No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one's laughing at God when they're starving or freezing or so very poor

No one laughs at God when the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one's laughing at God
When it's gotten real late and their kid's not back from the party yet

No one laughs at God when their airplane start to uncontrollably shake
No one's laughing at God
When they see the one they love, hand in hand with someone else
And they hope that they're mistaken

No one laughs at God
When the cops knock on their door and they say we got some bad news, sir
No one's laughing at God when there's a famine or fire or flood

But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke, or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they're 'bout to choke
God can be funny
When told he'll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious, ha ha
Ha ha

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one's laughing at God
When they've lost all they've got and they don't know what for

No one laughs at God on the day they realize
That the last sight they'll ever see is a pair of hateful eyes
No one's laughing at God when they're saying their goodbyes

But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke, or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they're 'bout to choke
God can be funny
When told he'll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughing at God in hospital
No one's laughing at God in a war
No one's laughing at God when they're starving or freezing or so very poor

No one's laughing at God
No one's laughing at God
No one's laughing at God, we're all laughing with God


Lyrics submitted by tinylittlewords

Laughing With Lyrics as written by Regina Spektor

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Laughing With song meanings
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190 Comments

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  • +12
    My Interpretation

    I don't think this song is necessarily as pro-god as some people have suggested. I think it's more about human attitudes to god and religion than being about god himself.

    The chorus is about the ridiculous perversions and commercialisations of religion, and how laughable the whole thing gets - all the paraphernalia, all the hatred it sparks, all the bullshit.

    And then the verses are about the little jump of terror in your heart when you're staring something awful in the face and for a second you really wish someone was there to save you or help you - or you just wish that things were somehow in somebody's control, when in fact they really aren't. I think it's that primal terror in all of us that continues to give religion so much power despite all the ridiculous aspects of it.

    I think that's what this song is about - what it is in people's hearts that makes them accept all the stupid parts of god, and why people just laugh at the ridiculous parts without ever rejecting religion. We'd rather be 'in on the joke', laughing with god, clinging to things that deep down we're not 100% sure are true, because the idea that we're all alone is too scary to bear.

    lovebeeon May 09, 2009   Link
  • +9
    General Comment

    Lovee this song, so much! I think the whole idea of God, to some people is a joke now a days. All the Jesus and God jokes and such. And I think most of the song is talking about how when you're put into serious situations like those, you're not laughing anymore, what do you turn to? But yeah I think she's also acknowledging God has a sense of humor, which is very true. I just loveee me some Reginaa <3

    LovePeaceRachelon May 08, 2009   Link
  • +9
    General Comment

    I don't think this song is about God, it's about people. People who, even when they don't believe in God, still turn to him when times are really bad. And other people (the "crazies") who just see God as someone who will grant their wishes.

    The song doesn't really say anything about whether or not God actually exists... It's irrelevant.

    I love this song... Some of the lines give me chills.

    Freyjaon March 16, 2012   Link
  • +6
    General Comment

    Looking at some of the comments, it seems like everyone is interpreting this song based on what their beliefs already are. I may be judging wrong, but it becomes quite apparent who the atheists and theists are. I just find it interesting. Anyway, looking at this song objectively, I don't believe Regina is trying to express any of her own religious views in this song, and if you're able to step outside of your own views then the meaning changes a little. When I first heard this song, I loved it. I'm a Christian, and I automatically took a Christian view on the meaning of the lyrics. But after actually reading them over, Regina is simply observing American society from a third person perspective. I agree with those saying it's neither pro- nor anti-God or religion, it's just a simple fact that people confidently joke about certain issues, but as soon as their faced with something that challenges them, their laughter stops and they try to cover their asses.

    sarahk41234on October 20, 2009   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    Atheists don't laugh AT God (since they don't believe he exists, how can they laugh AT him?), they laugh at PEOPLE who believe in God.

    In Regina's own words, they laugh at people who "get so red in the head you think that they're about to choke," they laugh at people who hope God will "give you money if you just pray the right way," and they laugh at people who think God is "like a genie who does magic like Houdini."

    Indeed, Rowan Atkinson's "Amazing Jesus" sketch (google it on youtube) milks the latter joke brilliantly, suggesting Jesus' miracles, such as turning water into wine, were actually just the same as modern day "magic tricks."

    Regina asserts these things actually ARE funny, which suggests the perspective of an UNBELIEVER. Believers do not assert that these things ARE "hilarious!"

    And yet, while Regina asserts that God jokes are funny, she suggests that death, war, starvation, loss, etc are such painful human realities, that we will forsake our dismissive rationalist jokes about believers, and briefly become wannabe believers ourselves, in desperate moments.

    Such is our desire for someone, anyone, to reach out a helping hand, when times are hard, that we will play the ultimate joke on ourselves. Our rational mind falters, embracing the construct of a non-apparent, probably non-existent God, for comfort.

    We laugh, in those moments, at ourselves, at our rational mind: we are "LAUGHING WITH" this God-construct at ourselves, at rationality, at the human condition, at EVERYTHING.

    yhtrownuon May 30, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    I think there are a few layers to this song, and most have been touched on, but there is one that hasn't. I feel like she's not talking about being funny as in laugh-out-loud funny, but funny as in "hmm..." When God is presented like a wish-granting vending machine, or a pissed-off dictator who hates everyone, or someone who will make you rich if you pray some prayer, that should make us scratch our heads and maybe even laugh a little. Something is off there. Something is funny there, not right. I feel like "we're laughing with God" in that context, then, means that some folks cheapen God with their view of him, and it's laughable how inaccurate it is. So much so that even God has to laugh, and perhaps those who laugh "at God" - the atheist who doesn't believe in a magical man in the sky, the person walking down the street who hears the man yelling through a bullhorn on the streetcorner and thinks, "Ugh, that's not a God I want to follow," and the wounded ex-Christian who was burned by a pastor telling her God was going to send her to hell for loving other women - these views of God should be laughed at. They should be approached with frivolity, and ultimately rejected. Because they cheapen who God really is, and maybe God is laughing at those views of himself, too. Just some thoughts.

    cattieloveson November 11, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    I'm not really sure about the meaning yet. I think she's saying that everybody thinks God is so cruel for putting people through all these horrible things. But God can be funny and happy too, just no one remembers that in times of bad. But that's just what I got from listening to it a few time, I might change my mind later :) But it's amazing and I'm so glad she brought back her old style a little more. It's a little bit of a mix between Songs and Soviet Kitch (Which are my two favorite albums)

    themosthumancoloron May 08, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    I'm really amazed at how salient this religious aspect is within this song. It's quite cool!! and refreshing and unexpected, when so much other stuff out there is just lust and cheapness. But this is Regina!!

    I agree with LovePeaceRachel and will say I definetley thinks this song is a representation of how people mock and laugh at God, taking him and the afterlife as a joke and non existent. Until something wrong happens and we realise that we're all really so vulnerable and affected by everything. Pretty simple reading but I reckon it's great Regina's written a song on it. So excited for Far!!

    crumbson May 09, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    i'm surprised that so many people think this song is saying "there's no atheists in foxholes" more or less, that seems like the typical christian response -- overlooking, ignoring, or denying that God had any part in causing anything bad, and we all know that isn't true (well, those of us that have read one of the hundreds of translations of a "bible" and aren't brainwashed).

    I see it more as God being a powerful bully who starts wars, famine, fires, floods... and people not laughing at him because he put them in a situation that isn't funny.

    __spritz_spritzon May 19, 2009   Link
  • +3
    Song Meaning

    The first 50-or-so lines are pretty self-explanatory, and really serve as background leading up to the point of the song... the golden nugget: "No one's laughing at God/ We're all laughing with God"

    When we make a punchline of someone, and realize that person is standing right behind us, we say, "we werent laughing at you!.... we were laughing with you!" It seems to me that the last lines mean to say that while in good times (cocktail parties), when we feel no need for a protector and guiding light, we may mistreat and devalue God by making a punchline of him, but during times of anguish and hardship (war), when we have no place to which to go and no one to whom to turn, we feel God's presence and our need for his help. Remembering or past indiscretions, we seek to cover our tracks and, in a way, ask for forgiveness and reconciliation, in order to beg for his guidance and intercession.

    A song about tragedy, human vulnerability and mortality, but also, I believe, about the omnipresence of a loving benefactor, or at least, for those who don't believe, a security blanket (something which, in one form or another, we all need at some point in our lives). In beautiful contrast to the minor chord and accompanying despair throughout the bulk of the song, the final, major chord leaves me with a feeling of of hope and comfort, as if to say, "it'll all be OK."

    In any event: quite a masterpiece Regina, to expand so simple an idea into a heartfelt, reflective piece such as this.

    ko2929on December 14, 2010   Link

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