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I am a sucker for songs that make me cry. In fact, I'm such a sucker for tearjerkers that the largest playlist on my iTunes is dedicated to them. Get your tissues ready and turn up your speakers, because my list this week is dedicated to thirteen songs that are guaranteed to bring me to tears, and they may have the same effect on you.

1. He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones: This song reminds me of my grandfather, whose life completely fell apart after my grandmother died. Like the man in the song, my grandfather never stopped loving my grandmother until he died, too. Whenever I hear this song, I think of him and cry.

2. Miss You Nights by Cliff Richard: The first time I heard this song not long after my mom died when I was seventeen. It became my anthem of mourning.

3. Skin (Sarabeth) by Rascal Flatts: I can't get through the first verse of this song without crying! The story of a teenage girl with cancer whose chemo causes her to lose her hair on the day of the prom is enough to make me run for a tissue, but when her boyfriend comes to pick her up, I need the whole box. Why? Watch the video and see for yourself. Make sure that you have some tissues handy first, though!

4. Even Now by Barry Manilow: I can't listen to this song very often and do my best to avoid it completely in the months of March and December, the months when my mom was born and died. Although it's a song about the hold a lost love can have on a person, the lyrics of the second verse fit perfectly the way that I miss my mom, even now.

5. Memories by Elvis Presley: My first recollection of this song was from watching the Aloha from Hawaii television special with my mom. Little did I know that only a few years later, the song would take on a whole new meaning for me.

6. These Dreams by Jim Croce: "And sometimes at night, I think I hear you calling my name...These dreams, they keep me going these days." Jim Croce wrote some of the most hauntingly beautiful tales of love gone bad that I have ever heard!

7. Honey by Bobby Goldsboro: This sad song is one that my mom and I used to listen and cry to together. Hmmmm....I wonder if my penchant for sad songs is genetic?

8. Alone Again (Naturally) by Gilbert O'Sullivan: When this song was first released in 1972, I became a lifelong fan of Gilbert O'Sullivan. This song did for me what Catcher in the Rye does for most teens; something about it spoke to my teenage angst. Along with "Miss You Nights," this song was one that I listened to quite a bit after my mom died.

9. Father and Son by Cat Stevens: One of my closest friends in high school was crazy for Cat Stevens and although I like a few of his songs, I never really considered myself a fan. About fifteen years ago, one of the Amazing Egyptian Dude's nephews came from Germany (the AED's brother emigrated from Egypt to Germany, where he married, had two sons, divorced, and died) to spend some time with us. Ramses reintroduced me to Cat Stevens through this song which he said, perfectly described the relationship he had with his father.

Here's the same song, performed in 2007 by a much older Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam. The song takes on a whole new meaning when the singer is a father himself as evidenced in the more reflective sound of his voice!

10. Impossible Dream by Luther Vandross: The story of Don Quixote is one of my all-time favorites, probably because I can relate to his idealism on so many levels. I love the way this song expresses that idealism and will listen to it no matter who is singing, but Luther Vandross' version is my favorite; the power and beauty of his voice add an element of poignancy to the lyrics that other artists seem to miss.

11. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel: The combination of a beautiful melody and heartfelt lyrics in this song get me every time. I'm a great fan of Simon and Garfunkel and love all of their music, but this song is, for me, their very best.

12. Not Ready to Make Nice by The Dixie Chicks: This song doesn't move me to tears as much for the lyrics as for the story behind the reason why Natalie Mains felt compelled to write it. That country music fans, a group of people who call themselves "patriots," could so easily cast aside the free speech that the First Amendment guarantees when they don't like what someone says yet implement that same right to destroy careers is more than enough reason to make me cry. If that's "patriotism," you can keep it, 'cause I'm not ready to make nice, either!

13. Danny Boy: You don't have to be Irish to be moved to tears by this beautiful expression of a father's acknowledgment that his son must leave home and how much he will be missed. I've chosen a few of versions of this immensely popular cover song.

Declan Galbraith's version:

Celtic Woman's version:

Jim Reeves' version:

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11 Responses
  1. Nessa Says:

    Boy, you sure did pick some great songs.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Ooo, I knew better than to click anything. Now I'm crying.

    Mine is here.

  3. Mitchypoo Says:

    Great list and I loved what you said re: the Dixie Chicks. I didn't realize that that song was regarding the controversy. Gives me a whole new perspective.

  4. Carleen Says:

    @ Nessa: This is one list that I could have made much longer and really had to fight with myself to keep it under control, LOL!

    @ Alice: Sorry! :)

    @ Mitchypoo: I'm glad to know that my post was so informative for you!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I can't stand the Dixie Chicks. Bunch of wenches if you ask me. Loved this list. Cat Stevens Father and Son is one of a kind. I like his older version as well. Excellent list my friend :)

  6. Carleen Says:

    Thom, I've always liked the Dixie Chicks, though not as much as my daughter does. Being a serious advocate of free speech and virulently anti-censorship, even when I don't like the words, ideas, or images, the Dixie Chicks incident really got me riled. Still does.

  7. colleen Says:

    Who wouldn't like the Dixie Chicks?

    How about You've Lost that Loving Feeling by the Righteous Brothers?

  8. Carleen Says:

    Oh, that's another really good one, Colleen! I could have made this list much, much longer and had to really fight to keep myself under control with it, LOL!

  9. Susan Cook Says:

    Wow, cool list. Father & son always seemed sad to me too.

    Thanks for sharing. Happy TT!

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I love #12. Great list! Happy T13.

  11. Hazel Says:

    Declan Galbraith is adorable! I accompany my mother on the piano while she sings one of her favorites - Amazing Grace (shall always be my song of praise) to the tune of Danny Boy. I think you're like my mom - a sucker for songs that make her cry. If I showed her your list, I'm sure there will be a need for more kleenex than the available supply.

    Impossible Dream was my high school graduation song.

    And Jim Croce! A hunk sang Jim Croce's 'I Have to Say I Love You in a Song' in front of my cousin's coffin moments before my cousin was buried.

    Now let me cry first. I'll come back to listen after work.

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