"Running Joke" as written by Troy Dean Van Leeuwen, Joshua Michael Homme and Joey Castillo....
When I was a little boy
I looked under the stairs
The king and the pawns
Were caught unawares
Standing in the shadows
A whisperer to be
Just fishing in the darkness
Oh, possibilities
Just look at you now, yeah...
Look at you now
Yeah, oh
Look at you now.

Among such style and grace,
Our highest hopes
I'm standing still, the running joke
Where goes the warm embrace
It fades without return
Appears to slip through fingertips
And burn

Just look at you now, oh...
Look at you now, oh...
Look at you now, oh...
Look at you now, oh...

Lyrics submitted by Saint Sadistic, edited by Gyropilot, TheBronze

Running Joke song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentAnybody here listen to a band called Murder By Death? I know Josh Homme is really fond of having guest artists on the QOTSA albums, and it really sounds to me like MBD's singer on this track.
    rock_hawkon June 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentim not 100% sure, but i think homme sings "were caught unawares" instead of "on the wires", althought unawares is incorrect grammar =3 also i think it's "Of possibilities", not "Oh the possibilities", but i could be wrong. Great song by the by!
    domino_pon July 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIs it just me, or do the Horns at the end of "Long, Slow Goodbye" sound like they would synch up exactly with the end of this song?
    bicycle runawayon August 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbicycle runaway, I believe that the horns at the end of LSGb are meant to synch with this song.
    NewNrthnHorizonon March 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnother correction, I think anyway; The line 'None standing still, a running joke' I think is actually 'Long Standing, still the running joke'. Firstly it is definitely 'the' not 'a' and then I think it's 'long' instead of 'none', it's just how he sings it isn't that easily decipherable. It makes far more sense for it to be the 'long standing running joke'. I think the second verse is about being ambitious and being mocked for aiming so high and the 'effect without return' is you never achieving what you set out to no matter how hard you try, then your hopes and opportunity slipping through your fingers as you get old.
    LeylandLaticon July 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, this really does sound kind of like the guy from Murder By Death, but I'm pretty sure its just Josh Homme's voice compressed a little.
    Shwang_Shwingaon July 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthate to say it, but it seems he happen to witness an older man molesting male children. hence he is the "whisperer to be".. his standing still (in my opinion) refers to his arrested sexual development, as he wasn't certain what exactly he was seeing or whether he was excluded deliberately...

    just another view... don't beat me up too badly
    eric102079on November 10, 2015   Link
  • -1
    General CommentDomino_p is right. Its "were caught unawares". Why is the song so short? I dont demand long songs, but when they are this good it should be longer.
    robbantheshiton July 07, 2007   Link

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