“I Started a Joke” – The Bee Gees

OK, you can talk all you want to about how maudlin and mopey Morrissey is. But the Moz is Sammy Hagar on Viagra compared to the early Bee Gees. Holy mackeral! The early Bee Gees had lyrics that sound like they were written by a teenager in a mental ward, backed by arrangements so syrupy and overdone you can drown in ’em. And damn if I’m not a big fan of all these severely depressing ballads. No irony at all in my love. OK, I do laugh from time to time at how totally HEAVY these songs are. But I still dig ’em.

“I Started a Joke” is one of the best and roll your eyes all you want to, it takes balls of steel to pull off lyrics like “I finally died … which started the whole world living.” Seriously, I understand the temptation to be a d–k and laugh at this, but those haunting chords and despairing vocals draw me in every time. Bastards!

Brilliantly used at the end of the very odd 1989 Arthur Penn comedy “Penn and Teller Get Killed.”

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