Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How Adele Makes Us Cry

An analysis of Someone Like You and how it jerks tears.  I think this analysis might be transferable to tearjerking scenes, which are a special interest of mine.  This analysis says that the song has a lot of repetition in the beginning, and then a sudden breakout of voice (an octave change), which very much goes with my thoughts that emotional scenes depend usually on a three-part structure (three similar parts) which suspend the emotion and then a sudden "punch" or change of tenor which releases it.

The comments are pretty funny, especially from the loser guys who complain that she's fat and thus can't possibly be worth anything, because, you know, they would like totally have a chance to date her and refuse to do so.  Where DO all those guys come from, and if you've seen them, tell me-- do they look like David Beckham in that Super Bowl commercial that they're just too good for most women? They are sort of amusing, but more pitiable, I guess.

Anyway, what makes a scene (or song) yank tears from you?  I have a weakness for scenes where the character is bravely fending off emotion. No, no, seeing his childhood sweetheart get married isn't so bad. Well, maybe a little bit bad. But he still has to dance with her, and tell her he's happy for her. Sob!!!

Brave characters, stiff upper (Trembling) lip gets me every time.

I also sniffle at happy memories remembered in very sad times, like the heroine remembering her little sister dancing like Beyonce in front of the mirror, when she gets word that the sister is missing in Afghanistan. 



Thomas Sharkey said...

I imagine her song relates to the "best" of us; as for her figure, "we" know that beauty is skin deep, as opposed to inner beauty, and she has a beautiful and compelling voice (sniff).
I met an ex-girlfriend some time ago (30 years)whom I had treated unfairly, she had her seven-year-old daughter with her (one of seven children)I hadn't seen her for ten years and she was pleased to see me doing well. It made my day to see her happily married to a hard-working postman, and she hadn't aged a bit, she was still beautiful and more so from inside.

Q: Who is David Beckam?

chihuahuazero said...

And I thought this was going to be about her at the Emmy's. :p

Thinking about it, "Someone Like You" is weaved in a way that can induce tears.

Edittorrent said...

TS, Google "Beckham" (don't forget the H) and "Super Bowl" and you'll see what American women were talking about last week. ("Game? What game?")

C0, that's what I'm thinking-- it's actually in the DESIGN of the song as much as the lyrics or melody. That's the same we see when two writers write the same set of actions, but one scene makes you cry, and the other makes you laugh.

All in the design. Of course, you still need all the character and good prose and good eventing, but assembly is all when it comes to emotion.
p.s. Beckham used to (still does, I gather) play that other game also called "football."

John H said...

It didn't make me cry! :( I was a bit bummed about that after all the building up. But i did get goosebumps.

Does that mean i'm a hollow empty shell of a man?

John H said...

Actually as I think about it, Bruce Springsteens 'Downbound Train' makes me cry. So theres hope for me yet!

Edittorrent said...

John, the Boss's The River makes me cry. Gets me every time:
Now those memories come back to haunt me,
they haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true
Or is it something worse

And the boy getting for his birthday "a union card and a wedding coat."
No one does piercing detail like Springsteen.