There was something spectacularly tragic about Adele’s hit “Someone Like You”. Even people living in pineapples under the sea have heard it. Some probably locked themselves in a room and cried their hearts out to it.
I love this parody by Saturday Night Live. (I can’t seem to embed the video so here’s the link!)
But why’s everyone emotional? Is it possible that the human race synchronised their hormonal imbalance? Apparently, there’s a scientific reasoning behind the song’s ability in unleashing those tear ducts. I kid you not.
A quick summary of the science behind why music can make someone emotional:
- certain notes create a cycle of tension and release
- a surprise in volume, timbre and harmonic pattern can send shivers down your spine
- emotionally-intense music has the same effects as food, sex and drugs – the more emotions the song provokes, the more we crave it.
Here‘s the Wall Street Journal article if you are interested in the slightly more technical details of why “Someone Like You” makes you cry.
The voice has to work too I suppose, otherwise we’ll get the same kind of music all around us. Those familiar with Korean dramas and pop culture will know Kim Soo Hyun.
His voice is apparently attractive. It has worked on one too may friends of mine. I think it’s also a quality that works for radio jockeys – that “radio voice” which I never seem to have. And there’s also a science behind it. (If it’s a voice that a rational woman loves, then it’s a voice I’d love to have.)
So with a good voice coupled with the right song, you could be the next Adele and break tons of hearts by just singing.
What songs have given you that great rush of emotions?
Not many songs have made me shed a tear, and this is my sole claim to a perceived masculinity. The songs in my list probably don’t follow the science, but they’ve tugged a couple of heartstrings. Here’s the list:
1. Wish You Were Here – Storm Large
It’s a cover of a Pink Floyd song. My heart aches every single time the guitar solo commences. Maybe it’s the backstory, maybe it’s seeing Jason Newsted tear up. Maybe it’s a combination of everything. That for me, was the first time a song reduced me to a sobbing mess. I was really thankful i watched it alone.
2. Heaven – David Archuleta
This Bryan Adams classic was performed by David Archuleta (eventual runner-up) in Season 7 of American Idol. Strange choice for me – Paula Abdul didn’t cry and I did? It was also weird because I got so mesmerised by the singing I didn’t realise tears welled up in the eyes.
3. Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
You should read up on the backstory of this song if you haven’t already. Doesn’t that make your heart wrench already? Apparently if you ever hear Eric Clapton play this live, you can feel the raw emotion of every note.
4. I’m Gonna be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
It’s only right to end this on a happy note. This song gets me dancing. So play it, and dance on.