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On the latest edition of All Songs Considered, Bob and I share some of the stories we received when we asked listeners to tell us about the songs that make them cry. We received literally thousands of personal messages and suggestions — some gut-wrenching, some beautiful, but all of them moving and heartfelt.
Since we could never begin to share all of them on the show, we decided to put a few more stories and songs here on the blog. You'll notice that some of the listener stories are recorded; we got those from our Soundcloud page, where you can record and post your own story about a song that makes you cry. You can also share your story in the comments section below.
Lisa: "My mom died when I was 15, and my brother, a musician, was in jail at the time. He was 21. Two county sheriffs brought him to the gravesite on a rainy day in December 1977 and stood in the background while the service took place. We had brought my brother's guitar from home and, at the appropriate time, he played and sang 'Mama Tried' by Merle Haggard. It's one of the saddest memories of my life, and I dissolve every time I hear that song, especially since my brother died last year at only 53."
Sarah: "My son was born in 2005 at 28 weeks. He was tiny, and a fighter, and every day for six weeks, I would go to visit him at the hospital. On the way to and back from the hospital, my husband and I would listen to Coldplay's 'Fix You.' It had a profound and lasting effect on our little family, and now my son loves what he refers to as 'his song.'"
Cindi: "'Don't Worry, Baby' by The Beach Boys. In 1991, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and when I got the phone call at work, I got in my car to go see my husband and this song came on the radio. Of course I was bawling my eyes out, but somehow the song made me feel like it was a message. My mom survived for four more years. I will always feel like it's a message from her when I hear it. And what's weird is, when I hear it on the radio or in a store, it's always from the very beginning. And it really grabs my attention. I no longer cry. I feel comforted by it."
Cherie: "The full version of 'You Are My Sunshine,' especially the one from the O Brother soundtrack. It had started out as a corny thing I sang to my new puppy, because it was something Dixie on All My Children sang to her son. But as the years wore on, I was no longer making fun; it had become my special little thing. And then, 15 years later, she passed away. Breaks my heart every time I hear it now."
Sam: "I just recently graduated high school, and when driving home after graduation, this track came on shuffle and I had to pull over. I guess I just feel every feeling and see every memory of high school and the only world I have ever known in those repetitive, jumbled keys. I first heard this song in the trailer for the movie Greenberg and went to see the film hoping it would be in it so I could learn the name — apparently I had not discovered Google yet — but, alas, it was not in the film. I later figured out the title and artist (which was a surprise because I had LCD's first album but just had never listened to Sound of Silver), and I just adored the song. So when this song came on, I realized that it was all over. I would never see half the people I know ever again, and after the summer, my closest friends — the only people who have meant anything to me for the past 18 years — and I will never be as close because we are all going into different worlds at different universities. In that moment, while driving home, I felt it all: the good times of the past, the pains of moving on, and the fight to have the courage to be hopeful and optimistic for the future."