Sad Music Videos
October 5, 2004 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Okay, MTV generation (which is probably most of us?) ... we all know that songs themselves can make one cry, but has a music video ever made you cry? I mean cry from sadness, not because the video was a terrible example of the concept "art".
posted by WolfDaddy to Media & Arts (59 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Live to Tell
posted by pieoverdone at 8:33 AM on October 5, 2004

I always got hooked in by Sinead O'Connor's big teary eyes in Nothing Compares 2 U.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:34 AM on October 5, 2004

Response by poster: I had never cried over a video--not even videos for songs that made me cry--until I saw the video for "Good Weather for Airstrikes" by Icelandic band sigur rós a couple of years ago.

The video (not gonna link it because of its con. tro. vers. ial. con. tent.) was all slo-mo, various clips of people, with the two main characters sharing a tender kiss in a slow reveal shot that just slayed my emotions, returning me to an angsty gay teenager of 15. I was amazed that it took, what, 17 years? for a music video to make me cry, and so I thought to ask everyone else.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:35 AM on October 5, 2004

'Hurt', the Johnny Cash video. It kills me every time.
posted by hughbot at 8:37 AM on October 5, 2004

I find the "Don't Dream It's Over" video very moving. Not sure it ever elicited full-fledged tears, but still, it's very effective.
posted by mragreeable at 8:49 AM on October 5, 2004

No real tears, but Soul Asylum's video for Runaway Train, with all the photos of missing kids, moved me.
posted by GeekAnimator at 9:02 AM on October 5, 2004

Well, all of Haircut 100's videos made me feel suicidal. or homicidal. or something.
posted by jonmc at 9:13 AM on October 5, 2004

I will also admit to getting misty during "Every Rose Has It's Thorn," and "What It Takes."

I had just been dumped. Fuck you.
posted by jonmc at 9:15 AM on October 5, 2004

Nothing Compares 2 U
posted by papercake at 9:20 AM on October 5, 2004

Cried? No. Though I remember seeing Ah-Ha's Take On Me as a kid and thinking it was pretty touching stuff.

God kids are dumb.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:26 AM on October 5, 2004

No actual tears, but the video for UNKLE's 'Rabbit in Your Headlights' always upsets me a little, then takes my breath away.
posted by ascullion at 9:27 AM on October 5, 2004

Here's a second for HURT.
posted by konolia at 9:32 AM on October 5, 2004

Not sadness, but the sheer nutty joy of the Bjork video "It's Oh So Quiet" tends to bring a happy tear or two for me, especially the crane shot at the end.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:32 AM on October 5, 2004

Everybody Hurts by REM where everyone is stuck in the traffic jam with their little desperate sadnesses.
posted by jessamyn at 9:36 AM on October 5, 2004

Thanks for the tip on that video, Wolfdaddy. I've been listening to Sigur Ros for a while, but had never seen any of their videos (where does one see a video anymore?). When he gave him the dolls, I felt a tear start to come out.

Absolutely amazing, but I don't get why it is controversial. Am I being obtuse? I mean, they both appear to be minors but it's just a kiss, so what gives?
posted by hummus at 9:41 AM on October 5, 2004

Hurt - absolutely
Days Go By (Dirty Vegas)
November Rain (GnR)

Ok, so I cry easy.
posted by rainbaby at 9:43 AM on October 5, 2004

Response by poster: I mean, they both appear to be minors but it's just a kiss, so what gives?

They're both boys?

jessamyn, I'd never seen that video! Shows you how long ago I gave up on "music television". Thanks for the link.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:50 AM on October 5, 2004

Second for "Runaway Train." I've never shed tears over any video, but this comes closest.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:57 AM on October 5, 2004

Another vote for Sinead O'Connor, gets me every time.
posted by penguin pie at 10:11 AM on October 5, 2004

I, too, find "Hurt" a very poignant video.

But the video that got me when I was kid, the one I remember more than any other because it literally gave me chills the first time I saw it, made tears well in my eyes, was a-ha's "Take on Me". I still get misty when I see it, but mostly I wonder at how easily moved I was as a teenager.
posted by jdroth at 10:18 AM on October 5, 2004

That montage video after September 11th set to Live's "Overcome."
posted by plemeljr at 10:21 AM on October 5, 2004

A fifth (!) for "Hurt." You can see it here (Quicktime). I saw it after June died, and it did me in.

I don't remember being moved by many videos as a kid, though I do recall being frustrated at Aimee Mann's character in the "Voices Carry" video for not leaving her oaf of a boyfriend. (Though perhaps she did after the opera scene.)
posted by lisa g at 10:23 AM on October 5, 2004

Accord on all of the well-known aboves. Watching Kurt Cobain sing All Apologies, too, and even (though it's mostly internal, U2's New Year's Day), but if the test here is: the song, without the video *doesn't* have the same effect, then no.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:27 AM on October 5, 2004

Wow, I can't believe "Time After Time" is being slept on in favor of "Take on Me." She has pink hair! And she's crying! On the bus!

Also you can't tell me the video for Metallica's "One" didn't beat the crap out of you. Nope, not hearing it.
posted by furiousthought at 10:34 AM on October 5, 2004

Hurt by Johnny Cash, but only because I saw the video for the first time on the day he died.

Also, one of the videos by Our Lady Peace - Thief, perhaps? The one about sick and dying children, where the band members are sitting on a bench in the rain.
posted by rhapsodie at 10:34 AM on October 5, 2004

Yep. Hurt. Floodgates. I also like DMB's Crash Into Me vid. And on preview: I totally forgot about Time After Time. Good one.
posted by Hankins at 10:38 AM on October 5, 2004

Hurt just made me misty-eyed here at work. And the sigur ros video is one of my favorites, I'm sure I cried the first time I saw it.
posted by lychee at 10:53 AM on October 5, 2004

I have cried to most of these at one point or another (altho I don't know metallica from a hole in the ground), and I tend get weepy it if the artist has since died (cobain, curtis, staley).

But this question actually made me think of Godley and Creme's "Cry." Thank god there's not a video for "I'm not in love." I'd probably be inconsolable.
posted by whatnot at 11:06 AM on October 5, 2004

"Hurt", definitely, but also "Veronica" by Elvis Costello. I've always loved this song, but Costello's brief spoken intro and coda, plus the delicate, playful way he would occasionally sing along to the recorded track, pulls me in every time. The actresses who played the character were absolutely perfect as well.

Crap. I'm getting a little bit misty just typing this. Maybe I just have a thing about old survivors entering their final years.
posted by maudlin at 11:27 AM on October 5, 2004

My Name is Luka, Nothing Compares to U, that Sigur Ros video (which i only saw online, not on MTV).

And if i had ever seen videos for these, i would have cried, no doubt: Being Boring, and Dreaming of the Queen, by Pet Shop Boys.
posted by amberglow at 11:33 AM on October 5, 2004

Dirty Boots, by Sonic Youth.
posted by hootch at 11:34 AM on October 5, 2004

Heaven by Bryan Adams, where he's singing to a theater filled with TV sets.

I was nine. Fuck you.
posted by LionIndex at 11:35 AM on October 5, 2004

Hurt, as others have mentioned is one. Top of the World from the Dixie Chicks is another. Also, Tell Me I was Dreaming from Travis Tritt. That last one gets me choked up just *thinking* about it right now. The songs alone didn't push me over the edge, but the videos were just an overload.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:38 AM on October 5, 2004

The Crash Test Dummies' Superman's Song. Something about all those over-the-hill superheroes just tears me up.
posted by timeistight at 11:47 AM on October 5, 2004

Family Portrait by none other than Pink (the one where Pink is singing as a "ghost" with herself as a kid going through a divorce, and the little girl is mouthing the words).
posted by Quartermass at 11:49 AM on October 5, 2004

posted by Blue Stone at 12:02 PM on October 5, 2004

The video for Coldplay's "The Scientist" got me a little.
posted by bitpart at 12:34 PM on October 5, 2004

Hurt made me misty-eyed. Soul Asylum's video for Runaway Train made me bawl like a baby. Of course, I was also PMSing for the first time in my life, which probably helped.
posted by stoneegg21 at 12:36 PM on October 5, 2004

Hurt, again. But I know another one ...

These Are The Days of Our Lives. Queen. An almost spectral Freddie Mercury singing his heart out just months before his own final curtain call.
posted by grabbingsand at 1:09 PM on October 5, 2004

"Mercy Street" by Peter Gabriel. Her father, the boat, the waves, the overcranked black-and-white photography does it for me.
posted by deadcowdan at 1:28 PM on October 5, 2004

"All is Full Of Love" by Bjork can get me anytime I see it.. It just seems so cold and sad and beautiful all at the same time.
posted by Restlessavenger at 1:54 PM on October 5, 2004

Sputnik7 is a music video haven, last I checked. It gravitates towards the indie, so, I don't know about November Rain, or anything, but check it out.
posted by rfordh at 2:36 PM on October 5, 2004

Try Mogwai's 'Hunted by a Freak' (10.1mb quicktime here) - very sad stuff indeed.
posted by jonathanbell at 2:36 PM on October 5, 2004

Radiohead's "No Surprises". That video is fucking amazing.
posted by Tlogmer at 3:22 PM on October 5, 2004

"Show Must Go On" by Queen.

And if you didn't get a lump in your throat seeing Johnny Cash's Hurt video you have no soul.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:40 PM on October 5, 2004

Art Garfunkel's 'Bright Eyes' with the 'Watership Down' clip.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:21 PM on October 5, 2004

I was just about to say "No Rain" by Blind Melon - although that's crying in a happy kind of way - and also "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M...

But obiwanwasabi's suggestion just did it for me. Hell, the book makes me cry, the song makes me cry, and the filmclip makes me cry. About rabbits. Sheesh.
posted by Jimbob at 6:15 PM on October 5, 2004

"Hold On" by Good Charlotte - with a whole bunch of people who'd lost loved ones to suicide. I started bawling and was embarrassed that my dog witnessed me crying at a Good Charlotte video.
posted by ferociouskitty at 7:10 PM on October 5, 2004

I'll agree on most of the above, especially Hurt. Recently, though, the Low Morale video for Radiohead's Creep made me cry like a baby, at my desk at work. (No, I like my job just fine...). Something about that leap out the window was almost hopeful in its desperation, and I lost it.
posted by donnagirl at 7:16 PM on October 5, 2004

Black Hole Sun.

I was under the influence of some, er, chemicals at the time and I made the mistake of turning on the TV to look for something I recognized. Baaaaaaaaaad idea.
posted by emelenjr at 7:48 PM on October 5, 2004

obiwanwasabi wins. Fucking "Bright Eyes," man. Good god. Sad and really damn creepy.

I'll also go with "Hurt," of course. And apparently I'm a sucker for videos in which the singer cries, because "Nothing Compares 2 U," "Family Portrait," and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Maps" get to me.

The end of "Take On Me" gives me chills, but not tears.
posted by schoolgirl report at 7:49 PM on October 5, 2004

Man, I just watched Hurt again...and wept like a little girl. That's probably the most powerful video as far as making me actually cry.

My name is Luca...that one too. Nothing Compares 2 U, pretty much, I'm an easy mark when it comes to weepy.
posted by dejah420 at 9:05 PM on October 5, 2004

Mogwai's 'Hunted by a Freak' : thanks for the nightmares, jonathanbell.
posted by Tubes at 9:12 PM on October 5, 2004

Another vote for Bjork's All is Full of Love, and another for "Hurt" and add a new vote for Eurythmic's "Here Comes the Rain Again" which has always struck me with a sense of desperate desolation which takes the song to an entirely different place than it would otherwise be.
posted by Dreama at 9:24 PM on October 5, 2004

I recall being really moved by the Cranberries' video for "Zombie." Haven't seen it for a long time, but it featured grim scenes of soldiers on patrol in the streets of Northern Ireland and, I think, a young Elijah Wood wandering around some devastated industrial facility.
posted by Tubes at 9:37 PM on October 5, 2004

Hurt made me cry like a baby as well. Count me in as another for Runaway Train as well
posted by mabelcolby at 11:55 PM on October 5, 2004

"Here's where the story ends" - the Sundays

without fail, every time.

( I never cried during "Hurt", but I remember being impressed that they used BBC footage
from the "Life on Earth" series, like the pied kingfisher diving for fish )
posted by milovoo at 9:52 AM on October 6, 2004

Arab Strap's "Cherubs" (from Matador Records) makes me cry from its sheer beauty. I used to loop it back when it was easier to watch music videos online.
posted by ifjuly at 2:50 PM on October 6, 2004

if you want, it's available here.
posted by ifjuly at 3:03 PM on October 6, 2004

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