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5 of the Most Moving Songs Ever Written

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photo credit: A. Pagliaricci ♦ via photopin cc

photo credit: A. Pagliaricci ♦ via photopin cc

Music Stirs the Soul

Music is music to the ear but not always to the heart. What I mean by that is there is a lot of really great music out there that has all kinds of effects on its listener but then there is some that stir the very waters of our soul.

One of the greatest things about music is that nearly any given song can have a different meaning to any given listener, and that is what I feel l kept in mind when choosing these five songs as some of the most moving ever.

In order for a song to have made this list, it had to be versatile. It had to be open to enough interpretation that I felt very few of its listeners would feel "left out" because it was overly religious, related to a specific type of character or so rooted in its genre that lovers of other types of music couldn't "feel it."

On nearly any day at nearly any time, the following songs have the ability to wipe whatever is on my mind out of it and remind me that I'm human.

Top 5 Moving Songs That Touch Your Soul

  1. "My Immortal" by Evanescence
  2. "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson
  3. "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac
  4. "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton
  5. "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen

1. "My Immortal" by Evanescence

Sure. "My Immortal" is rather young as far as songs go but that doesn't change the fact that Amy Lee's voice in this song is very convincing and that the guitar solo seems to take what your feeling and attempt to push it straight through your chest.

Released in 2003, Evanescence guitarist, Ben Moody wrote this song with a little help in parts from Lee.

So who can't relate to a song that discusses how one puts their heart and soul into another and in the end is left holding the bag. Whether by death or disappointment, this song has the ability to remind you of that someone who's gone now and the void that still exists as a result.

If catching you at the right time, "My Immortal" certainly has the ability to stir up emotions.

Do You Know Evanescence?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What's the name of the album "My Immortal" was released on?
    • Fallen
    • Darkness Prevails
    • Siamese Dream
    • Ten
  2. Where did Evanescence originate from?
    • Detroit, MI
    • New York, NY
    • Cleveland, OH
    • Little Rock, AK
  3. Evanescence was originally promoted as...?
    • Metal
    • Goth
    • Christian
    • Pop

Answer Key

  1. Fallen
  2. Little Rock, AK
  3. Christian

2. "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson

Chances are, we all have at some time. Not just to comb our hair or fix our makeup but to analyze who we are and how we're going to "make a difference".

The song needs no interpretation really. It's pretty obvious what it's about but of course what we see when we look in the mirror is different for each of us. We know who we are better than anyone and when this song comes on, it's hard to say you don't immediately start to revisit what you're made of.

Lyrically written by Siedah Garrett, it's only one of 2 songs off of "Bad" that Michael himself didn't write. When asked about writing the song at the request of Quincy Jones, Siedah recalled wanting Michael to know who she was and not be afraid to say it to the rest of the world.

Well, no doubt Michael had the world at his fingertips and regardless of how you view the "King of Pop", his music will live forever. Especially this one.

3. "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac

Written by Stevie Nicks and released in 1975, "Landslide" is not only one of the most moving songs ever written, it's just plain old one of the best songs ever written.

You tell me what makes it so universal. Is it the connection to growing older? The fear of change? The fear of love? Whatever it is, "Landslide" hits home so well that every musician is wanting to take a shot at the cover. From the Dixie Chicks to Gavin Rossdale and from Gwenyth Paltrow to Mylie Cyrus, everyone seems to have a spot for this in their playlist.

I love the original and stuck with it here but I might recommend the cover version done by Smashing Pumpkins. It's a very close rendition and the band really nails the emotion of it.

4. "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton

Maybe it's the fact that it's inspired by a true story. Maybe it's the beautiful guitar that at times seems the notes are falling from it like tears themselves. I don't know for sure but this is a song that when asking folks around me which pulled on their heartstrings, "Tears in Heaven" was at the top of everyone's list.

Inspired by the death of his son, Eric Clapton wrote this song along with help from Will Jennings who initially was nervous to help due to the close personal nature of the subject. Later, both "Tears in Heaven" and "My Father's Eyes" would both be scratched from Clapton's playlists because, "I didn't feel the loss anymore, which was so much a part of performing them."

Well Eric did eventually begin to play them again in 2013 and whether it was because of the tour he was on or that he began to revisit his loses, I don't think music lovers ever stopped feeling loss as it is typically included in every "Greatest...." list everywhere.

Eric Clapton Trivia

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What was the name of Clapton's son for which "Tears in Heaven" was written?
    • Eric
    • Austin
    • Conor
    • Alex
  2. How many times has Clapton been inducted to the Rock Hall of Fame?
    • Once
    • Twice
    • Three Times
    • Every year
  3. What famous Beatles song is Clapton known for playing the solo in?
    • Let It Be
    • Yesterday
    • Help
    • While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Answer Key

  1. Conor
  2. Three Times
  3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps

5. "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen

With over 300 known versions of this song, you'd be hard pressed to tell me "Hallelujah" doesn't belong on this list.

Originally written by Leonard Cohen and with what's believed to be nearly 80 different versus before becoming what we know today, "Hallelujah" has become one of the most soul stirring songs ever to grace our ears.

I have taken the liberty here of playing you a version I found on YouTube that is what I feel might be the best ever. (Even the post title says so.) I hope you don't mind. Regardless of whether you think it's the cover by Buckley or one of the many you've seen on the latest run of talent shows, I'd be willing to bet one of them has or will put a lump in your throat at sometime or another.

Going Deep in Music

I hope you enjoyed this article. I personally love songs that have the power to make you feel something more than the need to shake your butt. (Don't get me wrong, I like those too.)

I know many of you are wondering where songs like "Let It Be," "The Change," and "If You're Reading This" are but remember, it's "5 of the Most Moving Songs Ever Written" and good luck finding a Garth video you can post.

Thanks for stopping by and always, keep the music playing.

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© 2014 Dan Reed


Dan Reed (author) on August 23, 2015:

Quicksand - Yes but not as my top 5. Of course 5 leaves an awful lot of room for more great songs.

quicksand on August 22, 2015:

Would you consider 'Why Worry' by Dire Straits?

Dan Reed (author) on August 22, 2015:

Thanks everyone for your support and feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed!

Rev Bruce S Noll HMN from Asheville NC on August 22, 2015:

Thank you Daniel, I enjoyed your hub. I enjoyed reading it, listening to it and allowing the music to resonate with my heart. In my room next to me is a photo of Eric Clapton I obtained on his 2004 World Tour.

For me, it is a reminder that there are two important parts to music. 1) the player and 2) the listener. It is the heart of the player that creates the sound and heart of the listener that expands it to incomprehensible enjoyment.

Thanks for these beauties!

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on August 22, 2015:

What a great choice for HOD. There is some great music out there! I enjoyed your choices.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 22, 2015:

Great list and I agree with each of your song choices. Tears in Heaven being my favorite, such a heart breaker song. Excellent hub!

Dan Reed (author) on August 22, 2015:

Thank you Kristen and Kimberley!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on August 22, 2015:

Daniel, great list of moving songs. All are beautiful, too, to convey a special message across via music. Congrats on HOTD!

Kimberley Clarke from England on August 22, 2015:

What a wonderful list. Thank you. When I'm heartbroken, I can't bear any music at all. I have to feel ok to even hear one note. I tend to stick with talk is just too risky. I love it, but it can so easily make me cry. Try Soho Square by Kirsty MacColl - it gets my tears flowing every time!

kerlund74 from Sweden on February 26, 2014:

Hallelujah is one of my personal favorites:) Man in the mirror is so touching, especially the movie scenes. Thank you for sharing this:)

Carlo Giovannetti from Puerto Rico on February 26, 2014:

Great list. I agree about "My Immortal", my wife is a huge fan of that song. I always get a lump in my throat when listening "Tears In Heaven". Beautiful song, heightened by the backstory. "Hallelujah" is a great song, and I kinda prefer the Rufus Wainwright version. Good list.

swilliams on February 06, 2014:

I love the song Hallelujah! Great Article and beautiful song choices!

Dan Reed (author) on January 27, 2014:

@PEnacted - I like Petty but can't say I've ever gotten emotional when listening. At least not "deeply". I like the feedback though. That's what's so great about music. Thanks!

ParadigmEnacted on January 27, 2014:

Hardly the most moving out of all of them in my opinion, but a good reference. My Immortal isn't moving at all, just very melodramatic and aggrandizing. It's funny when people light their candles and get excited when it's the last song played though.

Tom Petty has some moving songs, no?

IDONO from Akron Ohio on January 26, 2014:

Since I'm not good with remembering what year a life event took place, songs like these and many others help me connect an event and a time. It's kind of like the audio index to my life's scrapbook. Thanks. Good job.