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Tear Jerker / Pink Floyd

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As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

This band is no novice to writing songs that can trigger the tears.

A Saucerful of Secrets

  • The last three minutes of the title track.
    • Even more so on the live version of Ummagumma where it sounds like a funeral march.
  • The last few lines of "Jugband Blues". The last time Syd Barrett was ever heard on a Pink Floyd album. He sounds so hopeless and defeated that you just feel bad for him.
    And the sea isn't green
    And I love the queen
    And what exactly is a dream
    And what exactly is a joke


  • "Careful with That Axe, Eugene". Yes, it is downright scary, but the song ends as quietly as it begun, which could either be Eugene or the witnesses having a mental breakdown realizing what he's done...or everyone on the scene is dead by the end of the song.
  • "The Narrow Way Part 3".

Atom Heart Mother

  • "If" is possibly the first song Roger wrote with Syd in mind; those simple if statements convey a sense regret and loss.
    If I were alone, I would cry
    And if I were with you, I'd be home and dry
    And if I go insane
    Will you still let me join in with the game?

    If I were a good man
    I'd talk with you
    More often than I do
  • "Fat Old Sun", if only because it is just so damned sentimental....


  • "Echoes". Just, Echoes. All 23 minutes of it are so stunningly amazing and beautiful that the tears will flow multiple times, but the entire section from 14:28 to the end are so beautiful that it's hard not to be moved to tears.

The Dark Side of the Moon

  • "The Great Gig in the Sky" and "Us and Them", especially revisiting them after Richard Wright's death.
    • But even on their own, they're still sad. "The Great Gig in the Sky" has no words at all. Just beautiful organ/piano playing from Richard and the amazing wailing from Clare Torry. "Us and Them" talks about the pointless and terrible nature of war, and the apathetic nature of society. The quiet verses and the loud and moving choruses combined with the lyrics can just make you burst into tears.
  • Waters has stated that he knew this would strike a chord with people when he took home a copy of the album after recordings were finished and played it for his wife Judy, who was so overwhelmed by the album she ended up crying. It is that kind of album...
  • "Home, home again. I like to be here when I can..." arguably a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming too, but can strike a chord for people who have been away from home for a long time...
  • Brain Damage and Eclipse. The climatic feeling these two songs give out when coupled together are just a mix between beautiful, badass, and just plain sad. When Eclipse finishes, you're left with the heartbeat you've heard in the beginning of the album fading out and the amazing quote: "There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact it's all dark." If you've cried to the album just like Roger's wife Judy did, it's perfectly fine.

Wish You Were Here (1975)

  • The entire album is rather morose, thanks to its underlying concepts: disillusionment with the music industry and a tribute to Syd Barrett.
  • "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", as the Floyd's only confirmed tribute to Syd, is so sombre it perfectly captures the impact Syd's Sanity Slippage left on them, even years after its release.
    • During the fade-out of Part IX, Richard Wright briefly plays the vocal melody from Syd's song "See Emily Play" on the keyboard, to finish the record with a fitting farewell.
  • While often overlooked, "Welcome to the Machine" chastises The Man Is Sticking It to the Man to all hell, being all about how the music industry has all sorts of "rebellious" types trying to strike out, but they're the biggest cog in the "machine" that is the music industry, because it was built around them.
  • "Wish You Were Here" is easily an all-time Grief Song, bordering on nostalgic. While Roger Waters has stated the song was a Take That Me, David Gilmour has stated he never performs the song without remembering Syd.
    • The Live 8 performance was tear-jerking on so many levels: the smiles between Nick and David, the vocal trade-offs between David and Roger—whose voice cracked with emotion—and the dedication to Syd...
  • On a final note, Syd Barrett infamously visited the studio during the album's recording. Needless to say, he was not the pretty boy he used to be, but was apparently willing to help however he could. Storm Thorgerson, for the band's Mind Over Matter biography, wrote:
    "[...] We haven't seen him for six or seven years. I don't know to this day what made him turn up just then, looking terrible, his head shaven, eyes sunken, complexion jaundiced, his body fat, asking awkwardly if he could be of any help. But he was out of it. Roger cried, David cried. [...]"


The Wall

  • "When the Tigers Broke Free" from The Wall (the movie, it is; the album version is on The Final Cut) is a pretty big downer as well. It's based on how Roger Waters' father actually died in WWII.
    • In the film it's split into two sections, The Rare 7" Single Version places both sections end to end, which increases the impact somewhat, as does pairing it with "Bring The Boys Back Home."
  • "The Thin Ice". Especially the guitar solo near the end of the song.
  • "Goodbye Blue Sky" can give one goosebumps. Just... gorgeous.
    • Someone on YouTube created a video featuring the song set to scenes from the equally tear-jerking Grave of the Fireflies. It's quite an effective juxtaposition, especially as the anime scenes match up very well with the official music video, as pointed out in the comments section.
  • "Goodbye Cruel World". If someone takes it out of the context of the album, they'll most likely think that it's a suicide note. But even in the album it's depressing. Being hurt enough by the world and the humans around him, Pink finally completes his wall and isolates himself from the world in his hotel room. Thankfully, he regrets it.
  • "Nobody Home". Oh, God. And as if the song itself wasn't bad enough, there's Word of God that "elastic bands keeping my shoes on" is a direct reference to Syd.
    • "I've got a grand piano to prop up my mortal remains" refers to the late keyboardist Richard Wright, who (by different accounts) may or may not have been going through cocaine addiction when The Wall was recorded.
      • Speaking of Syd, especially sad are the songs he wrote about his realization that he's losing his mind and there's nothing he or anyone else can do about it — namely the Pink Floyd songs "Jugband Blues" and "Vegetable Man" and the solo song "Dark Globe".
      • Oh, "Dark Globe"... that song that can actually makes some people cringe when the listen to it, and not in a bad way. It's actually probably a good thing more than anything, because it shows Syd's skill in just pouring his own emotion into the song. His voice sounds like he's trying not to undergo a breakdown, and the fact that there's no instrumentation apart from the acoustic guitar might make one think of him as so very alone in his madness. And when he wails "Wouldn't you miss me at all?" — it seems like he's literally asking his friends in Pink Floyd and everyone else he knows whether he'll be missed at all. Most songs aren't as literal and personal as this.
      • Also note the similarities between "Dark Globe" and Pink Floyd's acoustic work from their prime years, particularly "Mother", "Wish You Were Here", and "Pigs on the Wing".
  • Ever heard Dar Williams's version of "Comfortably Numb"? Although, the regular version is already quite tear triggering - especially at the "the child has grown, the dream is gone" part and the solo immediately after it...
  • "Bring The Boys Back Home" is tear jerker enough, but go to a concert on Roger Waters' The Wall tour and try not crying.
    • Oh God, the original version of "Comfortably Numb." The lyrics and the music during the verses and chorus all evoke an apathetic, defeated feeling - heck, even his voice sounds numb. But they're contrasted by those passionate, heartbreaking solos...
    • The live version from 1980 somehow sounds even more somber, especially when David Gilmour is singing.
  • "Outside the Wall", particularly the version from the movie The Wall, and the accompanying visuals.
  • "Hey You". During the course of this song, Pink realizes that he's made a big mistake going behind his personal wall, yet because "the wall is too high as you can see," he can't break free. He is destined to decay into the neo-Nazi he becomes later, and knowing this is what makes it positively heartbreaking.
  • "Don't Leave Me Now" is a combination of Nightmare Fuel and this. While it's hard to feel too sorry for Pink here, the song itself is just so overwhelmingly pathetic.

The Final Cut

  • The entire album is this, but a few tracks stand out:
    • "The Gunner's Dream". It is about a pilot's final thoughts before his plane crashes. Pretty heavy stuff.
    • And "Southampton Dock" as well.
    • "The Final Cut". Its lyrics speak of the narrator alienating his wife into taking the kids and leaving, and attempting suicide.
      • The fact that the narrator fails at the suicide manages to subvert Happily Failed Suicide and just makes the song even more hopeless and bleak.
    • In "The Fletcher Memorial Home", you can feel Roger Waters' anguish at leaders who send people to die in wars without facing danger themselves, like his father, whose middle name provides the title.

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

  • "On the Turning Away":
    It's not enough just to stand and stare
    Is it only a dream that there'll be no more turning away?
  • "Yet Another Movie". A line in the final verse best sums up the mood of this song: "A pointless life has run its course..."
  • "Sorrow" is inspired by The Grapes of Wrath, and evokes a fittingly bleak tone to show it.

The Division Bell

  • "High Hopes" is about longing for lost youth and innocence after growing old and cynical; was doubly moving by the fact that for 20 years it seemed to be the last song ever to be produced by the band (though it does end with the hopeful words "Forever and Ever").
    • Speaking of which, the video is amazingly nostalgic. The references to Syd (such as the oversized bust of his face being carried into the horizon) get people every single time.
  • "Marooned" may have no lyrics, but the slow, high-pitched electric guitar riffs can be a tearjerker for some people.
    • On the Echoes Greatest Hits compilation, there's a really beautiful piece of editing that connects the fading "We fall..." from "Hey You" to the beginning of (part of) "Marooned," which then fades into the opening notes of "Great Gig in the Sky."
  • "Cluster One". It begins with a First Note Nightmare... only to fade into one of the most dreamy and euphoric pieces of music one could ever hear.
  • "A Great Day For Freedom" can really strike at some people's heartstrings.
  • "Wearing the Inside Out". The combination of the saxophone and Richard Wright's vocals add a richness to the song that can become a little heavy at times.
    • If you want something else to weep over, consider that Rick had to deal with a lot of depression - including his widow. You could say the song treads close to being at least a little autobiographical for Rick.

The Endless River

  • As the Floyd's final album, there's an undercurrent of finality and melancholy running through it. Nick Mason even described it as a tribute to the late Richard Wright.
    "I think this record is a good way of recognizing a lot of what he does and how his playing was at the heart of the Pink Floyd sound," said Mason. "Listening back to the sessions, it really brought home to me what a special player he was."
  • The piano-led "Anisina" is probably most explicit about it, as its title is Turkish for "in memory of".
  • "Autumn '68" was built around a recording of Rick Wright playing the Royal Albert Hall's pipe organ in 1968. Its title references "Summer '68" from Atom Heart Mother, and it's chillingly nostalgic in its execution.
  • "Louder Than Words" is the final Pink Floyd song, this time for real, and it manages to be a mixture of tearjerker and optimism.