Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Beautiful Song and Reminder

Do you know the singer/pianist/songwriter Regina Spektor? I've liked her songs for awhile now, and I liked her even more when I discovered that she went to the school where I got my Master of Music degree (she studied classical piano too, and then later went in the songwriter direction). She's quirky, and I'd like to share one of her songs today. It's called "Laughing With" and you can listen to it here.

I obviously don't know what Regina Spektor was trying to get across when she wrote this, or what her faith is, but to me, there is a message within this song. Here's a segment of the lyrics:

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

Too often, we take our lives for granted. When things are easy, and life is going our way, it's all too common to forget God, to forget that we need Him. In more extreme cases, there may even be those who scoff at God, "laughing" at the idea of Him, thinking they are just fine on their own.

But Regina Spektor is right--no one laughs at God in a hospital. No one laughs at God in a war. Too often, it's when we're vulnerable, when our lives take a turn, when we're desperate, that we can finally look beyond ourselves and have the humility to recognize our frailty against God's grace. When we realize that life without faith isn't sustaining.

And this doesn't just apply to life-altering, twists-of-fate experiences, like the examples in the song. When I think about how often I ask for something in prayer when I need help or am feeling down, versus how often I simply offer thanks in prayer for what I've already been given, I realize that I'm succumbing to a version of what she sings about in this song. This song is a reminder to me to never take God for granted, to remember that I need Him always.

The only line in the song that confuses me a little bit is the last line: "We're all laughing with God." It doesn't really fit the rest of the song, or at least my interpretation of it. When I did some digging online to see if other people had an explanation, I discovered that this line has sparked a lot of conversation. I'm still not sure what to make of it, but I came across one explanation that I thought was the most hopeful. Maybe, it means that God is the only one who can take away our tears and sadness and turn it into joy, giving us the chance to laugh along with Him.

What do you think? Of the last line, or the song as a whole?


  1. hmm, that does seem like a strange ending w/the lyrics like that, but that explanation kinda makes sense..? With saying its turned to joy.

    Beyond that, its very true words. I thank God every day, but I'm finding I'm thanking for the same things day in and day out. Not putting much effort into thinking beyond the 'typical' stuff I'm thankful for. You made me realize that! Thank you!! :)
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

  2. If I remember right, Regina is Jewish. I've also heard she's a humanist although I'm not sure how or if these effect her song lyrics. Aside from that, I think the word, WITH, is key in her last line of the song. That God is with us even we forget him and times are better. There is joy when we acknowledge and live in communion with God, I think.

    I bet that song has stirred some of the most interesting conversations between people. It's so her style to leave it a little ambiguous.

    1. Yes, she is Jewish, you're right! And I agree that it's like her to be vague. I think your understanding of the end is just right. Happy to hear you know and like her already!


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