BY Tulliz Moriah

One of the greatest things about show tunes is that when you’re listening to a song, you’re not just listening to one single song, you’re listening one part of a greater narrative. 

So, while yes, each of the following songs are weep-worthy on their own, it makes it that much more tear-jerking knowing that it carries the emotional baggage of 10-20 other classics. Lock yourself in your room and grab some tissues - here are 10 show tunes bound to make you cry like a baby.

I’ll Cover You (Reprise) - RENT

Listen, any song sung at a funeral for the love of your life after they’ve just died in your arms is undoubtedly a recipe for tears. I dare anyone to make it past Jesse L. Martin’s trembling crescendo into “when your heart has expired” without openly weeping.

Wicked Little Town - Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Between the eerie melody and the aggressive words of defeat in this song, there is still a whisper of hope ready and waiting for you to follow it “through the dark turns and noise

of this wicked little town…” This gem is a cocktail of existential emotions, perfect for those who like to wallow a bit in their misfortune.

The Song of Purple Summer - Spring Awakening

Although ‘Left Behind’ is easily the saddest song in Spring Awakening, let’s give ‘The Song of Purple Summer’ the credit it deserves. Much like the teenagers in this song, our very own world is ready to pave the way for a better future. It’s powerful. It’s hopeful. It’s overwhelming. Not just a great song to make you cry, but also a great one to cry with.

Pretty Funny - Dogfight

Overcoming insecurity can be an amazing emotional breakthrough, and a huge milestone in your life. So, to muster up the courage to break out of your shell, only to be shoved back in by someone else’s deception and mistrust is heartbreaking. This song is anguish, defeat and self-pity all rolled into one soul-wrenching melody.

I Am the One (Reprise) - Next to Normal

Your clinically delusional & bipolar wife who you’ve supported unconditionally, despite your long suffering with depression has just left you, and the only emotional support you have left is a teenage hallucination of the infant son you lost 16 years ago. A song has never been so devastatingly heartbreaking yet so hopeful.

Dyin’ Aint So Bad - Bonnie and Clyde

Maybe it’s because I might actually be a hopeless romantic, or maybe it’s because Laura Osnes’ voice is so angelic it makes me forget I’m an atheist, but there’s just something so evocative about this hauntingly beautiful about this song.

Albanza - In The Heights

If there’s one thing Lin-Manuel Miranda is good at, it’s making us cry using only his words. This song starts off as a spoken-word eulogy but when the grief becomes too much for words to say, a choir of loved ones swell into an overwhelming outcry of praise for the barrio’s infinitely loved, Abuela Claudia.

Stay Alive (Reprise) - Hamilton

If you’ve ever listened to the Hamilton soundtrack on shuffle, then you know the sheer terror of hearing “WHERE IS MY SON”, when you thought you were just listening to Disc 1’s ‘Stay Alive’.

I don’t think I need to tell you why this song is so weep-worthy, but *SPOILER ALERT* let’s just be glad that Eliza’s gut-wrenching scream over her son’s dead body, at the end of the song, didn’t make the recording. I don’t think any of us could survive that.

Words Fail - Dear Evan Hansen

In a musical that centres around hopelessness, to hear the utter despair in Ben Platt’s delivery of these lyrics brings a whole new level of loneliness that you just can’t prepare for.

She Used to Be Mine - Waitress

If there’s one song on this list I can guarantee maximum tears on, it’s this one. The feeling of being defeated by the cards you've been dealt is a helplessness I think we know all too well. This song is about being broken down to the point where you find yourself looking at your life from the outside in, and are no longer able to recognise who you've become. It’s raw, confronting and so simply truthful, it’s impossible for it not to resonate with you.

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