Scott Pack from our near neighbours The Friday Project has an occasional piece on his blog of Songs That Make Me Cry.
Here's my nomination...
'Have mercy, Lord my god,
Let Thou my tears persuade Thee.
Look on me, how my heart doth
Weep for thee bitterly.'
I am not a religious man but you cannot deny the sublime beauty of art inspired by religious devotion. Luckily, there's no one in the shop just now...
Here's Jonathan Miller on this piece:
"There are many pieces that surprise and jump me and I never know what will get me, except one that always gets me, even if I prepare myself to it, or at least trying to resist it, to hide myself, not to ashamed myself of sobbing, and that's the 'Erbarme dich'. I don't know why it always gets me. Every time I even think about it tears start in my eyes, even now, and I don 't know what it is… It is about what it expresses. This moment of knowing, that you have forgotten that somebody said something about what you are going to do, that he will betray you. You have gone through all this dark horrible night, as was predicted. You did it, it is all done, and you only ask for some forgiveness. But the music in which it is expressed, that violin… And it does not matter if you are atheist or a Jew, by being an educated member of the eastern European culture. This is the most famous story. It is in your blood in a way that no other story is. It happens to be the most intense story of them all. You can read it again and again and again and it is never fails as a piece of drama. A priest might say that it has everlasting truth, and that this truth is religious, and you accede to it despite the resisting to the religious belief within you. It is not like that at all. It is something that is permanently there, whether you believe it or not, and that is that we are here to suffer and our designation is to die."