BitchTapes: The Crying Game

Kelsey Wallace
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We've been reminiscing a bit at Bitch HQ lately about Free to Be... You and Me. Remember that jam? Even if, like me, it aired before you were born, you're probably the product of its lovey message in some way or another. If not, it's not too late. Check out this video clip of Rosey Grier singing "It's Alright to Cry." Do it! It inspired this week's BitchTapes!

A powerful message, especially coming from a masculine-seeming type like Grier. We all know that men aren't "supposed" to cry. But Grier isn't the only man who'll admit to shedding a tear now and then. For evidence of this, here's a mix of songs by men, about crying.

1. The Crying Game by Boy George. Boy George really breaks it down here--he's logged some serious hours playing the crying game and this song proves he's a bonafide expert.

2. Crying by Roy Orbison. A classic man-crying-over-a-woman-but-doesn't-want-her-to-know track. Look for this theme in later tracks!

3. Lonely Teardrops by Jackie Wilson. Unlike Orbison, Jackie Wilson isn't afraid to own his tears. He just wants you to come home!

4. These Eyes by The Guess Who. These eyes may have seen a lot of loves, but that doesn't stop them from crying. Oh no.

5. Cry (Godley & Creme) by 10cc. If the one you love doesn't even know how to say goodbye, what other choice do you have? (This song is worth learning the lyrics to for sing-along purposes, btw.)

6. Crying Time by Ray Charles. You know what time it is.

7. Bitter Tears by The Magnetic Fields. Because sometimes bitter tears are all a man has to keep him going. Don't hold back, Stephin Merritt!

8. Tears Stupid Tears by Daniel Johnston. This one's a real tearjerker (the name was probably your first clue). One of the only songs about crying that I could find that wasn't strictly about a breakup.

9. Cry One More Time by Gram Parsons. Sometimes you know that something's over, but you have to let a few more tears fall before you can really move on.

10. The Tracks of My Tears by The Miracles. See #2 (I told you it would come back!).

11. I'm Not Crying by The Flight of the Conchords. Seriously! It's just raining (on my face)!

12. Boys Don't Cry by The Cure. Another classic. You know you swooned a little when your indie rock crush sang this at Karaoke. (That wasn't just me, right?)

13. Song Cry by Jay-Z. Even Jay-Z cries now and then. Let it out, Hov!

Dudes, thanks for subverting the dominant paradigm and singing for crying men everywhere. It's alright to cry!

Any other songs by men about crying that you'd like to share?

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9 Comments Have Been Posted

Tears on My Pillow - Little

Tears on My Pillow - Little Anthony and the Imperials

is another good one.

96 tears!!

What do get when you have only two repeating chords, and the band name ? (pronounced "Question Mark") and the Mysterios? A jam, basically. 96 Tears! "Cry cry cry!"

? and the Mysterians... what they were called, but I agree: 96 Tears is awesome!

Too obvious?

I'll say it anyway: "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by the Temptations, which has an entire verse devoted to the concept of being a tearful man. Also, "Crying Like a Church on Monday" by the New Radicals and "Cry in the Sun" by Better Than Ezra.

"Tears of Pearls" by Savage Garden is a (wonderful) maybe, since crying is done by both the male singer/narrator and another party of unspecified gender. Knowledge of Darren Hayes' personal life may lead us to speculate that the other crier is indeed also male.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Pedant says...

"Bitter Tears," while written by Stephin Merritt, is actually sung by LD Beghtol, one of the four guest vocalists with whom Merritt shares singing duties on 69 Love Songs (one of my favorite albums ever ever ever!) If you do want to hear Merritt himself sing about crying, though, look no further than "Busby Burkeley Dreams," which has him weeping over an ex and the sweet memories he had of his lover that were tainted by their split.


How about "Why I Cry" from the Get Lost album? Stephin Merritt is one emotional dude.

IIRC...Wasn't that a

IIRC...Wasn't that a supplement to Marlo Thomas and Friends' book by the same name?

They updated the artwork and re-released it...three or so years ago. My kid has a much loved on copy now that has a CD with a lot of the poems from the book, and this song by Grier on it. I recommend it as a gift for any young reader!

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