40 Songs about Crying (Old and New)

Foundations of Music

40 Songs about Crying (Old and New)

Crying is human. We cry over breakups, a loved one passing away, and going through a traumatic or emotional time. It’s only natural.

So it’s no wonder that crying and everything we cry about has become an inspiration for chart-topping songs.  Below we’ve chosen some of the best songs about crying and what we cry about to add to this list.

I. Old songs about crying

There’s the old familiar saying, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” Well, it seems there was a lot more to cry about in the old days. But they wrote songs about it instead.

1) Big Girls Don’t Cry

Artist: Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
Album: Sherry & 11 Others
Year: 1962
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This song is a timeless classic song that tells a story about a couple that broke up and discusses whether or not it’s okay for big girls to cry.

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2) Tracks of my Tears

Artist: Smokey Robinson
Album: Going to a Go-Go
Year: 1965
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In this song, a narrator is a sorrowful man who is telling his ex that he is putting on an act to hide how sad he is that they broke up.

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3) It’s My Party

Artist: Lesley Gore
Album: I’ll Cry If I Want To
Year: 1963
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According to the New York Daily News, this song was inspired by a teenage temper tantrum about not wanting to have their grandparents at their birthday party.

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4) Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)

Artist: Sue Thompson
Album: Meet Sue Thompson
Year: 1961
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5) Crying My Heart Out Over You

Artist: Ricky Skaggs
Album: Waitin’ for the Sun to Shine
Year: 1981
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II. R&B songs about crying

With R&B, songs about crying will often be about more than the tears being shed. They will often be about dealing with and moving from painful breakups.

1) Big Girls Don’t Cry

Artist: Fergie
Album: The Duchess
Year: 2006
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In this song, the narrator expresses that no matter how much she loves her boyfriend, she needs to leave him for her own peace of mind and “serenity.”

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2) All Cried Out

Artist: Allure
Album: 112
Year: 1997
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3) I Don’t Wanna Cry

Artist: Mariah Carey
Album: Mariah Carey
Year: 1982
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“I Don’t Wanna Cry” is a powerful song about two people that had a loving relationship that is now falling apart.

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4) When Doves Cry

Artist: Prince
Album: Purple Rain
Year: 1984
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“When doves cry” is a tragic metaphor about a seemingly “perfect” relationship turning into a nightmarish reality filled with jealousy and hatred.

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5) All I Could Do Was Cry

Artist: Beyoncé
Album: Cadillac Records
Year: 2008
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III. Country songs about crying

Country songs about crying will be about different topics. Some will be about being lonely, the good times, and going through some hard times.

1) I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry

Artist: Hank Williams
Album: I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
Year: 1949
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In this song, the narrator explains that he finds things such as birdsong, a midnight train, and a falling star as lonely.

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2) Cowgirls Don’t Cry

Artist: Brooks & Dunn
Album: Cowboy Town
Year: 2007
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In this song, “Cowgirls Don’t Cry,” a father teaches his daughter to hold her head high during difficult times.

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3) Laughed Until We Cried

Artist: Jason Aldean
Album: Relentless
Year: 1982
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In this song, Jason Aldean sings about the good times he remembers. He sings about moments where he and his friends laughed until they cried.

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4) Tonight I Wanna Cry

Artist: Keith Urban
Album: Be Here
Year: 2004
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5) Strawberry Wine

Artist: Deana Carter
Album: Did I Shave My Legs for This?
Year: 1996
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IV. Rock songs with cry in the title

Rock songs about crying can cover a range of topics, including painful breakups and toxic relationships to being inspired by nursery rhymes.

1) Don’t Cry

Artist: Guns N’ Roses
Album: Use Your Illusion I
Year: 1991
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In this song, Axl takes on the perspective of a woman that first broke up with Izzy Stradlin, and then she broke up with Axl.

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2) Who’s Crying Now

Artist: Journey
Album: Escape
Year: 1981
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This song is about two people in a relationship who keep hurting each other. The narrator keeps asking, “Who’s crying now?”

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3) Cry Baby Cry

Artist: The Beatles
Album: The Beatles
Year: 1968
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This song was inspired by the nursery rhymes, “Sing A Song Of Sixpence” and “Cry, baby, cry…stick a finger in your eye…etc.”

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4) You Never Make Me Cry

Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Album: Tusk
Year: 1979
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5) Don’t Cry, Daddy

Artist: Elvis Presley
Album: Elvis: That’s The Way It Is
Year: 1969
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This song takes on the perspective of a man who is struggling with the loss of his wife. His depression and sadness are also affecting his children.

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V.  Songs with tears in the title

Songs that have “tears” in the title will often be about the pain felt during a breakup, divorce, or losing someone.

1) Tears in Vain

Artist: John Mellencamp
Album: Plain Spoken
Year: 2014
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There is some speculation about this song. Some believe that Mellencamp wrote this song about John Mellencamp’s divorce from Elaine Irwin.

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2) River of Tears

Artist: Eric Clapton
Album: Pilgrim
Year: 1998
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Clapton wrote this tear-jerking song about losing someone.

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3) Tears at the Birthday Party

Artist: Elvis Costello ft Burt Bacharach
Album: Painted from Memory
Year: 1998
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This song starts out singing about children being cruel at a birthday party. Then it goes on to talk about losing a childhood love.

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4) Tears Are Not Enough

Artist: Northern Lights
Album: Tears Are Not Enough
Year: 1981
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5) Bitter Tears

Artist: INXS
Album: X
Year: 1990
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In this song, the narrator talks about struggling to get over someone and then realizing that they are better off without their ex.

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VI.  Songs with cry baby in the lyrics

In some cases, songs with “cry baby” in the lyrics will be about being in toxic relationships and being a worse version of yourself.

1) King Cry-Baby

Artist: James Intveld
Album: Cry-Baby
Year: 1990
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2) Cry (Freestyle)

Artist: Brian Mill
Album: Cry (Freestyle)
Year: 2020
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3) Cry Baby

Artist: Melanie Martinez
Album: Cry Baby
Year: 2015
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This song was inspired by the 1988 movie Alice. It’s about someone who cries and gets emotional over small things.

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4) Cry Baby

Artist: Demi Lovato
Album: Tell Me You Love Me
Year: 2017
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Lovato explained that this song is about turning into someone that you’re not. She added that there are situations where people bring out a different side of you.

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5) I’m Gonna Cry

Artist: Wilson Pickett
Album: In The Midnight Hour
Year: 1965
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VII.  Songs with tears in the lyrics

Songs with tears in the lyrics will often be about painful experiences and also about regret.

1) No More Tears

Artist: Ozzy Osbourne
Album: No More Tears
Year: 1991
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This song is about being unable to change the past and only changing the future.

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2) Black Tears

Artist: Tamar Braxton
Album: Love and War
Year: 2013
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3) Let Your Tears Fall

Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Album: Piece by Piece
Year: 1982
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This song focuses on the trust aspect in a relationship and how easily a person can break it. It also talks about how devastating it can be when trust is broken.

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4) Tears, Tears, and More Tears

Artist: Elvis Costello, Allen Toussaint
Album: The River in Reverse
Year: 2006
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In the lyrics, the narrator speaks about how they can’t stop thinking about their ex and how they can’t stop crying.

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5) No Tears

Artist: Plain White T’s
Album: Parallel Universe
Year: 2018
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This song talks about someone who keeps going back to someone who mistreats them and expects this person to change. However, they never do change.

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VIII. Songs about crying out for help

People always say that asking for help is the hardest step. But sometimes, we get so desperate that we start crying out for help. This desperation has inspired many musicians.

1) Help Me Hold On

Artist: Travis Tritt
Album: Country Club
Year: 1990
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In this song, the narrator cries for help to hold onto a failing relationship.

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2) Send Me An Angel

Artist: Scorpions
Album: Crazy World
Year: 1991
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In this song, the narrator desperately appeals to a wiser and better version of themselves to help them through a difficult time.

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3) Chandelier

Artist: Sia
Album: Voices
Year: 2014
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The narrator in this song, a party girl, is dealing with suicidal thoughts and severe depression. She wants to live like there is no tomorrow and literally swing from a chandelier.

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4) One More Night

Artist: Linkin Park
Album: One More Light
Year: 1982
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5) Hey Brother

Artist: Avicii
Album: True
Year: 2013
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This song takes on the perspective of an older brother assuring their younger sibling that they’ll always be there for them no matter what.

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