Everybody Cries Sometimes

They say that big girls don’t cry, but sometimes even tough, manly men cry. A recent survey reveals the top 10 songs that force guys to reach for the tissues.

The survey included 1,757 men and was conducted online by PRS for Music. The nonprofit collects and pays royalties to the 70,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers it represents in the United Kingdom.

The number one song that brings men to tears? R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts.” PRS points out that the tune, which originally hailed from the band’s 1992 album Automatic for the People, was used as a charity single earlier this year with proceeds going to help victims of the Haiti earthquake. Almost two decades later the song is evidently still stirring up emotion because the single has become the U.K.’s fastest-selling charity record of the 21st century.

Photo: AP Photo
Royal Albert Hall, London.

The next song also dates back to the early ‘90s – Eric Clapton’s ballad “Tears in Heaven,” which he wrote after the 1991 death of his four-year-old son Conor. The song was featured on the soundtrack to the 1991 film “Rush” and Clapton’s 1992 live album Unplugged.

Leonard Cohen’s classic song “Hallelujah,” which was originally released on his 1984 studio album Various Positions, earned the third spot on the list.

Photo: Greg Allen / gregallenphotos.com
Beacon Theatre, New York, N.Y.

In fourth place is Sinéad O’Connor’s version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which was included on her 1990 sophomore album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, after being written by Prince for The Family’s 1985 self-titled album.

U2’s first number-one hit in the United States, “With or Without You,” also made the list. The tune hails from the band’s 1987 album, The Joshua Tree.

“From this chart, it is clear that a well-written tear-jerker is one that people can relate to and empathize with,” Ellis Rich, chairman of PRS for Music, said. “It is this lyrical connection that can reach deep down emotionally and move even the strongest of men.”

The top ten list also includes the following songs: The Verve’s “The Drugs Don’t Work,” Elton John’s “Candle In The Wind,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia,” Todd Duncan’s “Unchained Melody,” and Robbie Williams’ “Angels.”

Do you think the top ten songs are sob-worthy? Leave us a comment and tell us which songs always make you cry. 

Click here for the PRS for Music article.