Song of the Day #579: ‘Laughter’ – Josh Rouse

Josh Rouse’s second album, Home, was released in 2000 and basically picked up where Dressed Up Like Nebraska left off. Rouse was born in Nebraska, incidentally, a distinction he shares with fellow pop tunesmiths Elliott Smith, Conor Oberst and Matthew Sweet. Must be something in the water of the Great Plains.

Home has a more polished sound than Rouse’s debut and introduces horns and strings into the mix. But it’s otherwise not much of a departure… more solid, mostly acoustic pop songs.

Opening track ‘Laughter’ is one of my favorites on Home. I especially like the way Rouse rushes the words “figured out” in the chorus — not sure why, but I’ve always found that very cool.

The meaning of this one is a bit of a mystery to me. I believe it’s about a painfully shy person who holds back his thoughts and feelings out of fear of being ridiculed. He “thinks” his plan is safe from laughter but winds up holding back anyway.

I wonder if this is a song about trying to put your music (or any sort of art) out there and facing the slings and arrows of audiences and critics alike.

Thinkin’ so much my crowded head became sore
Fell back into the place I was before
Reasons long enough to not let show
I follow through this once because I said so

I think I got it all figured out
I think I got it made
I think I got it all figured out
I think my plan is safe from laughter
From laughter, no
I’ll wait
I’ll wait the day

Slowly I begin to come around
I woke up to a soft and subtle sound now
Someone is speaking one room away
Just loud enough so I can hear what they’re sayin’
Sayin’

I think I got it all figured out
I think I got it made
I think I got it all figured out
I think my plan is safe from laughter
From laughter, no
I’ll wait
I’ll wait the day

And I watch what I say and I..
Watch what I do and I..
Watch what I say and I..
Watch what I..

I think I got it all figured out
I think I got it made
I think I got it all figured out
I think my plan is safe from laughter

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #579: ‘Laughter’ – Josh Rouse

  1. peg says:

    I agree with you on the meaning of the lyrics: I like this song esp. the beat, it would be a good song to drive and listen to, for me anyway.

  2. Dana says:

    Not a bad interpretation. I tend to agree also. Really like Rouse’s sound.

  3. Amy says:

    I can’t get the song to play for some reason, but your interpretation works. I look forward to hearing the song at some point :)

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