"Between A Laugh And A Tear" as written by and John Mellencamp....
When paradise is no longer fit for you to live in
And your adolescent dreams are gone
Through the days you feel a little used up
And you don't know where your energy's gone wrong
It's just your soul feelin' a little downhearted
Sometimes life is too ridiculous to live
You count your friends all on one finger
I know it sounds crazy just the way that we live

Between a laugh and a tear
Smile in the mirror as you walk by
Between a laugh and a tear
And that's as good as it can get for us
And there ain't no reason to stop tryin'

When this cardboard town can no longer amuse you
You see through everything and nothin' seems worthwhile
And hypocrite used to be such a big word to you
And it don't seem to mean anything to you now
Just try to live each and every precious moment
Don't be discouraged by the future forget the past
That's old advise but it'll be good to you
I know there's a balance see it when I swing past

Between a laugh and a tear
Smile in the mirror as you walk by
Between a laugh and a tear
And that's as good as it can get for us
And there ain't no reason to stop tryin'

Between a laugh and a tear
Smile in the mirror as you walk by
Between a laugh and a tear
And that's as good as it can get for us
And there ain't no reason to stop tryin'

When paradise can no longer amuse you


Lyrics submitted by SoBrokenHearted

"Between a Laugh and a Tear" as written by John Mellencamp

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Between A Laugh And A Tear song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentMy wife and I made a wedding album as favors for the guests and we put this song on it because of how it spoke to us while we were living together before getting married. We were living in an apartment and couldn't afford it anymore so we were going to move into a rental house with four friends. Well there was a two week period between move out date from the apt. and move in date at the house. A buddy of mine was acting as a residential assistent at a dormitory at the college I went to (it was summer at the time) and he let us sleep in one of the rooms for those two weeks. Our overhead was low but we were literally broke to the point that my wife (who was employed) had to sell jeans to a Plato's closet so we could have groceries for the two weeks. One day sitting in the dorm we realized how tender life can actually be when you are struggling with money (or anything else). We were talking about how poor we were and that we were sleeping in a dorm with no real place to live and no family close by (or friends) and we started laughing about the fact that she sold jeans to get food and all the sudden her laughter just turned to crying and it really made sense the the precipice between joy and sadness is (between a laugh and a tear) is incredibly small when lifes hardhships become your own.

    We talked about how this song related to that moment and how we (people in general) live so insecure about our own assurity - symbolized that people, when alone, will smile in the mirror as they walk by. As if to remind themselves, "I am happy, I am pretty, I am satisfied." And it just goes to show how fragile we are that our security could be reassured simply by looking in a mirror and smiling.

    Since then I graduated and we are very blessed financially to be able to pay all our bills and have a warm home and food on the table. Truth be told though, we never felt closer than when we were loving eachother in that dorm room, with no money, and pretty much no friends. It taught us that paradise wasn't really a cardboard box (a nice home, fancy car, etc) but was actually just the fact that we could be together in love.

    I think this song is about true love, and how fragile we are, in hard times.
    digger22on January 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA relationship experiencing troubled times of doubt and helplessness. Relavant to me as my wife is enduring postnatal depression....."And there ain't no reason to stop trying"....
    Fatty73on October 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe two other posts begin to get at what this song is saying, but I think it’s about even more.

    Paradise is material possessions, the big house, the nice car, …, and pleasant, yet shallow relationships.

    The song is about getting to the point in life where one realizes that a life where these are the only things that matter isn’t much of a life at all. It hints at the things that are missing: nurturing the soul, having real friends, spending energy in meaningful ways. Yet, the person doesn’t know how to get from where they are to where they need to be and so they just keep going.
    gborsoson May 30, 2009   Link
  • -1
    General Commentits actualy not about a relationship is about being bipolar

    Between a laugh and a tear
    Smile in the mirror as you walk by
    Between a laugh and a tear

    its about the ups and downs of bipolar syndrom
    ashleydawn22on November 01, 2008   Link

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