Country music makes me cry.

Country music makes me cry. Obviously, not all country songs make me cry. The ones that are full of honky-tonk happiness, barefooted women dancing on cars, and cowboys falling all over themselves – those make me turn up the dial and pretend I am in a truck and cutoff jeans. The ones that make me cry fall into two categories. The first category, the one that has me sobbing against the wheel, are the ones about life passing too fast, or not noticing that the little moments are the most valuable. Little girls grow up while their fathers grasp at stolen moments, husbands are convicted that their wives matter most to them, and I crumble in delicious tears. Watch this song for example, and just try to tell me that your eyes stay dry.  The other ones that make me cry are the ones that are super proud of being American, which brings me to…

The National Anthem makes me cry. Francis Scott Key, you sneaky devil. How am I supposed to keep that hand over my heart when your poignant words are ripping it out? That hanging question mark where we wonder if the flag is still flying??? It slays me. I have cried almost every single time I have gone to the Old Glory exhibit at the Smithsonian. The only time my tears didn’t reach full force was when I was sitting on the dark bench trying to anoint the moment of patriotic remembrance with my tears while a rogue security guard decided to take over tourist instruction. My tears turned to giggles as the guard explained that “Bombs and stuff be falling every where and my man Key just be like, dude I wrote this great jam.” Great jam indeed. I usually cry when we sing it at baseball games too, which brings me to…

Sports movies make me cry. It isn’t like I am moved by the amazing display of athletic prowess. Meh. But when you have groups of people thrown together, working through the stages of dislike and into camaraderie, and then overcoming all odds to a big win, I just can’t help it. There is always a scene where some player – usually the one who was a punk for a long time – gives a moving speech that reveals their inner transformation and I loose it. Of course, as long as we are talking about the connection between the screen and my tear ducts…

The TV show Parenthood makes me cry. I am fairly positive that the producers of this show have a focus group of people exactly like me and that they know, they KNOW, with diabolic certainty exactly which moment will make me cry, so then they add some amazing music and it is OVER. I don’t want to provide details, because you should all watch it and enjoy all the twists yourself, but I have cried in every. single. episode. Sometimes it is because the show gets me, but quite frequently it is because it makes me think of a potential parenthood moment that I will someday face and I just can’t take it anymore. One evening, James had a hard time consoling me because he was too busy laughing as I cried over our future children going off to future college and leaving future me crying at the airport. Yes, that’s right, I was crying over the children that we don’t have going off to colleges that I don’t know. I can’t blame James for his laughter, which brings me to…

James talking about seeing me in my wedding dress for the first time makes me cry.  The first look. The doors opening. Walking down the same aisle that my mother walked to meet my father so many years ago. It is enough to make me grow misty, but when he talks about it, I start weeping happily. He knows this, which is why sometimes he will do it like a party trick when we are at weddings, parties, dinners etc. firstlook

The other surefire trick he employs is the fact that…

Homeward Bound makes me cry. Nope, I don’t mean actually watching it. I mean thinking  about it, hearing other people talk about it. Shadow in the hole… Chance and Sassy rooting him on… his sweet owner thinking that he won’t ever make it home… [pausing to go cry and come back].  And as long as we are talking animals…

 Videos of dogs welcoming their owners home from war makes me cry. Do I seriously even need to explain this one? Because if so, maybe you should check for a pulse and heartbeat because you might be a robot.  I should really expand this to just say that almost any animal doing something noble makes me cry. Which brings me to…

Children’s books make me cry. Last summer my friend Bethany was telling me about a book she read to her sixth grade students, The Dog of Pompeii.  This FICTIONAL book spins a story around the dog discovered at Pompeii and relates the relationship between a little boy and his dog, who, alas, doesn’t make it out of the city. Bethany finished talking about the book only to see me slumped against the car door in tears. This book is not the first book for kids that has affected me so. The Giving Tree? I still cry every time I read it. In fact, sometimes I read it because I want to cry, which brings me to…

The Les Misérables trailer makes me cry. I think I actually cried more in the trailer than the actual film. That perfect montage of scenes juxtaposed against Anne Hathaway’s ravaged voice singing a song of shattered hope held more power for me than the full film. Occasionally I would declare that I just needed a good cry and then I would curl up with the trailer. Just in case any of you is in need of a cry, here you go. 

That sounds weird, I know, but sometimes a good cry when nothing is actually wrong with your life can be just what you need. It gets all the tears out in a cleansing way and leaves you stronger without leaving you hardened. I found this quote when I read Great Expectations in high school and I love it.


It’s not that sometimes it is ok to cry, but that sometimes it is needed to cry.

Any other non-tragedy criers out there?

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80 Responses to Country music makes me cry.

  1. Beth says:

    I watched “Gone With the Wind” on tv last night and I cried. And “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”

    • Hannah says:

      I have seen it at least 30 times and I still, STILL, S T I L L scream at him to hear her when she asks for him when she is sick and then I weep when he leaves. Too much.

  2. worldsbeforethedoor says:

    Omg!!! This is so me! In fact, I refused to like or listen to country music for years cause it always made me cry. I watch a lot of war movies promising to keep my tear ducts plenty clean. The first movie I remember watching as a kid where I cried because I was happy was The Incredible Journey. Its the original version of homeward bound. Kindred spirits here!

    • Hannah says:

      Oh those war movies….. CANNOT EVEN DEAL. : )

      • worldsbeforethedoor says:

        I haven’t figured it out yet, but there is a deep seated need in me to watch and remember what soldiers go through. To try and hold onto tgr horror they face. But it does make me cry. 🙂

  3. Amanda says:

    Several things:

    1. I was planning to comment with the Dickens quote and then you beat me to it. GREAT MINDS.

    2. Things that make me cry: All of the above (duh), the name “Sydney Carton” (that was my inaugural weepfest with my new juniors), the last lines of The Diaries of Adam and Eve, listening to ANY of the TCA kids sing ANYTHING, but especially PG singing “Bring Him Home”, MLK’s “I Have a Dream”, “Maybe” from Annie, “In the Arms of an Angel” (thank you, animal abuse commercials), the last 200 page of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the fact that WordPress won’t let me italicize book titles, the stupid distance between DC and Alabama.

    3. Thank you for being my tear buddy. I was about to name a specific instance, but they are legion.

    • Hannah says:

      yes, Yes, YES. Those TCA kids SLAY ME. And the animal abuse commercials? It’s not even fair. I find myself yelling things like “KILL ALL THE HUMANS AND LET THE ANIMALS REBUILD A BETTER WORLD!!!” which is of course totally out of control.

      Here lies Eve. And where she was, there was Eden. I AM DEAD. SLAIN. YELLING IN MY OWEN MEANY VOICE. (Oh, and that book too MAKES ME CRY.)

  4. amyvanhuisen says:

    Pretty sure your “confessions” will unearth many a crier…(hand raised). Love the Dickens quote!

    • Hannah says:

      Thanks! I kept on waiting for someone with awesome graphic skills to make that quote into a cool poster and no one ever did so I finally just had to go for it, my limited graphic skills and all.

  5. Aveleen says:

    Country songs, check. Homeward Bound – every time. And the Les Mis trailer…so beautiful and sad I couldn’t help myself. I made everyone I know watch it so I could assess whether they had a heart of stone or not. I didn’t watch the link in your post, however, because I have work to get back to and I know I’d be a sobbing mess.

    Great posts – your humour is the perfect break in the middle (or beginning, or end) of the day 🙂

  6. YES. At the end of Homeward Bound, when the dogs come running over the hill with the intense music, I start sobbing. It’s ridiculous.

  7. Jenny says:

    seriously, Parenthood! I’m glad I’m not the only one. Every. Single. Episode.

    Great writing! Love reading the blog!

  8. mservold says:

    Last week I bawled at the end of “Braveheart.” I think it was mostly PMS-driven, but it was still touching. Freeeeedoooommm!!!!

  9. Yes, I’m such a crier on all of these counts! 🙂 — Ericka @ The Sweet Life (

  10. Steelwheels says:

    Thanks for this post. As a father of six (18M, 17F, 15F, 13F, 11M, 9F) and husband of one very lovely wife this really resonated with me. I think it is so important for my kids to know and see the softness in their fathers heart. Softness toward the pain in broken relationships, like so many country songs, caused by selfishness. But also that painful longing of oneness and sacrifice to those things bigger than yourself. How I pray that their hearts stay tender. That they will always be mindful of the destruction caused by sin in both earthly relationships and heavenly ones. And that they will also be tender toward that longing to be reunited with Him in that day where there will no longer be any pain and suffering.

  11. Stephanie says:

    We are kindred spirits. I cry at commercials,sitcoms, movies, etc,and when I’m overly happy, frustrated, sad, mad, any emotion will do it! My husband laughs at me because when I watch the love sequence with his wife in the beginning of UP I literally sob/heave until I can’t breath. 🙂

    • Hannah says:

      The commercials get me every time!!! And I am ashamed to admit that I actually haven’t seen UP but I KNOW I will cry from all I’ve heard about it.

  12. It’s great we have these beautiful things that can make us cry. Tears can be thoughtful and deep; the reasons and the act can provide good catharsis.

  13. hijacq2262 says:

    I still remember the first time I watched “Homeward Bound”. My mom bought the movie for my daughters (who are now 29 and 22) and it was a Friday evening. I put the movie in thinking they wouldn’t be that interested. Was I wrong. I wasn’t even watching the movie that closely. I was busy in the kitchen fixing dinner but I came in at the end – and when that old dog comes over the hill… What can I say? I cried the first 12 times I watched that movie. I tried to watch it with my granddaughter not long ago – knowing I would get a “good cry” out of it and the VCR ate the tape. She didn’t get to see the movie – I am going to buy it on DVD and we will be watching it soon.

    • Hannah says:

      I used to try to be the camp counselor in charge of the movie room during rainy camp days just so I could subject all the children to Homeward Bound on VHS and cry at the ending. You’ve got to get it so your granddaughter can finish it!!!

  14. megawomen says:

    The end of “Pocahontas” gets me every, single, time.

  15. jaxmoose312 says:

    Glad to see I’m not alone. I cry at all of the above plus some! Babies, weddings, elderly, The Price is Right…if that little old lady shuffling down the aisle and straight up to the stage because she has wanted to be on the show since she was a little girl, doesn’t bring a tear to your eye…sheesh.
    -Jacqueline @ The Sand Box {}

  16. Danica says:

    Older people’s stories about meeting their spouses and falling in love.

  17. Liz says:

    The Fox and the Hound. Never fails.

  18. Liz says:

    Also, the scene where Beth dies in Little Women, the one with Winona Ryder.

  19. Anna Kate says:

    Hey! I’m a new reader, first time commenter, and I think we’re the same person, haha. I cry far more out of happiness/thankfulness/pure emotion than I do sadness.

  20. Laura says:

    Yes to Parenthood and yes to that scene in Homeward Bound!! Also, I recently saw that Google commercial of the boy growing up and going off to college and then video-chatting with his parents and I looked at my husband and said with tears in my eyes, “I don’t want our kids to grow up and go off to college!!!” Aaaaand we don’t have any children yet either. So I completely understand what you’re saying. Sometimes the tears just come!

    Also, this video:

    • Hannah says:

      Annnnddddd now I am bawling. Really any commercial that has that piano music and talks about people using technology to connect and stay close over the distance, and I am DONE. CRYING. OVER.

  21. Jessica says:

    Agree on so many of these!!!! I cry like a baby with every episode of Parenthood. So good, and yes, like you I cry about those things happening to the children that I don’t yet have. Do you know if they are coming back for another season?

  22. Carla says:

    Me. I’m a total non-tragedy crier! Your post made me cry. ;-D. Truly.

    Here are a few other notable things that make me cry: the country song, “I Drive Your Truck.” That tornado scene in Man of Steel and all the hard fathering choices his two dads had to make in order to prepare their son for his call in life. That last cry of “Freedom” in Braveheart. That moment in the movie Avatar, when the main female character realizes that their God heard their prayers and CARED. That moment in Titanic when Leonardo’s character gives his beloved the only spot on the raft, making her promise to really live her life, when you know that he knows he’s dying, but she doesn’t.

    And one last favorite scene from the movie African Queen. The Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn characters had just finished giving their all. They had been trudging through mud, pushing a BOAT through reed-filled waters. It was the only way they had a chance at survival and there was no one to help. They were alone. Finally they had nothing left to give. Accepting their fate, they climb back into the boat, collapsing, waiting for death.

    Then the camera pans back. And back. And back. And we see what they can’t. As they lie face down on the deck, water comes. Wind comes. The boat starts to move on its own. And they are only inches away from being free of the reeds, of being free to flow on a strong river once again.

  23. Heidi says:

    Well, the Les Mis trailer doesn’t exactly do it for me…but Homeward Bound??? Here I was, minding my own business and not missing my family and not wishing I had some help with the baby today and not wishing I could just sleep for three hours because I tired and I had to watch the Homeward Bound clip.

    …I’ve decided I just need a good cry and am going to watch it at least two more times.
    …that was my favorite movie to watch with my younger siblings when they were 4 and 2. *Tear*

  24. Ashley Beitz says:

    Oh girl, we are the same. I have watched whole episodes of Parenthood with a plumb-sized lump in my throat. Don’t EVEN get me started on Homeward Bound. We’re you traumatized by The Bear when you were little? I made it through 8 minutes of that movie. 8.

    • Ashley Beitz says:

      Plumb? Plum. Misspelled words make me cry.

      • Hannah says:

        So I read this comment before your other one and thought you had snakily replied to someone else’s comment… then I realized you were weeping over your own spelling and I snort-laughed.

        Plum and plumb sized lumps all around.

  25. abby hummel says:

    There are also YouTube playlists of kids getting puppies for christmas. WATCH IT AND WEEP. I do.

    • abby hummel says:

      Also the scene in Lion King where Simba crawls under Mufasa’s limp arm. I was trying to convince my sister to use Bless the Rains Down in Africa in her reception playlist and the YouTube version I played for her had that LK clip when they were singing, “It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you.” I went from just fine to sobbing and gasping for breath in 10 seconds.

      • Hannah says:

        Just stop it… I can’t even deal. MUFASA!!! James told me had never seen the Lion King the other day and I wondered how our marriage had made it this far.

  26. Jenny Savage says:

    Sarah Joseph’s mom here, let’s see:

    Taking your firstborn daughter to college (tears) . Watching her get married and start a new life with an amazing young man (tears), having your daughter say to you as you enter the hospital room after she has given birth to her firstborn, “This momma wants her momma” (tears), holding that little newborn (tears). And taking the baby daughter to college this weekend (tears). Loving them both and feeling so proud of and grateful for them (sobs).

    Thanks for the quote, passing that one on.

  27. Becca says:

    Just WAIT – once you’re pregnant, someone saying something nice randomly in the store – some STRANGER even – you’ll get all teary-eyed!
    Commercials are the biggest surprise for me as of lately…
    That one with the Budweiser horse during the Superbowl?! I STILL cry when I think about it.
    My 3 year old kisses my belly goodnight and goodbye (his little brother is in there – I’m less than a month till my due date). I cry. Like a baby.

  28. Oh man, so many of these ring true for me, too. I have to add Macklemore’s video for “Same Love.” It RUINS me…I showed it my husband yesterday and was just a weird little wreck by the time the older men are in the hospital together. (Probably because old men = instant heartswell for me).

  29. bkjergaard says:

    Oh my word…the list goes on and on! Jaimi had a traumatic dog sorry that she recounted before breakfast. I wept while Abby and Audree looked on, stunned. I cry when I go back to Hillsdale (last summer, Lake Baw Beese). I choked up today when my students were all reading silently. We were just so cozy, and in that moment everyone was safe and occupied and happy. I just cried when rewatching that trailer. Hated the movie, still love the trailer. And I’m pretty sure I cried a little
    bit when you told me you loved James and could see yourself marrying him.

  30. Jaimi says:

    Hit the nail on the proverbial head, Mama bear. And I thought of you this past weekend, Bethany — I went to a 4H Dog Show (long story) and watched on as part of the competition included a line full of owners telling their dogs to “stay” and then walking away from them . . . out of the ring, and then out of the entire *building.* In the young group I was watching, every dog started creeping toward the door to follow their owner . . . all except for one German shepherd, who sat there, steadfastly, eyes locked on the door, while as the whole rest of the room bustled with activity and chaos, he sat there faithfully waiting for minutes on end for his piggy-tailed owner to return. . . . BAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH.
    Also: the Doxology.

  31. Nikki says:

    YES PARENTHOOD! I’m glad its not just me. Also, anything Jane Austen wrote, in book or movie form. My husband also laughs, oh well.

  32. Stephanie says:

    Hahaha. I had to giggle when I read this because I was nodding at everything you cry at. Been there done that. I also cry at commericals…and not typical commercials.

  33. Angie says:

    Oh my…I had serious issues watching Homeward Bound as a kid! I bawled as an elementary school kid when I first watched it and one time my teacher showed it during school and I was so embarrassed and scared that the other kids would see me cry. I thought I was the only one!

  34. Rebekah says:

    Like someone above said, oh just WAIT till you’re pregnant. I am a stone-hearted non-crier– even at weddings! and for sports movies! and the end of I Capture the Castle! no tears here– but oh man, halfway through pregnancy I turned into a soggy mess. Everything made me cry. Everything. So when a small Wegmann is on the way … James will have some serious fun then.

  35. Jen Fisher says:

    Every year, watching the Derby. When they play “My Old Kentucky Home,” the tears just start rolling. Certain songs (especially the ones we played at our wedding) make me tear up, even three years later.

  36. Jenna says:

    Finding Neverland is my cry movie. And I have to watch Parenthood alone in my room so as not to embarrass myself with the cry fest that happens every.single.episode.

  37. angie stone says:

    I would write more but I can’t see the keyboard after watching the Homeward Bound clip. Sniff.

  38. Amy says:

    Oh man, my husband was laughing at me so much yesterday as I described Homeward Bound to him and cried shamelessly. Also, Remember The Titans gets me every time. And the Compassion International commercials. Or anything else dealing with hungry or abandoned children.

  39. anniedurrett says:

    YES, YES, YES! This is sooo me!

  40. Danielle says:

    Hi again!

    My mom and I cried watching that clip of Homeward Bound, then she realized that my little brother hadn’t seen it, so she said to order it immediately. 🙂 We’re watching it right now, and I forgot how wonderful it is!

    I just love your blog, by the way. 🙂

  41. mnt5589 says:

    I love meeting other unashamed criers.

    I think the most recent thing that made me cry every time I saw it was the Clydesdale commercial from the Super Bowl — the one that shows a guy raising/bonding with the horse, giving it away to Budweiser, and then going to a parade later and having them reconnect. Every time I see that horse going to him, I break into tears until my show comes back on.

  42. Oh yes. I am a crier. At all of the above. My latest weakness – Subaru commercials. Have you seen them?? Like the one where the guy gets the dog and they go on all kinds of adventures as the dog (and the guy) grow up together. And the one where the dad drops his kid off at the school bus and then follows the bus (in his Subaru, of course) watching her laugh and play with her friends through the window.

    Oh geez. I get teary-eyed just thinking about them. I’m ready to go out and buy a Subaru and I don’t even particularly like them.

  43. Pingback: When I’m alone. | The Art in Life

  44. I do not know you, but I’m siting here listening to Tim McGraw singing on WETA and crying my eyes out! And almost all country music makes me cry and I’m not even country! I grew up in Tampa and am hispanic so it makes no sense at all. So I googled “why does country music make me cry?” and your page came up and everything you wrote makes me cry too!!! Maybe it’s all because we a re women and thats the reason why country music makes me cry….because country music is written to make women cry….

  45. Pingback: Christmas commercials make me cry. | The Art in Life

  46. crierstboohoo says:

    Fly Away Home. Need I say more?

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