You've Got to Laugh

from by Derek Brink

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References: "Slapstick," Humanism, and Socialism.

Vonnegut wrote about the similarity between laughter and tears--that both are perfectly acceptable responses to frustration or exhaustion. He wrote that he preferred to laugh because there was less cleaning up to do afterward. There was a song in there. This song, it turns out.

The novel "Slapstick" is a story about a brother and sister who possess miraculous telepathic power when they're together. But only when they're together. They need each other to be of much use. Otherwise they're at best unremarkable or at worst institutionalized. They live relatively lonely existences when they're apart. And when they're together, their highest goal is to put an end to loneliness for everyone. The alternate title of "Slapstick" is "Lonesome No More!" Vonnegut often has secondary titles on his books. Most of them go unmentioned when people talk about them, but I think they're fascinating. In this case the secondary title formed the basis for the whole song. I even referenced it in the bridge.

This song is one of my favorites on the album.


You’ve got to laugh.
You’ve got to laugh.
Laughter is no worse than tears.

Look what a mess we’ve made.
Can’t think at all these days.
If this is how exhaustion pays
it’s a wonder
we get things done.
All the best jokes are true.
And the truth is
the joke’s on you.
There’s nothing you can do,
so you might as well have fun.
(You’re not the only one.)


We’re all so far apart.
But look at how close we are.
It shouldn’t be this hard
to just be civilized.
With a little less suffering
we could live like
Gods and kings.
If history proves anything
then we just might be surprised.
(But until such time…)


When I am with you,
there’s no doubt
that we’re perfect.
No need for anyone else.
Each time I miss you,
I know it’s not worth it
to try it myself.
I cannot see you,
but I can feel you.
I begin where you end.
Wherever you’ve gone to,
part of me goes too
and I always have been.
If more people had this,
maybe we could cure sadness.
What would be left to weep for?
Can you imagine the gladness?
To be rid of the madness?
To be lonesome no more?



from * (Asterisk), released November 11, 2018


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Derek Brink St Louis, Missouri

Derek Brink is a musician from St. Louis, MO. He offers all of his music for the low cost of absolutely FREE. Just put $0.00 in the box after clicking "Buy." For those who are generous, you may pay any amount you wish with Derek's thanks--but you are not obligated to do so. Thanks, and come back for more, any time! ... more

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