REM tops songs that make grown men cry

PRS for Music, the organisation that collects and pays royalties to its 70,000 song-writing and composing members, today reveals that REM’s Everybody Hurts tops the list of songs that make men cry.

REM’s Everybody Hurts was used as a charity single early this year in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, in which VAT and royalties were waived to maximise the aid money. The single became the UK’s fastest-selling charity record of the 21st century.

Top ten songs that make men cry

  1. Everybody Hurts – REM
  2. Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton 
  3. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
  4. Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor
  5. With or Without You – U2
  6. Drugs Don’t Work – The Verve
  7. Candle In The Wind – Elton John
  8. Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen
  9. Unchained Melody – Todd Duncan
  10. Angels – Robbie Williams

Source: PRS for Music

Eric Clapton’s 1992 ballad, Tears in Heaven, was written about the pain that he felt following the death of his four-year-old son. Clapton stopped playing the song in 2004 when he had finished mourning his son.

The results are based on a survey of over 1,700 people, conducted by PRS for Music.


From this chart, it is clear that a well-written tear-jerker is one that people can relate to and empathise with. It is this lyrical connection that can reach deep down emotionally and move even the strongest of men.

Ellis Rich, chairman of PRS for Music
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