10 Emotionally Overwhelming Songs
Some songs are “empty,” while others are “full” – or something like that! The 10 songs compiled on this list are all “full” of emotion and depth. Each song has a deeper meaning or larger purpose which makes it truly unique, special, and memorable. Here are 10 songs that possess overwhelming emotions.
1. Father John Misty, “Holy Shit”
[I Love You, Honeybear, 2015]
Despite the fact that it’s titled “Holy Shit,” the phrase is never once mentioned within the lyrics. Rather, the title is a description of an overall collection of overwhelming emotions and situations, many of which are far beyond Father John Misty’s control. Because the lyrical content is ‘over the top,’ it makes perfect sense why it’s named “Holy Shit.” It isn’t only the reaction of Father John Misty, but also the listeners taking it all in.
2. Panic! At The Disco, “Hallelujah”
[Death of a Bachelor, 2016]
Is “Hallelujah” truly a spiritual declaration? No. Sure, frontman Brendon Urie seeks to inspire fellow sinners to mature and move forward much like his own experiences he cites, but this is no gospel song by any means. This is a song about putting past mistakes behind you and growing stronger in the present and future.
3. Wale featuring Usher, “The Matrimony”
[The Album About Nothing, 2015]
A title like “The Matrimony” should make every bachelor shudder… it’s a lifelong commitment. On “The Matrimony,” Wale commits to being the best man that he can be, and is definitely thinking “forever” and not just a casual thing. No more hook-ups for Wale – it’s deep!
4. Sufjan Stevens, “No Shade In The Shadow of the Cross”
[Carrie & Lowell, 2015]
Who knew Sufjan Stevens had such a dark side? Most folks probably didn’t until Carrie & Lowell found Stevens confessing his shortcomings and emotional instability following the death of his mother, Carrie. Not only was her death a hard pill to swallow, Stevens’ relationship with his mother was minimal throughout his lifetime, something he has shared throughout the album and in interviews. But who would’ve ever thought Stevens would deliver lines like “I slept on my back in the shade of the meadow / like a champion / get drunk to get laid” or “There’s blood on the blade / f*ck me, I’m falling apart.”
5. Hozier, “Work Song”
“Work Song” could pair well with Wale’s “The Matrimony,” thanks to the commitment that Hozier seems to have to his “baby,” who he references throughout the song. “Boys workin’ on empty / I sthat the kinda way to face the burning heat? / I just think about my baby / I’m so full of love I could barely eat.” Infatuated much Hozier? If his dedication weren’t confirmed already, check out the chorus: “When, my, time comes around / lay me gently in the cold dark earth / no grave can hold my body down / I’ll crawl home to her.”
6. Yelawolf, “Heartbreak”
[Love Story, 2014]
By far, “Heartbreak” may be Yelawolf’s most touching, deep song of his career. He doesn’t hold back, exemplified by standout moments like “I could’ve been stuck out in ‘Bama, had I not flew the coop / And my babies would suffer Christmas cause Santa ain’t got no loot” and “Momma told me I should keep it real / my record ain’t selling, momma, I’m trying hard enough to keep a deal.” The best lyric comes on a variation of the hook: “There ain’t no f*cking way I’mma let you take this hard-earned money, b*tch.” Now that’s overwhelming emotion!
7. Alabama Shakes, “Gimme All Your Love”
[Sound & Color, 2015]
This one is obvious and needs little explanation. Love itself is overwhelming, and so there’s no question that Alabama Shakes’ “Gimme All Your Love” deserves a spot on this list. “So tell me what you wanna do,” Brittany Howard sings on the second verse, “You say the weather doesn’t sit with you / why don’t you talk to me for just a little while? / I can only try to make it right.”
8. Sam Smith, “Lay Me Down”
[In The Lonely Hour, 2014]
“Told me not to cry when you were gone / but the feeling’s overwhelming, it’s too strong.” Considering that Sam Smith’s debut album In The Lonely Hour is all about unrequited love, it’s no surprise that “Lay Me Down” finds Smith almost in desperation mode to be back with his lost love. Love in itself is overwhelming, so it’s no surprise “Lay Me Down” falls into the same characterization. Smith is also making a bigger statement with this particular song, in reference to marriage equality.
9. Big Sean featuring John Legend & Kanye West, “Only One Man Can Change The World”
[Dark Sky Paradise, 2015]
Big Sean isn’t exactly the most poetic MC in the game, but on “Only One Man Can Change The World” he gave his very best, particularly referencing his grandma: “My grandma told me if you write your name in stone you’ll never get the white out / I grinded out that black hole then performed up at the white house.” Sean earlier within the album spoke upon his “Blessings,” two of which are implied within the aforementioned lyric – his grandmother’s advice/wisdom and reaching his dreams.
10. Ed Sheeran, “Afire Love”
One of the underrated songs from Ed Sheeran’s X arrives in “Afire Love,” where Sheeran talks about the loss of his grandfather. Despite his sadness (“And my father told me ‘son / it’s not your fault he doesn’t know your face / and you’re not the only one’”), by the end the tone of the song is more uplifting: “And my father and all of my family / rise from their seats to sing hallelujah.”