Thursday, 15 August 2013

No-one's Laughing at God



Why has Regina Spektor so brilliantly and thoroughly nailed this thing? Is it because she's Jewish, legatee of millennia of probing meditation on the nature of God and his relationship with Man? Or is it because she's Russian, and accustomed to piercing sugar-coatings and staring daunting truths square in the eye? Or is it because she's American, gifted with a dancing kind of insight that expresses itself in gentle-scathing satire?

Or is it New York?

I don't know. All I know is, in Laughing With, Spektor totally nails it. This is exactly how I feel about God. It's also the definitive response to the fanatics ("crazies", she perceptively calls them) who constantly deplore the "secular" or irreligious nature of society, who insist they own God, that he speaks through them, and that everyone outside their circle lives apart from him. Practices the founders of all world religions pointedly condemned.

"… or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus."

Word.

(See what I did there?)


Laughing With
by Regina Spektor

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 that party yet

No one laughs at God
When their airplane starts 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 when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they're about 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 when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they're about 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's 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

Regina Spektor, July 2006
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