Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sorry for Laughing

About time for a song here, maties.
I wrote about "Sorry to Embarrass You", so I might as well discuss its spiritual brother, "Sorry for Laughing", by Josef K, a Scottish post-punk-pop band from the early '80s. They were on the legendary Postcard record label along with Orange Juice, which I (sort of) wrote about here. "Sorry for Laughing" is really the only Josef K song in which I can understand most of the lyrics. At any rate, the internet comes to my aid for this one, although people seem to have slightly different interpretations:

"Sorry for Laughing"
by Josef K, 1980
[Lyrics from]

It took ten years to realize
Why the angels start to cry
When you roll on down the lane
Your happy smile, your funny name

I'm not being mean, so don't take it hard
When I ask you to run round the yard

It’s so hopeless to close the blinds
You know I’d help you if I could, but both my arms are made of wood

Just don't mean the things that I say
It's only 'cause you're made that way

Sorry for laughing
There's too much happening
Sorry for laughing
There's too much happening

When we grooved on into town
Charles Atlas stopped to frown
'Cause he's not made like me and you
Just can't do the things we do

You know it’s times like these you have to pay
So sorry to turn on that way

Experience the song for yourself (via Youtube) here! (OMG cute '80s Scottish boys!)

What can I say about such a great, enigmatic song? Well, most songs seem to convey strong feelings about relationships. But "Sorry for Laughing", like "Sorry to Embarrass You", expresses an ambivalence that in my experience, is rare in the world of music. (But common among asexuals.) Since it's hard to find a song (well, besides "The Way I Am") that explicitly deals with asexual issues, we'll have to make do with lines like "both my arms are made of wood". (And maybe this song seemed vaguely asexy to me because I always thought the preceding line was "I would hold you if I could".)

There's another Josef K track called "Heart of Song", in which the only lyrics I can make out are:

There are so many pathways that lead to the heart.
Records and letters are one place to start.

And they continue to emphatically state, "There are so many pathways that lead to the heart!" I really like that.

I was also fascinated to discover that the person who added the "Sorry for Laughing" lyrics to is 4 years younger than me. Does anyone else remotely around my age listen to this music?

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