April 16, 2009

"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry."

#1 on the list of most heartbreaking songs.

105 comments:

kentuckyliz said...

Bonnie Raitt
"I Can't Make You Love Me"

Etta James
"One Night"

Sheryl Crow
"My Favorite Mistake"

I guess I identify with the chick heartbreak songs. I'll think of more.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"He Stoped Loving Her Today" George Jones

kentuckyliz said...

Not sure "Why" is a romantic relationship breakup song. Didn't she have a child that died and "Diva" was a grief album? Very intense...and came in a grief-filled time in my life too.

Charles said...

#1. Together Again by Emmylou Harris

#2. Play Together Again Again by Buck Owens

Southbound Blues said...

Hank wrote another song that's even better (more heartbreaking) than that one. "Wild Side of Life".

Bob said...

@Dust Bunny Queen: +1 for the Possum and "He Stopped Loving Her Today."

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kentuckyliz said...

Allison Krauss
"Ghost in this House"
"New Favorite"

Her haunting lovely voice

kentuckyliz said...

Ghost in this house lyrics:

I don't pick up the mail
I don't pick up the phone
I don't answer the door
I'd just as soon be alone
I don't keep this place up
I just keep the lights down
I don't live in these rooms
I just rattle around

I'm just a ghost in this house
I'm just a shadow upon these walls
As quietly as a mouse I haunt these halls
I'm just a whisper of smoke
I'm all that's left of two hearts on fire
That once burned out of control
You took my body and soul
I'm just a ghost in this house

I don't care if it rains
I don't care if it's clear
I don't mind stayin' in
There's another ghost here
He sits down in your chair
And he shines with your light
And he lays down his head
On your pillow at night

I'm just a ghost in this house
I'm just a shadow upon these walls
I'm living proof of the damage that heartbreak does
I'm just a whisper of smoke
I'm all that's left of two hearts on fire
That once burned out of control
And took my body and soul
I'm just a ghost in this house

Oh, I'm just a ghost in this house

phx said...

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry - great choice. Hands down, that's it. Did you ever see a night so long?
Bob Dylan's version of Delia is one of the most heartbreaking songs I've ever heard.
"All the friends I ever had are gone."

john said...

What the hell were these people smomoking to leave this Linda Ronstadt song out??? And what about Desperado, Hurt so Bad, Down so Low? My girl's been dissed. bad.

But they include John Lennon - Sheesh. At least it wasn't Imagine.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Change of Heart"
The Judds

When you were mine
I was still playing
And promises that I made
Were just words I was saying
I was playing you for a fool
Breaking love's precious rule
I did you so wrong
Guess you knew all along
That I had my boss lie for me
To say I was working late
My friends alibied for me
When I'd slip out to meet a date
But, baby, now I see
I was only cheating me
Before you go
I just want you to know
(Chorus)
That I've had a change of heart
I've had a change of heart
I see what I put you through
And I'll make it up to you
I've had a change of heart
I've just got to show you
How differently I feel
That I can be true to you
That my love is real
But my past will forever haunt me
If you say that you don't want me
I'm down on my knees
I'm beggin' you please, won't you?
Have a change of heart
Please have a, have a change of heart
I see what I put you through
I'll make it up to you
Please have a change of heart
Please have a change of heart
Please have a change of heart

john said...

What the hell was I smomoking?

save_the_rustbelt said...

I Fall to Pieces

He's Got You

Don't Worry ('bout me)

Born to Lose


Miss Patsy Cline, of course.

HelenParr said...

DBQ @ 7:31 p.m. hands down.

bill said...

"Angel From Montgomery," written by John Prine, as sung by Bonnie Raitt.

Here's a list of 19 tracks I did back in 2006. Good list, except Loudon Wainwright's "A Year" is not about Martha. Not sure how I made that mistake and I should fix it.

I'd add at least one new song to that list, Bob Mould's angry and bitter suicide letter ofAgain and Again.

It began sometime last week
The feeling that most everything was changing for the worse
All the triggers pulled at once
So begins my ugly fall from grace - again

I made myself delusional, the noble stab at staying upbeat
But it was only for a while
I tried my best to radiate through hurricanes and double eights
The pair split into two

traditionalguy said...

Patsy Cline's I Fall To Pieces is the saddest sad song from the 50+ years ago category.

john said...

bill - yes, John Prine, thanks for thinking of him.
How about "Hello in There"?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ahem.... can we get any more heartbroken than CryingTHIS.
.
(suggested by my husband 'the dumbplumber'. I drug him into this thread kicking and screaming)

Roy Orbison ftw

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Roy Orbison.... Adam Lambert

Eat your heart out Adam!!

Big Mike said...

DBQ, you were almost right on your first comment -- ditto to Helen and Bob.

I'd put "He Stopped Loving Her Today" at #2 and put "Concrete Angel" at #1. There can't be anything more heartbreaking than an abused child.

rhhardin said...

Nobody mentioned dog dying songs.

Graham Powell said...

What, no "She Ran Calling Wildfire"?

Glad they included "The Needle and the Damage Done", though. That's a tough song.

The one that always leaves me in tears: "How To Save A Life", by The Fray.

Palladian said...

"4. R.E.M., "Everybody Hurts" (1993)
Michael Stipe sounds like a bleating lamb who lost his mother on this overplayed but still devastating song, which keenly summarizes a universal truth atop a swooning string section."

?!?!?!

This is a terrible, stupid song!

Palladian said...

"Nobody mentioned dog dying songs."

If Henry Gross's "Shannon" had been on that list I think I might have gone on a killing spree.

Palladian said...

"4. R.E.M., "Everybody Hurts" (1993)
Michael Stipe sounds like a bleating lamb who lost his mother on this overplayed but still devastating song, which keenly summarizes a universal truth atop a swooning string section."

Universal truths are almost never keenly summarized atop swooning string sections.

Palladian said...

Are we getting World of Warcraft spam?!

Lem said...

The carpenters "Superstar".

Long ago and oh so far away
I fell in love with you before the second show
Your guitar, it sounds so sweet and clear
But youre not really here
Its just the radio

(*) dont you remember you told me you loved me baby
You said youd be coming back this way again baby
Baby, baby, baby, baby, oh, baby, I love you I really do

Loneliness is a such a sad affair
And I can hardly wait to be with you again
What to say to make you come again
Come back to me again
And play your sad guitar

zedzded said...

Seven Spanish Angels, Ray Charles and Willie Nelson.

phx said...

"God Only Knows" Beach Boys. "Don't Worry Baby" was also sweet and a little heartbreaking. My Linda Ronstadt might be "Keep Me from Blowin' Away." I always thought "Desperado" was a little too obvious, but I get it. Some of Lou Reed's stuff was a little heartbreaking, particularly from Berlin, but even some stuff from VU. Johnny Cash doing "Hurt". PP Arnold's version of "First Cut is the Deepest". "Take This Waltz" from Leonard Cohen is in my top three. "The Water Is Wide" and "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" and it doesn't matter who does them. "Joey" Concrete Blonde - mebbe cause I know a Joey it always hurts. Another Roy Orbison bid - that live thingy they always show on PBS where he does E Costello's "The Comedians." Costello could sure write a heartbreaker now and then. "Wonderful Life" The Felice Bros. And the Everlys knew a thing or two about squeezing a tear out from out of an eye. "Do the Freddy"..... Oh, great Kukamuka, can't cha hear me talkin' to ya?

Graham Powell said...

Oh yeah, "Joey" is a great song. A noir opera in three minutes.

Graham Powell said...

And "Not An Addict" by K's Choice is another great tragic song about addiction.

Lem said...

"He Stoped Loving Her Today" starts out sad but doesnt end sad.

zedzded said...

Feng wins the thread.

Marcia said...

Another vote for He Stopped Loving Her Today.

Honorable mentions not yet mentioned here:

When I Call Your Name (Vince Gill)
'Til Each Tear You Cry Becomes a Rose (Keith Whitley)

And how could they leave out Sunday Morning Sidewalk (Kristofferson or Johnny Cash)?

Revenant said...

Allison Krauss: "Ghost in this House", "New Favorite".

My vote goes to "It Doesn't Matter", another Krauss song (with Union Station, of course).

This is a terrible, stupid song!

Ok, I can see thinking it is a terrible song, although I personally like it. Tastes differ and all that. But "stupid"? What's stupid about it?

Universal truths are almost never keenly summarized atop swooning string sections.So you would argue that "everybody cries, and everybody hurts sometimes" is not a universal truth? Come on. The song is aimed at teenagers. When you were a teenager did you never feel miserable and completely alone in the world?

Salamandyr said...

"Joey" would definitely be on my list. It was the favorite song of a good friend of mine who died too young.

But really, this list needs some Jim Croce. You could pick just about any one, but I'll go with "Photographs and Memories"

Photographs and memories
Christmas cards you sent to me
All that I have are these
To remember you

Memories that come at night
Take me to another time
Back to a happier day
When I called you mine

But we sure had a good time
When we started way back when
Morning walks and bedroom talks
Oh how I loved you then

Summer skies and lullabies
Nights we couldnt say good-bye
And of all of the things that we knew
Not a dream survived

Photographs and memories
All the love you gave to me
Somehow it just cant be true
Thats all Ive left of you

But we sure had a good time
When we started way back when
Morning walks and bedroom talks
Oh how I loved you then

Revenant said...

Concrete Blonde's cover of "Tomorrow, Wendy" would be my second-favorite pick for heartbreaking songs.

bill said...

Song for the Dumped

Palladian said...

"everybody cries, and everybody hurts sometimes" is not a universal truth?


Sure. So is "everybody shits almosy once a day". That doesn't make it a convincing or interesting proposition for a lyric.

"Come on. The song is aimed at teenagers. When you were a teenager did you never feel miserable and completely alone in the world?"

Yes! In those instances I listened to Bruckner.

Palladian said...

Most heartbreaking song...

peter hoh said...

The Cowboy Junkies did an awesome cover of the Hank Williams song.

The most haunting song I've ever heard is "Cold Missouri Waters," written by James Keelaghan. Sung here by Richard Shindell.

phx said...

To paraphrase O. Wilde, a man would have to have a heart of stone to listen to Bruckner without laughing.

Daryl said...

What a stupid list.

No links to the songs?

What's the point?

This is 2009, people. Get with the times.

Lem said...

Thanks Palladian ... I wanted to post this b4 but I thought maybe it was not allowed.

O mio babbino caroO my dear papa
I like him, he is handsome, handsome
I want to go to Porta Rossa
to buy the ring!
Yes, yes, I want to go there!
And if my love were in vain,
I would go to the Ponte Vecchio
and throw myself in the Arno!
I am aching, I am tortured!
Oh God, I'd like to die!
Father, have pity, have pity!
Father, have pity, have pity!
It gives me goosebumps

Bill said...

Mary Hopkins: "Those were the Days"

Bill said...

Mary Hopkins: "Those were the Days"

peter hoh said...

Good choice, Palladian. I can't seem to find it, but there's a moment when Tannhauser is singing to Elisabeth -- is it when he sees her funeral procession? I can't remember. Anyway, his crying "Elisabeth" always gets me.

kentuckyliz said...

Tomasio Albinoni Adagio for Strings and Organ, La Fortuna.

Powerfully sad piece of music.

You'd recognize it from the film Gallipoli.

(For the classical category)

No words, none needed.

William said...

The Pogues version of Dirty Old Town. Ray Acuff's version of Wreck on the Highway.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Tanita Tikaram - Valentine Heart

The Crack Emcee said...

I told you guys about the canon before and this matches perfectly with it. I first discovered "I'm so lonesome" through Al Green's version, and then - deeply moved - had to discover who wrote it. That started my life-long love of Hank Williams, Sr.

I never would've made it through my divorce without him:

"Your cheatin' heart" gave me strength.

chickenlittle said...

The Pogues' "Pair of Brown Eyes" hits me worse that "Dirty Old Town".

Beck's entire "Sea Change" is pretty melancholy & all about breaking up.

But still, Hank Williams "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, and a slew of Patsy Cline numbers already mentioned pretty much do me in.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Whiskey LullablyAllison Kraus and Brad Paisly

Notice how many of these HeartBreak songs are of the "country' genre?

BJM said...

DBQ, do you know Raul Malo?

Fool #1 from "Trampoline", a live performance doesn't do his voice justice. Malo's Orbison covers are smooth as silk.

Lem, Yes! Good call!

BTW- The Leonard Cohen I was hoping for showed up last night, in spades. Catch him on tour if you can.

Michael Hasenstab said...

@dbq - +1 on Whiskey Lullaby, and dern near any other Allison Kraus ballad.

BJM said...

Chickenlittle, this one, maybe not so much.

WTF was he thinking?

Michael Hasenstab said...

This one gets me teared up.

Watch it all the way through.

Roy Lofquist said...

John Denver, Seasons of the Heart

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5KL4h6Krys

Bob Dylan, Desolation Row

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMMZvbvUcAk

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@BJM Wow!

I didn't know Raul Malo before but I sure as shit know him now!! How could I have missed this guy and this group?

Thank you for the lead.

Damn! 'Teh' internets are incredible. Look at what we can do, hear and see.

Chip Ahoy said...

Olita Adams covering Elton John's Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me sort of as a gospel.

I saw her once in a small restaurant in Manhattan when I was a little kid. I recall thinking at the time, "Bloody hell. She's awesome."

My all time favorite yearning love song that I like to sing along with because it's in my key is Martin Gore'sSomebody aqui subtitulado en EspaƱol.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Cool thing about "Cowgirls Don't Cry" is that it's about Reba's real-life dad. Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks wrote it for her.

phx said...

BJM - you saw Leonard last night? How great. My daughter has tickets for a May concert.
A few more: Tom Waits "Tom Traubert's Blues"
And I heard Marshall Crenshaw on a Terri Gross radio program a few years back do an acoustic version of "Brother Can You Spare a Dime" - he really got it.
And I know this one's girly but I was driving the first time I heard Tori Amos, it was the song "Winter" - I had to pull the car off the road it was so sad and beautiful.

Charlie said...

Don't rely on EW for anything, much less a list like this.

peter hoh said...

Gillian Welch can turn an otherwise sad song into something uplifting.

Emily Carson said...

A pair of Beatles songs:

"Yesterday,"

and

"Eleanor Rigby"

Emily Carson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

"everybody cries, and everybody hurts sometimes" is not a universal truth?

Sure. So is "everybody shits almosy once a day".

Yes, emotional pain is just like a bowel movement. How clever of you to notice.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oh Darlin' Why Don't you care for me no more"I still feel what I feel
I still love what I love
I still want what I want
I don't understand

Oh Darlin why don't you care for me no more"

I love the 'close harmony' similar to the Everly Bros style.

phx said...

How comes nobody mentions the Mothers of Invention, "Go Cry on Somebody Else's Shoulder"


You cheated me baby
And told some dirty lies about me
Fooled around with all those other guys
That's why I had to get my khakis pressed
I sure don't need you now
And I don't love you
Anymore

john said...

BJM - Thanks for that great link to Raul Malo. Like DBQ, I hadn't heard him before this, and I am also amazed. Wonderful singer, he just needs some black framed sunglasses.

Joe said...

For something a big different:

Denez Prigent and Lisa Gerrard - Gortoz A Ran (From the Blackhawk Down Soundtrack.)

Les Miserables - A Little Fall Of Rain

Justin Hayward - Forever Autumn

Beth said...

I lost track, but put me down for the Possum, He Stopped Loving Her Today.

I remember watching him perform it on a late night talk show the year it won the Grammy - 1981? I think it was the Tonight Show? Country hadn't gone uptown yet and I recall thinking the reception was somewhat cool on the part of Carson and the audience. Then he delivered the song. The applause was over the top - they were stunned. What a master of the art - a real showman.

Beth said...

What a great thread. Lots of music I love and recommendations for more.

Orphan Girl - excellent.
I love Raul, love the Mavericks.
Put me down, too, for Allison Krauss, the one Revenant mentions. That was used beautifully on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer once. Go figure.

Beth said...

Something has to restore "Crying" to my appreciation.

For many years, we'd have a block party on my street the Sunday before Mardi Gras. There's a parade that passes by the nearby Children's Hospital.

A resident at Children's had a little throw-together band, and they'd play a day on his porch. The lead singer was terrible. These were doctors, entertaining themselves, but with a full PA system. His schtick, and I'm not sure if he was even aware of it, was that he'd imitate the singer of the songs he covered, starting out with Van Morrison "Brown-Eyed Girl" and moving through Willie and Waylon and Jimmy Buffett and god, it went on al day, with more and more drink consumed. His big finish was always "Crying," and no, he couldn't reach the notes. That didn't stop him from trying.

Terrie said...

Beach Boys
"I Just Wasn't Made for These Times"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hz7hPArVUqM

"Til I Die"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcUeSDMll5s&feature=related

The Smiths
"Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KDm1Hf1rQk

Prefab Sprout
"Desire As"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqZKcpOYZME

Ride
"Vapour Trail"
http://www.clevver.com/music/video/139373/ride-vapour-trail.html

Gary Allan
"Best I Ever Had"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVsAtCu6KQs

Todd Rundgren
"It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmvensksyYk

The Pixies
"Monkey Gone to Heaven"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHVKndMZIwI

Righteous Brothers
"Just Once in My Life"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2vMp0kJHyo

Finn Brothers
"Edible Flowers"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bo2txSycyA

The Waterboys
"The Whole of the Moon"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4NoZtmxf6o

Jars of Clay
"Fly"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds2Kiy6c7jM

Lloyd Cole
"No Blue Skies"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzsCmQhUlco

Red
"Pieces"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBdm69fRUps&feature=related

Godley and Creme
"Cry"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7Np1NxeVP4&feature=related

The Carpenters
"Maybe It's You"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZytwSexOSwk

BJM said...

@phx, your daughter is in for a treat; here's a review of opening night.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

Well, it doesn't have many of my favorites on there. No Tori Amos, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Bjork, or Kate Bush. I will nominate a saddest song by each of my five favorite artists:

Tori Amos, Putting the Damage On. I also really like this guy's youtube cover, which I just found.

Tom Waits, Invitation To the Blues.

This isn't 100% sad, but for Nick Cave I gotta go with There She Goes, My Beautiful World. He seems to get tired of singing at the end of this performance, for some reason.

Bjork, Hyper-BalladAnd, finally, Kate Bush (who never performs live), All the Love.

jr565 said...

Alone Again Naturally - Gilbert O'Sullivan

XWL said...

My vote for most 'heartbreaking song' would be Concrete Blonde's (You're the Only One) That Can Make Me Cry.

But, that's only cause I saw her do it live with the co-writer (and her ex) Steve Wynn at the Whisky, about 20 years ago.

if you think it's being sung to someone the singer is with, then it's a love song, if you think she's singing to someone she's no longer with, then it's heart shattering.

(which is what made the performance I saw especially poignant, given that the duet was between ex-lovers)

(also, there's at least eight Prince songs more heartbreaking than #9 on their list, Purple Rain)

Sheepman said...

So take heed, take heed of the western wind,
Take heed of the stormy weather.
And yes, there's something you can send back to me,
Spanish boots of Spanish leather.
-----------
One more time at midnight, near the wall
Take off your heavy make-up and your shawl.
Won't you descend from the throne, from where you sit?
Let me feel your love one more time before I abandon it.
------------
Sign on the window says "Lonely,"

blake said...

Mille Regretz
A thousand regrets at deserting you
and leaving behind your loving face,
I feel so much sadness and such painful distress,
that it seems to me my days will soon dwindle away

blake said...

Sorrow Stay
Sorrow stay, lend true repentant tears,
To a woeful wretched wight,
Hence, despair with thy tormenting fears:
O do not my poor heart affright.
Pity, pity, pity, help now or never,
Mark me not to endless pain,
Alas I am condemned ever,
No hope, no help, there doth remain,
But down, down, down, down I fall,
And arise I never shall.

blake said...

That's funny. I was just writing about sad songs. Or one in particular.Elton John's "Empty Garden (Hey, Hey Johnny)" always makes me tear up.

Sad songs? How about Buzz Lightyear's song in Toy Story: I Will Go Sailing No Moer.

Or if that doesn't do it for you, how about Sarah Mclachlan singing "When She Loved Me" from Toy Story 2? To this day, my children will not throw out their old toys.

James Taylor, Our Town.

All courtesy that depressing fat f&** Randy Newman, God love 'em.

blake said...

Oh, "Empty Garden" isn't the song I was writing about. I was writing about Loudon Wainwright III, who's got 4-5 songs that should probably be in any top 50 for heartbreaking.

Sometimes I forget that you are gone
I remember and I feel the ache
How could it happen? How could it be?
It's not true, there must be some mistake

Mementos and memories: tell me what good are they?
Only Youtube I can find here.

That's for his father, "Homeless" was one of several for his mother:

When you were alive I was never alone
Somewhere in the world there was something called home
Here's a cover of "You Can't Fail Me Now" which LW3 did for Knocked Up, but which was written by Joe Henry:

We're taught to love the worst of us
And mercy more than life, but trust me:
Mercy's just a warning shot across the bow

blake said...

Also, seriously, "Sound of Silence" from the Paul Simon catalogue? How about "Bookends"?

"How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns"?

"Maybe I Think Too Much (b)"?

Pfeh.

blake said...

Hey, I pulled a Lem!

Mr. Forward said...

"Now it's time to say goodbye, to all our company,
M-I-C, See you real soon!
K-E-Y, Why? Because we like you!
M - O - U - S - E"

ricpic said...

All of these crying my eyes out songs are too obvious.

Send In The Clowns

Sheepman said...

I can't argue with the #1 selection. I like Leonard Cohen's sentiment about HW in the "Tower of Song"

"I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn't answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the Tower of Song"

American Liberal Elite said...

"Hello in There" by John Prine

LutherM said...

For understated pain, I believe in the June Christy version,
HERE’S THAT RAINY DAY (Van Husen – from Carnival in Flanders)

Maybe I should have saved
Those leftover dreams
Funny
But here's that rainy day
Here's that rainy day
They told me about
And I laughed at the thought
That it might turn out this way
Where is that worn out wish
That I threw aside
After it brought my lover near
Funny how love becomes
A cold rainy day
Funny
That rainy day is here
Funny
How love becomes
A cold rainy day
Funny
That rainy day is here

kingaljr said...

Sunday Morning Coming Down by Kristofferson for sure, the Cash version was to damn cheerful.

On the Sunday morning sidewalk,
Wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
'Cos there's something in a Sunday,
Makes a body feel alone.
And there's nothin' short of dyin',
Half as lonesome as the sound,
On the sleepin' city sidewalks:
Sunday mornin' comin' down.

commenter said...

There's a dead man trying to get out
Please help me stay awake, Im falling...

Asleep in perfect blue buildings
Beside the green apple sea
Gonna get me a little oblivion
Try to keep myself away from myself ...and me.
adam, you know who you are,

Love ya,

signed Eve

MadisonMan said...

I also thought immediately of I fall to Pieces by Miss Patsy Cline.

How about something like Cat's in the Cradle by Harry Chapin?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Super thread!

Still Got The Blues For YouGary Moore

Even his guitar is crying. If you like the blues and you like listening to an awesome guitar player.

BUY the albums

Clyde said...

Sarah McLachlan "Angel"

Leeann Rimes "Blue"

Dan Fogelberg "Another Auld Lang Syne"

Big Mike said...

As I said last night: #1 is "Concrete Angel." If your heart doesn't break at the thought of a little child dead due to child abuse you don't deserve to live yourself.

#2 is "He Stopped Loving Her Today"

#3 and #4 are a rough tie, but both are by Vince Gill: "Go Rest High On That Mountain" and "I Never Knew Lonely."

Sofa King said...

I have to say that I found William Shatner's It Hasn't Happened Yet to be pretty heartbreaking. It seems like a very personal song for him.

MadisonMan said...

Are you serious? Another Auld Lang Syne? That's not a sad song, that's a dreadfully treacly abomination.

Sofa King said...

I vividly remember this scene in my own life from my school days at UW...


"I was crossing the snow fields in front of the Capitol building.
It was Christmas, and I was alone.
Strange city.
Strangers for friends.
And I was broke.

"As the carillon sang its song, I dreamt of success. I would be the best. I would make my folks proud. I would be happy...

"It hasn't happened yet. It hasn't happened yet. It hasn't happened.

Mike H said...

"Eleanor Rigby" - if done by Ray Charles. (Absolutely brilliant)

"I can't stop loving you" by either the Mills Brothers or Conway Twitty. (For my money, Conway. Nobody can tear your heart out like he could)

"I wonder if they ever think of me" "You take me for granted" and "Looking for a place to fall apart" all by Merle Haggard.

Still, the best will always be the Possum.

Sean E said...

"Veronica", by Elis Costello always gets to me.

"This Street, That Man, This Life" by the Cowboy Junkies.

"Lord, you play a hard game, you know we follow every rule
Then you take the one thing we thought we'd never lose
All I ask is if she's with you please keep her warm and safe
and if it's in your power please purge the memory of this place"


From EW's list, I'd have to put "Tears in Heaven" at #1, although more because of the backstory than the song itself.

And I heartily endorse all three of the Concrete Blonde songs mentioned previously.

scott157 said...

Hands down - "Hurt" by Johnny Cash

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

[Chorus:]
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

[Chorus:]
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way