HomeJournalMusicDownloadsShowsFacebook artist pagetwitter feed

Who Makes You Laugh

Notes on "Who Makes You Laugh"

This song was written shortly after, "Ball in Play" (aka " Two Out, Two On"), when I was still exploring how to write songs for grown-ups: about children, committed relationships - not the stuff of the usual popular song, which seems to be about first loves or break-ups.

I certainly had never thought I'd be writing about Little League baseball - doesn't fit the image of the rebel dysfunctional songwriter - but I was never very interested in that pose anyway so no loss.

I'd written Two Out so it could be sung about girls as well as boys. But now I began to think about a song that would be about daughter, a very different experience, and less my experience, more based on a friend's fears (who had three girls).

The song started by my thinking about my wife's phrase, "sunshine boys", referring to men who are there when everything is fun, but vanish when the fun stops. So useless, and so attractive. It just went from there - a father's concerns about his daughter's attractions for such guys, and then his memory of what it was like to be one, and how not to be one.

The demo is here - slower than the CD, and with Danny Artuso on pedal steel, Lee Hayes on backup vocals.

Who Makes You Laugh

Words and Music © David Keeble, Sept 19, 1998, revised June 99


The sunshine boys are out at play,
lookin’ good in the golden day,
And you want one bad - want one to be the
boyfriend you've never had.
A young girl’s wish, a young girl’s dream,
to be a part of that golden scene
But it makes me scared -
your heart’s so open and so unprepared.

Because the one who makes you laugh,
can also make you cry
There ain't no sunshine strong enough
to last right through the night.
You want him to be true,
but who knows what’s a lie?
Who knows if he'll stand by you
when darkness fills the sky?

So now I wait and watch, as you
are swallowed up by that sunny crew
With their golden games,
and all that glitters is bitter now in my heart.
When you were young, with all your fears,
I always knew how to dry your tears
But now I’m lost - this
tall proud woman - I don’t know where to start


It seems like I’ve been here before,
somewhere back behind a door,
I was one too,
a good time guy with a girl just like you.
I hurt her bad - I didn’t care.
She needed me and I wasn’t there
And I know that now, much too late
but I’m just learning how.

Because the one who makes you laugh,
can also make you cry
There ain't no sunshine strong enough
to last right through the night.
So when the daylight fades
and the darkness fills the sky
May there be one who’ll stand by you
and always treat you right.

Here's a link to the demo version