fully aware that his obsession will only lead to disaster, he knows he has to tear himself away, yet he has apparently lost control of his own actions. He is at war with his own heart...and losing.
  • "A River Flows in You" by Yiruma.
  • "You Are Not" by Young Guns can definitely be this for some.
  • Zero 7, "Home," with vocals by Tina Dico.
  • "Friends" by Sprung Monkey. A song about, well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    Cause you're always there
    And it's always right
    As it's always been
    Yeah, it's always right
    Right on
    Good times, bad times
    You were there at anytime
    And that is why you'll always be my friend
    And I keep saying
    After all we are
    We are all friends
    After all you are
    You're my best friend
  • While your mileage may vary for the Scrubs scene that made it famous, Quinn Walker's My Road will have you staring at the screen in silence until you have to blink away the tears.
  • "Mama" by Ghostland Observatory. Normally a fun, goofy little duo, Ghostland Observatory's minimalist ballad leaves the listener in tears, especially when considering the campy attitude of the album it's from, Codename Rondo.
  • Ai Jiang Shan Geng Ai Mei Ren (爱江山更爱美人) by Li Li Fen. The song itself has a sad feel to it. The music video is solemn, showing a girl whose love went unrequited by her lover. However, the song is absolutely soul crushing if you watch it in the context of the old flash movie "Mame Love".

Examples (Non-Artist Specific, Alphabetical Order)

  • Any song played over a Really Dead Montage.
  • Any song played over Turner Classic Movies end-of-year TCM Remembers clipreels. Produced by Sabotage Film Group, the editing and song choices are exquisite.
  • "A La Claire Fontaine", especially in the movie The Painted Veil.
  • If your of a certain age, "A Boy and His Frog" may reduce you to tears. The most heartrending part is the half-sobbing line of "I'll miss you, Dad". Then you realize that not only Kermit is singing this but Brian as well.
  • "A Moment Like This". Depending on the version, it can be so beautifully tender or heart-grabbing triumphant.
  • A song, called "A Walk In the Light Green/Only 19", is about a new Australian soldier going to Vietnam, losing his friend to a landmine, then coming home to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • Another tear-jerking American favorite would be "Amazing Grace". Suffice to say, multitudes of people have cried to that song — especially if it's a particularly remarkable rendition.
    • "Amazing Grace" played by a lone bagpipe, at a military, police or firefighter funeral. One doesn't necesarily have to be religious to be moved by it.
  • "America the Beautiful".
  • You may, perhaps, be able to listen to "Ashokan Farewell" without crying. But if you can listen to it playing under the reading of Sullivan Ballou's letter, and not break down utterly ... you are not a healthy person.
  • An Australian song that is often played on ANZAC Day (remembrance to all Australian soldiers who fought and died in all wars) is 'The Band played Waltzing Matilda' about a soldier in World War 1 who lost his legs. There probably isn't an Aussie alive anywhere who didn't tear up listening to that song the first time.
    • Even non-Australians can lose it during "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda". Indeed, seeing as how it is ANZAC Day and not AAC Day, the day is not only for Australians. Try watching the Dawn Service from Gallipoli. Good luck keeping together.
  • "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" can do it, especially when the lyrics "As he died to make men holy / Let us die to make men free" come in (especially when you consider who would be most likely to be singing it in the years shortly after it was written).
    • The US Army Chorus's version can really do it. Especially when they sang it at a celebration of Lincoln's 200th birthday, where they changed the lyric to "So he died to make men free."
  • There's a contemporary piece, "Be Thou My Vision", which was commissioned by a man in honor of his dead parents. Happier in tone than you'd expect, but still incredibly touching.
  • Another song that can get one to tear up is "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms". No matter the version, you might tear up.
  • The ending to "Billy, Don't Be a Hero." Also the rest of the song to some degree, but especially the ending.
  • "Cherish (Ai Otsuka)". the lyrics, when translated, is generally happy and is a love song, but set to this video [1] can have you tearing up.
  • Any version of "The Circle Game", given its semi-Growing Up Sucks theme.
  • The song "Come In From the Firefly Darkness", composed by Amy F. Bernon. The melody sounds melancholy enough on its own, and then you read the lyrics and realize its about a wanderer coming home for one night before leaving again the very next morning.
  • "Comptine d'un autre ete" has such a sad melody, even a modified version of it in a commercial can really move someone.
  • Lully lullay thou little tiny child... The Coventry Carol. A lullaby being sung to hush babies so that they won't alert the soldiers who are out to kill them.
  • "Christmastime is Here" can do it, due to it's association with the Peanuts special.
  • "The Minstrel Boy", anyone? "The minstrel boy to the war has gone, in the ranks of death you'll find him..."
    • This version especially can do it.
    • Some concert/symphonic band players admit that they tear up playing Percy Aldridge Grainger's arrangement of this.
  • This video of "The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku" is really very heartwrenching.
  • The American folk song "Dreaming of Home and Mother" is pretty tearjerking in the original language, but the Japanese, and especially the Chinese renditions really tug on the heartstrings.
  • The lullaby "Dun do Shuil" from the album "Till Their Eyes Shine." Sung in a minor chord, it's a mother singing to her child that their father will be back tomorrow with food for them. And the minor chord makes it blatantly obvious that this isn't the case.
  • The song "Era en abril" ("It was in April") of Argentinian singer Juan Carlos Baglietto, where he describes a man and his wife's pain and attempts to cope with the loss of their stillborn son.
  • The US Naval Hymn, "Eternal Father Strong to Save".
  • "Feliz Navidad" can do it, especially considering its association with the opening sequence of Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.
  • "Fiddler's Green," a dying sailor's vision of Heaven.
    "Now I don't want a harp nor a halo, not me
    Just give me a breeze and a good rolling sea..."
  • How about "The Fields of Athenry" at full volume.
  • "Flowers of the Forest".
  • Hearing the whole crowd at a Dinosaur Jr gig singing the ending of "Freak Scene" can bring one to tears:
    "Don't let me fuck up will you
    'Cos when I need a friend it's still you".
  • "Gloomy Sunday" (aka "The Hungarian Suicide Song"). Long story short, the person singing was waiting for a lady friend with flowers, but she never came, so the singer wastes away and dies of heartbreak, then asks the lady friend to come to the (open casket!) funeral unafraid, as the singer bears no ill will towards her ("even in death, I bless you"). Made worse when you find out the writer of the song, who himself had no formal musical education and couldn't read sheet music, died penniless, committing suicide.
  • "God Bless America". Kate Smith's version in particular is played at the start of every Philadelphia Flyers home game, and it's associated with them to the point where a statue of her was placed outside of their stadium after she died. Céline Dion's version, initially recorded for the post-9/11 America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon, can also do it.
  • "The Green Green Grass of Home". It's a song about a guy who wants to go home to his family and his girlfriend, but he's in prison and he's executed before he can.
  • "Half Acre"
  • "The Heart Asks Pleasure First", also known as "that song from The Piano". It is like rain in summer, dancing leaves in autumn, snow at Christmas, and warm sun in spring all in one song. It flows on beautifully, and you think it will forever, and then it stops... like a life.
  • The Israel national anthem Hatikvah (or The Hope) The words in the songs are supposed to be happy, but it just sounds so heartbreaking. Written in the 1880s, the theme is meant to revolve around the nearly 2000 year old hope of the Jewish people to be a free and sovereign people in the land of Israel.
  • "Himmel på jord" may be "just another Christmas-song", but it's a great Christmas-song nonetheless. Especially the refrain, which translates into something like "Heaven on earth, a mercy so great. I'm not alone here on earth."
  • The Holocaust Cantata. Especially "The Train," where the male soloist sings a last farewell to his love as she is being taken to a concentration camp. One of the saddest cantatas out there, it can leave one crying and numb very easily.
    Already rolling, puffing, and blowing
    Already hearing the clatter taking her away...
  • "House at Pooh Corner"
  • "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden" (I had a Comrade) The traditional German Army lament to their fallen
  • "I Thank You God" — especially the women's chorus version of that song, as soon as you realize it was arranged for a dead mother.
  • Also, thanks to the Concert for George, "I'll See You In My Dreams".
  • "I'll Stand by You". Every version can make one cry like a small child. Particularly the line:
    Nothing you confess
    Could make me love you less
    I'll stand by you.
  • Any decent rendition of "If I Were A Blackbird".
  • "In Christ Alone" can do it, especially at the line "no pow'r of hell, no scheme of man".
  • "In the Garden", an assurance hymn frequently chosen by people for their own funerals. "How Great Thou Art" is another.
  • "In Flanders Fields", and its Spiritual Successor, "We Are The Lost", which is a medley of In Flanders Fields and the poem "For the Fallen" by Robert Binyam.
  • The Japanese version, "Inori" of "You Raise Me Up", is the opening for Romeo X Juliet... and is heartbreakingly sad and beautiful.
  • There's "It Is Well With My Soul", which was written by a man as he passed over the spot where his four daughters had drowned in a shipwreck.
  • The revolutionary war song "Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier," which is a remake of an ancient Irish song about pointless sacrifice on the battlefield.
  • "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye" is another one.
  • "Journey Through The Decade". And it's also awesome.
  • "Hamilchama Ha'achrona": "ani mavtiah lah, yalda sheli k'tana, she'zeh tehiyeh ha'milhama ha'aharona..." "I promise you, my little daughter, that this will be the last war..."
  • "Kilkelly, Ireland" by Ciara Considine is another one. The story of an Irish immigrant, told through the letters written to him by his family back at home. It's about farmers during a famine, which you'd expect to be sad. Then it gets EVEN WORSE THAN THAT.
  • "Kirkconnell Lee". The Ballad of Helen, who was caught with her lover by the man her parents had chosen for her, and takes a bullet meant for him( her lover, that is). It's very sad, with her lover wishing it were he that was ' where Helen lies'.
  • Almost any song using the words of a Henry Lawson poem. Songs like "The Water Lily", "The Bush Girl", and "Reedy River" can be especially heartbreaking.
  • How about a song based off the idea of the Little Match Girl? Translations can be found here.
  • "Little Wing" is another one.
  • "Living Next Door to Alice". It might be hard to decide who you should feel more sorry for — the guy telling the tale or Sally, who is calling him. At one point in the song, she's confessing her feelings for him and the very next line is "and the big limousine disappeared". So, he is so crushed by Alice leaving, so busy looking at the disappearing car, cat, that he doesn't even register a love confession. Listening to the song can leave you on the verge of crying..
  • "Loch Lomond"
  • Lullay Myn Lyking.
    • And then you read the poem it's named after and you die all over again.
  • "March of the Volunteers" seems a bit out of place here with its almost idealistic talk of bravery and self-sacrifice in casting off oppression, but it stirs something all the same.
  • "Nadia's Theme", also known as "Cotton's Dream" or the theme from The Young and the Restless - especially if you know Nadia Comaneci's story and what was done to her in the name of making her the "perfect 10" champion.
  • The music video Okkusenman note , when you put perspective into it, can make you cry. One might cry at when the main character in the video met a girl he knew in his childhood aboard the train. But there are also other instances that might make you cry, since the song is about growing up and parting with friends we had, with only countless memories left behind and knowledge that we'll never repeat those experiences note .
    • And somebody made an awesome 3D music video of Megaman 2 right here, but at the points around 1:54 and 2:15, he fights the robot masters who finally seem to have respect for him, and he takes their power and it's kind of heartwarmingly sad.
  • "On Eagles' Wings" can do it.
  • A slow, a capella rendition of "One Tin Soldier" might do it.
  • There's an old soldiers' song, called "Only Remembered" — recorded by various folk artists, including Coope Boyes and Simpson and John Tams. The chorus goes:
    "Only remembered, only remembered,
    Only remembered for what we have done.
    Shall we at last be united in glory?
    Only remembered for what we have done."
    • When Tams performs it live, he likes to make the audience sing along with the above-quoted chorus.
  • "Peat Bog Soliders", known in German as "Moorsoldaten", is moving enough in it's own right, but becomes a Tear Jerker when you learn that it was written by prisoners in the Nazi concentration camp of Bogermor in the early 1930s, a defiant affirmation of their democratic ideals. Luke Kelly's rendition is particularly moving.
  • The song "Prayer of the Children" has been known to make many people cry. This is all without mentioning the story behind this beautiful song. A missionary named Kurt Bestor lived in Serbia in the 1970's, and, well, let's let him tell his story:
    "When Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito died, different political factions jockeyed for position and the inevitable happened — civil war. Suddenly my friends were pitted against each other. Serbian brother wouldn't talk to Croatian sister-in-law. Bosnian mother disowned Serbian son-in-law and so it went. Meanwhile, all I could do was stay glued to the TV back in the US and sink deeper in a sense of hopelessness. Finally, one night I began channeling these deep feelings into a wordless melody. Then little by little I added words....Can you hear....? Can you feel......? I started with these feelings — sensations that the children struggling to live in this difficult time might be feeling. Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian children all felt the same feelings of confusion and sadness and it was for them that I was writing this song."
    • And here is that song in all its glory.
  • Another Argentinian one: Rasguña las piedras by Sui Generis.
  • "Read Me A Memory" is a pretty obscure song about fairy tales. Heartstrings mat be plucked: Nostalgia, leaving childhood, a parents love for a child, tradition...
    "Years turn like pages, soon I'll be grown.
    Maybe someday I'll read to a child of my own.
    Though I may not remember the stories we shared,
    I always knew, through time spent with you
    That you loved me too."
  • "Reservoir"
  • Papaoutai by Stromae. A French song about a child's absent father, and its effects on him.
  • "Ruby Tuesday." Specifically, the version used in Children of Men. Even more specifically, the scene where it's played in Children Of Men. You know the one.
  • The jazz standard "Send In the Clowns".
  • The Servant's Body
  • "Shi Shang Zhi You Ma Ma Hao (Mom is the Best in the World)" might be a Chinese funeral even more depressing.
  • "Star Spangled Banner".
  • Steve Reich's 2011 piece WTC 9/11. No prizes will be awarded for guessing what it's about. It's an incredibly moving, fifteen-minute-long work in three movements that is both terrifying and heartbreaking, much like the day of the attacks itself. It uses speech samples from real recordings of NORAD communications, 911 recordings, and interviews with witnesses of the attack. The first movement describes the attack itself and the confusion, bewilderment and terror of the unfolding atrocity, while the second movement describes what witnesses on the ground saw, up to and including the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. The third movement describes the actions of a Jewish group in New York, who conducted a vigil next to the tents where the bodies were kept and sang psalms for 24 hours.note  The speech samples are the most haunting and upsetting part of the piece, accentuated by the music.
    three thousand people
    three thousand people were murdered
    what’s gonna happen here?
    what’s gonna happen here next?
  • "Stopping All Stations" is a very upsetting Rashomon style song by Hilltop Hoods which details a fatal mugging on an Adelaide bound train from the viewpoint of the victim (a war veteran that the world has left behind), a woman who tried to help him but was knocked out by the mugger, and the mugger himself (a young man angry at the world). The linked song is the Restrung version which changes the last verse but it still loses no impact, just that the old man survives.
    "To the digger with a machete at his lungs and he's prone,
    He can barely stand but ready to stand up for his own,
    She tries to help him she doesn't choose to flee the car,
    And catches a blow with enough bruise to leave a scar,
    She starts fainting, the rooms moving and seeing stars,
    Aint it amazing how courageous human beings are?"
  • "Tie Her Up" by Mary Garvey (covered by Gordon Bok on Apples in the Basket) is a lament for the end of the Pacific salmon fishing traditions.
    "Tie her up and let her rot, for I think it matters not
    Where my father's father's father fished before
    From the river to the sea – now it ends right here with me
    There will be no Larsons fish here anymore"
  • "Those Were the Days" is another one. Especially its usage in Roma.
  • "Unchained Melody," especially the Righteous Brothers' version. Heartbreaking to anyone who's been in a Long-Distance Relationship.
  • A certain college a capella group's version of "Walk of Shame" — which is a comedy song, mostly — can make some people cry. Mostly it's the line "I pray to God he stays asleep" at the very beginning, before embarking on the (titular) walk home after hooking up with a random fellow college student. Some lines might make one giggle like an idiot, but that line... um, doesn't. It's all the vocals.
  • "Watchman, Tell Us of the Night", a beautiful, melancholy orchestral piece. The song is dreamlike, through the eyes of a child. Perhaps, "beautiful" is not a comparable word.
    "A hymn for all children, 'Watchmen, Tell Us of the Night' portrays the loneliness, loss of innocence and yet endearing hope of the survivor of child abuse."
    ** Listen to the first part.Listen to the second part. It might be hard not to cry.
  • There's an old spiritual called "Were You There", which is only sung on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. It's such a simply little tune, but incredibly poignant.
    • The version with the lyrics "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom", delivered in a melancholy tune, can really do it.
  • Some Sacred Harp shape-note hymns. If you've seen Cold Mountain, you've gotten a taste of it. "Northport" (A Seat in Paradise / Jesus My All to Heav'n Has Gone) is both thrilling and heartwrenching.
  • The multi-lingual version of "When you Believe" can be quite heartrending, especially with this Hetalia: Axis Powers video.
  • The credits version of "Where Are You, Christmas?" Some people might remember how wonderful Christmas used to seem (and for most, how wonderful it actually was) when they were kids, and now ... what happened, indeed?
  • "Hey Santa" by Carnie & Wendy Wilson. A 90's classic, another tear inducing one here�but in the good kind of way, at that.
  • "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" gets progressively more beautiful and more depressing as it goes on. Paraphrased, the song goes as thus: All the flowers are picked by girls, all the girls take husbands, all the husbands leave to be soldiers, all the soldiers go to graveyards, all the graveyards become covered with flowers.
    • Presented for your approval: Marlene Dietrich singing the same. Very, very late in the career of a woman who'd been personally affected by both world wars, at a time when she'd started to suffer catastrophic health problems...
  • The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Young Irishmen killed in the Irish Rebellion of 1798 were buried in mass graves. The barley they carried in their pockets as marching provisions eventually sprouted — symbolizing the eternal resurgence of Irish Resistance to British rule.
  • "You and Me", the official theme song for the 2008 Beijing Olympics games. Granted, China isn't the most open of countries, but the effort to show openness to the rest of the world - demonstrated with the two different singers and the various nationalities in the music video - definitely shows. Try listening to it and not at least tear up.
  • The standard "You Don't Know Me" is all about unrequited love, but the two versions that might do it the most are Ray Charles' and Michael Bublé'.
  • "You Light Up My Life" will bring tears to anyone who has ever been loveless or known someone who has.
  • "You'll Never Walk Alone" being sung at Anfield on anniversaries of the Hillsborough disaster is absolutely heartstopping. Especially the line "Hold your head up high and don't be afraid of the dark," if one is terrified of losing the people who support them and has an irrational fear of the dark.
  • "Zog Nit Keynmol (The Partisans' Song)", a Yiddish song written in 1943 by Hirsh Glick, who was a Jewish inmate of the Vilna Ghetto.
  • The Vandals are a punk band known for their sophomoric humor (sample album title: Live Fast, Diarhea), so you'd expect a song of theirs called "Canine Euthanasia" to be in poor taste... It turns out to be a sincere tribute to a beloved pet who had to be put to sleep - if you're a dog lover, the lyrics might well make you cry, especially the BBC session version that has Joe Escalante performing it solo on piano:
    You were my constant companion
    but now you don't recognize me
    your eyes are blind and dad says
    we should let you die with dignity
    You knew where we were going on that last ride
    when I promised mom & dad I wouldn't cry.
  • Robert Wyatt's voice alone probably qualifies.
  • Lou Reed managed to create a whole TearJerker album with Berlin
  • Two of Kenny Rogers' songs, Lucille and The Coward of the County. Lucille is a tearjerk through and through. In Coward of the County, the last words Tommy's father says to him can qualify.
  • Westlife have made several songs that qualify as Tear Jerkers, especially later on in their career as a band.
    • First example is "I'll See You Again", a song written by band-members Nicky Byrne and Kian Egan as a tribute to their late fathers who died months before the album the song was on was released.
    Always... you will be part of me
    And I will forever feel your strength
    When I need it most
    You're gone now...
    Gone but not forgotten...
    I can't say this to your face
    But I know you hear...
    I'll see you again
    You never really left
    I feel you walk beside me
    I know I'll see you again.
    • Another excellent example is "You Raise Me Up", especially in the context of their last concert. Having just said their final goodbyes to their fans all over the world, the song was intended as a Tear Jerker. It only becomes even more touching when you consider that Shane Filan had just pulled off the band's biggest CMOA ever, by getting 85.000 people to light up their flashlight-apps and pointing them at him. It looked awesome, but was also a huge Tear Jerker.
    • One might even argue that Westlife's Farewell Concert in its entirety was a huge Tear Jerker, complete with Empathic Environment.
  • There's just something about Underworld's "Born Slippy .NUXX" that makes it heartbreaking. Perhaps it's the use of the word "boy". Perhaps it's knowing it's supposed to sound like an alcoholic's internal monologue. In any case, it can be emotionally overwhelming to listen to at times.
  • USSR made a song called "Bronezhilet". It's a song about the Afghan war the Soviet Union fought. The refrain goes "See, the bullet holes in my armored vest? How many boys are lying here? How many young years?" Its chorus (which comes immediately afterwards) alternates between "Mama, mom, forgive me, I did not save myself. Bullets flying into me, I did not notice." and "Who at night thought about how pretty his girl stands. For whom the last day became Afghanistan."
  • Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now" can be a tearjerker. As can the Lemon Jelly song, "Soft", which used an uncleared sample of it. This is hilariously illustrated in Shaun of the Dead:
    Ed: [attempting to console Shaun after his breakup with Liz when "If You Leave Me Now" comes on] Who the hell put this on?
    Shaun: [crying] It's on random!
    Ed: Fucking hell.
  • Sakura, The artist had wrote and sang this song after his daughter died of an unknown illness (some fans presume to be cancer and others assume a genetic defect).
  • Dark City, Dead Man by Cult of Luna. The song starts off with the protagonist confronting his love interest through her apartment window. He is still madly in love with her and she means the world to him, however due to his negative actions the past night, she now sees through him and believes he is an evil person, losing her trust in him and sending the protagonists' life into an endless spiral of misery, and eventually, suicide.
  • An obscure band called The Nobles made a song called "Mandark". If you look at the title without listening to the song, it might give you the impression that it's a fun little tune about Dexter's Laboratory. It's not. It's actually sung from Mandark's perspective; it's about how he's sick of being Dexter's enemy and is only antagonizing Dex because he feels as if he's living in Dexter's shadow.
  • Opeth has a couple of Tear Jerker songs, but amongst them, The Drapery Falls stands out as one of the most depressing. The song is about an abusive couple who viciously hate eachother, each night with the male side of the couple raping and beating his wife. Each day, they both wake up to eachother's sounds, snapping back into reality - which is, for them both, nothing but misery.
  • "Septiembre" ("September"), a song by the spanish musician Carlos Berlanga. The lyrics are written from the perspective of a former pop star who slowly accepts his fate of being lonely, addicted to heroin and forgotten by his public: the combination of their nonchalant tone with a pretty upbeat Synth-Pop arrangement makes for a severe case of Lyrical Dissonance. When Berlanga passed away in 2002, after spending a couple of decades drinking and drugging himself to death, it seemed that he had outlined the circumstances of his own demise in this song, written 22 years before.
  • "Missing You", by Puff Daddy and The Family, might bring tears even to people who don't consider themselves fans of the artist paid tribute to (The Notorious B.I.G.).
  • I Believe by Diamond Rio. It will make you cry.
  • "Always Like This" by Bombay Bicycle Club. Despite its upbeat nature, the lyrics are incredibly sad and on top of that, the lead vocalist sounds like he could burst into tears at any moment in the song, making it one of the worst cases of Lyrical Dissonance ever.
    • Bear in mind, however, that this is Jack Steadman's usual singing style, and so does not necessarily contribute to the mood of the song.
  • School Friendsby Now, Now can bring people to tears if they have been led on.
  • The Black Crowes were primarily known for being a stoner band. Then they do She Talks to Angels about a lovely girl who'd done so much heroin that she'd tell people her family was dead while the family was present, and in her rare lucid moments would realize why angels called her name when she was high.
  • Brutally parodied by The Goodies with "Mummy I Don't Like my Meat", the story of a family so desperately poor they had to feed their pets and later the father to their daughter. Originally heard in the TV series as part of a game show where contestants had to sing a song that would make a granny cry; this song caused her to almost drown in her own tears.
  • As glurgy as it is, "Christmas Shoes" definitely counts. That song, about a small boy desperate to buy a pair of white shoes as a final Christmas gift for his dying mother, alone has become notorious for it's ability to reduce men, women, and children to tears in just a few short minutes. Even dwelling on the lyrics in your head too long becomes dangerous. It really stabs into your heart with the line: "I want her to look beautiful/if Mama meets Jesus tonight." Especially in the last verse when a chorus of little children pick up to sing that line.
    • And whatever you do, do not listen to that song immediately followed by fellow Christmas tear jerker "Bring Him Home, Santa" about a little girl pleading with Santa to bring home her deployed father for Christmas.
  • Warren Zevon's "Keep Me In Your Heart For a While." Written just months before he passed away, it's bittersweet and melancholy and upbeat all at the same time.
  • Trance producer RAM's "RAMelia (Tribute to Amelia)", which he made as a tribute to his wife who suddenly passed away.
    It's so hard to let go
    When you mean the world to me
    Yet the twinkles in your eyes keep shooting stars across the skies
    I'll miss you, love
    And all your colors keep shining through the darkest day
    You'll never fade away
    Never fade away
  • "Forever and Always" by Parachute. It's... well, you're better off listening for yourself.
  • Watsky's Hey Asshole is about depression, but it gets more hopeful towards the end.
    • Cardboard Castles might be heartwarming in some parts, but it's also quite melancholy. It's about trying your best to keep moving even when life has you down.
    • The poem at the end of Never Let it Die.
    Bodies pitched in ditches, singed and bludgeoned
    Burned the children in the ovens by the dozens
    Burned the witches in New England by the coven
    They burn the different ones, so clutch your cousins close
    'Cause such is life, it's cuts and strife, stitches, punches, knives and hungry crows
    Nothing guarantees survival
    And we won't stop this terror sticking flowers in the barrels of their rifles
    We fight the hatred with the light
    And when they think we'll fold and wave that bright rag
    We won't surrender
    We'll wipe the blood up with the white flag
    • Sarajevo. It's about a real-life couple - one a Muslim, one an Orthodox Christian - who were shot on a bridge trying to escape Sarajevo during the Bosnian civil war.
    Same souls, both sides of the banks
    They say we're different and they're fillin in the facts
    But they put the same metal in the bullets
    And they put the same bullets in our backs
    Kinda love that we got is one in a mill
    Ain't no God that I pray to would wanna kill
    It's not God but it's fear and it's politics
    And a Molotov that was lit with a dollar bill
    • Tiny Glowing Screens Part 2 - a bitter rant against the superficiality and emotional emptiness of modern consumerist society.
    • Some of the lyrics to Ink Don't Bleed hit pretty hard when you realize that they refer to a real incident - Watsky's ill-conceived 30-foot stage dive during the 2013 London Warped Tour that badly injured two people in the audience.
  • Glen Campbell had already been known for penning "the first existential country song" with "The Witchita Lineman", but the real tearjerker came out decades later: I'm Not Gonna Miss You, which he wrote for his family soon after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The video includes home movies of his various families and children and actual scans of his deteriorating brain. You've been warned.
  • Leahy is a Canadian band mostly known for their Irish folk music (and a dynamite lead fiddler), usually instrumental. However, they also wrote a song in honor of a friend, a mother whose 20-year-old daughter was ill with terminal cancer. Depressed yet? Wait until you give Borrowed Time a listen.
  • Various Stevie Nicks songs will leave you in tears. "Edge of Seventeen", "Sable On Blond", the list goes on.
  • A lot of Nujabes' discography can be hard to listen to, considering that he died prematurely in a car crash and he specializes in making atmospheric and emotionally stirring music.
    • "Island", the song that was used to close Nujabes' final full album (released posthumously), is easily one of his most emotionally driving songs of his discography. Even without knowing of his death, it's still a heavy listen.
    • "Luv(sic) Grand Finale", Nujabes' "real" swan song, will actually drive you to tears. If you put his death into mind, it becomes that much sadder, especially since the rapper rapping over it (Shing02) had previously worked with Nujabes when he was alive, and the song's lyrics are essentially him looking back on Nujabes' legacy.
      • The song's instrumentation also conjures strong imagery of heaven, especially since there's a wall of nigh-angelic harmonics.
    • "With Rainy Eyes"; although it isn't Nujabes' song, it was released on a compilation album from the record label that he founded. Just imagine a rain-spattered window, and you have a good idea of this song.
  • "Say Something" by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera, a piano ballad with lyrics that encapsulate the feeling of still desperately clinging on to a failed relationship by a few thin fringes. The music video only ups the Tear Jerker factor by showing different tear-inducing scenarios. One is of a child with parents perpetually locked in conflict, another is of an elderly man bidding an emotional farewell to his deathbed-ridden wife (his sobbing is especially hard to watch), and the third is of a young couple lying coldly together.
    • Not even Tobuscus, who specializes in making humorous covers of songs, could find much light at the end of this tunnel.
    • The original version without Christina is just as sad. Since it's just one voice singing it sounds almost like a cry for help.
    • The final line of the song, especially in the original version, drops all pretense. The singer is begging the subject to just "Say something," anything to give the singer a reason to not give up. The pause after, followed by immediate silence, indicates that the singer received no answer.
  • "The Foggy Dew", an Irish ballad about the Easter Rising. A brief explanation of what the song is about: It's World War One. The English are asking the Irish to fight in the war so "that small nations might be free", but they are occupying Ireland. So Irish patriots decide "'twas better to die 'neath the Irish sky than at Sulva or Sud el Bar" and raise a rebellion. The English crush the rebellion and the revolt fails, but not before the world takes notice. It ends with mourning the war dead.
  • Canadian brother-sister duo Tennyson has a beautiful piano piece called "To the Moon (And Back)". There are even accordions.
  • "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, made as a tribute to Paul Walker for Furious 7. Puth's piano-led chorus alone is enough to reduce anyone to an emotional wreck, and the song is even more devastating when used in the film.
  • "Medicine" by Daughter. Everything from the lyrics to the music to the vocal delivery is enough to reduce one to an emotional wreck.
  • "Dio vi salvi Regina", (God Save You, Queen) the Corsican national anthem.
  • Annie Lennox's cover of the World War II-era song "Every Time We Say Goodbye" from the AIDS charity album Red Hot And Blue is this on its own, but the video is even worse with its Reality Subtext: its original director Derek Jarman got too sick to do it and had to be replaced. The video also pays tribute to Jarman by featuring Happier Home Movies of him as a child.
  • "Destiny" by Markus Schulz. A song about soulmates finding each other, set up against a hauntingly beautiful trance melody.
  • "I'm going to do it" by Giles Corey. A song about depression and suicide. Whoever has gone through that point in their life will easily find this depressing.
  • The song "Without You" (Ohne Dich) by German Cell-Phone company Jamster character Snuggelina (Schnuffelienchen) while also a cute song is pretty sad if you read the lyrics. The song is about Snugglelina singing about how much she misses Snuggle when her's away and how lonely she is feeling without him. In the music video, she is seen trying to play Soccer and trying to eat carrot cake but is doing all of these activities alone. She is seen frowning most of the time since she misses her boyfriend doing them with her. The song later turns into a Heartwarming Moment when Snuggelina hears a phone call and hears Snuggle telling her how much he misses her knowing they both really miss each other which later cuts to both of them having fun and ending with the two holding hands as they look at the night sky.
  • Hozier's "Cherry Wine", accompanied by a powerful music video featuring Saoirse Ronan. The video depicts a young woman in a relationship. She's shown putting on make-up to cover up a black eye, interspersed with clips of her and the boyfriend kissing. The boyfriend covers the bruise with the girl's hair as if to try and erase the abuse. The video was used to raise awareness for Domestic Violence.
  • X Ambassador's "Unsteady" comes complete with lyrics:

    Hold, hold on, hold onto me
    'Cause I'm a little unsteady
    A little unsteady
    Hold, hold on, hold onto me
    'Cause I'm a little unsteady
    A little unsteady

    Mama, come here
    Approach, appear
    Daddy, I'm alone
    'Cause this house don't feel like home

    If you love me, don't let go
    Whoa, if you love me, don't let go

    Hold, hold on, hold onto me
    'Cause I'm a little unsteady
    A little unsteady
    Hold, hold on, hold onto me
    'Cause I'm a little unsteady
    A little unsteady

    Mother, I know
    That you're tired of being alone
    Dad, I know you're trying
    To fight when you feel like flying

    But if you love me, don't let go
    Whoa, if you love me, don't let go

    Hold, hold on, hold onto me
    'Cause I'm a little unsteady
    A little unsteady
    Hold, hold on, hold onto me
    'Cause I'm a little unsteady
    A little unsteady

  • Another traditional song, "Old Gypsy." Don't say I didn't warn you especially if you love animals and believe dogs really can be your best friend.
  • "God Went North" by Nothing More. Jonny Hawkins' vocals get more and more desperate as the song progresses, to the point where he's practically sobbing the lyrics at the end. If you've lost your mother, this song will destroy you.
    It may feel like God went north and left you to be
    But all you need to know is you have everything you need
    It's just a blink of an eye until the next time we meet
    I'll hold you till the end
  • Also counting as Nightmare Fuel, Rufus Rex's From the Dust Returned A Titan in which a dead Eldritch Abomination is revived and destroys humanity in retaliation for their sins. The ending does give a slight amount of hope for mankind though.
    Ancient name whispered in the darkness
    Lost words spoke from chattering teeth
    Bloody runes forbode the arrival
    Of the beast that no longer sleeps
    This is the end of everything we know, my darling
    This is simply the end
    Such safety finds us Trembling lambs environed by wolves
  • Emma by Hot Chocolate. Basically, this guy has been Platonic Life-Partners with a girl named Emma since he was five, and even then she wanted more than anything to be famous. When they were 17 they got married but she was still depressed all the time due to not being able to achieve her goals, and eventually he comes home to find her dead with a suicide note saying she just couldn't go on.
  • When you think of the Furry Fandom, you wouldn't picture emotional songs, right? Well noteworthy furry music duo Foxes and Peppers, made up of Pepper Coyote and Fox Amoore, have a number of incredibly hard-hitting tracks. One of their best is their Piano Man-esque ballad "Story", about two men finding love through performing music together after one of them suffered a bad breakup.
    Now we play love songs at spots in the city
    Where people remember our names
    The keys are on fire and I'd be a liar
    If I said I could walk away
  • Supertramp's "Take The Long Way Home", about a man taking the long way home from work, trying to take his mind off how bad his life is.
    So, you think you're a Romeo
    Playing a part in a picture show
    Well, take the long way home
    Take the long way home
    'Cause you're the joke of the neighborhood
    Why should you care if you're feelin' good?
    Well, take the long way home
    Take the long way home
    There are times that you feel you're part of the scenery
    All the greenery is comin' down, boy
    And then your wife seems to think you're part of the furniture
    Oh, it's peculiar, she used to be so nice
  • "Red, Red Wine" by Neil Diamond. Particularly if you're used to hearing UB40's reggae cover. The original hits you right in the gut with the fact that the narrator is suffering crippling depression from a lost love and has nowhere else to turn for comfort but alcoholism.
  • Galt Aureus has a number of these. Most nobable might be "Fifteen", written by Saher Galt for his anniversary.
    But you believed
    Asked "Will you bury this seed in the dirt with me?"
    Said you believe
    We have a life beneath the blossoms and the leaves
    If only I, if only I
    Will plant this seed