for crying out loud
August 13, 2003 7:54 AM   Subscribe

What makes us cry? What makes you cry? Why, particularly, do acts of kindness make some of us cry?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders (77 comments total)
I know now why you cry, but it is something I can never do.
posted by McBain at 8:09 AM on August 13, 2003

Baby Jesus.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:17 AM on August 13, 2003

I find that as I get older I'm more willing to let movies make me cry. I started tearing during "The Bad News Bears" yesterday.
posted by McBain at 8:18 AM on August 13, 2003

Edward fricking Scissorhands made me cry.
posted by Foosnark at 8:19 AM on August 13, 2003


Damn onions.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:22 AM on August 13, 2003

There's an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" where Deborah wants time alone and uses it to cry as a way of venting. My fiance explained that lots of women just cry as a way of blowing off steam, which was totally unknown to me.
posted by McBain at 8:23 AM on August 13, 2003

I don't mind crying when the occasion cries out for a few tears (birth, death, stuff like that), but I hate it when the Disney strings swell in a multiplex and my tears arrive, on cue.

BTW, I found the end of the first article interesting, when it is observed that an actor fighting back tears is much more convincing than a crying actor.
posted by kozad at 8:26 AM on August 13, 2003

One time I read some article that said that crying never happens when one is perfectly happy - a bride who cries has sadness mixed with her joy, as with one of my cousins, who cried walking down the aisle because her father had died only a few months prior to her wedding and she was thinking about him.

Crying as manipulation drives me nuts. I had a roommate once who would cry every single time we got into a fight. No, I was not being mean.

I got some very valuable insights into why men hate it when their female partners cry during arguments.
posted by orange swan at 8:30 AM on August 13, 2003

That scene in The Iron Giant when the robot flies into the nuke and whispers "Superman."

Niagra fucking Falls.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:30 AM on August 13, 2003

Remember: it's all right to cry.

You know that Folger's commercial they show at Christmas where the kid comes home from college and sneaks in early and makes coffee? Gets me every year. (Although I still wouldn't drink Folger's on a bet.)
posted by JoanArkham at 8:34 AM on August 13, 2003

Oh, and I never cry during fictional movies or while reading fiction. It's the based-on-true stories that get me - Shadowlands and Paradise Road had me sobbing.

I'm quite prone to crying when very frustrated, something I didn't see mentioned in the article.
posted by orange swan at 8:34 AM on August 13, 2003

Once, I got extremely misty eyed at a Miami news report showing schoolkids at the zoo washing the tortoises.

This means I am nuts.
posted by jonmc at 8:36 AM on August 13, 2003

when my mother accidentally ran over my right foot with the car (well she said it was an accident).

- Tony blairs press conference after princess diana died was also particularly moving
posted by johnnyboy at 8:36 AM on August 13, 2003

XQUZYPHYR: That one kills my girlfriend, too. Movies or books don't do much for me, but I did weep during a live audio+visual show by Coil. I think I might find music, as a medium, more emotional than books or linear video.
posted by Jairus at 8:37 AM on August 13, 2003

I am tearing up just thinking about The Iron Giant, damn you.

Like McBain, I seem to be getting more weepy as I get older. I can be sitting there deconstructing all the ways in which some tearjerker is manipulating me, but it doesn't stop the urge to cry. It's very annoying.

On preview: I've always been a frustration crier too. And there's usually someone around to cop the "oh, look, the girl's getting all emotional" attitude, which of course only makes me more frustrated.
posted by hilatron at 8:39 AM on August 13, 2003

BTW, I found the end of the first article interesting, when it is observed that an actor fighting back tears is much more convincing than a crying actor.

Clint Eastwood played this to terrific effect by going out of his way to hide all of his tears from the camera during "The Bridges of Madison County". It really makes for a much more powerful scene then if the camera had focused in on a sobbing Clint.
posted by McBain at 8:40 AM on August 13, 2003

crying never happens when one is perfectly happy

well, first, one never is--but what is up with the very common reaction of tears at some act of human goodness? What's going on there -- what's sad about kids washing tortoises, or some headbangers helping a sick kid?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:42 AM on August 13, 2003

I cried like a baby durning the entire movie I Am Sam, and cried during certain scenes of Braveheart (when the girl gives the childhood Mel Gibson the flower at the funeral, and then again 20 years later when he gives it back). Movies can get me, animals in pain certainly get me, that's about it.
posted by vito90 at 8:45 AM on August 13, 2003

Ever since my son was born, I can't watch anything about parents losing children or children losing parents or children losing other children or children being abandoned or... well, you get the point. You know that bit at the end of Deep Impact (of all bloody things) when the parents stay there with the car in the path of the tidal wave and send Elijah Wood off to the hills to survive and ayyyy... I'm sitting there thinking, how the hell did this bring on the tears?
posted by humuhumu at 8:47 AM on August 13, 2003

and cried during certain scenes of Braveheart (when the girl gives the childhood Mel Gibson the flower at the funeral, and then again 20 years later when he gives it back).

The sweeping weepy music doesn't help at all. I'm sure some clever MeFi out there can link some site about weepy music's actual pychological effect on the brain.
posted by McBain at 8:52 AM on August 13, 2003

When I was pregnant, I would cry at commercials, for god's sake ("I'm-home-for-Christmas" type commercials). I blamed that on hormones... Books sometimes, and music, often. The ending of AS Byatt's Still Life left me in absolute floods of tears, wiping them away so that I could keep on reading, becoming shellshocked and having to stop. I've never quite forgiven her for that. (She unexpectedly, in the last 15 pages or so, kills off a main character, just like that. Argh.)
posted by jokeefe at 8:57 AM on August 13, 2003

Crying when people do kind things: it's tears in recognition of an act which we would like more prevalent in the world. A noble act of courage or a simple act of kindness - when this is combined with all the times we are told in our lives about doing good, and all the times in our lives when we know we have failed to do so, and all the times in our lives when we have been the recipient of kindness and recognise the fellow feeling, the heartstrings are tugged and the tears flow. It's the reconition of the immense emotions involved - I think tears are a natural response to monumental feeling.
posted by humuhumu at 8:58 AM on August 13, 2003

I'm with you humuhumu. Combine any child with abandonment or loss and I'm blubbering. Reunion stories get me too for the same reasons. Memories of how I felt at particularly emotional events in my life, like when my son was born or when my house burned to the ground, will also get the tears flowing.

Get me laughing when I'm exhausted and you're likely to see me cry too. Don't know why. I also will end in tears if I find something so terribly funny.

Sorry, gotta share this one. Forgive me if I've done so already. My sister is mentally retarded. One year, Mom arranged for Santa to call her a few days before Christmas. My sister was thrilled and getting her words a bit jumbled due to her excitement. She was trying very hard to be serious and polite as she asked "How are you? How is Mrs. Claus? How are your slaves?" I laughed so hard I cried and still do over this one.
posted by onhazier at 9:04 AM on August 13, 2003

One obvious one: John Hannah's eulogy and reading of Auden's Funeral Blues in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

One not-so-obvious one: when the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives announces the arrival of the president in American President. This always makes me cry, not because of anything in the movie, but because it always reminds me of my dad, who died 10 years ago. He loved that kind of pomp in a great mockingly affectionate way, and when the guy annouces the president in the movie I can hear my dad's voice in my head.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:18 AM on August 13, 2003

In Ken Burns' The Civil War, the letter from the soldier who never came home to his wife ("I will be with you always, always..."). Oh man.
posted by jokeefe at 9:24 AM on August 13, 2003

You guys are just ruining a bunch of movies for people who haven't seen them yet.

On preview: the Civil War made me a little verklempt a few times meself.
posted by norm at 9:27 AM on August 13, 2003

"Les Desesperes" by Jacques Brel kills me every time. Did anyone make it thought "Brian's Song" without bawling?
posted by black8 at 9:28 AM on August 13, 2003

Godzilla 1985.

What? What? I was twelve, okay? It was a very emotional time! And they had to fucking alternate scenes of Godzilla falling into the volcano with shots of the scientists crying and...

...shut up!
posted by Katemonkey at 9:31 AM on August 13, 2003

Hey, Godzilla's some sad shit. Remember Godzilla vs Destoroyah, where Godzilla actually died, after crying over the death of Godzilla Jr.? All the scientists were trying to save him, but they couldn't help in the end... Tragic, tragic stuff.
posted by Jairus at 9:39 AM on August 13, 2003

Grave of the Fireflies made me cry. I watched it once, about 5 years ago. I got it on DVD since then, but I still don't feel prepared to watch it a second time.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 9:44 AM on August 13, 2003

If you think crying at Godzilla is bad, I cried at the end of Gamera 3 when the love...of all the children...brings Gamera back to life...and...sob...

You just have to love that giant space turtle.
posted by JoanArkham at 9:45 AM on August 13, 2003

Smiths, Morrissey and Dylan's "Blood on the Track".
posted by 111 at 9:46 AM on August 13, 2003

posted by 111 at 9:47 AM on August 13, 2003

The children's cemetery where my wife's brother is buried gets me. There is a tombstone that caught my eye because it has a beautiful bat shape carved into it. It lists the child's name, and beneath it reads "Our Little Batman"

It made me want to die.

As does the line on stone that belongs to my little brother in law:
"Lord, this time you gave me a mountain"
You look at all the graves, and can imagine the pain of 1000 families. Too much for such a small patch of ground.
posted by thirteen at 9:53 AM on August 13, 2003

This picture. Jesus, why did I go looking for it?
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:58 AM on August 13, 2003

I cry at the beginning of concerts. The confluence of the artist coming on stage, the cheers and applause, and the first few bars of a song really gets to me.
posted by initapplette at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2003

jokeefe- damn straight. I remember watching the entire miniseries in high school American History class. That letter in particular was just heartwrenching.

The first time I heard Junior Asparagus sing "My Day" (on the newest veggietales episode) I got very misty. Also, Requiem for a Dream did it to me, at the end. Princess Mononoke, the second time I saw it but not the first.

I'm just weird like that.
posted by leapfrog at 10:03 AM on August 13, 2003

Ever since I stood at the fence surrounding the empty field that used to be the Murrah Federal Building (pre-monument), I've become much more comfortable with a good cry.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:04 AM on August 13, 2003

Oh, and I never cry during fictional movies or while reading fiction.

Interestingly, I find fiction and art the only things I am comfortable crying about. I will compulsively choke back tears in any "real" situation that might bring them on. Three things that will usually turn on the waterworks:

1) The song "A New Day" by Mary Margaret O'Hara
2) The movie Harvey
3) The end of the Cowboy Bebop episode "Speak as a Child" (I am a massive geek).
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:07 AM on August 13, 2003

When I see the tacky Jesus with his back turned to the monument at the former Murrah site, I want to cry too, but it's not with sadness.
posted by norm at 10:09 AM on August 13, 2003

Biggest tearjerker movie of all time - The Champ. Don't leave me Champ! Don't leave me! Got me every time.

What an interesting thread this is. I went from laughing out loud at onhazier's story to crying out loud (well, sniffing out loud) at the very next link, kirkaracha's link to Auden's poem. Man, that got me in the movie and will probably get me every time. thirteen, that batman inscription is heartbreaking.

Feeling very emotional now. *sniff*
posted by widdershins at 10:11 AM on August 13, 2003

Speaking of Ken Burns' The Civil War, his account of Cold Harbor gets me. Before leaving on a near-suicidal attack, the Union soldiers wrote their names and hometowns on slips of paper they pinned to their uniforms, so their bodies could be identified. One soldier's diary ends, "June 3, Cold Harbor. I was killed."

Here's the Sullivan Ballou letter.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:16 AM on August 13, 2003

Inscriptions on tombstones can be very wrenching. A church I attended as a child had quite an old tombstone in is graveyard - think it was c. 1910, and it was engraved with the names of a 26-year-old woman and that of her day-old child. The inscription below the names and dates read "Some day we will understand."
posted by orange swan at 10:25 AM on August 13, 2003

The "Rainbow Connection" as sung by Kermit the Frog. Was I the only one choking back tears to that as a little kid?
posted by allpaws at 10:31 AM on August 13, 2003

a chemical imbalance resulting in too little seratonin in the synapses.
posted by quonsar at 10:33 AM on August 13, 2003

One of the most alarming cries I ever had was while brushing my teeth one morning as I listened to "Performance Today." Fred Childs introduced Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring," which I hadn't heard since childhood. The rising swell where the thumping, throbbing bass tones attack (and in Fantasia, all the dinosaurs all start killing each other) suddenly washed over me and I literally, alarmingly, burst into tears.

It was so surprising that I started to laugh too, all with toothpaste dribbling everywhere and tears shooting from my eyesockets.

You can bet that I went right out and bought it.
posted by readymade at 10:43 AM on August 13, 2003

Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings." And I've never even seen the movie Platoon, which I understand pairs the piece with scenes of soldiers dying.

And I second kiraracha's nomination of the Auden quote from the funeral in Four Weddings and a Funeral. What a powerful scene, and what an amazing contrast it creates with the supposedly equally sentimental ending scene of the movie--a total and utter piece o'crap that makes me want to strangle Andie MacDowell.
posted by clever sheep at 10:44 AM on August 13, 2003

It took you until the END of that movie to want to strangle Andie MacDowell, clever sheep? You're a better woman than I am.
posted by orange swan at 10:53 AM on August 13, 2003

Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings." And I've never even seen the movie Platoon,

Previously featured, if I'm not mistaken, in David Lynch's superior (and also tear-inducing) "Elephant Man". Speaking of Adagios and war movies, Albinoni's in "Gallipoli" also comes to mind.
posted by 111 at 11:06 AM on August 13, 2003

kirkaracha -- amazing Sullivan Ballou letter. Did he wind up dying?


*does the math*

OK, I guess he must have.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:09 AM on August 13, 2003

Chopin's nocturnes choke me up, too. Probably because I used to listen to them while doing Compilers homework.

Beethoven's "Moonlight sonata".. well.. yeah.
posted by leapfrog at 11:36 AM on August 13, 2003

Did he wind up dying?

He was killed a week after sending the letter, at the first battle of Bull Run.

The music they play while the letter's being read in The Civil War series is the beautiful, sad Ashokan Farewell [here's a RealAudio clip].
posted by kirkaracha at 11:40 AM on August 13, 2003

the last scene in harold and maude, in which bud cort (patron saint of mefi) leans his head out the window as he drives past the graveyard. this was my dad's favorite movie, and i never got the chance to see it until after he died, so the end is crushingly sad to me. but that shot, man. that shot.
posted by pxe2000 at 11:42 AM on August 13, 2003

The depiction of the Apollo 1 fire, in the opening of Apollo 13. I really wanted to be an astronaut as a kid, and I figure it tapped something deep. Also, when the robot dies in Silent Running, but I was like, 8 at the time.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:19 PM on August 13, 2003

Though I've seen it at least fifty times even a promo for another rerun of Rudy can make my throat tighten up. But when he makes that last tackle against Georgia Tech I bawl like a baby.
posted by oh posey at 12:31 PM on August 13, 2003

"crying never happens when one is perfectly happy"

well, first, one never is--but what is up with the very common reaction of tears at some act of human goodness? What's going on there -- what's sad about kids washing tortoises, or some headbangers helping a sick kid?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders

ssFlanders, I think the tortoise-wash example might be a little unusual -- but in the Queensryche+girl story, the "sad" factor is in our empathy: for the gravely sick girl, the humility of the rock star, and the earnest cooperation of all the people involved in making her modest wish come true.

If all this had somehow happened for an ordinary healthy rock fan, we might in passing think it was kinda cool, but I doubt anyone would get emotional.
posted by Tubes at 12:31 PM on August 13, 2003

When Old Yeller dies.
posted by reidfleming at 12:36 PM on August 13, 2003

I tear up in movies and at stupid phone company commercials all the time (As someone else said, it's amazing how you can find yourself weepy even while coldly analyzing how you are being manipulated. Damn phone companies. How I hate them.)

But the end of Gallipoli has twice reduced me to whooping, heaving sobs - enormously embarassing and v different from my normal sniffles.

The worst is frustration/anger crying. Especially as a girl in a work situation. When my bosses insist I do something I know is totally idiotic, or when I can't convince anyone that something is totally unfair, my reaction is to run off into the bathroom in angry tears. It's hideous. And I can't seem to stop it.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:48 PM on August 13, 2003

Oh, jeez, Grave of the Fireflies. That movie is emotional torture, pure and simple. I literally start crying at the first line of the movie, every time. "September 21, 1945... that was the day I died." Blurrrrrgh!

Episode 23 of Trigun always gets me, too. I even cried during a music video that featured scenes from it... I felt pretty damn pathetic, yet thoroughly cathartic'd. I also cried at the end of Stationfall, that old Infocom text-adventure game. I think all of this probably makes me a big ol' weepy geek.

And yeah, what is the deal with the phone company ads? That sort of emotional blackmail is one of the reasons why I cut down on my TV watching... movies are almost as bad, but at least you have some emotional investment in a movie. I don't give one small shit about AT&T, yet I still cry as soon as they bring out the Gently Swelling Strings.

Screw that, I won't pay any less than $7.50 for my empty emotional manipulation!
posted by vorfeed at 1:03 PM on August 13, 2003

p.s I remeber after finishing stalingrad by anthony beevor, the whole of the next day I was in a very black mood thinking how there is little hope for humanity.
posted by johnnyboy at 1:29 PM on August 13, 2003

One time I read some article that said that crying never happens when one is perfectly happy

I'd like to see a link on this, because it sounds incorrect, and I'd like to read the research for myself.

Most recent weepy-time: pictures from the wedding of two friends. Not to diminish how happy I was for my friends...I cry at the drop of a hat.
posted by frykitty at 1:35 PM on August 13, 2003

I cried at the first professional women's basketball game I attended because even though I don't like basketball and wasn't competitively athletic growing up, I was overwhelmed by what it meant for little girls growing up today to know that there is something more for them to shoot for athletically. I thought about girls I grew up with who could very well have played professionally and what it would have meant to them to have professional women's teams.

And in the movie "Out of Africa", I pretty much cry from the funeral for Finch Hatton through to where her servant (I think his name is Kamante) takes her to the train station and says she will need to build the fire very big where she is going so he will be able to find her. I don't know why it breaks my heart every time.

The book _Animal Dreams_ , by Barbara Kingsolver gets me too.
posted by lobakgo at 1:36 PM on August 13, 2003

Interesting article stupidsexyFlanders.

A friend of mine unexpectedly brought himself to tears by playing Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech over the top of Barber's 'Adagio for Strings'.

Crying is good for you, AFAIK. Chemicals associated with stress are secreted by the tear gland. One reason for the calm afterglow perhaps.
Partially recalled from this letter printed in the NewScientist, which I shall now reprint for those who cannot get into the archive.
I would like to add to the debate from a clinical viewpoint. Laughter is basically a voluntary action, but crying is not. The simple test is to laugh out loud—which can be done easily on demand. But, unless the habit has been cultivated over time, it is impossible to cry tears at will.

Smiling is a voluntary relaxation of the facial muscles and it conveys a message to other people that we are feeling happy and nonaggressive. It relieves us and puts others at ease. We need no more than to smile to convey what our feelings are. However, laughter is a much more complicated affair.

The act of laughing relaxes the face, chest, spine and abdominal muscles. A correlation has been shown between the readiness to laugh and a lower incidence of coronary artery disease. Is it reasonable to speculate that smiling is a means of communication but that laughing is a form of relaxation?

Further speculation is fuelled by the little understood reasons behind why we cry out when in pain. This is more than just exhalation or a cry for help as it does, in some way, seem to alleviate the pain. It would be interesting to try to correlate crying out with pain, laughing loudly and the body's production of pain-relieving endorphins. We know that endorphins flood the body when it experiences pain. Is this process boosted by crying out? Does a loud laugh have a similar effect and is it our personal way of achieving a "fix"?

Some people seem able to cry as a means of expressing sadness and self pity but for most it is the product of pain, pleasure or frustration. Clinical studies show that such tears contain derivatives of adrenaline, a hormone secreted in response to stress. The tears act as a safety valve excreting stress hormones when their levels get too high. This prevents potentially catastrophic rises in blood pressure.

Sweat, a close relative of tears, has a similar dual action. We secrete two types of sweat. A relatively clear liquid is produced to reduce body temperature by evaporation—this is the odourless fluid that drips from our bodies in response to exercise. The other type of sweat is caused by stress and worry and results in the smelly shirt armpit that is familiar after a trying day at work.

With babies, their crying is not true crying at all. It is just a shout for attention which is not accompanied by tears—until they become frustrated by a lack of response and their excess adrenaline needs a route out of the body.

J Stott

Barry, South Glamorgan
posted by asok at 1:45 PM on August 13, 2003

but what is up with the very common reaction of tears at some act of human goodness?

I think about this, too, stupidsexyFlanders. My tentative conclusion is that profound gratitude makes some people cry. It may be impossible for such people to experience a powerfully life-affirming moment without simultaneously mourning its loss... and by extension, the loss of all living and the end of love.

Here are a few odd (and embarrassing) things that make me cry:

1. The song Harvest Moon by Bedlam; Tom Waits' Telephone Call from Istanbull (when the organ kicks in);

2. Talk to Her; and the end of Bliss;

3. Animal shelters.
posted by squirrel at 2:05 PM on August 13, 2003

On further reflection, I remember that when I was a kid and I got into fights with other kids, I never cried during or afterward... unless the other kid came to me and apologized with sincerity. An act of compassion, of reaching out, in a guarded or hostile context can make us cry, which may shed a little light on ssFlanders' question.

For adults, there's always a buried tension between the world we live in and the world that ought to be. Once in a while we get a shaft of light from that ought-to-be world and we simultaneously rejoice at the connection and grieve at the separation between these worlds.
posted by squirrel at 2:22 PM on August 13, 2003

The music they play while the [Sullivan Balou] letter's being read in The Civil War series is the beautiful, sad Ashokan Farewell

Oh yes. When the music enters, I am done for. Even thinking about it now is giving me chills.

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night -- amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours - always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Aw, crap, I've lost is again. *sniff* *blink*

But the end of Gallipoli has twice reduced me to whooping, heaving sobs - enormously embarassing and v different from my normal sniffles.

The moment when the soldier takes off his wedding ring and sets it down before they go over the top and into the Turkish guns just leaves me helplessly snorfling...

On the other hand, I also teared up in the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Willow activates all the other slayers around the world, and all these girls experience a rush of power. That was cool.
posted by jokeefe at 2:29 PM on August 13, 2003

This. No matter how many times I see it. I think it somehow symbolises the end of an era for me, as it was a show that I never failed to miss while growing up.
posted by dg at 3:25 PM on August 13, 2003

Inevitably: the scene in Fellowship of the Ring where Liv Tyler flees the black riders on horseback, with the deathly-ill Frodo in a bundle on her lap.

I think it's the "act of kindness" thing, which has been mentioned, but it's also another overarching theme of the book: the interdependence of the big and little people of the world. It really doesn't get me when the Hobbits show courage and save the world. But when Gandalf or someone else who's tall and wise and brave takes a stand for them, I lose it.

Musicwise, a couple of years ago, my girlfriend at the time bought us tickets to see Strunz and Farah, whom I worship. I bawled for about the 1st 20 minutes of the show, even before they began playing. She had to keep asking me if I was ok. It was as if all the joy their playing had brought me over the years were concentrated and released in a single moment. Much more powerful than my experience with X, fwiw.
posted by scarabic at 3:44 PM on August 13, 2003

what squirrel said
posted by scarabic at 4:20 PM on August 13, 2003

Oh, and this came close.
posted by dg at 4:27 PM on August 13, 2003

"Where the Red Fern Grows" has always gotten me since I was a kid. And the "Our Little Batman" comment is making my screen all watery.
posted by brism at 4:39 PM on August 13, 2003

Bang the Drum Slowly and i can't help but sob throughout the entire film. i can't listen to Streets of Laredo (especially Johnny Cash's version) without shedding a tear or two.

i'm getting the same feeling lately now that they're playing songs from Warren Zevon's new album. especially Knockin' on Heaven's Door and Keep Me in Your Heart. something about knowing he's going to die, much like knowing De Niro's character in Band the Drum is going to die, i just lose it.

oh, and Tom Wait's Tom Traubert's Blues gets me everytime.
posted by goddam at 6:11 PM on August 13, 2003

posted by sneakums at 2:56 AM on August 14, 2003

Speaking of Tom Waits, Tom Traubert's Blues doesn't get me, but that part in A Little Rain that starts with "She was fifteen years old, and she'd never seen the ocean" does, probably because it happened to be playing in the car like two hours after I left home. Synchronicity. Other Tom Waits songs do it, like "Bronx Lullabye" and occasionally "Martha".

The novella Flowers for Algernon does it like clockwork. Never saw the movie or read the expanded book. They'd probably do it too.

It bothers me that we only cry at certain things, when in reality if we were really conscious of all the horrible things that make up the world, we'd probably be crying all the time.
posted by Hildago at 8:38 AM on August 14, 2003

Last week I was talking to my counselor. I said the word "alone" and nearly burst into tears. I think that suitably sums up the main reason I cry.
posted by Freaky at 9:35 AM on August 14, 2003

I cried the other night. "Why, why did you have to push me too far?" I cried until the grave was completely covered and then I burned my bloody clothes.
posted by bargle at 9:43 AM on August 14, 2003

Oh, 747 by Kent made me cry once, but I was already tired, depressed, etc.
posted by bargle at 9:54 AM on August 14, 2003

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