Everybody Hurts by American band REM was voted as the saddest song ever, beating Elton John’s Candle in the Wind, in a poll.
Mike and the Mechanics’ The Living Years came third in the poll.
The survey was commissioned by theatrical producer David King, 55, to discover more about what he described as “the power of music”.
It revealed 84% of men aged between 18 and 24 have become tearful to music but in the 55 plus age group the figure dropped to 74%, the Telegraph reported.
The study also asked people where they were most likely to cry to a sad song.
Most broke down at home, but another emotional trigger was songs or music played at weddings with four in ten women admitting they had cried.
For men, music at nuptials proved less emotional - only 20% said they had shed a tear when a song was played while friends or family tied the knot.
It seems a sad song on the car radio can also reduce many of us to tears, with 23% of men and 33% of women admitting to crying behind the wheel.
“I was really interested in finding out a bit more about the power of music and how it affects us all,” said King.
“To be honest I wasn’t one bit surprised that men have such a strong reaction to music.
“I have been in and around music all my life and I know just what a powerful effect it can have on people,” he said.
Top 20 sad songs (as voted in survey)
1. Everybody Hurts - REM
2. Candle in the Wind - Elton John
3. The Living Years - Mike and the Mechanics
4. I will always love you - Whitney Houston
5. Nothing compares to you - Prince/Sinead O’Connor
6. Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen/Alexandra Burke/Jeff Buckley
7. My heart will go on - Celine Dion
8. Fix You - Coldplay
9. Seasons in the sun - Terry Jacks
10. Without You - Harry Nilsson
11. Yesterday - The Beatles
12. All by myself - Eric Carmen
13. My Way - Frank Sinatra
14. Sound of silence - Simon and Garfunkel
15. Aint no sunshine - Bill Withers
16. Love will tear us apart - Joy Division
17. Leaving on a jet plane - Peter, Paul and Mary
18. Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
19. Annie’s Song - John Denver
20. Everybody’s got to learn sometimes – Korgis