Five Songs for Crying

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of using music to help me set the tone for my writing. My last ATWN post, Five Songs for Kissing, listed some of the more recent additions to my kissing scene playlist. Today I’m giving you more songs, this time for those sad scenes where the characters are dealing with pain and loss. These aren’t nearly as fun for me (we all know kissing scenes are my favorite), so when I need to create a difficult scene, it takes just the write mix to put me in the appropriate melancholy mood. Generally, these songs are fairly sparse–just a great voice, perfect lyrics, and minimal instruments.

Here are five songs that have been working for me lately:

1. Farewell – Rosie Thomas

Ugh. This one just kills me. The song itself is so slow and haunting, and her voice with just the piano is perfect, and then there are the lyrics: “Farewell, my love, ’cause I was wrong I guess…” That mix of dealing with loss as well as the realization that you were wrong about a person–the sadness and disappointment–it gets me every time.

2. Raining in Baltimore – Counting Crows

Counting Crows is one of my favorite bands of all time, and this song will forever be among my most favorite from them. It’s all about missing someone who’s entirely too far away. “There’s things I remember; things I forget. I miss you. I guess that I should. Three thousand five hundred miles away, but what would you change if you could?”

3. How – Regina Spektor

I’ve never heard a better song to capture the emotions of a losing your love, either from a rough break-up or death–the pain of losing someone and the fear of moving on. “Time can come and take away the pain, but I just want my memories to remain. To hear your voice, to see your face. There’s not one moment I’d erase.”

4. Say Something – A Great Big World

Have I mentioned A Great Big World around here before? This was the song that originally introduced me to them, but I’m absolutely in love with the whole album. It’s a great mix of songs, and it’s one of those that I can put on shuffle and not be disappointed by whatever pops up. This song though–there was a period of time where I simply couldn’t listen to it without getting choked up. It’s all about knowing you have to say goodbye to someone, but you’re desperately wishing s/he would say something to make you stay. And they don’t. And it is the worst. “And I will swallow my pride. You’re the one that I love, and I’m saying goodbye.”

5. Almost Lover – A Fine Frenzy

Rather than a song to fit a break-up, like the others on this list, this one is more about letting go of what might have been, for whatever reason. “I never want to see you unhappy, I thought you’d want the same for me.”


Honorable mentions: Come Some Rainy Day by Wynonna, Make it Without You – Andrew Belle, Hate Me – Blue October, and Last Request by Paolo Nutini.

Do you have any go-to songs for crying? Even if you’re not into using songs for writing, do you like to listen to certain songs when you’re down? I’m always looking for new ones!


header photo credit: seyed mostafa zamani via photopin cc