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Origins: I Started a Joke

GUEST,Kathryn 27 Aug 04 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,GROK 27 Aug 04 - 09:30 PM
Kitty 27 Aug 04 - 09:40 PM
GUEST,GROK 27 Aug 04 - 09:49 PM
Kitty 27 Aug 04 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,GROK 27 Aug 04 - 10:06 PM
Kitty 27 Aug 04 - 10:08 PM
GUEST,GROK 27 Aug 04 - 10:15 PM
Joe Offer 27 Aug 04 - 10:20 PM
Kitty 27 Aug 04 - 11:12 PM
Acme 28 Aug 04 - 12:03 AM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Aug 04 - 12:12 AM
M.Ted 28 Aug 04 - 12:45 AM
mack/misophist 28 Aug 04 - 01:24 AM
Mark Clark 28 Aug 04 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Greenmanwest 28 Aug 04 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,GROK 28 Aug 04 - 02:53 PM
mack/misophist 28 Aug 04 - 03:31 PM
Herga Kitty 28 Aug 04 - 04:12 PM
Acme 28 Aug 04 - 04:19 PM
Juan P-B 28 Aug 04 - 07:49 PM
Mark Cohen 28 Aug 04 - 09:31 PM
Kitty 28 Aug 04 - 09:31 PM
belter 31 Aug 04 - 01:08 PM
PoppaGator 31 Aug 04 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,guest/Anonymous 01 Apr 07 - 11:09 PM
Dave'sWife 01 Apr 07 - 11:21 PM
alanabit 01 Apr 07 - 11:26 PM
Dave'sWife 02 Apr 07 - 12:10 AM
GUEST,meself 02 Apr 07 - 12:24 AM
Peace 02 Apr 07 - 12:33 AM
GUEST,meself 02 Apr 07 - 12:36 AM
Jim Lad 02 Apr 07 - 01:13 AM
Dave'sWife 02 Apr 07 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,meself 02 Apr 07 - 09:37 AM
Jim Lad 02 Apr 07 - 09:48 AM
dick greenhaus 02 Apr 07 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Murray MacLeod 02 Apr 07 - 07:16 PM
Jim Lad 02 Apr 07 - 10:58 PM
Genie 03 Apr 07 - 03:43 AM
Dave'sWife 03 Apr 07 - 05:53 AM
Allan C. 03 Apr 07 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,A CRUXIFIED CLOWN 09 Oct 09 - 05:28 AM
Mo the caller 09 Oct 09 - 05:52 AM
Weasel 09 Oct 09 - 11:13 AM
Lonesome EJ 09 Oct 09 - 09:24 PM
Eggdog 09 Oct 09 - 09:56 PM
SharonA 10 Oct 09 - 08:51 PM
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Subject: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,Kathryn
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 09:15 PM

Click for the 'PermaThread™: List of all joke threads'


I heard that song on an oldies station..hadn't heard it for years. And I don't understand it any more now than I did when it was new. What in the world is it about? Any takers?


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,GROK
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 09:30 PM

IMO, it was a prophesy done by the Beegees about George W Bush. No doubt people will have views that differ from this.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Kitty
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 09:40 PM

Clever, but I doubt that was what I was looking for...


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,GROK
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 09:49 PM

OK, serious question. Why not post the words and let people have a go at it?

Didn't mean to make light of a serious thread, Kitty. Excuse me please.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Kitty
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 10:00 PM

Please, make light. I enjoyed the comment.

I have a probs as I don't know the words and they arent in these huge data banks. I can only remember pieces of it--\

I started a joke that started the whole world laughing
If I'd only seen that the joke was on me.

I started a joke, that started the whole world crying (??)
If I'd only seen that the joke was on me.

I ....
rubbing my hands over my eyes
And I fell out of bed, hurting my head with the things that they said.

So I finally died, which started the whole world living
Oh, if I'd only seen that the joke was on me.

Well, that is most of it.... I think


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Subject: ADDPOP: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,GROK
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 10:06 PM

I started a joke, which started the whole world crying,
But I didn't see that the joke was on me, oh no.

I started to cry, which started the whole world laughing,
Oh, if I'd only seen that the joke was on me.

I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes,
And I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I'd said.

Til I finally died, which started the whole world living,
Oh, if I'd only seen that the joke was on me.

I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes,
And I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I'd said.

'til I finally died, which started the whole world living,
Oh, if I'd only seen that the joke was one me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Kitty
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 10:08 PM

Thanks so much!!
So now, do the words help at all??
Or is this just a stupid song?
I keep thinking that there is something very deep in it, but I hit bottom very quickly...


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,GROK
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 10:15 PM

The last Beegees' stuff I liked was from their album (VINYL) entitled "Cucumber Castle". I recall being in an altered state when I heard it the first time and thinking that the album title was quite profound. It made sense--the whole album--at that time. Very lucidly. But it never has since then. Sorry.

I was thinking that 'catters could read the lyrics over and offer views or interpretations. I


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 10:20 PM

Looks like it's pure BeeGees - words and music by Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb, 1969. I think I'd call this one an "earworm." I think the lyrics are really dumb, but it stays with me for a day whenever I hear it.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Kitty
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 11:12 PM

Yea, that is probably why I started this thread. It won't go away!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Acme
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 12:03 AM

This song made a lot of sense to an angst-filled teenager when it came out. Poetically, it's a series of contradictions, which seemed just right at that age.

"And I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I'd said."

There was a song, with a seeming nonsense lyric from the nursery rhyme about an old man who hit his head--what was that? And also McCartney's "Uncle Albert". Perhaps there is a sentience underlying all of these that comes with the period; something poetical or literary that was making the rounds.

I like the term "earworm." It certainly describes some of the songs discussed here. Like that darned "Robin Hood" theme. :)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 12:12 AM

The JOKE is the SONG.
The SONG is the JOKE.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 12:45 AM

I guess, being from OZ, you would know, Foolestroupe:-)

I've always like the song (paricularly the amazing Ritchie Havens version)--it really is satisfying to play it(and pretty easy)--I've got several other versions as well, and all are great--


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: mack/misophist
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 01:24 AM

It doesn't seem too abstract to me. You take yourself too seriously and tend to get things backwards. Which wouldn't be so bad except that every one knows it. Seems simple.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Mark Clark
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 01:18 PM

The key thing here that everyone seems to have missed is that GUEST,Kathryn became member Kitty by her second post.

Welcome Kitty!

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,Greenmanwest
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 02:45 PM

I always found the Christian reference in the last stanza
to be overt and disturbing. Was Gibb comparing himself to
Christ? Or was it that the whole lyric was covertly Christian
until the final line, when the poet felt he hadn't made his point
yet and had to make it explicit?
(By the way, the link to the Macartney website for "Uncle Albert"
launches a pop-up-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,GROK
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 02:53 PM

Hey, yeaH. Thought Guest Kathryn was Kitty w/o a cookie. But hey, yeah. Like, uh, WELCOME KITTY.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: mack/misophist
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 03:31 PM

I think GUEST/Greenmanwest is mistaken about the Christian reference. If it is, it doesn't fit standard theology very well.

Hello Kitty. Are you well iced?


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 04:12 PM

Welcome Kitty (from another one!)

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Acme
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 04:19 PM

I did a search on Uncle Albert on a machine that has a lot of java script stuff blocked and a popup blocker in place, so I didn't notice the ads. Sorry about that.

Welcome, Kitty!

SRS


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Juan P-B
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 07:49 PM

Why pull the thing to pieces looking for a 'meaning'. Barry Gibb as Jesus?? More chance of Ozzie Osbourne as Carmen Miranda

Maybe (considering the time it was written) he was stoned out of his tree!

Can you see any sense in 'Whiter Shade Of Pale' - Even Gary Brooker says he doesn't know what it's about and he wrote it!. He even followed it up with ".....you'd better take off your homburg 'cos your overcoat is" too long.

Back to the Bee Gees - Try "...Now I've found that the world is round and, of course, it rains every day"

I have a lovely vid copy of Lulu and Maurice Gibb (her ex-hubby) doing a live version of '1st Of May'about a year or so before he died - ".... When I was small and Christmas trees were tall..." Brilliant. I loved a lot of their early stuff but Saturday Night Fever (as a soundtrack) was right up there with Cucumber Castle in the 'shite' stakes

BFG


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 09:31 PM

Aw, come on, BFG, "Whiter Shade of Pale" made perfect sense to me in 1967, and it still does! And here's Gary Brooker's perfectly lucid explanation, just in case anyone else has any doubts. (Of course, what does Gary Brooker know, anyway? Keith Reid wrote the lyrics!)

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Kitty
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 09:31 PM

Wow!! lookie what I started!
Thanks all for your welcome. I appreciate it.
And it seems like the bottom line, the sense I am getting from you is what I was wondering to begin with: it's a stupid song, but addictive.
Glad I am not the only one who thinks so.

Thanks again, everyone.

Kitty/Kathryn.... aw whoever


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: belter
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 01:08 PM

I haven't heard this song, but it looks to me that it's about someone who has been unintentionally funny. perhaps also about the awkwardness of a youth who feels like every ones watching, and judging.
If the last verse is really a reference to Jesus, then it may be an antichristian song. Because the joke is on him.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: PoppaGator
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 02:41 PM

I always thought it was kinda smarmy adolescent self-pity, set to a nice but somewhat maudlin tune.

But even as I've always tried not to like it, it has stuck in my head, too, so the song does seem to have some kind of irrational power.

Hi there, Kitty; don't hestiate to post a profile or a photo or two! (I have a page in the photo section but no profile, as do a few other members. Some folks have a profile only, and I've also found pix of a few members who don't appear anywhere else in the "Events" section.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,guest/Anonymous
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 11:09 PM

I pretty much like the way the wallflowers sing "I started a joke"


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 11:21 PM

I think it's very straightofrward. A person made a joke that he thought was very funny but which was offensive and in the reactions of the people around him, he becomes more aware of the consequences of actions and words. When he 'dies' and the world starts living, he is accepting (dying to self) that he was the cause of pain, pleeding for forgiveness in the song as it were. He accepts he is a small part of a larger community. I do believe there is a reference to Christ and Christainty in the "I finally died" verse but that the reference isn't that direct, it's the old "wages of sin is death" motif. his hurtful statement (joke) was sinful, he finally gets it and repents.

Anyone buying into this with me?


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: alanabit
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 11:26 PM

I have got an open mind about it. Any and none of the explainations could be right. When I first heard it at the age of fourteen, I assumed that it must be some profound statement, which I would one day understand. These days I tend to regard the Bee Gees as a very efficient pop act.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 12:10 AM

Alanabit - for some reason, i always assumed he said something racist as in made a racist joke which nobody laughed at. I was just a little kid when the song came out but as a young teen i inherited a whole slew of their records from a babysitter and I listened to them all, learning hboiw to play as many as I could. I just assumed the song was a pop plea for tolerance along with the vaguely Christian implications I described before


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 12:24 AM

It means, Life is a bitch and then you die. And then the whole world starts living. Kinda like how the party comes to life and really turns into something as soon as you take your sorry ass out of there.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Peace
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 12:33 AM

"you take your sorry ass out of there"
Poor guy.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 12:36 AM

That's the one! A real old-fashioned party-pooper. Leave him home next time.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Jim Lad
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 01:13 AM

Probably one of my all time favourite songs. I must have sung every one of the Bee Gee's early albums to myself on many a long highway.
This one is the "Not waving but drowning" variety and as a young adolescent, I "Got it". You either do or you don't, I suppose and that's just the way it was with the Bee Gees and young folk.
If it's any consolation, "Staying' Alive" killed them. Ironical, ain't it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:24 AM

Slightly off-topic - my favorite album of theirs is one that didn't do very well, it was a country concept album called Life In a Tin Can and came out in the early 70s. It starts out strong with a song called "I Saw a New Morning" . Pronounced by them as "I soar a new morninG (with a hard G)

When I sang as part of a sister act with my older sister, we often got requests for bee gees songs due to the close harmonies. 'Massachusetts ' was a big favorite with family, friends and crowds as was "I've got a get a message to you". The latter being oner of those condemned prisoner songs people seem to love for some reason. Heck, we could have done a whole show back then with such songs we knew - The Prisoners Song (if I had the wings of an Angel), Defying Gravity (executioners song) written by jesse Winchester, The Green Green Grass of Home, Folsom Prison (at least he's not condemned to die, just a Lifer).


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:37 AM

"Pronounced by them as "I soar a new morninG (with a hard G)"

Hey, half these Mudcatters talk like that ...


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Jim Lad
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:48 AM

Oh bujjer!


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 01:47 PM

Like all too many songs of the period, its depth is all on the surface. Deep down, it's really very shallow.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,Murray MacLeod
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:16 PM

I don't think the song stands analysis, but then again I don't think it has to.

the whole thing about pop music is that it serves as a peg on which to hang your memories.

any chart song from the sixties or seventies instantly recalls time/place exeriences to me, and, am sure, to everybody else.

I am fond of this song, much in the same way as I am fond of "Yesterday" which is equally banal ...

no doubt in years to come the teenagers of today will feel equally nostalgic about the current ctop of chart hits, which to my ear are absolutely appalling (but my parents said the same thing about the Rolling Stones )


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Jim Lad
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:58 PM

They were right!


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Genie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 03:43 AM

I don't think songs in any genre necessarily have to "make sense."   I the merge of the lyrics and melody is memorable ("catchy") and aesthetically pleasing, and/or if it stimulates thought and emotion, it can be a "good" song, even if you have no idea what it means.


Otherwise, where would Bob Dylan be?

;-D

G


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 05:53 AM

Yes and then some songs which just evoke a certain mood or feeling can be re-used in an unexpected way. the Bee Gees song 'Holiday' which has a somber mood and a slightly mysterious or contradictary air was used in a recent South Korean Police procedural movie to evoke a sense of unease. it worked perfectly. The film was called Nowhere to Hide. The same producers used that creepy Enya Bodica song (she spells it in latin I think) off her album The Celts in a serial killer film called Tell me Something the year before they made Nowhere to Hide.

My husband watches all new South Korean Films as part of of his job so i wind up watching the good ones with him. The incorporation of pop music to evoke a mood or a time period is very common but they its done deftly and seamlessly. Another film, a political thriller about North/South tensions and espionage called Shiri, uses a version 'When I Dream', originally a hit for Crystal Gayle, in a particularly poignant way.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Allan C.
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 05:56 AM

During the period in which this song was written, lyrics didn't need to make sense. In fact, the more obscure the meaning/reference, the deeper (Wow, like, that's reeeally deep, man!) it supposedly was. Also, if it contained any sort of religious reference, it was usually deemed to be even deeper - such as the semimonotonic pap that Leonard Cohen usually wrote/writes.

Welcome Kitty!


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: GUEST,A CRUXIFIED CLOWN
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 05:28 AM

The clown in the Faith No More video is the narrator. The narrator is the clown, singing a seemingly meaningless song but which has a serious message. Like all clowns, they may seem funny and stupid TO US but are quite insightful and serious.

The guys at the table are looking at him laughing, making fun of him and thinking he's a tard. Little do they realize that they're making clowns of themselves and their relationships with their girlfriends. Ironically, while real clowns themselves, they aren't LISTENING to the words of the clown who has a serious message to tell them.

But then, when he starts to bellow out his song, they start to see that there might be more to the clown and his song. One of the girls especially starts to see it and falls in love with this seemingly clownish idiot.

So....the message is look to the Truth, look beyond appearances (especially our everyday lives, a joke in many ways), and be mindful of self-rightousness. Otherwise....you're bound to make a clown of yourself, live life stupidly, without the right values and principles. Ironically though, this applies even to the clown himself, the guy who is supposedly outside being a clown--he's a lonely clown himself on the stage!

There you have it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Mo the caller
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 05:52 AM

As my (then) 3 yr old daughter said, when we came out of show at the local commutity centre "That wasn't a real clown. That was just someone dressed up"


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Weasel
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 11:13 AM

I had a school friend who wrote lyrics. They rhymed, and that was about it. They didn't mean anything because he didn't have the brains to think about meaning - he knew about rhymes.

As someone once said, "Sometimes when you can't see the bottom, it isn't because the water's deep, it's because it's muddy".

Cheers,

Weasel


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 09:24 PM

Hey, the song had a beautiful melody and some lovely oboe in it. Give it a break, for Christ's sakes.
I think the Gibb boys wrote some very nice songs in those days. I was in a band that did To Love Somebody, and I always thought it was a great song. I also like Got to Get a Message to You, Massachusettes and the Mining Disaster one (whatever it was called).
It occurs to me that the Gibbs were writing songs for the times. When psychedlic, poetic, trippy songs were popular, that's what they wrote. When disco came bumping in, Barry turned on a dime and started knocking out that kind of stuff. I happen to have been more of a psychedelic trippy guy than a disco dude, so I liked the first phase and not the second, but you have to admit they were pretty successful with both.

Those of you who play guitar might strum through this. It really is a very nice melody.

I Started A Joke
Bee Gees

D F#m
i started a joke
G A D F#m G
which started a whole world crying      
A D F#m G
oh if i'd only seen      
A D F#m G
that the joke was on me   

II.
D F#m
i started to cry
G A D F#m G
which started the whole world laughing
A D F#m G
oh if i'd only seen      
A D
that the joke was on me

chorus:
Bm A
I look at the sky
G
running my hands
D
over my eyes

Bm F#m
and i fell out of bed
G
hurting my head
A
from things that I said

III.
D F#m
till i, finally died
G A D F#m G
which started the whole world living   
A D F#m G
oh if i'd only seen      
A D F#m G
that the joke was on me      

(repeat intro)


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: Eggdog
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 09:56 PM

I haven't thought about this for a long time, but that song was popular when I was a senior in high school and I remember talking about it in the cafeteria one day. My friend Chris told me that he thought _I Started a Joke_ was based on _The Passover Plot_, a sort of conspiracy-theory book about the origins of Christianity. I used to see that book all over the place, but it and its successor, _Those Incredible Christians_, have all but disappeared; they don't even turn up at library booksales any more.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I Started a Joke
From: SharonA
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 08:51 PM

I never could get past the line "I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I'd said" without rolling my eyes and grinding my teeth at that poor excuse for poetry. Yup, it rhymes, but that's about all it does!


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