Monday, September 5, 2011


"Don't Laugh at Me"
Mark Willis

Country singer/songwriter Willis' song has the same title as the tune by Peter Yarrow, but the words and meaning are a bit different. Willis' tune talks about a kid with glasses and braces and the teasing he endures at school. The tune then moves to the more universal themes of folks physically challenged. The theme is we all have baggage, it's just that some of us have it on the outside.


I'm a little boy with glasses, the one they call a geek
A little girl who never smiles because I got braces on my teeth
And I know how it feels to cry myself to sleep
I'm that kid on every playground who is always chosen last
A single teenage mother trying to overcome her past
You don't have to be my friend if it's too much to ask

Don't laugh at me, don't call me names
Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Some day we'll all have perfect wings
Don't laugh at me

I'm a cripple on the corner
You pass me on the street
I wouldn't be out here begging if I had enough to eat
And don't think I don't notice that our eyes never meet
I lost my wife and little boy someone crossed that yellow line
The day we laid 'em in the ground was the day I lost my mind
Right now I'm down to holding this little cardboard sign

I'm fat, I'm thin
I'm short, I'm tall
I'm deaf, I'm blind
Hey aren't we all

I'm fat, I'm thin
I'm short, I'm tall
I'm deaf, I'm blind
Hey aren't we all


  • Who are some of the people mentioned in the poem who are feeling pain? Why are they feeling that way?
  • The poem includes the words "I'm fat, I'm thin, I'm short, I'm tall, I'm deaf, I'm blind, hey, aren't we all..." What do those words mean? How might we all be "blind to some people?
  • Do you think most people can relate to the words of this song? Have you ever felt the way the people mentioned in the song feel?
  • Is it fair to say that tolerance is one of the main themes of this song?