My Sunday Song – “I Started a Joke” by the Bee Gees

For My Sunday Song #67, I am going with a song that randomly pops in my head more often than not, “I Started a Joke”.  The song is by the Bee Gees and I don’t honestly know why I find myself singing it at the most odd times.  I guess it means I really like this song and I actually do.  I was not a Bee Gees fan at all because when I grew up and got in to music, Disco was the Devil.  I actually love the Bee Gees now, but their real early stuff from the late 60’s and early 70’s is the best.

“I Started a Joke” was released back in 1968 and was on their album ‘Idea’.  The song was written by all three brothers and was sung by Robin Gibb.  The song has such a relaxing, somewhat hypnotic sound that is beautiful and psychedelic.  It has a sadness to it and the lyrics do as well (“I started a joke, which started the whole world crying”).  The song has stuck with me and is constantly playing in my head.  For years, I will just start singing this song and looking back it might be at times I was sad but I truly don’t know why it stays with me.

Robin has never explained what the song is about as he felt the song interpretation is up to the listener as any real explanation would detract from what the listener feels it is about.  Robin’s vocals on this song are stunning.  His squeaky, high pitched voice and the melody just makes me feel the song is about loneliness.  I think with the loss of my parents over the last couple years, there is a little part of me that feels a little lonely since they aren’t with me anymore.

In researching the song, I found a story about Robin Gibbs son and how the passing of his father and this song impacted him.  According to The Sun and Songfacts:

Robin-John Gibb told The Sun: “When he passed away we went out, they took the equipment away and we came back in. I picked up my phone and found ‘I Started A Joke’ on YouTube and played it. I put the phone on his chest and that was the first time I broke down. I knew that song and its lyrics were perfect for that moment. That song will always have new meaning to me now.”

I hope you give the song a listen and I hope you enjoy it.  Have a great Sunday!!

“I Started A Joke”

I started a joke, which started the whole world crying
But I didn’t see that the joke was on me, oh no

I started to cry, which started the whole world laughing
Oh, if I’d only seen that the joke was on me

I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes
And I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I’d said

Till I finally died, which started the whole world living
Oh, if I’d only seen that the joke was on me

I looked at the skies, running my hands over my eyes
And I fell out of bed, hurting my head from things that I’d said

‘Till I finally died, which started the whole world living
Oh, if I’d only seen that the joke was on me

Written by: Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb

8 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “I Started a Joke” by the Bee Gees

  1. I arrived at this song through the wallflowers cover (that was in the movie zoolander!) – I hadn’t realized it was a cover at the time. And when I learned it was a Bee Gees, it was part of my journey (like yours) to converting from despising the bee gees to being a fan!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was the first song I liked from the Bee Gees, and I became a big fan with “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” and loved them ever since. I was a huge fan of disco (was a dancin’ fool back in the day), though they’ve stated that ‘Stayin’ Alive’ was not written as a disco song.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great choice. Such a wonderful song.

    I don’t actually know Idea, but those early psychedelic Bee Gees albums are really great. Definitely better than the disco shenanigans, for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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