"Laughing" as written by and David Crosby....
I thought I met a man
Who said he knew a man
Who knew what was going on
I was mistaken
Only another stranger
That I knew
And I thought I had found a light
To guide me through
My night and all this darkness
I was mistaken
Only reflections of a shadow
That I saw
And I thought I'd seen someone
Who seemed at last
To know the truth
I was mistaken
Only a child laughing
In the sun
Ah, ah, ah...
In the sun...

Lyrics submitted by hari66

"Laughing" as written by David Crosby

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Laughing song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis song is beautiful in its portrayal of the attitude we can have about the world and the doubts about our purpose in life. The answers are found in the laughing child's simplistic view of life and the man is unable to see things like a child. His doubt in the wisdom of children is what makes him unable to see reason. This is similar to the lesson found in the Bible verse:

    "Whoever does not enter the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it"
    willszmanson October 01, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen you love someone (or cherish him/her), love him/her unconditionally, looking at them like a child, not as a "grown-up", "all-knowing" and/or as a "hero". Cause none of us can be like that, not even the Prophets were that way except they trashed their own knowledge and "believed" in a Higher Existence who knows and lets us know only what we need to know. For example, this full moon looks so beautiful in the middle of the night but the moment you start researching it or even become part of the expedition to the moon, landing on it, you'd know it is NOT as beautiful as it seemed from millions of miles away on earth. The closer you come, the more knowledgeable you become. And knowledge, although empowers you to achieve things that you may never otherwise, it does take away the curiosity or the suspense of the unknown. That's why a child's innocence is the best way that I can look at anyone who has wronged me or anyone else out there. They were born as an innocent baby, having no idea what truth is. We, sometimes invent our own truths which no matter anyone agrees to it or not, it is OUR truth, the very own that we guard with our life. The worst criminal out there has a side to his/her story which if dug deeper, you'd find some genuine excuses which he/she opted to use while committing those wrongs. I know forgiving is NOT in our own hands as we are not (and probably can't NEVER ever be) that knowledgeable about "everything" that everyone does whatever they do. Sometimes, there's peace in being selfish and sometimes there's this melancholy or sadness in our inability to sacrifice our own needs, putting someone else' first. Disappointments happen and always for a reason. I'd never want to waste my time in finding that reason as that will actually stop me from being disappointed again in another person's hands. If that's life to be disappointed, sad, always in a melancholy way, then let it be. But I 'd never stop living, exploring as this curiosity to "know" is overwhelming despite any kind of wisdom that these number of years (in life) might have gifted to me. A very lovely song, very true words... actually pointing to someone who does not have ability to forgive or simply chooses to stay in that melancholy state of mind. On positive side, it is good too as one disappointment is sometimes all that we need to have eternal peace in our own souls. I can complain about everyone disappointing me, without looking into the mirror at my own disappointments that many might have suffered through. But then, who cares to look into the mirror cause the view is sometimes not very pleasant. These people are either going to commit suicide one day or choose a solitary life over a social one. What a waste!
    aatayyabon November 28, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI read somewhere that this was about the disillusionment with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as spiritual leader that Crosby and others shared with John Lennon (see Sexy Sadie). He was thought to have the answer but they felt he had tricked them. He was famous for his giggling when talking - something the British press picked up on - hence the laughing child in the sun image.
    Musically this is sheer joy: when Joni Mitchell joins on the final "in the sun" chorus it is a spine-tingling moment. I'm not sure why he wanted to re-record it with the reformed Byrds in such a pedestrian manner. The original with Jerry Garcia on pedal steel is a masterpiece.
    MCarvellon February 02, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIt seems to me that David was seeking "the truth" ... Looking for the answer to "life".

    He knew the answer when he wrote this song. He didn't name it "I was Mistaken" , he named it "Laughing" for a reason.

    He looks (we all do) to a friend who turns out to be a" stranger". Yet he knew the stranger. This reflects all the people in our life that we "know" yet never seem to sync up with us as much as we would like.
    The next verse is a little more hopeless. Something seems like a light "to guide" but it's just a "reflection of a shadow"... how beautifully hopeless is that? Crosby is a great lyricist.

    Finally he says he thinks he found someone who knows the truth, yet he still states that he was mistaken. But the child Laughing in the sun IS the truth, that's why it is the title of the song. A child laughing in the sun is enlightenment. The reason he says he was "mistaken" is that the child does not "know" the truth... it simply, is.
    patrickpendolaon November 17, 2017   Link

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