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This is an offshoot from some comments in the thread about songwriting...are there songs that bring you to tears? I don't mean something situational, like a song you heard when you had your first kiss or whatever - I mean a song you connected to the first time you heard it, and every time you've heard it thereafter, you still get the same reaction. It's even better if you have no idea why it affects you...it may not even be the kind of music you like. There's just SOMETHING about it.

I figure I might as well kick this off, at the risk of personal embarassment in case you listen to any of these and think "wow, they suck, what's wrong with this guy?" This is all pop-oriented material because on the face of it, there seems to be nothing that out of the ordinary about these songs. I don't like them because of production values, cool solos, whatever; nothing cerebral is going on.

Why do they get to me? I have no idea. Maybe it's because the parts that really get to me don't kick in until later in the song, so I'm taken aback. Maybe it's because I feel the performances are real, the songs mean something to the singers, and that comes across. Who knows.

I HIGHLY recommend if you listen to any of these, DON'T look at the videos...just listen to the music. The videos are distracting.

Time After Time - Granted the performance is excellent, but I've heard covers that are done nowhere near as well, and the song still gets to me.



Heaven Outside My Door - This is one of those songs where I thought "it's okay, nothing special" until it hit the chorus.



Biggest Fan - This first time I heard this, it brought me tears. I have no idea why, it's a frickin' Vegas entertainer. But I get the same reaction every time I hear it.




Pray for the Lost and the Lonely - My attitude has absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter, normally I file "message songs" under "don't listen to again." But again, there's something about this song's feel that just seems so effing real.




Your turn...maybe there's some common thread, and we'll unlock the key to songwriting here smile

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Totally dependent on the conductor and orchestra:
Dvorak's 9th symphony
Tchaikovsky's 6th symphony
Prokofiev's "Romeo & Juliet Concert Suite"
And a few others.

Some pop songs have moved me as well, I just can't think of them right now. I'm sure a few minutes after I click Post they will com to me.
Notes


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I'll Stand by You - The Pretenders

Nimrod - Elgar

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When Eva Cassidy starts belting out, unleashing the full power of her voice - ProfD on the other forum says he knew half the players on this track:



September 15th by Metheny-Mays - everyone I've played this track for comments on how sorrowful it sounds, without knowing that Pat and Lyle recorded this upon hearing of the passing of Bill Evans (pianist). A bit of it was used in this movie:

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How Can I Help You Say Goodbye - Patty Loveless
1993. Then and every time since. Words and Music, just perfect.

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this one does it to me



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Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is the best!"
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Back on the Chain Gang by the Pretenders.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=radFwHzD-PM

The Last Time I Saw Richard by Joni Mitchell - the live version
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C01MY7MlJd4

Waiting For The Miracle by Leonard Cohen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1EDKvXRKd0


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I'm really glad I posted this thread. I'm listening to what people are posting and it's quite the experience.

Music is so incredible.

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This was making me cry before I learned the whole album was about Gabriel's divorce and other personal events


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Anyone who has been a parent will get this one. It certainly gets me.


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An interesting thread, here are a few:

One that I played a great deal after my father died - "Sérénade mélancolique" by Tchaikovsky. The recording I have is with Artur Grumiaux.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tmITWXWuO4

"Dido's Lament" from Dido & Aeneas by Purcell.
From Handel's Theodora, "With Darkness Deep."
From La Wally by Alfredo Catalani, "Ebben. N'andrò lontana".

Strangely, as I have no religion ...
The adagio from Bach's Easter Oratorio (BWV249) an amazing contrast to the sinfonia preceding it.
Parts of both the St.John and the ST.Matthew passions.

And others.

Last edited by JohnG11; 01/13/20 03:51 PM.

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There are plenty of songs by Marillion that have done this. Made Again; Neverland; part of The Leavers. But this one... it gets me almost every time.



Andrew Peterson has some moving ones, too. The culmination of his "Behold The Lamb of God" album/concert usually gets some water works, be it in sorrow or joy, from the whole work. But as a single song that can do it, well appropriate song title aside, the Andrew Osenga harmonies on the last verse push me over the edge here.



Glass Hammer has several songs about greater truths that move me ugly at times. Part of it is the lyric, part of it is the majesty of the music.



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Back in the '80's my best friend and I were at Six Flags St. Louis a few days after his father passed away. He'd been away from home and was not able to be with his Dad at the end.

Unbeknownst to us, this band had a concert that evening in the park that was free with your park admission and we decided to attend. When they played this song two grown-ass men both broke down. Still happens when I hear it. Every Time.



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Originally Posted by Anderton
Music is so incredible.

Truth.

This one has always knocked me out, even when I was a kid. Never fails, even today.




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Originally Posted by vonnor
Back in the '80's my best friend and I were at Six Flags St. Louis a few days after his father passed away. He'd been away from home and was not able to be with his Dad at the end.

Unbeknownst to us, this band had a concert that evening in the park that was free with your park admission and we decided to attend. When they played this song two grown-ass men both broke down. Still happens when I hear it. Every Time.



This for me as well.....ever since my dad died in '94. We kind of had the same type of relationship as this song describes. I've tried to sing it a few times over the years, but I've given up doing that. I can't get through it without crying......

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"My Buddy" by Walter Donaldson, and Gus Kahn was played at almost all of the older jazz musicians' funerals when I grew up. I am generally not moved by the words of a song. The words are the last thing I comprehend, at first they are just articulations contributing to the music. But since this one has such an association with so many older mentors, it always makes me both sad to miss them and happy they touched my life.



I don't have any particular favorite version. This one is famous among jazzers.



Notes

Last edited by Anderton; 01/29/20 08:30 PM.

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I have to mention that, when I'm writing songs, the ones that choke me up during the writing process are typically the better songs. Except for the intentionally amusing songs....

But here's five from people who are not me:
River of Tears - Clapton
How Can I Tell You - Cat Stevens
River Man - Nick Drake
The Dutchman - Steve Goodman performing Michael Smith song
Spring Wind - Greg Brown

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Albinoni/Giazott's Adagio in Gm.

Some Carpenters songs.

Depending, just about anything that is fundamentally great.


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Sang this at my Dad's funeral 10 years ago. Still can't listen to it:


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'Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber. Most versions I've heard have choked me up. It just seems to be raw, visceral, longing and mournfulness.

"In My Life" The Beatles

"8:05" Moby Grape. There's a episode in my life that is inexorably linked to this song.

"Long,Long, Time" Linda Ronstadt

That damn song from Titanic that Celine Dion sings. tears me up everytime.

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There are a bunch, some of which are mentioned here. I am a very emotional listener, and love the catharsis; I tend to listen alone and on headphones for that reason.

But here's one that most folks won't know: from the album Common Ground by the Paul Winter Consort, "Lay Down Your Burden." I want this one played at my funeral.



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“Infamous Angel” album by Iris Dement.



Robbie Fulks cover of “Baby Rocked Her Dolly”.


Last edited by Anderton; 02/06/20 04:01 AM.

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@Redwave - hope you don't mind, I edited your post to add links to YouTube videos.

@Mike Metlay: "I want this one played at my funeral." Given the number of years between now and your funeral, you might want to leave the door open to other possibilities smile

I love this thread. It's turning me on to all kinds of stuff. Keep 'em coming!

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The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
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Vince wrote this for his brother.
We played a celebration of life for the nephew of a friend. Falcon sang this one and truly did it justice.
Uncle broke down and the rest of the family followed suit. It was extremely difficult to maintain any level of composure, I was blinking back tears myself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jXrmAKBBTU


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The Beatles' Golden Slumbers hit me in the chest at age 12 and still does to this day.


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This one does the trick for me every time.


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Lee Ann Womack -- I hope you Dance
Melissa Etheridge -- This War is Over
ELP -- Farewell to Arms -- the perfect synth solo in the end was overwhelming


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Thinking back to the early sixties, these two remind me still of my first love:

Nat King Cole and Stardust and also Somewhere along the way.

And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadows of my heart
High up in the sky the little stars climb
Always reminding me that we're apart

You wander down the lane and far away
Leaving me a song that will not die
Love is now the stardust of yesterday
The music of the years gone by

Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely night dreaming of a song
The melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you
When our love was new
And each kiss an inspiration
But that was long ago
Now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song

Beside a garden wall
When stars are bright
You are in my arms
The nightingale tells his fairy tale
A paradise where roses bloom
Though I dream in vain
In my heart it will remain
My stardust melody
The memory of love's refrain


Credited to Mitchell Parish.
--------------------------------------


I used to walk with you
Along the avenue
Our hearts were carefree and gay
How could I know I'd lose you
Somewhere along the way?

The friends we used to know
Would always smile "Hello"
No love like our love they'd say
Then love slipped through our fingers
Somewhere along the way

I should forget
But with the loneliness of night I start remembering ev'rything
You're gone and yet
There's still a feeling deep inside
That you will always be part of me

So now I look for you
Along the avenue
And as I wander I pray
That some day soon I'll find you
Somewhere along the way


Credited to Sammy Gallop

Not always, but when in melancholy mood they have the ability to bring a tear to the eye.

Whatever happened to sweet Susan, I wonder?


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This one is pretty much the only that does, and I'm not sure exactly why. Every time. "Never Forget You" by Zara Larsson.



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"Not Like This" by Al Jarreau. Gosh that's a sad song.

I was brought to tears the very first time I heard "Neither One Of Us" by Gladys Knight. They way she sings it just breaks your heart.

"Ruby's Arms" by Tom Waits.

A few Broadway musicals hit me like that as well.


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Bill Frisell – Throughout. The version with Petra Haden was played at a friend's funeral (a drummer who passed away not long after having studied with Bill). The live trio version starts with him saying to a festival audience, "I can't see you, but I can hear you and I can feel you." I recorded an arrangement on my first album but I can't listen to or play this tune without breaking down in tears.


Tom Waits – No One Knows I'm Gone


I saw Afro-Brazilian vocalist Luedji Luna live in December, and it wasn't any single particular song that got to me. Her presence and her energy is so powerful, and the fact that I am in the privileged position of having mutual friends with her is beyond anything I could have imagined when I started diving into Brazilian music 15 years ago.


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Twenty years ago I went through a bad marriage/divorce and songs like these have more meaning. And I'm not normally an emotional person.

This song is ALWAYS is a tear jerker, but this version left me bawling. Even the chord changes hurt.



The first time I heard this song, I had to pull off the road and stop. It was a hell of a release from my anguish over my divorce. It still jerks a tear.


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This one hits too close to home. I don't like songs that work too hard to wrangle a feeling out of you. This one is just straight up truth.

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The soundtrack to "Les Miserables". Even more so when my son sings it (he was Jean Valjean last year in a school production, and really nailed it.) Some of it is the story, and some of it is the music, some of it is pride in him. But it's a strong one for me. (Ok, maybe "Master of the House" only brings me to tears of laughter.)

This song by Fish (not Phish), about dealing with a parent and dementia. Oof. Having dealt with that with my mom, it hits home.


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