Songs to which you have an unexpected or unexpectedly strong emotional reaction

I figure if what I named in the thread title is a “thing” the SDMB is the place to tease it out. Personal example: For years now I have regarded the song Forever Your Girl by Paula Abdul as oddly romantic. This feeling has only gotten stronger as I’ve aged.

I don’t have a great explanation. Musically, it’s just average 80s pop with a basic synth beat. Abdul is an ok singer, but hardly Whitney Houston. The lyrics aren’t profound or deep. Sample:
Baby, just remember I gave you my heart,
ain’t no-one gonna tear us apart.
He can promise the moon and the stars above,
even if he promised me the world;
Just remember I’m forever your girl.

But there’s just something about the sprightly optimism in Abdul’s voice, and the simple basic sentiment in the song that moves me. If real life and relationships are a lot more complex than this, it almost seems sad that it must be so. We all deserve (I think internally) to have someone honestly say how much they really care about us in such a clear and forthright manner. Perhaps because this song came out when I believed in much simpler notions of love and caring, it reminds of who I was then, and makes me wish love–and by extension, the world–could still seem so easy to understand.

Came out just after I was badly dumped. The strange thing was that it turned up in restaurant muzak while I was on holiday a couple of years later, and still had the same effect:
Riders On The Storm - (The Doors) Extended Remastered Version

First thing to come to mind upon reading the thread title.
There are likely dozens to hundreds of others that fit that description as well.
If I think of one that’s even better at fitting my basic gut reaction to the
question, I may post it later.

Meanwhile, I just thought that this one may even cause a still stronger reaction:

Tommy Emmanuel - Somewhere Over The Rainbow (live 2006 Leverkusen)

The ukelele cover of that was played over the scene where Dr. Green dies in St. Elsewhere. Best screen death ever (he’s been battling cancer, the family rents a cottage on the beach, and he dies while taking a nap… )

As a result, it can make me tear up, even in public places.

When I was a little kid, I hated, hated the song “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” because I didn’t understand what was going on, that it was about a kid growing up, and when it said the kid was no more, I thought he died. I was a little kid around 1970, and so we sang the song a LOT in preschool, and it always upset me to no end (although, I kept it to myself).

Now I’m 51, and I know what’s going on, and the song still really upsets me.

I dig it.

In the same way that Eva Cassidy, when extremely ill, did her version of OTR that can bring the sorrow home.

‘Stars’ by Grace Potter. I heard it in the car going to the funeral home after Daddy died. Could not have hit me harder. I bought the song, but I can rarely listen to the whole song. My understanding is it was written about someone she herself lost. Sad.

While I’d seen the three Hobbit movies individually, I bought the Blu-Ray set last November, about a month after my father’s death.

The closing credits for the last installment included this: The Last Goodbye.

“Shelter From the Storm”

Suddenly I turned around and she was standing there
With silver bracelets on her wrist and flowers in her hair
She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns
Come in, she said, I’ll give ya shelter from the storm.

Ms. P and I have been giving each other shelter for 22 years now.

Taylor Swift - Best Day.

Processed sentimental mush that reduces me to tears every time.

Lost in the Stars, a Kurt Weill song, which gets to me in spite of its religious setting. I guess it speaks to the despair in my soul, which doesn’t get much attention from me most of the time.

White Winos by Loudon Wainright. My mom is still alive,and doesn’t really like white wine, but that song gets me every time.

I dig that too!

Completely unexpected, I bawled out loud at the Everly Brothers cover of “I’m Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail”.

I understand exactly what you mean and I feel the same way. One that gets me, actually, it’s an entire CD is The Raw and the Cooked by The Fine Young Cannibals. I was very involved in a relationship when it was out and we would have it on in the car a lot. I can listen to it, but it brings back so many memories and would have, should haves that, well, just thinking about it now makes me think of him.

“I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112, following the death of Notorious B.I.G. in 1997. I mean, I’ve never been a fan of P.Daddy, Evans, 112 or BIG. I actually preferred rival Tupac Shakur’s music (but I didn’t buy into the whole West/East coast rap “wars”). I bought the CD single and played it often. The lyrics were simplistic and seemed rushed. Strangely though, it attracted me. I played it over and over for days. it must have been the use of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”

Even after reading the OP and all the thread responses, I’m still confused as to what classifies as an “unexpected” emotional reaction. Is the idea that the song doesn’t sound particularly emotional, and yet it stirs up strong emotions in you?

Puff the Magic Dragon always hits me too.

Another Park, Another Sunday - Doobie Bros
Breath of Heaven - Amy Grant
Nights in White Satin - Moody Blues
If I Die Young - The Band Perry or the cast of Glee
Mary, Did You Know? - by anybody
Wherever You Will Go - The Calling

Damien Rice’s Blower’s Daughter. A beautiful song in and of itself, my (now ex) boyfriend put it on the jukebox the night we met. Cheesy, but it totally worked :wink: It’s not that I miss him but more so the feeling those many years ago of meeting a new love; I fear I’ll never experience that again :frowning:

Still by Alanis Morissette. It’s was the ending credits song for the movie * Dogma*. It was several years ago on my birthday and I had taken the day off work because I was depressed and wanted to be alone. I sort of remember the movie itself - my mind wasn’t really on it - and then the song came on and the dam burst. When I hear it now, I ache for my then self, but also see the beauty of the Universe (or God or whatever you choose) looking down on us asshole humans and loving us in spite of our monumental stupidity and cruelty.