The Beatles (band)/Tear Jerker

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Who'd know a band with so many Silly Love Songs knew how to make people cry? Some people have said that "they cried all the way to the bank", meaning that they made money from writing very sad songs. Celebrity Is Overrated indeed.

  • "The Long and Winding Road", for starters.
  • Depending on your mood, "Across The Universe" also fits.
  • "Eleanor Rigby" is a hopeless song about someone who died as a lonely woman. It can especially affect those who also struggle with loneliness and having few (if any) friends. Also, part of what makes Eleanor Rigby so sad is the fact that the strings sound like they're sighing. Both Paul and the instruments sound angry and disgusted that we live in a world where this happens.
    • Tear Jerking Fridge Brilliance. Eleanor Rigby "... was buried along with her name." Everyone forgot her. A possible exemption could be made for Father McKenzie.
    • The chorus especially can do it:

"All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?"

    • Even the version of "Eleanor Rigby" from the Anthology, which is just the strings, will haunt you.
  • "In My Life" is another one.

"All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all..."

  • Then there is "Julia", which John Lennon wrote for his late mother.
  • "Here Comes the Sun" is a particularly bittersweet song, especially when one considers how cheerful the song sounds. However, others may find that the song brings them Tears of Joy.

"Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right..."

  • "When I'm Sixty Four" may be another one, even if only because it plays over the ending credits of The World According To Garp (which has its own entry in the film examples).
    • Russell Brand's version of "When I'm Sixty Four", while considered Narm for some, is heartbreaking for others -- because Russell was instructed to sing it as if the answer to "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four?" was "No."
  • "Hey, Jude" -- sad melody, and there are times when the lyrics don't quite make it better.
    • Paul McCartney has also admitted that the song has Tear Jerker connotations for him based on his relationship with John Lennon. Not only did Lennon praise it as the finest song McCartney ever wrote, but when first playing the song to Lennon, McCartney was adamant that he'd remove the line "the movement you need is on your shoulders", convinced it was just a placeholder lyric; Lennon, however, believed that that was the finest lyric in the song and insisted McCartney leave it alone. Since Lennon's death, McCartney admits that he finds it hard to think of that line without choking up a bit.
    • It Got Worse. According to all four, this song was the absolute peak of the relationship between them all. After "Hey Jude", the group started splintering.
    • Also doubles as a slightly heartwarming moment, as Paul wrote it for Julian Lennon after John and his first wife divorced and John was being a bit of an absent dad.
  • "Let It Be", period. Even large, shaven, tattooed men have broken down into Manly Tears hearing this song.
    • The version from Across the Universe -- done by a single a capella boy, a gospel choir, and then played over the image of a young soldier's funeral -- can be very heart-wrenching.
      • Played over the funerals of the soldier and the boy (the latter of which died in a city riot).
    • Try watching this Grave of the Fireflies AMV that uses the song.
  • Across the Universe's rendition of "Happiness is a Warm Gun" can make certain people feel lonely (and even lachrymose).
    • Likewise, the film's cover of "Across the Universe" is exceptionally melancholy and depressing.
  • "A Day in the Life" is another one. Try to ignore the Lyrical Dissonance and notice how depressing the words actually are. Except for Paul's cheery part, which may be why Paul has been omitting the final verse when he covers this song...
    • George Martin had cried when presenting the song in the Beatles Anthology documentary.
    • The most depressing version of the song might be Jeff Beck's instrumental version from George Martin's "In My Life" album -- the sad, melancholy beauty of the song is amplified to the point where it's almost tangible.
  • "She's Leaving Home", an oddity as Beatles songs went (considering their "mischievous kid" personas). Lines from that song, like "We gave her most of our lives... we struggled hard all those years to get by" can be especially heartbreaking. Also, the lines "We never thought of ourselves...Never a thought for ourselves..We didn't know it was wrong..." -- showing parents who only meant well, but only drove their daughter away in throwing money at her, and must now go on without her. It can really wrench one's gut. The beautiful strings and vocals can also do it.
  • Two from Paul on Revolver:
    • "Here, There and Everywhere", more for the simple vocals by Paul than for the lyrics.
    • "For No One", meanwhile, has some of the most depressing lyrics on the album.

"And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind the tears... cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years."

  • "All You Need Is Love". Really. It can be Tears of Joy or sad tears, depending on what your romance life is like.
    • When someone (it sounds like John) starts screaming "She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah" in the background, it shows how far the band had truly progressed within a few short years -- and a fitting tribute to their Mop-Topped selves.
  • "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" can also do it.

"With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps
I don't know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don't know how you were inverted
No one alerted you..."

    • The acoustic version with string accompaniment in Love too. The strings on the Love version are so breathtakingly, achingly beautiful it's almost too much to take. Then there is that additional verse...

"I look from the wings at the play you are staging
While my guitar gently weeps
As I'm sitting here doing nothing but aging
Still my guitar gently weeps."

  • "Blackbird" is another song that can bring on the tears.
    • "Blackbird" was written about the struggle over civil rights in the States. The bird is a "black woman living in Little Rock."

Paul McCartney: Those were the days of the civil rights movement, which all of us cared passionately about, so this was really a song from me to a black woman, experiencing these problems in the States: 'Let me encourage you to keep trying, to keep your faith, there is hope.'"

  • "Real Love" is probably the finest song John had ever written -- and the song seems that much more heart-wrenching, when put into the context of his tumultuous life.
  • Everything about "Free As A Bird". Everything. John's lyrics are tragic considering he died during the happiest time of his life. Paul's and George's are depressing because they sound like they wish it hadn't ended the way it did. The Wikipedia page has hundreds of depressing stories that can make you cry (which isn't a sentence you expect to say all that often). Then there's the fact that it sounds like John is singing from beyond the grave. Hell, the music video can make you cry -- and all it is is hundreds of Beatles shoutouts. (The latter also goes for the Anthology version of "Real Love".)
  • "I'm Looking Through You" can make one feel sad. It sounds like a fairly cheery song, but the line "love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight" can make one think about the fragility of love. Although, it's actually an angry Break Up Song dedicated to Jane Asher, Paul's then-girlfriend. The line is more of a stealth threat that he'll leave if she doesn't treat him kinder.
  • It's hard to listen to "Two of Us" while you're consciously aware that it comes from their final album. "You and I have memories, longer than the road that stretches out ahead..." And the fact that it's sung by John and Paul at a point when their relationship was collapsing and both were going their separate ways with Yoko and Linda... when you look at the song as a tribute to their friendship, it becomes even more heartbreaking.
  • "I Will" gains a level of sadness when you listen closely to the lyrics and realize it's a song of undying love to a woman that "the singer has never met -- and maybe never will." "Will I wait a lonely lifetime?/If you want me to, I will..."
  • No mention of "Julia", anyone? Considering the song was written about John Lennon's mother, who died when he was fourteen. The fact that resounds like he is about to cry makes matters worse.
  • "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" is about a gay man being made fun of for his sexuality.
    • Not made better by the fact that Brian Epstein was gay and the song was written in a time where people were considered swine for being gay.
      • There's something also oddly tearjerking about Lennon's mistake, where he sings "feeling two foot small" instead of "tall". Mostly because "small" has more impact than what the line was supposed to be.
  • "Something" may also count. Frank Sinatra actually called it the best love song Lennon or McCartney wrote, but it's George Harrison's song about his then wife Patti Boyd - who would later go on to divorce him for Harrison's best friend Eric Clapton, who also wrote a song ("Layla") about her. (Oddly enough, George was cool with that.)
    • George wasn't exactly cool with it... in fact, he did a cover of "Bye Bye Love" with altered lyrics relating to the situation. The original. His version. He did get over it though.
  • "Because". Not a particularly sad song in of itself, but the beautiful vocal harmony is tearjerking.
  • "Strawberry Fields Forever" is a very sad, poignant piece of poetry -- and, not to mention, a very personal song for John. The loneliness that comes through can make ones heart ache for him.
  • "Yesterday" can feel like a saddening song.

"Why she had to go, I don't know,
she wouldn't say.
I said something wrong,
now I long for yesterday."

  • "You Never Give Me Your Money." Full stop. As a song by itself, it evokes a general sense of wasted life; as part of the Abbey Road medley... brilliant. "One sweet dream came true today..."
  • The closing medley of Abbey Road: "Golden Slumbers", "Carry That Weight", and "The End". All three songs defining the end of the band:
    • "Golden Slumbers" gives us the lyric "Once there was a way to get back homeward", the most obvious interpretation being that while there was a way back once, that way is now closed off forever, and there is no going back to how things were.
    • "Carry That Weight" (the chorus of which is sung by all four Beatles in unison) is viewed as a reminder to the band that the weight of being a Beatle will be with them all their lives...

You're Gonna Carry That Weight...

    • "The End": Notable in having Ringo's only drum solo with the Beatles, and indeed each portion of the song allowing each Beatle chiming in a solo each. Finally meshing together over a simple piano chord...

And in the end
The Love you take
Is equal to the Love
You make...

    • And then wait for the hidden song "Her Majesty", a sweet little ditty that provides the saddest kind of Mood Whiplash ever.
  • "Good Night". Although the song itself is usually considered sappy and maudlin, after the emotional rollercoaster that is the entirety of The Beatles, climaxing with the... preceding song, it's just some sort of sweet, simplistic release, restoring your sanity when you need it most. In its own way, it's the perfect closer for the album.
    • When Ringo whispers the final lines, it's both a Last-Note Nightmare and a tear jerker as it sounds like he really means what he's singing. And not to mention there's just painful about "everybody, everywhere... good night."

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