Okay, maybe not full-on bawling, but music can invoke some unexpected physiological responses. A powerful song can cause your voice to tremble as you hit the chorus. It can make you squirt a tear. Most commonly, it can send that weird full-body shiver surging through your body. Scientists call it Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. But scientists are nerds who will die alone, so we’ll go with the 12-year-old girl term known as The Chills.
Nobody is certain as to the origins of these anatomical symptoms. Some say that a good rhythm reminds of our time in the womb. Don’t you worry, don’t you worry child, indeed. I think that we’re all just narcissists, and the same reason you wanted to fight someone after watching a karate movie as a kid is the same reason “Good Riddance” gives you the willies. We all want to embody the spirit and the emotion of the artist. I remember listening to Blink-182 in middle school, daydreaming that it was my band on stage, and it was my imaginary girlfriend leaving me roses by the stairs. Of course, there is still no explanation as to why the Duck Tales theme song makes me tremble. Here are 5 songs that make me cry (or do something equally embarrassing). I’ll try and tackle the origins.
Genesis- “No Son of Mine
I was driving to GNC to pick up some (no fuckin’) whey protein when I began to feel tears cascade my cheeks, thanks to Phil Collins’ tale of his abusive father. I turned around and went home. There was no way I could look another person in the eyes for at least an hour. I have no idea why this dirge resonated with me so deeply. My dad is the fuckin’ man! We have lunch together every Wednesday and he pays my rent! Maybe I just felt for Phil.
Nas- “One Mic”
If you see me in the gym and my face is twisting like Carrie’s on Homeland, this song is probably playing on my iPod. Again, I think this is my feeble attempt to embody the artist. No, I have never had to duck from strays, nor endure a nasty feud with Jay-Z, but for some reason I empathize deeply with Nas’s battle cry. We both had to struggle! Bitches left him because they thought he was finished; my eighth grade girlfriend wouldn’t let me get to third base. Same deal.
Breaking Benjamin- “I Will Not Bow”
I won’t! You hear that, Mom & Dad? You hear that, Society?! This is the kind of song that people make Shawn Michaels montages to on YouTube, but it strikes a chord with me, particularly at the gym. You know, when I’m really pushing it? When the treadmill is at a merciless 6.5 and just when you think it’s over, I ratchet up the incline to 1.0. I WILL NOT BREAK!
Mariah Carey feat. Jay- “Heartbreaker"
Chills for sure. Shivers like you read about. Maybe it’s because she hits notes that only autistic dogs can hear. Maybe it’s because the sugary-sweet boom-bap reminds me of summer love and roller-skating rinks. An unbridled confession of love when rappers balled out by wearing Nautica track suits. It was all so simple back then. If you do not know all the words to this song and are over 18, do not dare try to convince me that you’re a mammal.
Usher- “Confessions II/Burn/U Got It Bad”
These three all form one song because they’re all basically about the same thing and I seamlessly transition back and forth from each when I sing in the shower. Usher just kills it in the making me cry game. Also, someone made him cry. WHO HURT YOU, USHER?!! Yes, I’ve been in some relationships but none have been as soul-wrenching as his. Still, each tune seems to hit home harder than the last even though they don’t at all. Maybe his lyrics are intentionally broad, but I just vibe with the man. I look forward to creeping him out when we eventually meet. What songs get to you? Does it make sense or is it completely random? Or does no music move you because you’re a big strong alpha male? I doubt it, Bro. Leave your thoughts in the comments section.