Top 5 songs that are emotionally moving
1. “Origin of Love” by Mika I blame the sweeping chorus for this. It’s not an emotionally moving song in the epic, tear-fest sense but the lighthearted, lovely sense. It’s just beautiful.
2. “Sigh No More” by Mumford & Sons This whole song might actually be most of the reason why I was a little disappointed with their new album. At any rate, it’s a perfect example of what they do well, and it ranges emotions–it starts slow, soft, but kind of intense with great vocal harmonies singing apologies and dark lines before transitioning into a faster, more upbeat bit about love and happiness. Both parts are equally sincere and play on that respective emotion really well and in such a way that if you were to separate the two distinct sections into their own songs, neither would be nearly as effective as they are paired together like this.
3. “Not the Same” by Ben Folds Sometimes, musical intensity and the actual emotion of a song go hand in hand, and “Not the Same” is a great example of that. The piano is gorgeous to the point of being moving, and the whole thing has this wonderful power to it–which is something I think Ben Folds can be really good at (I also think it’s pretty common in piano-heavy music because some of his contemporaries kick ass at this, too). The repeated line of “You were not the same after that” drives home the great point of people being changed, not always for the better, and it’s reinforced when he screams it in the background in the breakdown. You can pick out moving lines everywhere in this song, and they’re memorable on top of it (“You gave your life/To Jesus Christ” and “Till someone died/On the water slide” always stand out to me).
4. “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again–I have yet to hear a version of this song I dislike because most people with the balls to cover it do it beautifully and simply. Typically, the only difference is the sound of their voice and maybe what instrument they’re using. My favorites are Jeff Buckley, of course, Rufus Wainwright, and Amanda Palmer. Palmer’s live version when she played it while she was sick makes for one of the most intense, raw versions I’ve ever heard. Anyone who’s heard any version of this song understands why it’s so moving–it’s a beautiful song beginning to end, full of love and ache and power.
5. “My Eyes Adored You” by Frankie Valli Look, we all know that I could easily fill this entire list with Frankie Valli if I let myself–after all, you’re talking to the girl who once not so long ago cried through nearly his entire fucking greatest hits. Who does that!? But “My Eyes Adored You” is one of the most perfect examples of Valli’s moving songwriting–it’s a bittersweet love song where things kind of went wrong. Maybe there was lots of admiration from afar that led to nothing or maybe people were taken for granted and things fell apart. Take those themes, the lyrics, the melodies that are easy to sing along to, and Valli’s unique voice and you’ve got a killer song that might break your heart.