Should I Laugh or Cry

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"Should I Laugh or Cry" is a non-album song by Swedish pop group ABBA, released as the B-side to the 1981 singles "One of Us" and "When All Is Said and Done".


ABBA - Uncensored on the Record says "Should I Laugh or Cry" is "a rather bitter song" about the end of a relationship.[1] ABBA: Let the Music Speak explains it as "reflect[ing] a failing relationship's preemptive strikes of anger and contemplation". The narrator is the "emotionally afflicted party", both "volatile and pitiless" in the verses yet "tender and forgiving" in the choruses. There is a sense that this is the last time the narrator will put up with this situation.[2]


The chorus harmonies are "intricate" and "close-knit". Agnetha's "dreamy echo vocal" adds a sense of sadness to Frida's "fiery sentiments". The song has "deep percusive strikes" and also a "defiant electric glissando" in the verses, and a "lilting acoustic" in the chorus.[2]


While originally recorded on 4 September 1981 during sessions for the album The Visitors,[3] "Should I Laugh or Cry" was ultimately not included. However, the song now appears as a bonus track on re-mastered reissues of The Visitors.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Pop.Love.Dance. gave the song an 8.5/10, and argued that it should have replaced "Two for the Price of One" on The Visitors.[4]


  1. ^ a b Tobler, John (2012-01-04). "Abba - Uncensored on the Record". ISBN 9781908538239. 
  2. ^ a b Tesch, Christopher Patrick ; editor: Matthew (2008). ABBA : let the music speak : an armchair guide to the musical soundscape of the Swedish supergroup (1st ed.). Fairfield Gardens, Qld.: Christopher J N Patrick. p. 81. ISBN 9780646496764. 
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