10 Depressing Classic Songs That Will Make You Cry

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It’s therapeutic to have a good cry. If at least one of the following doesn’t loosen the tear ducts, then you are made of stone! Friendship, love and loneliness are all featured. So, get the tissues ready. It’s not just the lyrics that get to you; it’s those damned minor keys! If you enjoy this list of sad songs and even if you don’t, here are 10 more sad songs to make you cry that will get the water works going.

10. Ebony Eyes by the Everly Brothers

And I knew the heavenly ebony skies had taken my life’s most wonderful prize, my beautiful ebony eyes’.

The duo had a hit single in 1961 with this John D. Loudermilk song, which tells the tragic story of Flight 1203. The narrator has a weekend pass to marry his fiancée but the plane bringing her to him has crashed. Most songs with a spoken part are cringe worthy but our hero (was it Don or was it Phil?)  carries it off with aplomb.

9. Tell Me on a Sunday by Marti Webb

I’d like to choose how I hear the news‘.

Andrew Lloyd Webber teamed up with lyricist Don Black to produce a ‘song cycle’ titled ‘Tell Me on a Sunday’ about an English woman named Emma who emigrates to America and has a series of disastrous love affairs. There are witty observations of a Brit’s view of the US alongside the sad and sometimes angry songs about the relationships. In the title song, Emma knows that she is going to be dumped one day. She would like a little control and wants to be told on a Sunday and in the park. Marti Webb, who also played Eva Peron in Evita on stage, is superb and conveys every emotion.

8. Friend of Ours by Elbow

Love you mate’.

The British band Elbow came together in 1990 but their commercial success peaked with the release of the 2008 album, ‘The Seldom Seen Kid‘. The critical praise heaped on the album culminated in a prestigious Mercury Music Prize. ‘Friend of Ours’, written by the band, is a song about lead singer Guy Garvey‘s best friend, Bryan who died from a sudden illness. The seldom seen kid is a nickname that Garvey’s father gave Bryan. Love you mate is a phrase that Bryan used to say when saying goodbye to his friends. When Guy Garvey quietly delivers that line, he is visibly moved.

 

7. In My Room by the Beach Boys

Now it’s dark and I’m alone but I won’t be afraid’.

The Beach Boys, under the guidance of Brian Wilson, developed from purveyors of good time surfing songs to beautifully crafted ballads. The 1963 album ‘Surfer Girl’, showing a cover of the boys holding a surfboard, contains a gem with ‘In My Room’. Brian produced the record and co-wrote it with Gary Usher. Teenagers all over the world can identify with the lyrics that identify one’s room as a sanctuary, a place where you can ‘do my crying and my sighing’ and ‘tell my secrets to’. The gorgeous harmonies wash over you like a warm dip in the ocean.

6. Shine on You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd

Nobody knows where you are, how near or how far’.

This is Pink Floyd’s tribute to founding member, Syd Barrett. Written by Richard Wright, David Gilmour and Roger Waters for the 1975 album, ‘Wish You Were Here’, it is a composition made up of nine parts and lasts almost thirty minutes when played in full. Barrett was a tragic victim of mental health problems, possibly caused or worsened by psychedelic drug experimentation. He left the band in 1968 and became a recluse after a brief solo career. He had written many of Floyd’s early songs and was their driving force. The song hails him as a ‘piper‘ and a ‘seer of visions’. The crazy diamond passed away in 2006.

5. Everybody Hurts by REM

When you think you’ve had too much of this life, well hang on’.

Written by the band, the song appears on the 1992 album, ‘Automatic for the People’, and is probably their best known song. John Paul Jones, bassist with Led Zeppelin, was responsible for the string arrangement. The band has said that the song was written with teenagers in mind. The British charity for people seeking help when thinking of suicide, the Samaritans, has used the song for one of its campaigns. It is a song intended to give hope; ‘take comfort in your friends’ and ‘you are not alone’.

4. The Scientist by Coldplay

Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry, you don’t know how lovely you are’.

The track appeared on the bands’ second album, ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head‘ and was released as a single. Written by the band, it’s about a relationship gone wrong. He wants to apologise and start again. The accompanying video shows a car crash in reverse time, illustrating this desire to turn back time. ‘I was just guessing at numbers and figures‘ shows a preoccupation with trying to understand a complex world through science and mathematics. The third album would be titled ‘X & Y’.

3. Exit Music (for a film) by Radiohead

Now we are one in everlasting peace’.

No one delivers a poignant lyric like Thom Yorke. The song was written by the band for Baz Luhrmann’s film, ‘William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet’ and is played over the closing credits. It’s also a track on Radiohead’s 1997 album, ‘OK Computer’. The lyrics interpret the plight of the star-crossed lovers but can be applied to a personal tragic situation. Just like Romeo and Juliet, ‘today…we escape’.

2. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) by John Lennon

I can hardly wait to see you come of age’

This is Lennon’s gift of love to his son, Sean. It is a joyful song and appears here, purely because of the context. Lennon sang to his son every night at bedtime. Sean was five years old when his father was killed. The song was released on the album, ‘Double Fantasy’, three weeks before the murder. The final spoken words say it all, ‘goodnight Sean, see you in the morning’.

1. Hurt by Johnny Cash

Everyone I know goes away in the end’.

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‘Hurt’ was already an outstanding song when Nine Inch Nails recorded it for their album, ‘The Downward Spiral’. Written by band member, Trent Reznor, the lyrics tell of a life of regret, ‘I will let you down, I will make you hurt’. Johnny Cash can be forgiven for taking such a personal song. This is a song about pain, something Cash was familiar with. He recorded it towards the end of his life for his album, ‘American IV: The Man Comes Around’. The voice is frail and full of emotion. The accompanying video, which shows a montage of his life, is exceptional.  Cash did something magical with this song and we are beholden to him.


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96 Comments

  1. I'm sorry everyone but these songs just didn't make me cry, I've always been looking for something that could really make me cry, does anyone know anything that might work?

    • To Joey Bassani:

      Try listening to:

      "Hallelujah" cover by Jeff Buckley

      "The Woman's Work" by Kate Bush or the cover done by Maxwell.

      "One" by U2

      "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane

      "Someday We'll Know" by the New Radicals

      Let us know if any of these turn on the faucets.

      • man you really have to get into the music, it helps if you know or could imagine the feelings and the soul that the artist was trying to bring across, like the song "shine on you crazy diamond" was written for a man that they felt very strongly and had mixed emotions toward, paired with there passion for music, the wrote almost a masterpiece, certainly one of the greatest most heartfelt song that has ever been written as a tribute, and sometimes those lyrics become relevant to your own life..

  2. Something I Can Never Have – Nine Inch Nails

    It's a Wonderful Life – Neil Armstrong

    Hollow – Pantera (Especially if you've ever had a loved one in a coma)

    Boys Don't Cry – The Cure

    Daddy – Korn

    Teardrop – Massive Attack

    Photograph – Nickelback

    • try 'the sleep' from pantera, off the cowboys from hell album, the solo is an amazing piece of composition, mind blowing even, make me miss dime soo much

  3. Try Warren Zevon, Please Stay – recorded while he was dying of cancer – gets me every time, especially if I listen to the whole album in one sitting (album is called The Wind, and also includes a cover of Knockin' on Heaven's Door).

    Also No-one but you/Only the Good Die Young or These are the Days of our Lives by Queen.

    And not exactly a song, but an orchestral piece – Gabriel's Oboe, from the soundtrack to The Mission.

  4. Missy Higgins- The Special Two, Ten Days, and Where I Stood

    Sara Bareilles- Between the Lines

    U2- With or Without You

    and how about some Daddy/Daughter songs:

    Bob Carlisle-Butterfly Kisses

    Tim Magraw- My Little Girl

  5. Just needed a cry and couldn't find the key… then I found…

    PiL – order of death

    Joy Division – Love will Tear us Apart

    Ladytron – Tomorrow

    Go Betweens – Bye bye pride

    Queens of the Stone Age – I never came

    The Cure – In Between Days

    and some others. Ladytron and PiL especially worked a treat! Look forward to much more cathartic music induced crying…

    • If you want a slower version of the Joy Division song, try Love will tear us apart by Broken Social Scene, i love the origional but the cover is slower and more moving i would say 🙂

  6. Hurt-NIN or Johnny Cash

    Welcome Home-Radical Face (the chorus is so calming it gives me chills and makes me cry)

    Through the Roof 'n' Underground-Gogol Bordello

  7. Southern Comfort – Arrah and the Ferns. If you've ever been suicidal or know someone who is… this shoud make you sad. Some may find it sad in a "happy way" if that makes sense, or just plain sad.

    Between the boy's line "I don't want to be your burden. I don't you to worry for me. Just know it will be better now, it will be better we all agree. When I don't have to be so many things…" and The final verse by the girl "You know it could be better here… it could be better if you just try." and "I won't try anymore, I won't build you a house. I won't cry when when you leave, I know that you're weak. I did all that I could, you know I tried to give you a reason. You can die if you please, but remember the ones who have to bury the seeds. Just know that when you go, you place death upon every life." I cry every single time. Actually the whole song. The lyrics are so sad, but accompanied by the up-beat yet somehow melancholy "oh la la oh la lu"'s it just gets to me.

    Nothing to Lose – Billy Talent. The music video made me cry like a little kid. Okay well I was like 13.

    Jeremy and Last Kiss – Pearl Jam. Kinda… self-explanatory.

    Missing – Evanescence. Now I feel kind stupid for crying over an Evanescence song… hahaha.

    Song to Say Goodbye – Placebo.

    Follow You Into the Dark – DCFC actually made me more sad when I realized I'd probably never find anyone, that we'd be so in love like the way the singer talks about…

    Speeding Cars – Imogen Heap. It's just so sad, and the lyrics make me cry.

    No One Will Ever Love You/I Don't Love You Anymore – The Magnetic Fields. These songs don't make me cry…. I just feel incredibly sad.

    Song For A Friend – Jason Mraz. Again, just makes me fell really sad…

    A Change is Going to Come – Sam Cooke. I just get so sad, because he's dead… and he never got to see that change…

    Wow… I notice that 99% of these songs have a common topic of Suicide…

    Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley. It's just so comforting to know that he's never gonna give me up, or let me down, or run around and desert me, it brings tears to my eyes. …….. Okay just kidding about this last one.

    Actually… I love sad songs. I don't know why, but I really really love listening to sad songs… I love happy songs too. I have so much eurobeat and bubblegum pop. I like hardcore songs, like I listen to metal a lot too… but I just have some morbid love for sad songs.

  8. Happy by Leona Lewis, Teardrop by Massive Attack, Hey There Delilah, Sweet November Theme, Look What You've Done are some songs that I could think of.

  9. The ultimate song that makes me cry every single time i listen is Bird york- In the deep. Featured in the movie "crash", you can't not cry!

  10. Definitely Tears In Heaven- Eric Clapton, just the story behind the song brings tears to your eyes.

    ANYTHING Jeff Buckley too, he had a beautiful voice and its so upsetting that he died so tragically.

    I'd also say Eva Cassidy- Somewhere Over The Rainbow, the way she sings is so amazing and touching.

  11. I have two songs: 1) Mother by John Lennon and 2) I want you by Elvis Costello. But if you really want to cry, listen to the Fiona Apple/Elvis Costello live version of the song on Youtube. It's Haunting.

  12. try the following

    Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers

    When A Man Loves A Woman – Percy Sledge (original, not bolton's unsoulful remake)

    More Than Words – Extreme

  13. Number one almost pissed me off because I thought you weren't going to give Trent credit for it.

    But I do agree, Cash sounds as if he's uttering his last words almost.

    Just how it should sound.

  14. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. Honestly, I love this list but that should have been #1! I don’t think there’s a time I’ve heard it that I haven’t cried.

  15. Hurt is the only song that gets me, and not the Cash cover version. Good to god trent reznor. He gets me time and time again. Cash im afraid to say doesn’t have trent’s balls. I don’t see him saying the things that need to be said to get me gone. And the instrumentals are nothing compared to NIN’s. NIN’s are way more powerful.

  16. Coldplay-Politik, made me cry.
    the harsh and powerful intro of the song then the slow music coupled with Chris martin singing beautifully. That really gets you…

  17. Never went to church by The Streets.

    It’s about his dad passing away.

    First time i heard it i burst into tears in the middle of a packed train.

  18. Saw Rub, a lonely one on

    Josh Groban – You raise Me Up
    Mj – Little Susie
    Bee Gees – Be Who You Are
    Eels – Elizabeth In The Bathroom

  19. Radiohead – Videotape
    Radiohead – Last Flowers

    Those songs espicially in the Basement sessions, can be fond on youtube.

  20. Not necessarily in order, but here’s my list.

    1. Stormy-The Classics IV
    2. The theme from the 1966 French film “A Man and a Woman”
    3. “Hungry” and “Kicks” -Paul Revere and the Raiders
    4. Willow Weep for Me-Chad and Jeremy
    5. You and Me Against the World-Helen Reddy
    6. Bluesette-Various Artists
    7. Summer Wind-Frank Sinatra
    8. Nothing But a Heartache-The Flirtations
    9. Dirty Water-The Standells
    10. In the Rain-The Dramatics
    11. Don’t Cry Daddy-Elvis
    12. Wives and Lovers-Jack Jones
    13. Ask Any Girl-Diana Ross and the Supremes
    14. A Girl Like You-The Rascals
    15. Summer Samba-Walter Wanderley

  21. Just for the fun of it. Listen to the fourth movement of Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and see how you react. This is what I want to hear as I die in my sleep…..

  22. I Loved Her First, The Theme For Halo 3, Dance With My Father, Call Me, Friend Of Ours, Snuff,
    The Scientist, Hurt, Slipped Away, You Could Be Happy, Last Of the American Girls, Walk,
    Daddy Is Dead, Hold On, Fix You, Hungry, The Love Theme For The Godfather, She Is Gone,
    Never Thought I Would Lose, Don’t Cry, Lost My Girl, Crazy Jerk, Tell My Father, Sheets,
    Dumped Into Sadness, Betrayed By My Boyfriend, Mama Come Home, A Man And A Woman,
    Dirty Cleanse, Wounds That Never Heal, Extraordinary Pain, I Love You, The Weeping Willows,
    And My Favorite Yet Most Sad Song I Know Is The Pain How Mom And Dad Died.

  23. For me it’s not the lyrics, it’s how beautifully they are sang and these two brings me to tears.
    Lisa Kelly – You Raise Me Up
    Kate Voegele – Hallelujah

  24. I have two words for you, “Cats in-the-cradle”, never played it without tears. Teardrop – Jose Gonzales, from House episode when Wilson’s girlfriend dies, is also nice.

  25. How is Wind Beneath My Wings never mentioned in this list or in any of the comments? C’mon people!! That one gets to you like no other

  26. My top 10

    10. Precious child by Karen Taylor Good
    9. Hurt by Christina Aguilera
    8. Vienna by Billy Joel
    7. Wish you were here by Avril Lavigne
    6. Because of you by Kelly Clarkson
    5. Goodbye yellow brick road by Elton John
    4. Concrete Angel by Martina McBride
    3. Slipping through my fingers by Abba
    2. Never grow up by Taylor Swift
    1. Somewhere out there by Linda Rondstant

  27. “Somewhere out there” always made me cry as a kid. It was in the movie “An American Tale”, you know, the one with Fievel the mouse? The waterworks didn’t seem to stop.
    Also, “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx. Quite sad…always makes my sister cry :,(

  28. Dont forget Friends Forever by Vitamin C
    Fallen by Sarah McLachlan
    Here With Me by Susie Suh ft. Robert Koch (heard it on The Blacklist)
    Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed A Dream
    Yesterdays by Switchfoot

    I, too, is a fan of hauntingly weepy songs

  29. I agree with Taylor Swift’s ‘Ronan’ and Snow Patrol’s ‘You Could Be Happy’.
    and wow, Radical Face’s Welcome Home is beautiful and soulful. heard it on The Blacklist as well.

    New Additions from my side:
    Forever and Always – Parachute. made me cry alot. beautiful voice n story.
    I Have Always Loved You – Enrique Iglesias

    I enjoyed this post and suggested list of songs, guys. cheerios!

    • Dream About You – Stevie B
      Somewhere Down The Road – Barry Manilow
      Somewhere – Il Divo
      Looking Back – Kerry Muzzey
      Take Your Sweet Time – Jessie McCartney
      My Baby You – Marc Anthony
      Na Man Eh Nuh – Kim Hyun Ah (Korean drama series: Stairway to Heaven) waterworks at its best!!

      whewww! hehehe enjoy!

      • These are not “classic songs” which the category states. They may be tear jerkers but are too new to be in this category.

  30. Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks it’s about someone dying & saying goodbye to family & friends & Everything I Own by Bread about the singers deceased father. Both, get me every time.

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