I love songs that alter my emotions; that move physically, mentally or to tears. Those that make me weep do so for many reasons, perhaps due to the sheer beauty of the music, the anguish of the singer or the lyrical sentiment, be it hopeful or despairing. Be they tears of joy or sadness, here are my…
Top five songs that make me cry:
- ‘Northern Sky’ – Nick Drake
Michelle and I walked up the aisle to this song. Considering the tragic fragility of the author, ‘Northern Sky’ paints the most soft yet illuminating picture of how a loved one’s life is enlightened by their partner. Aided musically by John Cale, and with Drake’s insecurities never far away, this ethereal beauty is an unsurpassable call for love. We chose perfectly.
I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you’re here
Brighten my northern sky.
- ‘Birds’ – Neil Young
Simple piano, choked vocals and the most heavy-hearted and disconsolate break-up lyrics. Of the many Neil Young songs that bring a lump to my throat, this is the most likely to bring tears. Tomorrow see the things that never come today.
When you see me
Fly away without you
Shadow on the things you know
Feathers fall around you
And show you the way to go
It’s over, it’s over.
3. ‘Wake Up Time’ – Tom Petty
Tom Petty’s melancholic masterpiece about coming to terms with Life. Sombre, poignant and drenched in emotion. A song for dream chasers and soul searchers. Time to open up your eyes. Rise and shine.
You never dreamed you’d go down on one knee, but now
Who could have seen, you’d be so hard to please somehow
You feel like a poor boy, a long way from home
You’re just a poor boy, a long way from home
4. ‘In Other Words’ – Ben Kweller
An exquisite and rapturous rollercoaster of a song that pours out melody and innocent beauty. I love Kweller’s vocals, the simple slide guitar and these chosen lyrics do it for me every time…
The butterflies are passive aggressive and put their problems on the shelf
But they’re beautiful
He’ll realise the only thing that’s real are the kids that kid themselves
And the demise of the beautiful
What is beautiful?
5. ‘For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her’ – Simon & Garfunkel
Paul Simon’s simple, perfect guitar and wonderfully decorative lyrics. Art Garfunkel’s immaculate vocals, finally exploding with emotion with his declaration of love. Handle with care.
And when I awoke
And felt you warm and near
I kissed your honey hair
With my grateful tears
Oh, I love you girl
Oh, I love you