Saturday, August 9, 2008

Songs that make me cry


Be forewarned. I don't seem to experience emotions like many of my fellow women. I can't stand sappy movies, most romantic comedies, and there isn't much in the world that makes me cry. A few songs at various points in my life have brought tears into my eyes with their wrenching lyrics and plaintive melodies. Though you might need to get out a hanky whilst listening to these tunes, you also might be amused by the seemingly random assortment of songs that move me deep down inside.

Ani DiFranco - You Had Time
Lamenting the impending end of a relationship, Ani uses some lovely metaphors to describe her feelings and anticipation of coming home and ending things.
You are a china shop
and I am a bull
You are really good food
and I am full
In other words, "it's not you, it's me." But really, she's so great at portraying a mix of complicated emotions. (full lyrics)

The Clash - Bankrobber
File this one under "random." Joe Strummer sings his heart out about inequality, morality, and the death of his (fictional) bank robbin' daddy. I didn't really understand all the lyrics at the time, and they're really quite good, but like, existential-crisis pondering-social-justice good. I wonder how many other people have cried at this song? (full lyrics)

Coldplay - The Scientist
Nobody said it was easy... but no one ever said it would be so hard, either. Who hasn't wanted to go back to the start at some point, especially when heartache is involved? The video is a work of art itself, comprising one long shot of Chris Martin (the lead singer) in reverse. And he's even singing the lyrics. (full lyrics)

David Bowie - Life on Mars?
OK, I have to confess. I have no idea what this song is about. It's kind of an abstract collection of images that vaguely suggest of despair. Or maybe not.
Now she walks through her sunken dream
To the seat with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen
But the film is a saddening bore
For she's lived it ten times or more
All I know is something in it deeply resonated with me. Am I just a sucker for pianos and men in blue eyeshadow? Perhaps. (full lyrics)

Dixie Chicks - You Were Mine
There's nothing funny about this song. It's an utterly heartwrenching tale told by a jilted wife who is abandoned by her husband for another woman. While I can't relate to the song's premise, I nevertheless always wince at the lines
I Can Give You Two Good Reasons
To Show You Love's Not Blind
He's Two And She's Four, And You Know They Adore You
So How Can I Tell Them You've Changed Your Mind
Ouch!! Abandoning the kiddies too for some little hussy? "Sometimes I wake up crying at night, and sometimes I scream out your name"... man, talk about simple and evocative lyrics. Now excuse me while I grab a tissue. (full lyrics)

Tracy Chapman - The Promise
In general, I'm not a huge Tracy Chapman fan, but there's something so simple and beautiful in the way she sings this song. It's utterly unpretentious and she sings each word as if it really matters. She's pining for an old lover, but she's not chewing up the scenery in the process. Bravo! (full lyrics)

Bonus: A dance that made me cry
From So You Think You Can Dance. I watched a lot of it last summer. The choreographer dedicated this dance to her father who had just passed away. Very moving, if a bit blurry in this version.

So there you have it, folks. Breakups, heartache, death of loved ones, rage at social injustices... tearful trails to you!

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