Park the car at the side of the road
You should know
Time's tide will smother you
And I will too
When you laugh about people who feel so very lonely
Their only desire is to die
Well, I'm afraid
It doesn't make me smile
I wish I could laugh

But that joke isn't funny anymore
It's too close to home and it's too near the bone
It's too close to home and it's too near the bone, more than you'll ever know

When they fall down
Kick them when they fall down
You kick them when they fall down
When they fall down
You kick them when they fall down
Kick them when they fall down
You kick them when they fall down
Kick them when they fall down

It was dark as I drove the point home
And on cold leather seats, well, it suddenly struck me
I just might die with a smile on my face after all

I've seen this happen in other people's lives
And now it's happening in mine
I've seen this happen in other people's lives
And now it's happening in mine
I've seen this happen in other people's lives
And now it's happening in mine
I've seen this happen in other people's lives
And now it's happening in mine
I've seen this happen in other people's lives
And now it's happening in mine
happening in mine, happening in mine
happening in mine, happening in mine
I've seen this happen in other people's lives
And now, and now it's happening in mine, happening in mine
No, no, no
I've seen this happen, and now it's happening in mine
And now, it's happening in mine
I've seen this happen in other people's lives, no, no, no
Now it's happening in mine


Lyrics submitted by Idan, edited by Crane42

That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore Lyrics as written by JOHNNY MARR, STEVEN PATRICK MORRISSEY

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

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That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore song meanings
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81 Comments

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  • +27
    General Comment

    People, please, I sincerely believe you are all missing the point of the song. Look at the title. What joke is he referring to? He's referring to the jibes someone makes about those who are down. And when Morrissey was 'up', maybe he found the joke funny, but now that he has joined the ranks of the depressed and suicidal, he is disgusted with the remarks made by the subject of the song. The jokes are 'too close to home/too near the bone.' I don't think its a love song or break up song or relationship song. Its possible the subject of the song isnt even female. It could be anyone- A friend, Johnny Marr, his dad, the guy at the supermarket.

    It's purely and simply a song about depression, even if it is concealed by light, ironic melodies and verse. Nothing more folks.

    Have a good one.

    groges_79on June 02, 2005   Link
  • +8
    General Comment

    My boyfriend has just broken up with me because I've been feeling a little sad lately and he thinks I spend too much time feeling sorry for myself - he's always laughed at people like that, he thinks depression isn't real and that everyone who gets into a slump every now and then does so for attention.

    I think that is basically what is happening in this song as well. I've seen this happen in other people's lives, and now it's happening in mine.

    deftlyon June 14, 2012   Link
  • +6
    My Interpretation

    Morrissey is a lyrical master. I believe he's playing with multiple meanings here, just like he does in How Soon Is Now? (I am the son and the heir, but people heard sun and air)

    Just look at this part: It was dark as I drove the point home -Dark, drove the point home. Are we talking about driving a coastal route, or is this a sexual scene.

    And on cold leather seats well, it suddenly struck me

    • I usually only know leather seats are cold when my skin is touching them.

    I just might die with a smile on my face after all

    • Well now, why might he die with a smile on his face after all? It's yours to conclude. But the man talked about sex in his lyrics a lot.

    This song is pure genius. Yes, it's about people being picked on. But there are layers here. Now go look at this lyric:

    Park the car at the side of the road You should know Time's tide will smother you And I will too

    And answer this: Why are we parking? And what do you mean you will smother me too? And isn't it great that tide is in here to keep the coastal route theme?

    Morrissey = genius.

    Yzermaneelyon May 03, 2014   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    The cold leather seats are analogous to the notion that the thing he desires (the leather seats) is no longer something he desires (being so cold). This is important because it marks the turning point in the song when he realises that anything you desire can turn against you. The reason he will die with a smile on his face is because he will be happier dead than alive. A bit morbid, but my opinion nonetheless.

    jcase918on July 15, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    very nice interpretation, mdeaves.

    Obviously, the protagonist is begining to feel his life unravel from lonliness, so the point his "only desire is to die." So when his partner mocks it, he is rather upset.

    What of the cold leather seats? When he "drove the point home," is there some sort of double entendre here...the reason he "might die with a smile on his face", perhaps? Perhaps...what he's seen happen in other people's lives, and is now happening in his, is that he's decided that he can replace love with lust?

    smithskid84on October 13, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    agree with the one above this song is deffo about people with depresson and people who laugh at them because they have not felt it them selfs and think people who are depressive are just over sensertive and stupid and should wake up not realising that its a mental health problem and people can't help it, alot of people get it and are too vain to admit it!

    i have had it big time been a depressive my self spending time in a mental day clinic for 6 months. its not u kick them even when they fall down its u laugh even when they fall down!

    gazzpon March 05, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Yeah the line I just might die with a smile on my face after all is the puzzler for me, everything else seems to be concluded in the posts above, obviously it's the reaction from one person to the other mocking their despair.

    an idea I like and also think Morrissey quite capable of is that the line reflects some sort of twisted happiness at the knowledge that everyone will experience pain at some point in their life. "time's tide will smother you..."

    You can only watch it from afar so long he seems to be saying to this other person and one day it will be happening in your life too and I will smile at the gratification of knowing that you will get your commeuppance for laughing...

    The possibility of sex may come in also because now he has thought about the fate of this insensitive person and has concluded that they will regret it and pay for it someday its almost like he has forgiven them for their insensitivity

    and so the as smithskid says the line "drove the point home." becomes a double entendre... (I hadn't noticed that before smithskid!!)

    Also yet another possibliity is that it may represent some kind of suicidal ambition "times tide will smother you, and I will too..." may mean that he plans to punish this person by literally smothering them and commiting suicide with them in the car...??? and he will die with a smile on his face because he has shown that person that such despair can touch them too...?

    All just my views though!!

    See this is why Morrissey is such a wonderful song writer, many different meanings could be attrbiuted for this song and many others genius.

    tallulaton January 05, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    "People, please, I sincerely believe you are all missing the point of the song. Look at the title. What joke is he referring to? He's referring to the jibes someone makes about those who are down. And when Morrissey was 'up', maybe he found the joke funny, but now that he has joined the ranks of the depressed and suicidal, he is disgusted with the remarks made by the subject of the song"

    Dude, Morrisey has ALWAYS been depressed.

    Anyway the last minute or so of this song is awesome...just repeating those few words over and over. Great stuff.

    werummon February 16, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    You are all wrong. The song is about alienation and loneliness. It's about either not being of this (social) world (e.g., Nietzsche) or about noticing something wrong with society (e.g., Daniel Quinn). He's driving and he realizes that he can end it all ala Jackson Pollock. The optimism at the end is the realization that he can kill himself. Get depressed and drive - you'll see.

    jojoclown777on July 04, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I always thought it was just about changing. Never having suffered from depression and not understanding what it entailed, then realising and feeling guilty you had made light of people's ills, or even contributed to them through your own ignorance. Then, coming to terms with your new found knowledge, and being thankful for it.

    bigcliff2on August 30, 2007   Link

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