Fiddler on the Roof/Tear Jerker

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  • A lot of songs from Fiddler on the Roof tug at the heartstings. Probably one of the most infamous examples is "Sunrise, Sunset". And when done right, "Sabbath Prayer" also has a very powerful feeling to it - you'll cry and you won't know why. For this troper, "Far From the Home I Love" is heartbreaking, as well as the lines immediately after:

HODEL: God only knows when we shall see each other again.
TEVYE: Then we shall leave it in His hands.

  • And the song Tevye sings about Chava, and his heartbreak, and her heartbreak -- it DOES NOT HELP that this troper has always associated Tevye with her father. That song is so hard to hear.
  • The one that gets this troper the most is when Tevye disowns Chava and the song he sings about it afterward. It certainly doesn't help that this very nearly happened to this troper's favorite aunt.
  • "Far From the Home I Love". Full stop. This troper did Fiddler in high school with the school drama club, and wasn't expecting perfection, which made it all the more jarring when the guy playing Tevye and (especially) the girl playing Hodel churned out a professional-level performance, leaving me nearly bawling backstage. It also doesn't help that it immediately follows the fun and quirky "The Rumor" scene.
  • Anatevka. The song is just so bleak. They try to kid themselves into saying the village was nothing, just a pile of rubbish, it should have been destroyed ages ago. But they know this is a lie. It wasn't much, but it was their home dammit!
  • "Sun rise, sun set", it's a beautifully somber song about watching your children grow up and leave you, and how it's a wonderful thing to watch, but doesn't make the fact that you are growing older and left alone any easier.
    • For obvious reasons, it is a very popular choice for father-daugther/mother-son dances at weddings (at least Jewish weddings).
  • "L'Chaim" can count as this. Here we have a song that involves the Jews and Gentiles putting aside their personal biases to celebrate the announcement of a wedding. It all feels worthless during the wedding when the reception is destroyed and the Jews terrorized.