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Mr. Funny Man

I’m not a comedian. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know I have a relatively popular post called “I’m not funny” in which I explain how I have a very humorous inner life that isn’t congruous with my self-image. But I love comedy and comedians, and I feel that if music wasn’t such an effective medium for me personally to express myself, I might be a better comedian to the same ends. If it’s any indication, at least one sister of mine is an amateur comedian that could make a go of it.

I feel like there is a heaviness about many comedians that might at once seem at odds with their function in society. It’s as though some comedians ease our burdens whilst taking it upon themselves to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.

If I were to conjecture a path to these ends based on my own experience, I would guess the values and unique skill sets of these individuals give them little option to do elsewise. It shouldn’t surprise me, therefore, that when some likeminded people have taken all they can upon themselves, some then take the freeing step of releasing themselves of their burden via suicide.

I find it perfectly understandable that one who has compassion for the pain of others, a means, and a willingness to fight runs the risk of losing themselves to the battle. It is a battle that everyone fights to varying degrees every day. Some of us find purpose in fighting on a grand scale to ease the pain of this world. Though my personal weapon is not comedy, I think I know on some level the mental space in which these warriors function. They wage war against an invisible enemy that has damaged everyone they have ever known and loved. No cause is greater, and the pursuit of anything else pales in comparison. Warriors of this kind will forgo financial and mental stability to be as effective as possible. Their cause is noble, and their war un-winnable.

I didn’t realize how deeply Robin Williams had impacted me until I sobbed at the news of his death. I wrote Mr. Funny Man in the wake of his tragic loss.

Hey there Mr. Funny Man,

can I help you get way from this place?

Hey there Mr. Get-It-While-You-Can,

you’re a slave to this depraved human race

It’s a cold, cruel world

Be you boy and/or girl

You can cry, or laugh

Play your part

Hey there Mr. Funny Man,

can you help me get away from this place?

Hey there Mr. Get-It-While-You-Can,

Just an hour till I can’t feel my face

Everyone deals with the same shit every day

Don’t back down, please only listen to your heart

Hey there Mr. Funny Man,

Can you help me get away from this place?

Hey there Mr. Get-It-While-You-Can

It pains me now to see you this way

la la la la la la la la

la la la la la la la la la la

la la la la la la la la la la la la

la la la la la la la la la

It’s a cold, cruel world

Be you boy and/or girl

You can cry, or laugh

Play your part

Hey there Mr. Funny Man

God bless you for the show of the day

Hey there Mr. Get-It-While-You-Can

God knows that we’ve both seen better days.

As often happens when I write from a trans-like state, my subconscious has a lot more insight into how I understand and relate to comedians like Mr. Williams than my conscious mind can otherwise articulate.

First, our common enemy. I want to save him from his pain.

“Can I help you get away from this place?” “It pains me now to see you this way.” 

I want to save myself from pain.

“Can you help me get away from this place?” “Just an hour till I can’t feel my face.”

Ultimately, I want to save the whole world from it’s pain, and I recognize that mission in Mr. Williams’ work.

“God bless you for the show of the day.”

Second, I recognized the impossible balance Mr. Williams strove for, and the pitfalls that often result.

“You can cry or laugh, play your part.”

“Get-It-While-You-Can”

and “Just an hour till I can’t feel my face”

reference Mr. William’s struggle with drug abuse. I also reference the times through which Mr. Williams lived, worked, and made his mark (from before the age of political correctness, change and acceptance to it’s climax) in the clumsiness of the line

“be you boy and/or girl.”

Third, I put in a message for myself as I struggle with suicidal depression.

“Everyone deals with the same shit everyday. Don’t back down, please only listen to your heart.”

This could sound heartless out of context, I realize. If you’re hearing this, comparing yourself with others and feeling inferior, please don’t do that to yourself. This line is simply a reminder that 1. everyone struggles, and 2. that I’m not yet ready to die.

Fourth, I wrote the song at odds with itself; upbeat and jovial sounding in spit of it’s dark content, much like Mr. Williams himself.

The recent passing of Anthony Bourdain and increasing awareness of suicide as an epidemic have prompted me to bring this tribute to Robin Williams out of the vault. While Mr. Williams’ passing was the impetus for the composition of this song, I would like to express my appreciation for the work of all those who strive to ease the pain of the world!

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