Old 08-16-2000, 09:52 PM
BoBettie BoBettie is offline
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The Neil Young song sings about "The Old Laughing Lady"

What is the Old Laughing Lady? I have decided it's either death or alcohol. Any interpretations out there?

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Old 08-16-2000, 11:40 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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At Euclid Beach Park when I was a young kid (an amusement park of Cleveland that closed in 1969), there was a life-size moving mannequin of a red-headed fat woman outside the fun house. "Laughing Sal" she was called. She shook all over, very spasmodically, while a recording of her demented laughter played endlessly.

She terrified the shit out of me.
Old 08-17-2000, 09:45 AM
Thing 1 Thing 1 is offline
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My take on it is that the Old Laughing Lady is death. The alcohol comes in because it is going to be the death of the drunkard of the village.

Right or wrong I don't know, but what do you expect for 2 cents?
Then he got up on top
With a tip of his hat.
"I call this game FUN-IN- A-BOX"
Said the cat.

-The Cat in the Hat
Old 08-17-2000, 12:01 PM
Arnold Winkelried Arnold Winkelried is offline
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I personally (haven't heard the song in a while) figured that the Old Laughing Lady is death also. The verse about the drunkard might indicate alcohol, but the term "The Old Laughing Lady" brings up the image of death in my mind.

The only way to know for sure, I guess, would be to ask him himself. I found an e-mail address for him at this "celebrity e-mail" web page:
(I won't post the e-mail here because the SDMB has a policy against posting personal information)

Let us know if he answers!
Old 08-17-2000, 12:11 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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ishmintingas, that's what I thought of when I saw this thread, too. I'm not old enough to remember the Laughing Woman at her original home, but she's still operational, and is now on display at the Western Reserve Historical Society. I'm sure that the song has deeper allegorical meaning, but is it possible that it was inspired by the Old Laughing Lady at Euclid Beach?
Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
--As You Like It, III:ii:328
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Old 08-17-2000, 12:19 PM
panamajack panamajack is offline
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I don't know the song, or when it was written, but if it is 'Laughing Sal', there's one out in San Francisco, which is more likely to have been seen by Neil Young than at other places. Presently it resides at the Musee Mechanique, just below the Cliff House and next to the Camera Obscura. In previous years it might have been down at Playland (just down the beach, closed in early '70's IIRC).

panama jack


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Old 04-20-2017, 05:49 PM
jbhap4 jbhap4 is offline
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Old Laughing Lady

My take has always been that the Old Laughing Lady represented ones demons and/or tragedy. First verse was death, second was loss, third was alcohol and the last vrse was violence. Who knows? It's fun to speculate.
Old 04-20-2017, 06:31 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by jbhap4 View Post
My take has always been that the Old Laughing Lady represented ones demons and/or tragedy. First verse was death, second was loss, third was alcohol and the last vrse was violence. Who knows? It's fun to speculate.
Seventeen years; must be a record of some sort.
Old 04-20-2017, 06:38 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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Since this thread is so old, I am going to put this poor zombie back into his grave instead of moving it to Cafe Society (which didn't exist back then).

If anyone wishes to have a discussion about this song, feel free to start a new conversation in Cafe Society.

Thread closed.
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