Brandi Carlile’s ‘The Joke’ Lyrics Hope for a Brighter Future
Brandi Carlile's Grammy-winning song "The Joke" perfectly symbolizes the social upheaval of our times. "The Joke" lyrics speak to marginalized segments of society and offer a vision of better days to come.
"The Joke" was an early winner at the 2019 Grammy Awards, taking home Best Americana Roots Performance and Best Americana Roots Song. Its parent album, Carlile's By the Way, I Forgive You, also won Best Americana Album, and Carlile was the most-nominated female artist across all genres going into the 61st annual Grammy Awards. Much of the attention that's now focused on her is due to the powerful message of "The Joke" lyrics, which ring especially clear at a time when social divisions seem especially deep.
Carlile also chose the song for her performance on the 2019 Grammy Awards, explaining that she feels the lyrics to "The Joke" bear a message that the world needs to hear.
"I think that that song's success says more about our nation's willingness to receive it than it does actually what I'm saying and what I'm doing," she said during rehearsals for the Grammy broadcast.
"It's music with a message, and it's a harsh message; you know, it's a message about needing to do better and about the plight of the displaced peoples in this world," she added. "Refugees, asylum seekers, economic migrants, and also about gender dysphoria and its place in our country and our need for understanding and acceptance."
Check out the lyrics to Brandi Carlile's "The Joke" below.
Brandi Carlile's "The Joke" Lyrics:
You're feeling nervous, aren't you, boy? / With your quiet voice and impeccable style / Don't ever let them steal your joy / And your gentle ways, to keep 'em from running wild / They can kick dirt in your face / Dress you down, and tell you that your place / Is in the middle, when they hate the way you shine / I see you tugging on your shirt / Trying to hide inside of it and hide how much it hurts
Let 'em live while they can / Let 'em spin, let 'em scatter in the wind / I have been to the movies, I've seen how it ends / And the joke's on them
You get discouraged, don't you, girl? / It's your brother's world for a while longer / We gotta dance with the devil on a river / To beat the stream / Call it living the dream, call it kicking the ladder / They come to kick dirt in your face / To call you weak and then displace you / After carrying your baby on your back across the desert / I saw your eyes behind your hair / And you're looking tired, but you don't look scared
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