Cry me a river

Have you ever wondered why certain songs make you cry? Some say it happens when something special in the music sneaks up on you – that you’re “surprised by joy,” as C.S. Lewis put it.

In BDA times (Before David Archuleta), the only music that made me tear up was opera (especially Pavarotti singing “Che Gelida Manina” from La Bohème) … or any song from Billy Bob Thornton.

Then came David. And from Imagine to Think of Me to When You Believe – not to mention the dam-buster Save the Day – David song weep-fests became a regular occurrence for me. And not from sadness. In each of those songs, there’s such an undercurrent of pure love, such moments of blinding truth, it takes my breath away. In those moments, I feel in my heart what matters most in life. And I cry.

I’ve now come to expect waterworks from those songs, so I postpone operating heavy machinery accordingly. But recently, it’s also been happening with the uptempo stuff like The Riddle. Even My Hands gets me all verklempt lately. My Hands????

There’s something about the desperate ache in his voice at “Losing strength in these hands of mine / I need you here / Trying to hold on / Standing here, open hands and I / Know I can’t do this alone / Hold on, oh hold on / Baby hold ooooooonnnnnn” that gets me every time.

I was curious to find out if this was a David-only phenomenon, so I looked around online and found a forum where someone had posted the question, “Why does good music make some people cry?” Here were some of the answers:

  • Sometimes when i’m listening to a music that i like, i get choked up and my eyes get watery. The music could either be instrumental or with lyrics … if it’s like really inspiring (you know, songs that make you feel good) i get teary eyed. I find it a bit strange … they’re not even sad love songs or whatever. Same goes for movies.

  • Because the lyrics may be a reflection of their own life. It can also bring back memories, good and bad. Other times music is so beautiful it just speaks to your soul. The first time I heard the song “What A Wonderful World” I got teary eyed because it’s such a beautiful song.

  • When you listen to it you really get into it and I think it may set off something like – in your head, you know? It happens to me quite often, like, when I’m listening to great bands because I’m really into their kinds of music, and because I’m in love with the people who write the songs. I listen to bands like Muse and The Killers (Matt’s voice from Muse makes me cry because he is such a good singer).

  • I experience the same thing. I think of my dreams when I listen to those types of songs. They are just so inspirational to me.

  • Music carries the wavelength of emotion.

  • It stirs up emotions and feeling that only a good cry can help.

  • Because the music is so good… that it brings emotion with it (: Like when you’re so happy you cry too 😉

If you think you’re immune to the waterworks power of the Archuleta, watch this and see what happens!

So, why does music make you cry?

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27 Responses to Cry me a river

  1. TOfan says:

    From end of last thread:

    Just received these words of thanks from Scott at The David Archuleta Music Scholarship program:

    Thank you to the outstanding, dedicated, and generous fans. On March 17th, only 2 weeks after launching “The David Archuleta Music Scholarship,” we not only met but exceeded our goal of $5000!!!

    Because of your generosity and support, two Murray High School students will each be awarded a $2,500 scholarship. This will help them in pursuing their dreams and furthering their music education.

    We cannot thank you all enough for helping make two MHS student’s dreams come true. What a wonderful way to pay tribute to David at the same time.

    Please continue to follow ‘TDAMS’ web site at http://www.thedavidarchuletamusicscholarship.org and @DAHeartsNHands on twitter.

    Donations will continue to be accepted towards next year’s scholarships and held in a special account for the 2011 school year.

  2. TOfan says:

    Also from end of last thread, from Refnaf:

    Reading through the last threads that I missed and need to say-

    Happy> A Springsteen concert together with David fans!!! YES! I saw him in TO back in the 80’s (from the rafters) and would love to experience that again from a better seat. Good to hear from you♥

    TOfan> When fortune smiled upon us- for me David has given me such a boost in life. His voice alone can lift me immediately. Sometimes it shocks me, when I have not had a chance to really listen, then when I do , I get emotional at how beautiful the sound fo his voice is. It pierces me…and gives me more than I can describe. The new (((friends))) and the experiences I have shared with them , really are close to my heart. The fact that he is only beginning, makes me squeeee, and I have never been much of a squeeer before haha.
    I CANNOT WAIT FOR WHAT IS IN STORE FOR US!

    Great news about the “TDAMS”

  3. Amy(ahecht25) says:

    Music doesn’t normally make me cry, so imagine my disbelief when practically everytime David opened his mouth, I would be crying before I even knew what hit me. I often wondered what it was about him that effected me that way. Someone once said that there was just something in his voice that was able to reach and touch my soul in such a way that I would cry. I totally agree with that. David’s fans are all connected to him in such a deep way. He literally touches our souls. I love being his fan! 🙂

  4. Joner says:

    Lately it seems like I “well up” every time I hear David’s voice. It sounds crazy to say that “I miss him” because he’s not family or a personal friend, but that’s the way it feels, and I know I’m not alone which is why I’m here commiserating with all of you!

    It’s interesting how certain singers can create such an emotional response from you. I actually did my own experiment with this phenomenon. I used Eva Cassidy in my test. There are songs that she sings, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “Time is a Healer” for example, that have musical moments that send a rush through my body and make the hairs on my arms stand on end. It doesn’t matter how many times I listen to the songs, I get the same reaction EVERY time!

    Some singers have the gift of being able to peel away all their layers and completely expose themselves in a song. When they are brave enough to reveal their vulnerability in this way, I believe it strikes a personal chord within us, and in that moment, it’s as if the singer and the listener are one and the same.

    David possesses this gift. Kara DioGuardi once said of David, “He doesn’t just sing a song…he “cries” a song”.

    So if I wonder why I cry when I listen to David sing, I now have my answer…we are “one and the same”.

  5. Josie says:

    Hi friends! Just a note from the last thread, YES that’s the tee-shirt I gave him! Silly, but fun when he wears a “gift”.

    Music has always moved me, very deeply. Not often to tears, but certain artists really grab me, so that sometimes during a song I realize I’ve been holding my breath and when I finally exhale, I am completely overwhelmed (and of course, dizzy – guess that happens when you hold your breath too long).

    BUT WHEN DAVID SINGS…. well, that’s another story, another level altogether! I first realized David was different and I had a totally new reaction to this young man when I heard him sing Imagine. I knew he had a voice prior to that performance, but dang, he slayed me with Imagine. It’s as if he reached right into my soul and settled in and now resides there permanently. I don’t think I can even name the songs that he’s sung that have brought me to tears, but no other artist has ever done that. I mean, it could be me just being emo, but for 2+ years now? No, it’s him. 🙂

    I’m impatient and patient at the same time, which doesn’t really make any sense (but those of you who know me are fully aware of my silliness that way), but it’s like I know the new music is coming and one day VERY SOON, I’mma gonna wake up and BAM there it will be. So, it’s all good 🙂

    Perfect sense right? ♥

  6. Kizzi says:

    TOfan – yes, “cry me a river” and it feels like a artesian, fresh water wellspring of joy.

    Josie – Hugs & Heart to you. I love this: “…he reached right into my soul and settled in and now resides there permanently…”

    Give Noni my best. Hope to see you and Noni at a David concert later this year.

  7. Josie says:

    Hugs right back Kizzi 🙂 Noni’s broken arm is healing (I think, but what do I know?) which is good because I’m helping my accountant for the next 3 weeks – I never thought I’d be so happy for April 15th!

    We’ll see each other soon, I just know it!!

  8. Lisa says:

    1st and only time i cried when David sang…the home crowd was INSANE for him i could not believe the love they showed him. yea, this one still gets me!!! “Look at what you made me do” *wipes eyes*

  9. refnaf says:

    hey and hugs to all!!!
    I put “Angels” in the “other” box…. I listened to the 13 versions of Angels that I have on my on my Dpod while on vacation (all in one sitting) “My pain walks down a one way streeeet” gets me every time…..

  10. TOfan says:

    Joner, Eva Cassidy is an apt comparison. I first heard her sing when one of her songs — Fields of Gold 🙂 — was playing in the background of a soap I used to watch (AMC, if it’s still around). Burst into tears even though I had no idea who she was or that she was no longer with us. “We are one and the same” … we are, aren’t we?

    Josie, I know exactly what you mean by patient AND impatient … part of me wants him to take all the time he needs to get the songs just the way he wants them, and it’s also like the exciting anticipation before a big trip when anything and everything’s possible … on the other hand, Can. Not. Wait. lol

    Lisa, you reminded me that I’ve only full-out cried during one of David’s live shows, the Foxwoods CFTH. Refnaf thought it was because our seats were in separate sections and I was sitting alone and free to make a fool of myself … I think she may be right! Tears streamed down my face not just for Ave Maria and O Holy Night but even The Riddle!! oh my heck I was a mess, a deliriously happy weepy mess, lol.

    Must have been that “artesian, fresh water wellspring of joy,” eh, Kizzi? 🙂

  11. betsy says:

    Imagine was the first David performance to make me cry.
    The first time I saw him live, his first song at the vip was Heaven. I immediately started tearing up. I shook myself off & stopped myself. I still had a whole show to get through. 🙂
    But Angels (at the end) had me crying like a baby. It was the last song and maybe I finally gave myself permission. No matter, I couldn’t help it.
    Ave Maria, Ann Arbor.
    There is such a pure beauty – I don’t even know what to call it.

  12. abanana77 says:

    So I’m not so much of a cry-y person. And David sometimes makes me feel like crying but rarely actually have I cried. There’s only been 3 times I think (and 2 of them were at the same concert):

    1. I was at the Lancaster concert for his solo tour. And when he came on stage the first time singing touch my hand, I welled up. The first (and only, actually) time I ever saw/heard him in person and it was a little overwhelming.

    2. Same concert (my only one!) but for the final encore, when he sang Angels I BAWLED! Haha, it was my favourite song already and I have watched thousands of youtube vids of him singing it at like every concert. But in person it was too much. Not to mention he was making eye-contact with me the whole time (slight exaggeration). And that it was the last song of the night. That put me way over the top. Yeah that was the first time I’ve really cried over David singing.

    3. Don’t know if this counts but when I was watching the video from the Women’s Conference and he started talking about how he prayed to God about whether he should try out for American Idol, I cried too. I think it’s because I’ve had a very similar personal experience to that and to hear him talk about it was just amazing ❤

    • TOfan says:

      That Lancaster Angels was definitely something special! Didn’t he even tear up at the end of that one??

      • abanana77 says:

        OMG YES he did! And it was basically the best moment of my life. Because I swear he was looking in my general direction for like 3/4 of the song. And I was bawling and he was tearing up and it was beyond amazing <33333333 I was actually crying SO HARD. Oh my gosh. Sorry, I will never get over that song. EVER.

      • abanana77 says:

        And when I said 3/4 I mean 3/4 of the time he had his eyes open. Because we all know his eyes are closed for a lot of it. Haha

      • TOfan says:

        Eyes closed? You mean, like this? 🙂

      • abanana77 says:

        Oh Gosh! You are trying to kill me!

        Actually though, even when I rewatch the YOUTUBE video of that performance (which we all know does not even almost gives justice to how truly amazing it is live) I still well up. And get this weird warmth inside my body but chills up and down my arms at the same time. And cramps in my side by about halfway through because I forget to breathe…

  13. poof says:

    I am not a crier, certainly not about music, though I am a huge music lover of almost all types. BUT,,, something about that beautiful voice coming out of that beautiful face, knocks me to the floor. It’s the purity, the honesty, the beauty of his soul shining through that has me either crying or beaming, always with joy.

    (CRAZY gets me everytime!)

  14. TOfan says:

    David’s tweets from last night:

    Aw haha, a guy just proposed to his girlfriend at the restaurant we’re at. He announced it to everyone here. Congrats to them!

    So I ended up singing for the couple lol. It was nice.

    He sang for them? He SANG FOR THEM?????

    Is anyone else blown away by this scenario??? So you’ve just proposed (or were proposed to) and are overcome with emotion at one of the happiest m.o.m.e.n.t.s o.f y.o.u.r l.i.f.e AAAAAND THEEEEN David Archuleta sings for you.

    oh my

  15. abanana77 says:

    Haha seriously – that woman must have been on the biggest high ever after that night! I wonder what he sang??

  16. TOfan says:

    Probs not Desperate! lol

    … Heaven, maybe? … bet she cried! 🙂

    Have you guys seen this??? I never have … posted over at FanScene … wowza!

  17. beebee says:

    Hi everybody. Gosh, just read David’s tweet asking for prayers for his cousin who’s been in a serious car wreck and is now facing surgery. Heaven knows, we’re all praying like crazy, David. ❤

    Joner, LOVE your comment — yes, David's in Eva's league fo sho. He peels away all his layers and in the process peels away all of MINE, TOO.

    abanana, nor am I a cry-y person, but dagnabbit, David overrides that weird cry-governor I seem to have. He moves me. Like no other. LOVE reading your Lancaster "Angels" experience. *chills*

    {{Big Hugz}} to Josie! (and pass that along to Noni, too!) You make perfect sense and are also perfectly silly… in a WAY GOOD way. 🙂

    lolol…. TOfan… lmao, no probs not Desperate… lolol. Lordy would I love to have been a fly on the wall for THAT little serenade.

    oh, and YES, I've seen David's Star Search "Ain't No Sunshine"… His Star Search stuff just… makesmyheadfalloff…lol. Mind boggling.

    I've been SOOOOO remiss in keeping up with the posts here (and everywhere! *slaps self*). TOfan, it's been a pleasure TRYING to catch up here…lol. Am really loving every post and everybody's comments! (And Happy, wherever you are… {{{hug}}} I love The Boss, too, and really appreciate the parallel you drew in sharing the NYT article several posts back.)

    And, dangit, HATE to do it, but must run… *poof!*

  18. peppertara says:

    TOfan, your blog really hits home for me (and I think for every true DA fan out there). I think what you said in these few lines just tells it like it is:

    “In each of those songs, there’s such an undercurrent of pure love, such moments of blinding truth, it takes my breath away. In those moments, I feel in my heart what matters most in life. And I cry.”

    I think that is what we feel from David…pure love and pure joy. I feel that David is able to express, very beautifully…the Divine. I have heard others say that David is expressing God or pure love, whatever your belief or understanding of that may be. I think that this is true. He manages to convey something quite profound, something that I have never quite experienced from any other artist.

    Hearing David sing “Heaven” at a VIP event brought tears to my eyes too and I really had to fight those tears hard! That was my first experience hearing David live and the first song I ever heard him sing live, up close and personal too. It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard.
    Of course there have been other songs that have brought tears too.
    I have sometimes wondered how this 19 yr old young man can touch this older fan so deeply but I have stopped wondering now and just accept it as something quite unique and wonderful. The fact that so many others (of all ages) are affected the same way by him gives me some comfort and reassurance that It is quite alright if we cry a little when he sings for us and reaches out from his heart to ours. He has made grown men weep and children sing his songs. I don’t think you can get through David’s musical career or his life without some tears (of joy)!
    Love reading your blogs and the posts here are interesting and insightful, not to mention the humor thrown in from time to time!

    The couple being serenaded by David in the restaurant would have been wonderful to witness! How lucky they were! Someone suggested that maybe he sang “Heaven”. I think that could be a good guess and he has sung that song A Capella several times. Whatever he sang certainly would have brought a very special moment for that happy couple… and anyone fortunate enough to be there!

    Hoping for the best for David’s cousin. Let’s hope that he recovers fully. With 340,000 followers on twitter I’m sure that there are lots of good thought and prayers going out to him.

    Oh…I apologize for the long post. Guess I don’t get here all that often.

  19. refnaf says:

    TOfan this thread is marvelous…And here is why… In my search for the best words to explain my experience of David…. I find the words of my fellow angelz….

    Amy>David’s fans are all connected to him in such a deep way. He literally touches our souls. I love being his fan!

    Joner>Some singers have the gift of being able to peel away all their layers and completely expose themselves in a song. When they are brave enough to reveal their vulnerability in this way, I believe it strikes a personal chord within us, and in that moment, it’s as if the singer and the listener are one and the same.

    Josie>I knew he had a voice prior to that performance, but dang, he slayed me with Imagine. It’s as if he reached right into my soul and settled in and now resides there permanently

    Kizzi>“cry me a river” and it feels like a artesian, fresh water wellspring of joy.

    Lisa> “Look at what you made me do” *wipes eyes*

    Betsy>There is such a pure beauty – I don’t even know what to call it.

    Abanana77>That put me way over the top. Yeah that was the first time I’ve really cried over David singing.

    Poof>something about that beautiful voice coming out of that beautiful face, knocks me to the floor. It’s the purity, the honesty, the beauty of his soul shining through that has me either crying or beaming, always with joy.

    Beebee>dagnabbit, David overrides that weird cry-governor I seem to have. He moves me. Like no other.

    Peppertara> feel that David is able to express, very beautifully…the Divine. I have heard others say that David is expressing God or pure love, whatever your belief or understanding of that may be. I think that this is true. He manages to convey something quite profound, something that I have never quite experienced from any other artist.

    TOfan>In each of those songs, there’s such an undercurrent of pure love, such moments of blinding truth, it takes my breath away. In those moments, I feel in my heart what matters most in life. And I cry

    He does all this and more….ga(((hugs)))

  20. TOfan says:

    Bringing over Marylee’s comment from the Poll (Ave Maria’s winning at 37% of the vote!):

    There are so many songs I’ve heard David sing that have brought me to tears…”When You Say You Love Me” was probably the first & not just once. However, when I heard the “snippet” that was shared with us from “Christmas From the Heart”, Ave Maria went straight to my soul! I don’t think I’ve ever been as touched as I have been by that song..and seeing him sing it live in Baltimore last year was pure heaven.

    David’s vocals just soar and transport me to another place…a place I don’t want to leave. How he does this, I’ll never understand but I am forever grateful to be his fan & look forward to spending hours of contentment in “that place”.

    Thank you, David!

    And Peppertara, no need to apologize! LOVED every word! Long posts FTW!!! 😆

  21. jackryan4DA says:

    During this drought, I go back to reviewing Archie vids I have not seen 2x LOL

    Otherwise I rely on my chill-out piano or acoustic collection. I’d like to share one that has been on repeat:

    FIELDS OF GOLD by KEVIN KERN on PIANO
    http://www.mediafire.com/?qgmtejj3zwm

    I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Funny thing is, this is instrumental but for every tinkle & clink of the ivories, I feel David’s voice. My heart rides the waves of the melody leaving me smiling and relaxed. Then, in the more emotional parts, I hear each note caressed by David’s voice. And that’s when I miss him the most… 🙂

    So I suppose that’s why music makes us cry. It makes us remember happy times and makes us realize how precious those moments are, now that they are faded memories.

    The good news is, with David, there is always more to come 🙂

    Happy Easter everyone!

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