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

Nitpick - that was “ER” not “St. Elsewhere.” But I do agree, the death of Dr Mark Greene was one of the most riveting story lines I’d ever seen on network TV. He had been battling brain tumors, went through surgeries and chemo, and it looked like he would recover, then the tumor returned and his surgeon said even if he could do another surgery, it would only buy him another 3-6 months. His daughter put headphones on him as he was lying in bed, barley alive, and that song began playing. I get teary eyed just thinking about it.

There was a song by Natalie Cole called “Starting Over Again” back around 1990. Came out about the same time I had a bad break up with a girl I thought I loved. The song lyrics were irrelevant to my situation and it had never been “our song” or anything, but the first time I heard it on the radio after the break up, I had to pull the car over because I couldn’t see straight for crying.

I was a teenager in the early 1990s, and I used to lift weights while listening to a Top 40 radio station. I was in the middle of bench pressing when a very slow song came on:

It’s been seven hours and sixteen days…

It’s a good thing I wasn’t much of a lifter, because I dropped the barbell on myself. Then I just lay breathless for the rest of Nothing Compares 2 U.

Fields of Gold (Sting)

Back in the day: ‘Sara’ by Stevie Nicks, after a bad breakup. I pictured a little white bird flying through the storm. At the same time, ‘Still’ by the Commodores. Both songs reduced me to helpless sobbing no matter where I was or what I was doing. :frowning:

On a lighter note, ‘For Your Love’ by the Yardbirds in the 60’s - I still love this little song and think it is everlastingly romantic. And ‘Make Me Smile’ by Chicago - that was OUR song, after graduation, when the future was bright and we were headed out into a shiny new world to get great jobs and get on with love and life. Hah.

Honest truth. I don’t have a loved one connected but…

Having watched all the making of dvd’s for both the Hobbit and LOTR(that’s* tons* of hours), I tear up watching that video because it represented the “goodbye” from the filmmakers who were lucky enough to make LOTR and the Hobbit.

Flawed movies I’m sure, especially the Hobbits, but they were invested in them emotionally.

I love that Billy Boyd came back to sing the final song.

Note: it helpss that the video is clearly a goodbye from production. You can see them making it.

:grabs hanky:

It’s getting harder for me to play “Dust In The Wind” on guitar, as more friends and family pass away.

The Van Morrison song Irish Heartbeat first appeared on his 1983 album Inarticulate Speech of the Heart. I thought it was a good tune, but there are so many great Van Morrison songs that it got lost in the crowd. Then, in 1988, he recorded it again with the Irish folk group The Chieftains. I’m not sure why, but the Chieftains version has a huge effect on me emotionally every time I hear it, and now it’s one of my very favorite songs. I’m thinking of asking for it to be played at my funeral (not anytime soon, hopefully).

And I’m not even Irish.

I’m gonna see Van Morrison tomorrow in Cologne, I hope he plays Irish Heartbeat :). (though sadly, the Chieftains aren’t on the bill)

Anyway, the song that gets me every time is Ryan Adams’ Pa. It’s one of the saddest songs I know, and though I still haven’t lost one of my closest family or friends (but it will surely happen, like to everyone of us), it tears me up.

Don’t listen to the duet of Irish Heartbeat: Van and Mark Knopfler. I’d get emotional listening to either of them, doing almost any song. But together…

Wow, thanks for this; “doesn’t get much attention from me most of the time.” Excellent way to put it! I’m almost afraid to go listen to that song.

To some extent it’s self-defined, but I think you have the right idea. My original thought was that some songs, for personal reasons, have emotional resonance beyond their actual artistic merit.I made the distinction to differentiate what I was talking about from songs that EVERYONE agrees are great, and that also have deep meaning. A good example of the latter would “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men. I don’t think many people believe Paula Abdul rises to the same artistic level as Boyz II Men, but the song of hers in the OP just speaks to me for some reason.
This is a highly personal thing, so opinions vary widely. For example, someone mentioned Nothing Compares 2 U, which I would personally put in the “Great songs that are moving because they are great” category. But hey, that’s what worked for someone.

Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd reduces me to tears nearly every time I hear it. If I sing along very strongly, I might be able to hold them back. I mean, it’s about missing someone who is gone, or just lost to them. It’s a sad song, but every time I hear it, I am surprised how gutted I feel.

I cannot explain why, but the song “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” just hits me right in the gut. Especially as sung by Carol Welsman. I just listened to the original by Vera Lynn and it doesn’t hold a candle to Carol Welsman’s.

I was upset by the same song for the same reason.

I missed the point of the thread while thinking of songs - I’ve come up with a number of songs, but in all of them my emotional reaction is totally unsurprising. :slight_smile: I’m a sucker for that kind of songs.

Maybe not unexpected but when I went through my divorce I used to sit on the couch alone and listen to these two solo Dave Matthews songs on repeat in a dark room and cry

Stay or Leave:
Remember we used to dance
And everyone wanted to be you and me?
I want to be, too
What day is this
Besides the day you left me?
What day is this
Besides the day you went?

Oh what to do
With the rest of the day’s afternoon?
Hey isn’t it strange how we change
Everything we did?
Did I do all that I could?

And Some Devil:
Too drunk and still drinking
It’s just the way I feel
“It’s alright,” is what you told me
Cause what we had was so beautiful
Feel heavy, like floating
At the bottom of the sea

You said always and forever
Now I believe you baby
You said always and forever
Is such a long and lonely time

Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch”. I was going through a very bad breakup at the time, and that sone takes me right back to the worst of it.
On a lighter note, Nick Gilder’s “Hot Child in the City” - I hear it, and instantly flash to a very specific scene from my college job as an admissions clerk in the local ER. The middle of a hot summer night, things are quiet in the ER, the lights are low, most of the staff are dozing at their desks, that song playing softly in the background.

Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts by Dylan. It paints such a lush picture to me. And by the time Big Jim is killed, Rosemary is swinging from the gallows and Dylan sings the line “Lily had already taken all of the dye out of her hair”, I’m normally tearing up. Every time. Don’t know why.

“Old and Wise” by the Alan Parsons Project. Could be one’s own musical eulogy.