Hallo, alles! I know that I do these sorts of posts a lot but I’m always finding / remembering songs that could fit on these sorts of lists! So… I’m doing yet another “Favorite Tearjerker Songs From Musicals” post! There may be some from the previous list(s) but I’m trying to keep it to songs that I forgot! Los geht’s!
· “Feed the Birds / Tuppence a Bag” from MARY POPPINS
· “Memory / Memory Reprise” from CATS
· “Finale / I Can’t Recall Reprise” from A TALE OF TWO CITIES
· “Reflection” from A TALE OF TWO CITIES
· “Tell Me On a Sunday” from SONG AND DANCE
· “Home” from WONDERLAND
· “A New Life” from JEKYLL & HYDE
· “Once Upon a Dream (Jekyll)” from JEKYLL & HYDE
· “Girls of the Night” from JEKYLL & HYDE
· “Elisabeth, Mach Auf” [Elisabeth, Open Up] from ELISABETH
· “Der Schleier Fällt” [The Veil Descends] from ELISABETH
· “So Viele Fische ins Meer” [So Many Fish in the Sea] from SCHIKANEDER
· “A Little Fall of Rain” from LES MISÉRABLES
· “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” from LES MISÉRABLES
· “G.E.K.U.P.P.E.L.T.” [U.N.C.O.U.P.L.E.D] from STARLIGHT EXPRESS
· “Rudolf, Wo Bist Du? / Totenklage” [Rudolf, Where Are You? / Death Sentence] from ELISABETH
· “I’m Still Hurting” from THE LAST FIVE YEARS
· “If I Didn’t Believe in You” from THE LAST FIVE YEARS
· “No One is Alone” from INTO THE WOODS
· “If I Can’t Love Her” from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
· “Where is Love?” from OLIVER!
· “To Thine Own Self Be True” from SOMETHING ROTTEN!
· “No One Knows Who I Am” from JEKYLL & HYDE
Even though I am a person who cries a lot when it comes to musicals, movies, and books even, I can pinpoint some songs on this list that have made a friend of mine who practically never cries cry. Those would be “Finale / I Can’t Recall Reprise” from A TALE OF TWO CITIES, “Once Upon a Dream (Jekyll)” from JEKYLL & HYDE, and “Girls of the Night” from JEKYLL & HYDE. What do these three songs have in common? Well… they all deal with pretty climactic scenes in the musical. Another thing that I’ve noticed is that all three have several heartbreaking lines that just really hit hard. In “Finale / I Can’t Recall Reprise”, you’ve got lines like “When I hold your hand, all my fears are in the past… but when I let go, do you promise they’ll be fast?” and then “I can’t recall the skies so clear… the heavens seem an inch away and not unfriendly after all…”. Then, from “Once Upon a Dream (Jekyll)” what really, really delivers the heartbreak is the tone. But there are some definite heartbreaker lines in there such as: “And I was unafraid, the dream was so enticing, but now I see it fade and I am here alone…”, and “Once upon a dream, all I had to do was try. Too late now to wonder why it can never be. Could I begin again once upon a dream?” With “Girls of the Night” some examples of heartbreaking lines would be: “Then why am I still here?” and “Ask me to share your fantasies, dear, but don’t ask me where tomorrow is. Don’t ask me where to find happiness though I know for sure where sorrow is. Sorrow is where the dark meets the light… someday I pray my fears will take flight… Sorrow is where our hope fades from sight for the girls of the night…”
However, there definitely is more to creating a really good tearjerker song than just sad lines. It’s also got a lot to do with the instruments chosen. Usually I’ve noticed that the instruments used in sad songs are fewer than more exciting songs. Violins and pianos also seem to be really good for sad songs. Some examples of sad songs with few musical instruments playing in the background would be “Rudolf, Wo Bist Du / Totenklage” [Rudolf, Where Are You? / Death Sentence], “Home” from WONDERLAND, “No One Knows Who I Am” from JEKYLL & HYDE, “Girls of the Night” from JEKYLL & HYDE, “Once Upon a Dream [Jekyll]” from JEKYLL & HYDE, and “I’m Still Hurting” from THE LAST FIVE YEARS.
Beyond that though, there also has to be a certain amount of emotional connection to the characters suffering through these things to actually feel the tears be brought out of a person. I can wholeheartedly say that I care about every one of the characters in the songs that I’ve listed above. And I think that’s absolutely key. For example, if it weren’t for the fact that I felt a connection to Sydney Carton, I probably wouldn’t cry while listening to “Reflection” or even the finale!
What do you think makes a good tearjerker song? Tschüss!