They ask Jean Paul why he's laughing
When the world has gone so wrong.
When he tells them that he is the joke
They can't help but laugh along.
They ask David why he's laughing
When they're all feeling blue.
He tells them if they'd led his life
Then they'd be laughing, too.
They ask Friedrich why he's laughing
While so many others cry
And he tells them they've sold humour
And bought a selfish martyr's lie.
Why is Gautama laughing?
They ask with tortured wrath,
But unafraid the man responds
He no longer yearns to laugh.
They ask Gottfried why he's laughing,
When the joke is so obscure.
He tells them God's jokes must be best
Else He would be God no more.
They ask René why he's laughing,
What is this joke of his?
But he cannot say he's laughing,
He can only say he is.
They ask John why he's laughing
At such a silly jest.
He cites the right of man to laugh
If he does not harm the rest.
They ask God why He's laughing,
And they get no response.
So each assumes the punchline,
And each does what he wants.