the song
title : Joke (Boo’s title, known to Eddi as ‘Joke (I’m laughing)’)
written by : Boo Hewerdine
song copyright : © 1993 Dizzy Heights Music Publishing Ltd administered by Chrysalis Music Ltd
source recording : Boo’s own recording of this song can be found on his Baptist hospital album (1995)

the performance
musicians
Eddi Reader vocal, backing vocals
Teddy Borowiecki piano, keyboards
Dean Parks guitars
David Piltch bass
Greg Penny drums
music
key : F major
time-signature : 4/4
tempo : MM 109
form : V V B C V B C M B C Cx>
lyrics

provided for research and private study only (see above for copyright details):

Joke (I’m laughing)

d’you hear the one about
the one you’re now without?
did it make you smile?
d’you hear the one about
the one you filled with doubt?
was it worth your while?

the way you kick a life around
deserving to be undergound
what is this?
explain

joke, is it some kind of joke?
joke, I’m laughing, I’m laughing
I’m laughing
I’m laughing

d’you hear the one about
the one who fell from space   [spacy echoes]
one minute in the stars
the next minute lying on their face?

she says I don’t know what to be
and does she look younger than me?
what is this?
explain

joke, is it some kind of joke?
joke
, I’m laughing, I’m laughing
I’m laughing
I’m laughing

for a tumble and something to do at night
you kick a life around, oh-oh-woh
for a fumble with someone you know at sight
d’you hear the one about the one you’re now without?

she says I don’t know what to be
and does she look younger than me?
and does my make-up look alright? {ah-ee-ah}
can you tell that I’ve been up all night?
what is this?
explain

joke, is it some kind of joke?
joke, I’m laughing, I’m laughing
what is this?
explain
joke, is it some kind of joke?
joke,
I’m laughing, I’m laughing
I’m laughing
I’m laughing
I’m laughing
I’m laughing

hey-hey, hey-hey

d’ya hear the one about the one you’re now without?
d’you hear the one about the one you’re now without?
d’you hear the one about the one you’re now without?
d’you hear the one about the one you’re now without? {I’m laughing}
d’you hear the one about the one you’re now without?
d’you hear the one about the one you’re now without?
d’you hear the one about the one you’re now with…
[fades]

explanations
most of the backing vocals consist of Eddi duetting with herself; only a few passages of the chorus and some of the occurrences of ‘joke’ are chorused

the recording
personnel
produced by : Greg Penny
recorded by : Jon Ingoldsby at El Mirador, Ojai, California
mixed by : Jon Ingoldsby assisted by Andy Strange at Air Studios, London
mastered by : Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Los Angeles
technical
track timing : 3:44
song timing : m:ss
released on
album : Eddi Reader track 6
single : Joke (I’m laughing) track 1
album : Seventeen stories: the best of Eddi Reader   (comp.) track 6

commentary
a classic example of a song based on placing a hackneyed phrase in a new situation and giving it a few twists to set it spinning. Given extra satisfaction by the fact that the very same principle lies behind so many ‘real’ jokes
Adrian Dover