tug at the heartstrings

tear/tug/pull at/on (one's)/the heartstrings

To elicit strong feelings of sympathy or fondness. I don't know why, but that piece of music always tears at my heartstrings. That documentary really pulls on the heartstrings—you'll want to adopt all of those kids after watching it.
See also: heartstring, on, pull, tear, tug

tug at the heartstrings

or

tug at your heartstrings

COMMON If someone or something tugs at the heartstrings or tugs at your heartstrings, they cause you to feel pity or sadness. Miss Cookson knows exactly how to tug at readers' heartstrings. Note: You can use verbs such as pull and pluck instead of tug. Unlike many charity campaigns, it doesn't pull at the heartstrings. Note: You can also omit the word at. McLachlan tugs the heartstrings with a succession of ballads. Note: Heartstrings is used in many other structures and expressions with similar meanings. This is not a movie that aims for the heartstrings. Note: In medieval times, it was believed that `heartstrings' were tendons which supported the heart.
See also: heartstring, tug
References in periodicals archive ?
Headlining the event are The Lake Poets, aka Martin Longstaff, whose "beautiful and quietly devastating" music, never fails to enduce goosebumps and tug at the heartstrings.
Well done to them, they sure know how to tug at the heartstrings.
We hope this will tug at the heartstrings of all animal lovers who are looking for a new pet and encourage them to come down to the shelter for a visit," said BSPCA spokeswoman Claire Cunningham.
While the gothic auteur's leftfield filmmaking inevitably has a tendency to plunder the macabre for inspiration - his films are invariably awash with emotional depth that tug at the heartstrings while dispensing with the dictates of convention.
The presentation and design will tug at the heartstrings of every senior gamer with a penchant for speed, violence and gaming nostalgia.
GLORIOUS Beauty and the Beast can still tug at the heartstrings
In "The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey," author Deborah Barnes narrates the true story of the powerful and inspirational relationship that is formed between herself and her cats in a tale that is sure to tug at the heartstrings of animal lovers everywhere.
It shares the lush arrangements, bombastic percussion and eclectic instrumentation of his other band, along with silky, frayedat-the-edge vocals perfectly pitched to tug at the heartstrings.
It's not only a bid to tug at the heartstrings of consumers, but also a sign of how important media is to the company's ongoing struggle for market share.
But it will tug at the heartstrings a bit being away from the children.
ROY KEANE is ready to tug at the heartstrings of for me rteam-mate Ryan Giggs with an offer to move to Sunderland next season.
Yet here's Heather convinced she can tug at the heartstrings while nursing a pounds 24.
But mum Rosilda appealed for leniency at last week's disciplinary tribunal and her tug at the heartstrings paid off.
From break dancing in the streets of Cuba to performing in the opera houses of the world, he tells his story simply and honestly, with details that tug at the heartstrings.
READING your graphic report about our troops in Afghanistan last week was enough to tug at the heartstrings of any of us who are patriotic at all, even more so at this time of year.