Top 10 Tear Jerkers of All Time

Jul 20, 2002

The Bottom Line For a time when all you need is somebody that knows what you're feeling, music comes in and makes everything a little better.

There are some songs that touch the soul in an incredible way. Songs that get you choked up. Songs that remind you of heartbreak, how bad it was, how lonely it was, how much you learned from it, and, hopefully, how much you benefited from it. Music has that power, to know what you're feeling, to rid you of the lonliness, and to put your emotions and your sadness into beautiful harmony.
These songs touched me like no other. There are oldies, there is alternative, there is country. There is R&B. They all have one thing in common. They make you think, make you feel sorry for the songwriter, and make you appreciate music all the more.

The Dance - by Garth Brooks
Named one of the Top 10 songs of the century in a poll released around 2000. It put Garth Brooks into orbit, and it's symbolic lyrics with the beautiful piano bar makes it arguably one of the best songs ever.

"Our lives are better left to chance / I could've missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance"

Against All Odds - by Phil Collins
A classic song, remade several times over, but never better. A song about loss, and the emptiness of knowing, they aren't coming back.

"You coming back to me, is against the odds, and that's what I've gotta face."

Name - by The Goo Goo Dolls
A slow rock ballad, beautifully written, beautifully sung. The Goo Goo Dolls' first, and best, hit.

"Even though the moment passed me by...I still can't turn away."

This Woman's Work - by Maxwell
A ballad so full of soul that the goosebumps will always rise. Featured on "Love and Basketball". The Unplugged version is better, and Maxwell's vocals just add to the emotion.

"Should be crying but I just can't let it show, should be hoping but I can't stop thinking, of all the things we should've said that we never said, all the things we should've done that we never did."

Yesterday - by The Beatles
Written by Paul McCartney, one of the legends of music. Along with "The Dance", "Yesterday" belongs up there with music's elite productions. Touched a nerve after 9/11.

"Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away."

She's Out of My Life - by Michael Jackson
The King of Pop's versatility reached it's sensitive, soft peak in this ballad from 1979's "Off the Wall" album. Jackson claimed to have broken down and cried during the recording. I nearly did the same while listening. A very touching masterpiece.

"So I've learned, that love's not possession, and I've learned, that love won't wait."

All These Years - by Sawyer Brown
A country classic from the early 90's. Tells a good, vivid story of a marriage on the rocks.

"I'm still here, until I'm gone...don't you rub it in too hard that I've been wrong...all these years."

If I Could Turn...- by R. Kelly.
An R&B hit that strayed away from the R&B paradigm. Produced to sound like an oldie--and a goodie.

"How did I ever let you slip away? Never knowing, I'd be singing this song someday."

My All - by Mariah Carey
A beautiful guitar background, beautiful vocals. Much emotion comes with it.

"I'd give my all to have, just one more night with you...I'd risk my life to feel your body next to mine."

Unbreak my Heart - Toni Braxton
From the 90's. a classic R&B tear-jerker. Toni Braxton's best by far.

"I need your arms to hold me now...the nights are so unkind"

Anytime - by Brian McKnight
Along with the piano, McKnight succeeded yet again in a long string of R&B hits. This one might be his best.

"Lonliness and heartache, crying myself to sleep, wondering about tomorrow, won't you come back to me?"

Also worth mentioning:

Hard to Say I'm Sorry - Az Yet
Still Make Cheyenne - George Strait
Ex-Factor - Lauryn Hill
On Bended Knee - Boyz II Men
Fool of Me - Meshell Ndegeocello
Where I Wanna Be - Donnell Jones
Glycerine - Bush
You Were Mine - Dixie Chicks
Die Without You - PM Dawn

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