Emotional songs

Not sure how this is going to come out, but what I’m curious is: What songs (progressive, country, rock, jazz, etc) make you feel sad or thoughtful? What my teen age son calls ‘Emo songs’, usually with a slightly disgusted look on his face when he looks over the songs on my phone.

I’ll give an example that will hopefully make it a bit more clear: The song 100 Years by Five for Fighting. Whenever I hear this song I’m always a bit sad, thinking about mortality and the different phases of our lives…and it makes me think of my children.

(Probably clear as mud…I can’t write a decent OP to save my life, especially one in this forum)


Drown In My Own Tears, either the Ray Charles original or the Johnny Winter cover from JW’s first album.

If we include instrumentals, John Coltrane’s Afro-Blues ( the opening refrain is probably my favorite passage in a jazz piece, don’t know why ) and A Love Supreme ( and I’m not even remotely religious ).

All of the above relax me and make me feel wistful, but not exactly full on sad.

I’m sure there are plenty more, but those immediately spring to mind.

You’re not talking about “Songs to Commit Suicide By” are you?
Because, if you are, I’ve got quite a list of schmaltz, depressing songs…

Reflections of my life
(The Marmalade)

The world is, a bad place
A bad place, a terrible place to live
But I don’t wanna die.

Considering how bubble gum their previous songs were.:eek:

lol…no, nothing that bad. Just songs that make you introspective, sad or thoughtful.


All the Nasties — Elton John and Bernie Taupin

OK, How about:
Love Reign O’er Me by The Who
Layla by Eric Clapton (this probably only has an effect on me for specific reasons)
If I could Change Your Mind by The Alan Parsons Project
Time by Pink Floyd

Do you mean emotional in a schmaltzy way? Because the songs that come to mind for me are the ones that are emotional, but also really silly and kind of over the top…like “Love Hurts” by Nazareth, for example.

Introspective, sad, thoughtful – and great – is the “King of Country Music” Hank Williams’s I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (1949). On Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list, it is one of only two songs from the 1940’s (#111).

I like Hank’s version more than B. J. Thomas’s cover from the 60’s because I like the waltz rhythm andprefer the major 5th chord not changing the entire first two lines. There isn’t a minor chord in the whole song, by the way.

My other favorite is Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Alone Again Naturally. That song lays the sadness and futility of life right out in front of you. Again, it uses repetitive major chords with an almost jaunty rhythm, just like Hank’s I’m So Lonesome.

Wonderful craftsmanship, to fashion such sad, wistful songs solely from major chords and pleasant rhythms. There is not a discordant moment in either of them!

Anything by E (or Eels)

I’m sure I’ll be slammed like a pie in a Stooges face for this, but Nickelback’s ‘Far Away’ I find very moving. But I don’t care, I like it.

‘The Parting Glass’ from the soundtrack of Waking Ned Devine stirs my soul. And makes me want to raise my glass.

Rod Stewart’s ‘You wear it well’ always stops me in my tracks.

Shinad(sp) O’Conners ‘Nothing compares 2 U’.

Ian Gillian and his song from Jesus Christ SuperStar is heart wrenching. Each and every time I hear it.

And for last, Michael Buble’s ‘Home’.


What did I miss? I never thought it was over the top or silly…just good. But then again, I’m old. :slight_smile:


I’ve got a couple–“Maybe I’m Amazed” by Wings and “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd.

Derek and the Dominoes: Bell Bottom Blues (I like this one better than Layla)

Patsy Cline: Crazy

Toad the Wet Sprocket: Something’s Always Wrong

And…Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana…full of teenage angst

Hurt by Nine Inch Nails

I’m never sure how good or bad the stuff I like is…I guess I just assume it’s silly because so many of my friends are sort of snobs about music. Listening to the new hip indie stuff and so forth. If you agree it’s good, I’ll have to reconsider!

Wasteland of the Free by Iris Dement

This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie or just about anyone but best version I’ve heard has Odetta, Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert and a host of others with a narration by Will Geer.