"Laughing" as written by and Peter Buck Bill Berry....
Laocoon and her two sons
Pressured storm tried to move
No other more emotion bound
Martyred misconstrued

Lighted in a room lanky room
Lighted lighted laughing in tune
Lighted lighted laughing

Laocoon and her two sons
Run the gamut sated view
Know them more emotion bound
Martyred misconstrued

Lighted in a room lanky room
Lighted lighted laughing in tune
Lighted lighted laughing

In a room lock the door, latch the room
Lighted, lighted, laughing

Laocoon and her two sons
Ran the gamut, settled new,
Find a place fit to laugh,
Lock the doors, latch the room
Lighted in a room, lanky room
Lighted, lighted, laughing in tune
Lighted, lighted, laughing in tune
Lighted, lighted, laughing in tunes
Lighted, lighted, laughing in tunes


Lyrics submitted by xpankfrisst

"Laughing" as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Laughing song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentto me, this song and shaking through are interconnected...aside from being symmetrically placed on murmur, one is the third and the other the third to last song on the album, they are the mellowest, moaniest, most etheral tracks...they are both four minutes long . . .

    both kick off with the theme of speaking out but not being heard, of isolation. "shaking through" begins with the question "could it be that one small voice doesn't count in the room?" laughing starts off referencing the story of Laocoon, who in Greek mythology warned the Trojans that it might be a bad idea to allow the infamous horse into their city and was then killed along with his two sons for speaking out... (note michael stipe begins his characteristic gender flipping that marked his career)

    ...Laocoon in this song represents people who are "lighted," having more wisdom, but were met with scorn and hav to hide themselves away...all the "light" is now in the room...they had to "run the gamut" and "settle new" to "find a place fit to laugh"...demonstrating the trials of the unique
    ZinbobDanon June 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI could be wrong, but it seems like it's about somehow staying positive during horrible times. Running the gamut and settling new could be referring to could be taken along the lines of an Anne Frank situation, hiding somewhere to avoid capture.
    pumkinhedon May 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful interpretation Zinbob. That fits perfectly with the lyrics and the emotional tone of the song. As for me, I don't really think I'm qualified to comment on the meanings of the songs on the album. For the most part I think the sublime emotional content of the music defies true expression in words.
    jtatfsuon February 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI take the chorus to be Laocoon laughing in the end, possibly just before the execution or possibly from the heavens afterwards, as one of the few people in the world completely sure that they died believing in something right. . He/she would have known, seeing the Trojan horse and the Greeks take over Troy, that she fought for something worthwhile, and even though the world condemned her, she could find humor, beauty and solace in her death. Really a powerful song, with fantastic bass and guitar to add to it. I just love that opening bass.
    realitysoldieron February 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti've read somewhere that this song was inspired by a Barthelme novel. His second one. The one about abortion?
    blisseryon January 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLaocoon warned of the evil that would befall the Romans. I remember reading that this song was inspired by a Robert Capa photograph. That image is from 1944 and shows a street scene in a French town after liberation. The focus is a woman walking, her head shaved, a baby in her arms, while around her people walk looking at her and laughing. She had the baby was fathered by a German soldier, and has had her head shaved as punishment, to mark her.
    nealmanon December 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful, beautiful song. Laocoön was male, though he had two sons. He's the guy that said "beware of Trojans bearing gifts." I didn't know about the Robert Capa photo... is this it?

    i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02711/…

    That's pretty heavy.
    CamLwalkon May 05, 2017   Link

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