Are there any songs that emotionally destroy you? There are several that move me, but none like the final song on this list. It guts me every time. Here are 15 incredibly moving songs that will wreck you.
1. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
“I took my love. I took it down. I climbed a mountain, and I turned around. And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills. ‘Til the landslide brought me down. Oh, mirror in the sky. What is love? Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life? Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’. ‘Cause I’ve built my life around you. But time makes you bolder. Even children get older. And I’m getting older, too.”
2. I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt
“Turn down the lights. Turn down the bed. Turn down these voices inside my head. Lay down with me. Tell me no lies. Just hold me close, don’t patronize. Don’t patronize me. ‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t. You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t. Here in the dark, in these final hours. I will lay down my heart, and I’ll feel the power. But you won’t, no, you won’t.”
3. Tears In Heaven by Eric Clapton
“Would you know my name? If I saw you in heaven. Would it be the same? If I saw you in heaven. I must be strong. And carry on. ‘Cause I know I don’t belong — here in heaven. Would you hold my hand? If I saw you in heaven. Would you help me stand? If I saw you in heaven. I’ll find my way. Through night and day. ‘Cause I know, I just can’t stay — here in heaven.”
4. Cat’s In the Cradle by Harry Chapin
“My child arrived just the other day. He came to the world in the usual way. But there were planes to catch and bills to pay. He learned to walk while I was away. And he was talking ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew — He’d say, ‘I’m gonna be like you, dad. You know I’m gonna be like you.’ And the cat’s in the cradle, and the silver spoon. Little boy Blue and the man on the moon. ‘When you coming home, Dad?’ ‘I don’t know when. But we’ll get together then. You know we’ll have a good time then.'”
5. Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce
“If I could save time in a bottle. The first thing that I’d like to do is to save every day ’til eternity passes away. Just to spend them with you. If I could make days last forever. If words could make wishes come true. I’d save every day like a treasure, and then — again, I would spend them with you.”
6. I’ll Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie
“Love of mine, someday you will die. But I’ll be close behind. I’ll follow you into the dark. No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white. Just our hands clasped so tight, waiting for the hint of a spark. If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied. Illuminate the no’s on their vacancy signs if there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks. Then, I’ll follow you into the dark.”
7. Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head) By Powfu
“Yeah, I don’t wanna fall asleep. I don’t wanna pass away. I been thinking of our future, ’cause I’ll never see those days. I don’t know why this has happened, but I probably deserve it. I tried to do my best, but you know that I’m not perfect. I been praying for forgiveness. You’ve been praying for my health. When I leave this Earth, hoping you’ll find someone else.
‘Cause, yeah, we still young, there’s so much we haven’t done. Getting married, start a family, watch your husband with his son. I wish it could be me, but I won’t make it out this bed. I hope I go to Heaven so I see you once again. My life was kinda short, but I got so many blessings. Happy you were mine, it sucks that it’s all ending. Don’t stay awake for too long; don’t go to bed. I’ll make a cup of coffee for your head. It’ll get you up and going out of bed.”
8. Always on My Mind by Willie Nelson
“Maybe I didn’t love you. Quite as often as I could have. Maybe I didn’t treat you. Quite as good as I should have. If I made you feel, oh, second best (you did, you did). Girl, I’m sorry I was blind. You were always on my mind. You were always on my mind. Maybe I didn’t hold you. All those lonely, lonely times. And I guess I never told you — I’m so happy that you’re mine. Little things I should have said and done. I just never took the time. When you were always on my mind. You were always on my mind.”
9. Iris by Goo Goo Dolls
“And I’d give up forever to touch you. ‘Cause I know that you feel me somehow. You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be. And I don’t want to go home right now. And all I can taste is this moment. And all I can breathe is your life. And sooner or later, it’s over. I just don’t wanna miss you tonight. And I don’t want the world to see me. ‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand. When everything’s made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am.”
10. Amazing Grace
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind, but now I see. ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear. And grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear? The hour I first believed through many dangers, toils, and snares. I have already come. This grace that brought me safe thus far. And grace will lead me home.”
11. Fire and Rain by James Taylor
“Just yesterday mornin’, they let me know you were gone. Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you. I walked out this morning, and I wrote down this song. I just can’t remember who to send it to. I’ve seen fire, and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend.
But I always thought that I’d see you again. Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus? You’ve got to help me make a stand. You’ve just got to see me through another day. My body’s aching, and my time is at hand. And I won’t make it any other way.”
12. How to Save a Life by The Fray
“Step one, you say we need to talk. He walks, you say sit down, it’s just a talk. He smiles politely back at you. You stare politely right on through. Some sort of window to your right. As he goes left, and you stay right between the lines of fear and blame. You begin to wonder why you came. Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend somewhere along in the bitterness. And I would have stayed up with you all night. Had I known how to save a life.”
13. The Dance by Garth Brooks
“Looking back. On the memory — of the dance we shared. ‘Neath the stars above. For a moment. All the world was right. But how could I have known? That you’d ever say goodbye. And now I’m glad I didn’t know. The way it all would end. The way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain. But I’d have had to miss the dance.”
14. Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers
“Woah, my love, my darling. I’ve hungered for your touch. A long, lonely time. And time goes by so slowly. And time can do so much. Are you still mine? I need your love. I need your love. God — speed your love to me. Lonely rivers flow. To the sea, to the sea. To the open arms of the sea, yeah. Lonely rivers sigh — ‘Wait for me, wait for me.’ I’ll be coming home. Wait for me.”
15. Don’t Take the Girl by Tim McGraw
“Johnny’s daddy was takin’ him fishing. When he was eight years old. A little girl came through the front gate. Holdin’ a fishin’ pole. His dad looked down and smiled. Said we can’t leave her behind. Son, I know you don’t want her to go. But someday, you’ll change your mind.
And Johnny said: Take Jimmy Johnson, take Tommy Thompson. Take my best friend Bo. Take anybody that you want as long as she don’t go. Take any boy in the world. Daddy, please, don’t take the girl.
Same old boy, same sweet girl. Ten years down the road. He held her tight and kissed her lips in — Front of the picture show. Stranger came and pulled a gun. Grabbed her by the arm. Said if you do what I tell you to there — Won’t be any harm.
And Johnny said. Take my money, take my wallet. Take my credit cards. Here’s the watch that my grandpa gave me. Here’s the key to my car. Mister, give it a whirl. But please, don’t take the girl.
“Same old boy, same sweet girl. Five years down the road. There’s gonna be a little one, and she — says it’s time to go. Doctor says the baby’s fine. But you’ll have to leave.’Cause his momma’s fading fast and — Johnny hit his knees.
And there he prayed. Take the very breath you gave me. Take the heart from my chest. I’ll gladly take her place if you’ll let me. Make this my last request. Take me out of this world. God, please, don’t take the girl… Johnny’s daddy was taking him fishing. When he was eight years old.”
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.