Crying – The Sonic Mapping of Heartache

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Roy Orbison & k. d. lang's Crying at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Tears on the Turntable – A Classic Reborn
  5. The Sonic Embrace of Solitude
  6. The Lyrical Labyrinth of Love and Loss
  7. Unveiling the Song’s Hidden Meaning
  8. The Echoes of Timeless Lyrics


I was all right for a while, I could smile for a while

But I saw you last night, you held my hand so tight

As you stopped to say “Hello”

Aw you wished me well, you couldn’t tell

That I’d been crying over you, crying over you

Then you said “so long”. left me standing all alone

Alone and crying, crying, crying crying

It’s hard to understand but the touch of your hand

Can start me crying

I thought that I was over you but it’s true, so true

I love you even more than I did before but darling what can I do

For you don’t love me and I’ll always be

Crying over you, crying over you

Yes, now you’re gone and from this moment on

I’ll be crying, crying, crying, crying

Yeah crying, crying, over you

Full Lyrics

Roy Orbison’s classic ‘Crying’ finds a second wind in its collaborative reimagining with k.d. lang, lending it a new depth and universality. Lang’s haunting echoes combined with Orbison’s soul-stirring tenor craft a narrative far beyond the sum of its lyrics. The song is not just a tale of love lost but a canvas upon which is painted the profound experience of grief in isolation.

The transformative power of ‘Crying’ lies in its ability to encapsulate raw emotion within a melodic alchemy that transcends the moment of heartbreak, creating a kind of beauty in sorrow that resonates through the ages. What follows is an exploration of the tears shed in silence; an attempt to decode the poetic subtext and the emotive force behind this lyrical masterpiece.

Tears on the Turntable – A Classic Reborn

Roy Orbison’s original 1961 release of ‘Crying’ was a standalone masterpiece, encapsulating the precise moment when solace fades into despondence. However, the 1987 re-recording with k. d. lang introduced a new dialogue in suffering, an interplay of masculine and feminine vulnerability that suggests that heartbreak knows no gender, nor does the solace we seek.

With Orbison’s quintessential quaver and lang’s poignant clarity, they draw a melancholy synergy from their shared experiences of sorrow, casting a new light on an old shadow. The beauty of this duet lies in its raw relay of pain, the baton passed from one verse to another in a lament that has become almost operatic in its execution.

The Sonic Embrace of Solitude

The arrangement of ‘Crying’ is deliberate in its sparsity, allowing the anguish in Orbison and lang’s vocals to fill the voids. Every strum of the guitar and pull of the string section serves to amplify the existential weight of loneliness. This minimalist arrangement mirrors the thematic essence of the song, where the fullness of love once felt is now the gaping hole through which sorrow quietly seeps.

The reverberation of the last chord is a testament to this silence, the echo of what was and will never be again—a sound portrait of the emptiness that follows a goodbye, the auditory equivalent to pain reverberating through an empty chest.

The Lyrical Labyrinth of Love and Loss

Orbison and lang’s ‘Crying’ isn’t about a singular event but the continuum of heartache, the cyclical nature of hoping and hurting. The narrative taps into the universal dread of seeing a past love—and the flood of unresolved emotions come crashing forth, imploding the facade of recovery.

The song touches upon the self-deceptive attempts we make to move forward, donning a smile that cracks at the slightest memory. This dynamic captures the bitter perpetuity of pain and the irony of how a simple ‘Hello’ can unravel the delicate stitches with which we mend our broken hearts.

Unveiling the Song’s Hidden Meaning

Beyond the palpable theme of love lost, ‘Crying’ taps into a deeper vein of human experience. It’s not only a narrative of romantic dissolution but a parable about the human condition. The song speaks to the heart’s resilience, its capacity to love despite knowing the inevitable end might be painful loneliness.

The message seems to unfold that to love is ultimately to risk the torment of loss, a risk repeatedly taken in the quest for connection. ‘Crying’ becomes an anthem for the bittersweet gamble of life itself, with every note a reminder of the courage it takes to feel fully.

The Echoes of Timeless Lyrics

“But darling, what can I do? For you don’t love me, and I’ll always be crying over you.” This closing sentiment, delivered heartbreakingly by lang, serves as the emotional crescendo of ‘Crying.’ Alongside Orbison’s iconic delivery, it’s a moment of such profound resignation that it etches itself into the pantheon of memorable lines.

These words, so stark and yet so laden with the gravitas of unrequited love, resonate as a universal truth. They become a testament to the enduring nature of love and the shadow of yearning that it can leave behind. It is here, in the simplicity of their expression, that ‘Crying’ finds the voice of every shattered heart that’s struggled to find the melody for its grief.

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