Also, since I know that most won't make it through the music post, I have some recommendations. There's lots of other stuff that I like, that has affected (or afflicted, depending on how you look at it) me, but this stuff seemed special in some way.
Johnny Cash singing hymns from his mother's hymn book. It is simple,straightforward, not his best stuff (so I've been told), and is relatively light. Combined with the fact that many of these songs are part of my past (and present) as well, it makes sense why I like it so much. It's also one of the last things he recorded. I think the only way you can improve on this would be to have a recording of him telling nursery rhymes.
Bryars' setting of a homeless man is some of the best contemplative music I've ever heard. It's a a short cut of some old codger off the street repeating a phrase over and over again. I'm not much for minimalism, but the repetition and the integration with Waits works. The easy answer is anything but easy here. For Tom Waits in general, Orphans is probably the way to go.
Also, I was able to find a stray recording of John Cleese narrating the Screwtape Letters. It's phenomenal. CS Lewis' reading of the Four Loves is also excellent.
Mozart's Requiem has also haunted my memories for quite some time. From when I carried a random label-less burned CD with me in high school to later on when I had the opportunity to sing this with a 150 person choir while over in Scotland, this death mass was always one that I appreciated greatly.
Oh, and Beauty and the Beast too (I needed to get some happier music in here). Partly because of childhood memories, partly because Belle was wonderful, but mostly because it just feels like home to me.
So...what songs or artists have touched you? Whose music has spoken to you and why does it move you so? Which artists make you want to laugh and cry at the same time?