So, while I was working on an essay last night while babysitting the cousins, I was listening to the OBC of A TALE OF TWO CITIES and when the finale came around, I had my usual crying fest that happens when I listen to the finale of that musical. So… I thought about what line it was that usually gets me while listening to that song. And so, today, I’m talking about tearjerker lines! Los geht’s!
· “When I hold your hand, all my fears are in the past, but when I let go, do you promise they’ll be fast?” from A TALE OF TWO CITIES (“Finale / I Can’t Recall (Reprise)”) – The seamstress sings this to Sydney as he tries to comfort her while they’re in line to be sent to the guillotine. And man… this line hurts. The way she’s so comforted and worried about how long it will take for the guillotine to end her life. And then, it reminds me that the guillotine wasn’t the quick, painless death that they’d thought back then. And then, the tears fall.
· “I can’t recall a night so clear. The heavens seem an inch away and not unfriendly after all…” from A TALE OF TWO CITIES (“Finale / I Can’t Recall (Reprise)”) – So… Sydney Carton is easily one of the most tragic characters of time. And this line… it just makes those tears that I already have in my eyes just increase in number. Seriously. This line… man… it hurts. It really, really hurts. And the imagery here is just perfect.
· “Rudolf, wo bist du?” (“Rudolf, where are you?”) from ELISABETH (“Totenklage / Rudolf, Wo Bist Du?” [“Death Sentence / Rudolf, Where are You?”]) – All it takes is this line to get me crying. Seriously. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just listened to this song on repeat and just kept crying. Rudolf’s dead, of course. And Sisi’s looking for him (figuratively). She’s looking for answers. And it just really hurts.
· “Ich möchte mal so sein wie du.” (“I want to be just like you.”) from ELISABETH (“Wie Du (Reprise)” [“Like You (Reprise)”]) – Here, we’ve got Sisi talking to the spirit of her father. Well… kind of. It’s hard to explain. Anyways, she’s telling him that she always wished she could be just like him and how it never, ever happened. She never got to be like him because she was forced into being the empress of Austria and her life was essentially taken from her.
· “Flieh, und du bist frei sein und alles Kämpfen wird vorbei sein.” (“Flee, and you will be free and all the fighting will be over.”) from ELISABETH (“Elisabeth, Mach Auf (Mein Engel)” [“Elisabeth, [My Angel], Open Up”]) – Maybe it’s not so much the line that makes me cry here but more the whole concept. It’s a deep concept. Death is well… a person. And only certain people see him. To me, when der Tod is telling someone to come with him and that he can release them, that’s just showing suicidal thought. And the very thought of the fact that Sisi is being tormented to the point of thinking about suicide just hurts so much.
· “And, because I knew you… I have been changed… for good.” from WICKED (“For Good”) – “For Good” is easily my favorite part of WICKED. It’s just charged with emotion and it’s this line that always gets me crying like a baby. Elphie and Glinda never see each other again. And it’s bittersweet. They’re glad to have met each other, but at the same time, they will never get to see each other again because it just can’t be. It’s not safe for either one of them. And it’s heart wrenching.
· “She died alone…” from WICKED (“No One Mourns the Wicked”) – When Glinda sings this line apart from everyone else, it makes me cry. Because the fact that Elphie died all on her own holds different significance and meaning to her than to everyone else and she doesn’t even get to truly mourn her best friend.
· “To love another person is to see the face of God.” from LES MISÉRABLES (“Finale / Do You Hear the People Sing (Reprise)”) – This line is just absolutely beautiful and it makes me cry every time. It’s one of those lines that’s just impossible for me to have any immunity to when it comes to tears. Man… it’s a powerful, powerful line. And on a scale that I’d never have imagined possible.
· “Ja, ich weiß, er hat mir übersehen. Ganz egal, ich muss zum ihm stehen.” (“Yeah, I know he overlooked me. No matter, I have to stand beside him.”) from LES MISÉRABLES (“Nur Für Mich” [“Only For Myself”], German version of “On My Own”) – There’s something about this line that just makes me cry. Because it’s so Éponine and it tells her story so perfectly, I suppose. Éponine knows that Marius will not—cannot—ever love her and yet she decides to stand by him no matter what. Because she loves him.
· “I am reaching… but I fall… and the stars are black and cold… as I stare into a void… of a world that cannot hold…” from LES MISÉRABLES (“Javert’s Soliloquy / Suicide”) – In my opinion, Javert’s death is the saddest death in LES MIZ. While everyone else has someone else there with them while they’re dying, Javert has no one. And while everyone else’s misery is spread out throughout their entire life, all of Javert’s misery comes crashing down on him all at once, too much for him to bear, pushing him over the edge… literally. And it’s so heartbreaking. Earl Carpenter’s rendition of this song is the most perfect, heartwrenching version of the song that I’ve ever heard so I’ll link the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtEYhBZY-tM.
· “Star in the sky, can you tell me why heaven’s so far away?” from THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Royal Variety Version of “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again”) – There’s something about how lost Christine’s feeling in this moment that is just so sad and pulls the tears out of me. She feels lost and alone and she doesn’t know what to do and I think those emotions are just portrayed absolutely perfectly. I kind of wish that they used these lyrics in the actual production of the show.
· “And I know how I want you to say goodbye… don’t run off in the pouring rain, don’t call me as they call your plane… take the hurt… out of all the pain… Take me to a park that’s covered with trees, tell me on a Sunday, please…” from SONG AND DANCE (“Tell Me On a Sunday”) – This song makes me cry every time I listen to it. But especially when Michael Crawford sings it, I just bawl at this part. When it’s sung, the singer’s voice is just so full of pain and it’s enough to drag the tears out especially when the pauses are done at strategic, well-placed moments. Man… it’s sad.
· “Still, the hardest thing… is letting go…” from JEKYLL & HYDE (“Letting Go”) – “Letting Go” is definitely one of the more bittersweet songs on this list. Sir Danvers is singing about how hard it’s going to be to let Lisa go and marry Jekyll and then she jumps into the song and they both sing about how hard it will be to let go. And man… it just gets the tears out of me every time. Every. Single. Time.
· “If I didn’t believe in you—a-a-and here’s where the travel log ends. If I didn’t believe in you, I couldn’t have stood before all of our friends and said ‘This is the life I choose; this is the thing I can’t bear to lose.’ Trip us or trap us, but we refuse to fall… that’s what I thought we agreed on. Cathy, if I didn’t believe in you… I wouldn’t have loved you at all.” from THE LAST FIVE YEARS (“If I Didn’t Believe in You”) – As much as Jamie is a character that I generally dislike, this is one of those songs that makes me feel so bad for him and feel like he really did care about Cathy and their relationship. Of course, sometimes, his words are harsh, but these lines in particular, are so very demonstrative of that love he has for Cathy.
· “And I’m a part of that… I’m a part of that… aren’t I?” from THE LAST FIVE YEARS (“I’m a Part of That”) – The fact that Cathy questions whether or not she matters to Jamie as much as she thinks that she does just makes me cry so hard. It’s the “aren’t I?” at the end that gets me every, single time.
· “I’ll never understand how you can stand there, straight and tall and see I’m crying… and not do anything at all.” from THE LAST FIVE YEARS (“See, I’m Smiling”) – When Cathy finds out Jamie’s been unfaithful to her, she’s understandably upset and when she’s done with it and calmed down a little, she’s trying to blink away the tears and regain her calm and Jamie just stands there, staring at him. As if all he cares about is that he got caught. And this line sums everything up so perfectly I think. And it makes me cry. Really, really makes me cry.
So, that was a bit of downer…. What are your favorite tearjerker lines? Tschüss!