Why does ‘Someone Like You’ make people cry?
There's more to Adele's song than lyrics, more than music. There is our human experience.
Stephan Pennington, an assistant professor of music at Tufts University, says songs most likely to make people cry combine emotional lyrics with music that amplifies those feelings. “Music can do that any number of ways,’’ he said, “from using instruments we associate with sadness, like swelling string sections, to crafting music with dark minor harmonies.’’ One of the things that makes “Someone Like You’’ so heartbreaking, he explained, is that Adele insists that she will move on and everything will get better, but the music tells you that isn’t true. “It circles around the same notes never resolving, never finding peace.’’