Five Songs That Made Me Cry
I'm about as sensitive as a robot and passionate as a rock. This has actually caused quite a bit of mirth in my life -- not knowing how to respond or comfort someone. Almost lost my wife (then-girlfriend) a few times due to acting like an inhuman idiot. I regularly freeze in awkward situations where I don't know the proper way to respond. I use clear, matter-of-fact language, sometimes with large words. I've been called out for being too harsh in my e-mails at work. It's especially hard to offend me and I regularly offend people's delicate sensibilities because I don't see their problems/issues as being especially significant (and they aren't).
It works the other way too. I rarely laugh out loud at anything. Everything seems like the same joke, or it's just not funny. The only things I can usually laugh at are super-super silly humor, like Monty Python (although they don't do new material anymore, so that's out), or something really off-the-wall, like reading the Star Wars script in funny voices.
But I am not a stone. I can be moved. There are two movies I've cried at: "Grave of the Fireflies" (but that's natch -- it's reality's Voight-Kampff test), and "John Q", but that's cause I had nine beers. But sometimes, especially when I'm alone and driving, there are certain songs where I can feel the tears leaking out the corners of my eyes.
This won't be the weirdest one you see on the list. I heard this song around the time Pluto was getting downgraded to a dwarf planet. That event that hit the sore spot for me. It killed my 20 year foundation of elementary school astronomy. My children's very educated mother would be serving them noodles instead of nine pizzas.
The song is basically a love letter from Charon's perspective (Pluto's moon, which is almost as big as Pluto). It's basically saying "even though you're cold, distant, and some big wigs light years away have signed some papers that you're officially diminished, I'm still here. I'm still with you. And I always will be. No matter who you are." How can you not tear up at that sentiment? These might be planets, but the feeling's still the same. It's not just love, it's dedication, it's resolve. It feels so much more powerful than love.
My sentiment for this song mostly comes from this anime music video for Final Fantasy X. I'm not really a big fan of FFX -- it has some good parts and some bad, and more style than substance. Nonetheless, when you pair this song with this video, it's a match made in heaven.
FFX is told in flashback, and so is the video. It adds a sepia, grainy film tone to the story of Tidus and Yuna, like a retrospective of their meeting, their relationship, and their goodbyes. Not to mention the lyrics fit the setting: "So lately / been wondering / who will be there to take my place. / When I'm gone / you'll need love / to light the shadows on your face.", "If a greater wave shall fall (the tidal wave of Sin)" and "And maybe / I'll find out / a way to make it back someday". I made it a point to dance to this song at my wedding.
Like "I'm Your Moon" it's a song that says "no matter who I am and who you are, I will always be there." It goes beyond mere love, to devotion and commitment beyond mortal bounds.
This was our wedding song, and it came from another AMV. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be available any more, but it used to be here. It takes the three stanzas of the song and divides them among the star-crossed couples of Princess Mononoke, Tenchi Muyo, and Trigun.
It's the Trigun part that hits home for me. If you've watched it, you know what I'm talking about. You know about Vash's history with Rem, his mother figure. And even though she tragically died, he still loves and remembers her. And he keeps that love by sticking to her teachings and ideals, even though it forces him to be a wandering cowboy on a desert planet.
Okay, this one takes a bit of explaining...
Okay, I can't explain this one. There's no video for it. There's nothing sentimental about it -- it's a giant TV. I think this one's more in the music, in the way that it reaches crescendo, a harmonious chorus, and just sounds epic. I think the part that gets me is the key change. Cliche, yes, but I'm not a musician so I can be a sucker. When the song hits that part, it's like everything's come full circle and achieves full actualization.
Maybe there's something about a man's ambition being satiated. He had a quest for a goal, he reached it, and the song is about enjoying the benefits. To the point where the singer realizes he, too, can achieve his dreams. Of watching a screen so large you can see the pores on Tom Hanks's face.
The other part I love is that I can sing it so well and it's pretty fun to sing. Wikipedia says it's a style parody of R.E.M.'s early work, but I don't really hear that. I think it's Weird Al's most original song and most lovely.
Maybe the saddest song on the list, not really in a cathartic way like "You'll Be In My Heart" or "Wherever You Will Go" is. It's sort of my unofficial theme. Caroline's Spine is a punk band my freshman roommate played a lot (I heard this song a LOT. But this song is not punk. And he didn't play this -- I discovered it when searching for songs on Napster (hey goat boy, remember Napster?).
It's starts small and low with lyrics I identify strongly with, like "When I saw you walk inside / And as you shut the door I put my eye back on the floor / When all I really wanted was to look some more" and "All my furniture is centered around my phone / And I'm waiting for a call". It grows more and more intense until the midpoint where it rocks out with equal parts angst, hate, loneliness and sadness. Then it returns to soft and slow with lyrics like "'Cause I shot the bad guy dead / but he got me in the head / With the girl of my dreams / she's mentioning to me / how much I've bled".
So he dies, but he gets to be the hero, to save the girl. I love songs that tell stories -- most of the time they're incoherent (to me) jumbles of word phrases, random images, and clever/not-so-clever verses (does desk rhyme with kiss?) But this song embodies everything a guy like me wants out of life.