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It Takes a Real Man to Cry

From the Album Field of Dreams

The door opens, everyone turns around
It’s that special moment where dreams are found
A dress of flowing satin worn by the bride
Beside her a man, bursting with pride

Ooh, ooh, things well never be the same
There’s a new man in her heart
Ooh, ooh, it’s not easy letting go
Now the tears do start

It takes a real man to cry, a real man to sigh
To stand by his emotions, look them in the eyes
And say this is who I am, I’m not afraid to say
These are tears of pride, and I will not look away

Curtains open, the performance has begun
He hates the opera, wishes he could run
Doesn’t wanna be there, only came to please his wife
‘cause she’s the best thing, in his trouble life

Ooh, ooh, but as the music takes hold
He feels something stirring and touch his very soul
Ooh, ooh, he tries to not let go
But his life is filled with beauty as the tears begin to flow


It was 1978, and I was working for a big band at a wedding. As always, we played background music during the dinner and then sat at the band table and ate while the speeches were on. The bridegroom stood up and started his customary speech but didn’t get far before his voice broke up, and he started crying uncontrollably. It was an awkward moment with embarrassment all around until his father-in-law stood up, put his hand on his son-in-law’s shoulder and said to him and all the guests, “Don’t worry son, it takes a real man to cry.” The audience went wild with applause, the bridegroom sat down with his self-respect intact, and his father-in-law took over the speech saying what a wonderful son-in-law he had. You have to take your hat off to a father-in-law like that.

Many years later, I was watching the great film “Billy Elliot” and was deeply moved in the final scenes when Billy’s tough, no-nonsense father sat in the audience with tears in his eyes bursting with pride for his son, the ballet dancer. Truly great acting by Gary Lewis.