February 7

A Song for the Broken Hearted: “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)” by Sue Thompson

A Song for the Broken Hearted: "Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)" by Sue Thompson 1

Sue Thompson/Youtube.com

Aside from the death of a loved one, a separation from a best friend, or a nostalgic feeling, what other else makes you cry? Perhaps, sad movies also do…

American singer Sue Thompson simply expressed this in her 1961 hit song Sad Movies (Make Me Cry). The song was written by John D. Loudermilk. In addition, it appeared on Thompson’s 1962 Hickory Records album Meet Sue Thompson.

About the song…

Released as a single in 1961, Sad Movies (Make Me Cry) was Thompson’s first song to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It peaked at number 5 in October of the same year. To add, the song reached the top of Billboard Easy Listening chart, which had been created earlier in 1961. Most noteworthy, it became the second song by a female vocalist to top the list.

In Australia, the song topped out at number six on the Kent Music Report. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, it peaked at number 46 on the UK Singles Chart.

Appealing to Baby Boomers…

Although Thompson was in her 30s when she recorded Sad Movies, her singing style and young-sounding voice appealed to many of the Baby Boomers whose influence was starting to become apparent on the US music charts. Loudermilk was inspired to write the song after a girlfriend of his went to see the 1960 film, Spartacus:

“After the movie went off, they turned the bright lights on, and it was just an ambience killer. The person I was with had tears in her eyes and said, ‘Sad movies make me cry’.”

The story in the song…

The song starts with a statement same to that of the title. Then, it continues narrating the man in the song going out to work. Because of this, the woman has nothing to do but to go to the movies alone.

By the time the movie started, she suddenly saw her best friend together with her boyfriend enter the theater. Though she was sitting behind, they didn’t see her. And then the song goes…

When he kissed her lips I almost died
And in the middle of the color cartoon I started to cry

And so I got up and slowly walked on home
And mama saw the tears and said “what’s wrong?”
And so to keep from telling her a lie
I just said “sad movies make me cry

Listen to Sue Thompson’s Sad Movies (Make Me Cry).

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