To a friend who has not been very well recently I sent links to some videos to cheer her up. She said that they had made her “smile and cry”, and it got me thinking about those things that are so beautiful that they can bring a tear to your eye. I’d like to share three of the things that have this effect on me. They are a TV programme, a piece of music and an interview: Bagpuss (Smallfilms, 1974), Your Silent Face by New Order (Factory, 1983), and Björk interviewing Arvo Pärt on Modern Minimalists (BBC, 1997). Considering them together, they represent three stages of my life: childhood, youth, and adulthood. But perhaps they also have a more universal significance as symbols of those stages of life.