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 said
'Till 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 said
'Till I finally died which started the whole world living
Oh if I'd only seen that the joke was on me
Oh no that the joke was on me

Lyrics submitted by Solo

I Started A Joke Lyrics as written by Maurice Ernest Gibb Barry Gibb

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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I Started a Joke song meanings
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  • +10
    General CommentLet's say for every joke you tell, you cause others to cry. Lets say every tear you shed causes laughter in others. Imagine that your death is the cause of the people in this world living. Not existing, but living. You are not a christ figure. The tone from the music suggests the speaker is more of the reason that people aren't enjoying life at the present. Your mere existance is simply a hindrance to the world. The speaker is tormented. Crying to an empty sky and hurting from "things that he said". The speaker is tormented by his past words. For he now realizes that they have placed him out of love and acceptance from the world. They have left him abondoned and it all his fault. In short, the song is about the remorse and isolation that comes from words and actions that have caused irreperable harm to many. It is the realization of youthful immaturity, that, in itself, only hurts the self. End to End, the joke is you
    musiclover68on October 08, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI agree with the devil version and some of your other comments.

    My version:
    I was thinking of somebody who takes life as a joke, like a big crazy party, think he knows better, doesn't accept any opinions, rules or limits, and is constantly searching for the biger high (I can also imagine him doing a bunch of hard drugs, but this part is not necessary). The world around him is crying, but he feels supperior than everybody else, it's all a joke to him. When it all catches up with him, he breaks down, and he feels that all the people around him are laughing at him, that everybody is against him and they are happy he is is down... In the light of all this mood swinging he does or says things he doesn't mean, and he worries about it, when it catches up with him.

    What he doesn't realize is, that the joke is on him, that is, it's not about him at all, that the whole world is not against him and his ideas, that its all just an ilussion caused by his selfishness, the ego. If this "lens" that is his ego dies, the whole world becomes beautiful and full of life again.
    istartedajokeon April 11, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI have e theory about that beautifull song and here it is :
    the guy in the song was in love with a cheating woman but he was the only one in the world that cauldn't see that she was keeping on decieving him so that when he is talking about how he is feelings about her with the ohters "he starts the joke that makes them cry" because they feel so sad for him cos he doesn't know the truth of her.
    and then he discoverd that his lover is a cheater and so when he is talking about that with the others (not the others mentioned before i think) they started to lough on him cos he was such a fool who discovered it so late.
    so he is singing "if'd only seen that the joke it was on me" cos he discovered it too late.
    and he is describing how blind he was by saying "I looked at the skies running my hands over my eyes "
    does any body have any better idea about that song ?
    lennon-mccartneyon May 17, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is soooo mega-sad that I feel like sobbing everytime I hear it. And I don't even know what it means!
    Jean Machineon July 03, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt's more than only a joke. It can be about action, step, anything you do that went wrong.
    bleedingpegasuson June 03, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt's about a misfit, who thinks he is in control but is unaware that he has no control at all, the joke's on him but it takes him a long time to realise. He gets everything wrong. It's nothing to do with Jesus or George Bush, it's just a sad song about some guy feeling sorry for himself.
    happyphantomon November 28, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think it's about a guy that created a facade, pretending to be stoic and cold hearted. So he hurt everyone around, but the one really suffering was him.
    But he can't start expressing his feelings again, 'cause if he breakdown the whole thing will crumble, and they'll call him weak and laugh at him.
    So he goes on pretending, feeling awful inside, thinking about it over and over.
    The part of he dying can have, for me, two meanings.
    1) He decides to change and finally start living.
    2) He goes away from his friends/family, 'cause the only thing he is doing is hurting them.

    Just guessing, of course.
    JYueon July 01, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think its about a person who realizes in a dream that he has been nothing but a force for unhappiness in the lives of those around him. In his dream he dies and realizes that if he has alienated everyone and if he doesn't change everyone will be happy when he's dead.
    aczinkeon February 09, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's about Karma!
    It is when we are playing a joke and you are fooling others for your own pleasure, but then the Joke come back to you and you end up being the victim of the joke you started Joke. It means that everything we do comes around to us and we should be careful if we don't end up being victims of our own thoughts, words, and actions.
    joana11741on November 08, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOK I have this crazy theory i came up with when I was completely stoned but even now I can see that, so I have to share it with you -
    I think that maybe the song was written about Hitler, but in an elegant way - he started something the is in a way a complete joke, which started the whole world crying (ok most of the world:)), Then he strated to cry, when the germans started to lose the war, and ofcoure (almost) everyone was happy, and than when Hitler died and the war was over people could start living again.
    I dont know if any of you can see that but if you can msg me back and let me know :)
    yamyamyamon May 31, 2008   Link

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