Skip to main content

Guaranteed to Make You Cry

As a rule, I'm not a weepy person.  I have my moments.  We all do.  There are certain topics (favorite Charlotte memories) or commercials (Damn you, St. Judes!) that push me over the edge from time to time but I am not, by nature, a person who cries easily. 

Except when it comes to music. 

I have always thought it was my connection to music as a musician that made me feel the emotion more closely than others.  There are certain songs (we will get to that in a moment) that are guaranteed to trigger the tears, regardless of the time, date, or setting.  I always figured, "Well, maybe it's me."

It turns out that it's NOT me. There is actually some science behind the weepy triggers in music.  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal  explained this phenomenon, highlighting Adele's music as a prime example of the powerful emotions a well-crafted tune can bring.  On the Media covered the same story and gave similar examples.  

So with that in mind, I present to you the TOP 5 SONGS THAT ARE GUARANTEED TO MAKE ME CRY. In no particular order, we have:

The Circle of Life from The Lion King:  We recently saw the stage version of the show. It is currently touring through Richmond until March 11th. It is an amazing show for all kinds of reasons, but this song gets me every single time.  I sat in the dark theater entranced by the amazing animal costumes, the scene-setting lights, and that amazing music.  The tears just streamed. 

Silent Night: This Christmas carol has been meaningful to me for decades.  If I hear it outside of Christmas Eve service, I am slightly less likely to cry. Only slightly.  Now I just expect it.  If I don't try to sing along, I do a little better but if I'm singing and the candles are lit and the twinkly lights are sparkling....forget it.  

Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland: I'm sure you could analyze this score given the information in those articles and figure out just what it is that triggers such strong emotions. It never fails. Especially when you get to 2:50 in the video.  That moment when the orchestra comes together for the rousing climax is emotionally incredible!  I've already told Roger that I want this played at my funeral. Please take note.  

Baby Mine from Dumbo: I triple dog dare you to watch this video and not get dust in your eye! It's simply impossible.  Fun fact and bit of trivia: Roger sang this song as part of his Masters recital.  He also did a big band arrangement of Rubber Duckie.  True story.  

Love at the Five & Dime by Nanci Griffith: Speaking of Roger, this song's emotional pull is most certainly due in large part to him.  He's one of the reasons I am a Nanci Griffith fan to begin with and I have always liked this tune.  Years into our marriage, the tale of a young girl who falls in love with the musician (and eventually becomes a writer) rings true in an almost eerie way.  If I cry when I hear this song, it's usually happy tears.

So, that's my list.  What songs make you cry?

Popular posts from this blog

The Edge of Seventeen

It's that time of year when the blog musings center on my grief journey. Every year, it seems like we are busy with end-of-the-year school activities and the start of summer, planning vacations, and then (kablam)'s almost July 9.  Grief is funny. Grief is weird. I remember very early after Charlotte died, I watched the movie Rabbit Hole.  There's an amazingly poignant scene where Nicole Kidman's character is talking with another woman who lost a child over 10 years before (played by Dianne Wiest). She talks about grief being like a brick in your pocket. It never goes away. Sometimes you can even forget it's there. But it comes back and makes its presence known from time to time. And (she says) "it's what you have of them."    I probably did not fully realize then what a powerful and true analogy that is. As time goes on, our grief changes. Yet, it is always there on the edge of things. It sits in that pocket and sometimes makes itself known.  This

The Stages of Grief: COVID Edition

It's 2020. It's almost Christmas. We're still in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, we are experiencing what appears to be an incredible surge that is exerting tremendous pressure on our healthcare and social service system. The headlines are clear: we're not done with this madness and December 31, 2020 will not magically be the "end of it".  Earlier in the year, our family thought about whether we might be able to travel at this time. We thought that maybe the curve would be flat enough that we could take a few days away from home during the Christmas holidays. We realized that the pandemic would still be happening, but with the right protections and with prolific mask usage, we could get a much-needed change of scenery. During what is now (clearly) a delusional thought process, we booked a stay in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for the week of December 19th. Spoiler alert: we canceled the trip almost two weeks ago.  Canceling this trip was not a tragedy. In fact, I

Bittersweet Sixteen

I think about Charlotte every single day. However, this time of year, I'm flooded with all kinds of memories as we commemorate the anniversary of her birth. This year feels like a bit of a milestone. Sixteen.  If cancer had not taken her life back in 2010, I have a feeling I would be planning a massive birthday celebration this year. 16 always feels like a landmark year in someone's life.  I have been thinking a great deal about the last birthday party we had for Charlotte in 2009. We didn't know it at the time, but we were halfway through her treatment journey. We had been through three major brain surgeries and a few rounds of inpatient chemotherapy. Treatments were not going well. In fact, right after her birthday, we would make the trip to Houston, Texas where we would settle in for about 10 weeks of proton beam radiation treatments and a new customized chemotherapy protocol. This was the unspoken "last chance option" to beat that aggressive brain tumor into