I'm a giant wuss. A total crybaby. Tito, get me a tissue!
Those twisted folks at Rhino Records recently reissued the heart-squishing works of Jim Croce. And I'm telling you, I could barely get past six seconds of Time in a Bottle — "If I could save time in a bottle …" — before losing it. Total sobathon. If a co-worker had strolled by, they would have thought I had just dropped an anchor on my toe.
But in considering my own Kleenexian tendencies, I realized that a lot of you are big beautiful ninnies, too. Misery digs company, and when I asked readers for their saddest songs of all time, the waterworks opened with startling honesty. Wow, you guys are a mess … and I love it.
You unloaded all five of the classic caterwauling categories: breakup songs, pet owners mourning Fido, bride and groom first-dancers, losing battles with the Grim Reaper and, of course, the atom bomb of tissue tunes, the daddy's little-girl lullabies.
Because we all need a good cry now and then (or, you know, every time we drive to work or go home for Thanksgiving), here's a sampling of Times' readers favorite weepers. Fair warning: If you're a big softie like me, this is a minefield of malaise. Go on, tough guy, squirt a few …
You're Going to Die Soon … Now Sing Along!
The Dance, Garth Brooks
I Hope You Dance, Lee Ann Womack >>
Live Like You Were Dying, Tim McGraw
Under Pressure, Queen and David Bowie
Time in a Bottle, Jim Croce
The Living Years, Mike + the Mechanics
When I Get Where I'm Going, Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton
(Says Sherrie: "My son actually changes the radio station as soon as he recognizes a tune that will reduce me to mush. Jim Croce, Bread. The list is endless.")
Cinderella, Steven Curtis Chapman
There Goes My Life, Kenny Chesney
Father and Daughter, Paul Simon
You'll Be in My Heart, Phil Collins
Goodnight My Angel (Lullabye), Billy Joel
, Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler
(Says Marissa: "Wind Beneath My Wings … reminds me of my dad who passed away in '99. It was our father-daughter dance at my wedding reception.")
Nobody Loves You
And So It Goes, Billy Joel >>
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word, Elton John
Baby Come Back, Player
The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, Asia
I Can't Make You Love Me, Bonnie Raitt
Both Sides Now, Judy Collins
Send in the Clowns, Frank Sinatra
Keep on Loving You, REO Speedwagon
(Says Guy of listening to REO: "Driving to college after saying farewell to my then-gal pal, I was shocked to discover I actually had tear ducts, as I felt a solitary drop run down my face.")
Your Dog Is Dead
Shannon, Henry Gross
(Little Deb says: "Shannon, the 1976 worldwide hit by Henry "Sha Na Na" Gross, was a song written about the passing of Beach Boy Carl Wilson's Irish setter dog of the same name.")
I Now Pronounce You Man and Wife ... Until You Croak or Get Divorced. Sucks, huh?
Forever and Ever Amen, Randy Travis
, When You Say Nothing at All, Alison Krauss
Walking Her Home, Mark Schultz
(Says Bassnote: "That last verse of Walking Her Home causes uncontrolled sobbing.")
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life blog is at blogs.tampabay.com/popmusic.