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Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes

The Fooles Troupe 21 Sep 03 - 11:29 PM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Sep 03 - 11:30 PM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Sep 03 - 11:47 PM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Sep 03 - 11:54 PM
The Fooles Troupe 22 Sep 03 - 12:07 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 22 Sep 03 - 12:38 AM
musicmick 22 Sep 03 - 12:58 AM
Nerd 22 Sep 03 - 02:26 AM
Larkin 22 Sep 03 - 04:33 AM
GUEST,cranky yankee 22 Sep 03 - 05:25 AM
Kevin Sheils 22 Sep 03 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,billyboy 22 Sep 03 - 09:53 AM
The Fooles Troupe 22 Sep 03 - 10:58 AM
Tig 22 Sep 03 - 01:05 PM
Mark Ross 22 Sep 03 - 01:27 PM
TheBigPinkLad 22 Sep 03 - 03:32 PM
Red and White Rabbit 23 Sep 03 - 02:12 PM
Geoff the Duck 24 Sep 03 - 04:54 AM
Charley Noble 24 Sep 03 - 04:45 PM
Chief Chaos 25 Sep 03 - 02:04 PM
songs2play 26 Sep 03 - 02:49 AM
The Borchester Echo 26 Sep 03 - 05:00 PM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Sep 03 - 08:25 PM
Padre 26 Sep 03 - 11:36 PM
RoyH (Burl) 27 Sep 03 - 01:13 PM
musicmick 28 Sep 03 - 01:24 AM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Apr 04 - 06:20 PM
Gareth 17 Apr 04 - 07:12 PM
Gareth 17 Apr 04 - 07:14 PM
Hrothgar 17 Apr 04 - 10:10 PM
Georgiansilver 18 Apr 04 - 08:09 AM
fogie 19 Apr 04 - 05:40 AM
fogie 19 Apr 04 - 05:59 AM
Kevin Sheils 19 Apr 04 - 06:04 AM
Rain Dog 19 Apr 04 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,Crystal 19 Apr 04 - 01:31 PM
LindsayInWales 19 Apr 04 - 01:37 PM
TheBigPinkLad 19 Apr 04 - 03:41 PM
GeoffLawes 19 Apr 04 - 04:35 PM
Dave Bryant 20 Apr 04 - 07:00 AM
Dave Bryant 20 Apr 04 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,ken johnson 20 Apr 04 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,Abi 12 May 04 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,Larry K 12 May 04 - 02:59 PM
SINSULL 12 May 04 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,earthling 12 May 04 - 08:36 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 May 04 - 10:05 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 May 04 - 08:29 PM
Pogo 28 May 04 - 09:29 PM
GUEST,Pissed 15 Jun 09 - 09:15 PM
PHJim 16 Jan 17 - 11:39 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Jan 17 - 02:28 AM
Long Firm Freddie 17 Jan 17 - 05:33 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 18 Jan 17 - 07:15 PM
GUEST,Lou Judson 18 Jan 17 - 08:15 PM
rich-joy 19 Jan 17 - 01:13 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 23 Jan 17 - 12:03 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 23 Jan 17 - 01:14 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 23 Jan 17 - 03:59 PM
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Subject: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 11:29 PM

GUEST reggie miles prompted this one.
"I've been amassing a set of songs about circus sideshow characters. "The Bearded Lady", "The Tattooed Lady", "Snake Charmin' Baby", etc. I think "Sawing A Woman In Half" could fit in this bunch as well, and I can do a fair rendition of "The Man On The Flying Trapeze" on my musical saw. I figure I'll have a pretty good set list together by the time I get ready to run away from home and join the circus. Would you like me to guess your weight?"


A search on "circus" revealed only a couple of songs in the DT, and far too many messages to explore on chance....

so I'll start the list

The Man On The Flying Trapeze - 2 entries in DT
The Bearded Lady
The Tattooed Lady
Snake Charmin' Baby
Sawing A Woman In Half

Brother Gorilla
Wall Of Death

Robin


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 11:30 PM

Now that's annoying I thought I changed teh thread name to be what I really wanted, but it looks like you don't get a second chance... :-)

Robin


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 11:47 PM

oops forgot

Cosmo
- The Fairly Accurate Knife Thrower
by Les Barker


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Subject: Re: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 11:54 PM

Roseville Fair
is about fairs/fetes/carnivals/show, etc


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 12:07 AM

The Thread

Circus Music


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 12:38 AM

Hi foolestroup...

How's about a song I wrote 5 years ago? Based on a coupla scenes in Wim Wenders's "The Wings of Desire"... and a sorely broken heart of my own...

Circus Song

I went out late, full moon delight
Tripped over a tent stake, limped into the night
Silvery beams, they guide me
Carnival dreams, still chide me... and blind me

Chorus;
Born to a smile, these road shows sure can bring me down
Innocent child, returns to the tears of a clown
Circus song, it haunts me,
Even though, the greatest show... is gone

These empty fields, in dim silver sheen
Where the dreams unsealed, three rings between
Footpaths in turf, they guide me
The once festive air, still chides me... and rewinds me

Chorus

Found myself again, talking of you
To a midnight friend, ticket stubs for two
Lonely hearts, they guide me
Cupid's darts still chide me... and find me

Chorus

Recorded in '99 ttr


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: musicmick
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 12:58 AM

I assume that someone, by now, has suggested "Lydia, the Tatooed Lady"
It was sung by Groucho Marx in the movie "At The Circus".
Another song that fits yoyr needs would be "We're Off To See The Wild West Show". That one, which is an olio of jokes and choruses, has as many verses as you can think of funny animal two liners.

         Mike Miller


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: Nerd
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 02:26 AM

Mick Ryan has one called "Willy Worrell" about a whole group of sideshow performers, but I haven't got the lyrics available.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: Larkin
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 04:33 AM

The Rawtenstall annual Fair contains losts of sideshow stuff. I'm sure it's in the DT
Martin


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: GUEST,cranky yankee
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 05:25 AM

Fie upon you music mic, That's exactly what I was going to say. Soooo, Here's a verse to the Wild West Show as Roger Sprung and I used to do at the Black Pearl Tavern back in the late 60's.

" Now I do admit, Ladies and Gentlemen, that seeing a Dolphin swimming around with a Maynah Bird on his back deserves an explanation. You see, the Dolphin belonged to a school that didn't like the way we were running things and had decided to take over the world. They found a Maynah bird, that could speak English as well as Dolphinese, to spy for them.
This Nefarious Maynah, on behalf of those immoral cetaceans, attached himself to a Professor of Mathmatics at the local university. One day as part of the Maynah's education, the professor took him to the local zoo. Now then, being a mathematician, the prof knew that the shortest distance between two points (pronounced, "Pernts") is a straight line, instead of walking around the cages, he, clutching the Maynah to his breast, hopped over the fence of the lions cage, ran across the lion's backs amd skipped over the other fence into the arms of a waiting policeman who arrested him for
CARRYING A MAYNAH ACROSS STATE LIONS FOR IMMORAL PORPOISES"

Oh we're off to see the wild west show, etc

                                                    '

So there!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 08:45 AM

I recall Bill Caddick, Tm Laycock and Pete Bond (who turned up after many years off the scene at this years Towersey) toured a show called "A Duck on his Head" some years ago, about such characters (or it may have been vaudeville but there would have been some crossover between that and circus). An LP as well IIRC but I think that was on the Trailer label so is probably buried somewhere.

Sorry I can't recall more details but it may prompt others.

Also, although not directly about the Sideshow characters, JohnTams' "Pull down lads" is about circus/fairground workers.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: GUEST,billyboy
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 09:53 AM

bruce springsteen's Wild Billy's Circus Story


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 10:58 AM

TIGER BY THE TAIL (parody, Homer & Jethro)


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: Tig
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 01:05 PM

We've got a copy of Duck on his Head - a brilliant show which we were lucky enough to catch up at Durham. Bill Caddick still does some of the songs from it.

PM me if I can help.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: Mark Ross
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 01:27 PM

Then there is "Haywire Mac" McClintock's CIRCUS DAYS.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Songs about Circus Sideshow Characters
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 03:32 PM

Mark Knopfler has a great song on 2002 album The Ragpicker's Dream called Devil Baby.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Red and White Rabbit
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 02:12 PM

What about Elvira Madigan

...Elvira wa a circus girl who walked the tightrope bravely


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 04:54 AM

Tig - if you can find A Duck on His Head, I would like to borrow it for a listen some time.
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 04:45 PM

A couple of keepers seem to be missing:

Before They Close the Minstrel Show

Don't Go in the Lion's Cage

Brockie Lads by Jez Lowe

These should be posted in the DT but if you have trouble finding lyrics I'll be happy to post them.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 02:04 PM

Oh, she was an acrobats daughter
She hung by her teeth by a noose
One fatal day
Her bridgework gave way
and she flew through the air like a goose.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: songs2play
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 02:49 AM

Ralph McTell's Clown has always been a favorite of mine.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 05:00 PM

Mark Knopfler's 'Tunnel of Love' is about the Spanish City, a huge fairground which used to be at Whitley Bay.

Bert Jansch's 'When the Circus Comes to Town' is actually about crack cocaine dealing but you'd never know.

Jackson C Frank's 'Carnival' is about...who knows really?...but a great song.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 08:25 PM

Good Stuff, people, keep it coming.

Please post songs (other than tiny fragments) in their own thread (titled Lyr Add: 'Song name' etc) and cross refer to it here.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Padre
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 11:36 PM

What about 'The Animal Fair"

I went to the animal fair,
The birds and the beasts were there,
The big baboon, by the light of the moon,
Was combing his auburn hair.
The monkey he got drunk,
Climbed up the elephant's trunk,
The elephant sneezed, and fell to his knees,
And that was the end of the monk (ad infinitum)


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 27 Sep 03 - 01:13 PM

How about 'Nellie the Elephant'?


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: musicmick
Date: 28 Sep 03 - 01:24 AM

I would like to commend Cranky Yankee for unearthing the only clean verse for "We're Off To See The Wild West Show". Most were along the lines of....

Step, right up, ladies and gentlemen and cast your eyes upon that most remarkable animal, the laughing hyena. The laughing hyena urinates but four times each year, deficates but twice per year and copulates only once every year.
What's that you say, sir? Why is he laughing? Because tonight's the night!


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 06:20 PM

Punchinello


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Gareth
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 07:12 PM

Well musicmic has the Wild West Show off to a T'

But on a more serious note perhaps somebody could post the word to the "Seekers" _ " The Carnival is over" which is an appropriate song.

Personally, and despite parodys involving the "Blue Screen of Death" this one is very appropriate.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Gareth
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 07:14 PM

Hmmm ! GOK wot went wrong Blicky again

Click 'Ere

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Hrothgar
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 10:10 PM

There is always Bernard Bolan's little gem about "The Campbelltown and District Vilklage Fete."


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 18 Apr 04 - 08:09 AM

Hey musicmic...Yes I used to sing the wildwest show on the rugby coach....when I was much younger of course.
My favourite verse was the one about:- Roll up...roll...up ladies and gentlemen and see the Red Pepper Bird.......Eats red peppers......drinks red peppers...and flies backwards to keep its a... cool!
Best wishes all


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: fogie
Date: 19 Apr 04 - 05:40 AM

The Rowtenstall annual fair springs to mind -should be in the DT
Its got lots of Roll up Roll ups in it like a saucy seaside postcard!
- might be Rottenstall?


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: fogie
Date: 19 Apr 04 - 05:59 AM

Damn it I cant find it!
Someone ought to post it- I cant remember how it starts-

Roll up rollup see the house of mystery,
Ladies pay a tanner to be tickled in the dark,
In went the lads -just for a peep '
the showman pulled a lever and we landed in a heap,
Down he shot em right to the bottom,
frills and balls for everyone to see,
there were shouting, screaming, everything were right,
I saw some funny things Ive never seen in all me life,
I even saw some things I've never seen upon the wife'
at the Rowtenstall annual fair.

Roll up Roll up come and see the mermaid,
see the lovely lady half a woman half a fish,
In went the lads to show it wasnt swank
an little willie higgins put some whisky in the tank,
She got frisky swimmin in the whisky,and when she cum up for air,she bowed to the audience ,gave ger tail a swish,
her tail it come off and she really looked delish,
she says what de yer fancy lads a bit o meat or fish
at the Rowtenstall annual fair.

Roll up roll up come and see the fat girl
40 stone of lovelyness and every bit her own
EEh she were a bigg un we accent on the big,
an all the fellas wi walking sticks kept givin her a dig,
She were a right big lassie, I didnt know her chassee'
were blown up with air I do declare,
Every thing was champion until some silly clown,
poked her with a pin said the showman with a frown,
all hands to the pumps lads me vessels going down,
at the Rowtenstall annual fair.

Roll up roll up see the tattooed lady,
See the lovely lady with the pictures on her skin,
in went the lads ,and they began to cheer,
for spread out on her back were all the towns of Lancashire'
There were Odsall bottom ? Lancaster city, the town hall standing in the square,
there were Oldham, Bolton, Ashton under Lyme,
Coalpit down in Burnley were lookin mighty fine
When some one shouted Daddy- dont go down the mine
at the Rowtenstall Annual fair

Hope most of it is there in some order- reminds me of the Beano.
hope you like it- I think I heard it on an Oldham Tinkers CD years ago.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 19 Apr 04 - 06:04 AM

yes it's in the DT here fogie, very slight misremembering by you as it's Rawtenstall but an impressive remembering nonetheless.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Rain Dog
Date: 19 Apr 04 - 10:49 AM

A couple of Tom Waits songs

Eyeball Kid

Tabletop Joe


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GUEST,Crystal
Date: 19 Apr 04 - 01:31 PM

Theres a song about a lion tamer sung from the point of view of the lion. Unfortunatly I'm not 100% sure of the title (or the lyrics), I think it is "Captain 'Bloody' Valient". It's a great song though


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: LindsayInWales
Date: 19 Apr 04 - 01:37 PM

"Pull Down Lads" sung by June Tabor on her "Airs And Graces" Album.
"The Day That The Circus Left Town" sung by Eartha Kitt in the 50s/60s
"The Man On The Flying Trapeze" (got a 30s recording by Henry Hall)
"I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts" (got a Billy Cotton Version)

"I Left My Heart At The Stage Door Canteen" (World War II Song)
"Algy The Picadilly Johnny" (music-hall song)

"Roundabout" by Allan Smethurst (The Singing Postman)


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 19 Apr 04 - 03:41 PM

Leo Sayer's "Show must go on"
Beatles "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite"
Day Davies (Kinks) "Death of a Clown"


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 19 Apr 04 - 04:35 PM

Fakenham Fair- Jim Eldon does it


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 07:00 AM

Well you can find "Captain Valiant" from "A Duck on his Head" here.

Does anyone have the monologue about "Senor Polone" the indarubber man ? He's in love with the beautiful trapeze artist, but she ignores him until one day she falls and he spreads himself out underneath her - then:

With a smack like the sound of wet fish on a slab
On Senor Polone she landed.
Then she bounced right back up to the top of the tent,
And caught the trapeze single-handed.


After that she marries him and they have some bouncing babies.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 07:12 AM

Found it !

THE INDIA RUBBER MAN
by Warren Hastings and Herberte Jordan (1943)

This is the story of Senor Poloney,
The India Rubber Man,
Who worked in a side-show attached to a circus,
And lived in an old caravan.

In manner most charming, if somewhat alarming
He'd knot both his legs round his middle,
Then tie his big toes to the end of his nose,
And play "The Lost Chord" on a fiddle.

This genteel performance was greatly admired,
By people who came in their dozens;
Some bringing their gals, their wives, or their pals,
Their uncles, their aunts and their cousins.

Now Senor Poloney was madly in love
With a young lady known as "La Swallow"
Whose breathless performance upon the trapeze
Was a dangerous calling to follow.

Alas! Though Poloney "La Swallow" adored,
She did not return his affection.
There can be no doubt she was never without
Of boy-friends a goodly collection.

Whenever Poloney could wrangle the time,
He'd wander inside the arena.
To gaze on "La Swallow" with love-stricken eyes
Feeling better because he had seen her.

One day when "La Swallow" was doing her stuff,
She suddenly missed her connection.
From high in the air, with a wail of despair,
She fell in a downward direction.

The welkin then rang with the horrified cries
Of the crowd; thereby causing a ruction.
As frantic with awe, the young lady they saw
Being hurtled to death and destruction.

Then just like a ferret who'd sat on a tack,
Poloney, his eyes fairly popping,
Dashed out with a shout and threw himself down
On the spot where "La Swallow" was dropping.

The smack was the same as wet fish on a slab
As on poor Poloney she landed.
Then bounced up again to the top of the tent
And caught the trapeze single handed.

So Poloney the hero and lovely "La Swallow"
Were wed, and there's little to add.
But two bouncing babies are learning the fiddle,
To play "The Lost Chord" like their dad.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GUEST,ken johnson
Date: 20 Apr 04 - 07:39 AM

what about Lester Simpson's fairground attraction
ps geoff if you want a tape of "a duck on his head2 i can do you one and bring it to moron coast    Ken


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GUEST,Abi
Date: 12 May 04 - 12:16 PM

There is indeed a song called "Captain Bloody Valiant" that is sung from the point of view of the lion, about the lion tamer. It's absolutely ace. In fact, I witnessed it sung this weekend by a wonderful elderly lady with a stunning voice, at a singaround at Holmfirth Folk Music Festival. She also sang it last year, and having spent all year going on to my brother about how brilliant it was, when she turned up this year, I asked her to do it again, and recorded a scratchy copy on my mobile phone.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GUEST,Larry K
Date: 12 May 04 - 02:59 PM

Of course there is the Broadway show "Barum" which has several circus songs including "join the circus".    I also think of Tears of a Clown by Smokey.   Richard Thompson has one about a high wire person named "valerio"   (not sure about the spelling)   There is the Peter Allen song "Don't cry out loud" which starts "baby cried the day the circus came to town" and has a lot of other circus references.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: SINSULL
Date: 12 May 04 - 03:28 PM

Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis...the World's Fair.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GUEST,earthling
Date: 12 May 04 - 08:36 PM

Circus of Heaven by   YES.

Stardust by   DAVID ESSEX.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 May 04 - 10:05 PM

Crosslink - Circus Music


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 May 04 - 08:29 PM

Fortune Tellers


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Pogo
Date: 28 May 04 - 09:29 PM

The Juggler by Fionna Something...can't recall the singer's last name she's an Irish singer that's all I recall. Rather haunting song but very good


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GUEST,Pissed
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 09:15 PM

Don't you ever misquote Daffy Duck again. It's one matinee, not fatal day. Also, it's "she swung BY her teeth FROM a noose. Sheesh.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: PHJim
Date: 16 Jan 17 - 11:39 PM

This thread's been retired for seven or eight years, but recent news stories have caused me to re-open it.
Here's my favourite circus song that I've decided to start singing again after a few years off.


Circus Song       David Essig

Fat boy plays the guitar in the back of his old trailer
For the flipper man and the little flipper girl
And he stares across the vacant lot as he sings Hank Williams' Lonesome
Draws a curtain tied around his sideshow world

And the flipper man says he smokes too much as he lights another Camel
At the mention of his wife he shakes his head
She could never take the circus life she couldn't stand the travel
And he tries to get his little girl to bed.

And Shorty Jones the wheelchair clown and assistant chief mechanic
He's lying fast asleep in the lighting gear
He lost his legs when his ship went down in the frozen North Atlantic
And he put an end to a major league career.

   So get your tickets early grab the kids and come on down
   To the carnival, the circus is in town
   They'll be spills and thrills for children of all ages young and old.
   For the people in the carnival it's just another day on the road.

Now the motorcycle thrill rider's got a steel plate in his head
And a kid who flew a chopper in the war.
Now his son's an unknown soldier in a picture by the bed
As his Daddy drives the wall of death once more

And the stripper she says she don't know where the circus life will take her.
Ah the constant bump and grind drives her insane.
She said she's gonna chuck it all someday and become an undertaker
And buy a house in the sunny South of Spain.

So get your tickets...

Now old Bob the midway barker he slumps down at the table
He said he's heard this song how life's a carnival
And it makes him laugh that people think the circus life is special
"It's just another job," he said, "that's all."

So get your tickets...


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 02:28 AM

Just gave Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger album a listen through again and was admiring his take on an old American circus/carnival instrumental standard, Juventino Rosas' Sobre las Ola (Over the Waves):

YT: Willie Nelson - O'er the Waves

Here's Nashville version:
YT: Chet Atkins - Over The Waves

On the album it's followed by Bobbie Nelson's cover of L. Wolfe Gilbert's Down Yonder (another Texas keyboard favorite); a nice turn-of-the-century leitmotif.


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 05:33 PM

There's a monologue about Little Aggie and the rest of her elephant troupe:

Aggie The Elephant

Marriott Edgar

When Joe Dove took his elephants out on the road
He made each one hold fast with his trunk
To the tail of the elephant walking in front
To stop them from doing a bunk.
There were fifteen in all, so 'twere rather a job
To get them linked up in a row,
But once he had fixed 'em Joe knew they'd hold on,
For an elephant never lets go.

The pace it was set by the big 'uns in front,
'Twas surprising how fast they could stride,
And poor little Aggie, the one at the back...
Had to run till she very near died.
They were walking one Sunday from Blackpool to Crewe,
They'd started at break of the day,
Joe followed behind with a bagful of buns
In case they got hungry on t'way.

They travelled along at a rattling good pace
Over moorland and valley and plain,
And poor little Aggie the one at the back
Her trunk fairly creaked with the strain.

They came to a place where the railway crossed road,
An un-gated crossing it were,
And they wasn't to know as the express was due
At the moment that they landed there.
They was half way across when Joe saw the express-
It came tearing along up the track-
He tried hard to stop, but it wasn't much good,
For an elephant never turns back.

He saw if he didn't do something at once
The train looked like spoiling his troupe,
So he ran on ahead and he waggled the buns
To show them they'd best hurry up.

When they caught sight of buns they all started to run,
And they soon got across at this gait,
Except poor little Aggie-the one at the back,
She were one second too late.

The express came dashing along at full speed,
And caught her end on, fair and square
She bounced off the buffers, turned head over heels,
And lay with her legs in the air.

Joe thought she were dead when he saw her lyin' there,
With the back of her head on the line
He knelt by her side, put his ear to her chest,
And told her to say " ninety-nine."
She waggled her tail and she twiggled her trunk ;
To show him as she were alive;
She hadn't the strength for to say "ninety-nine,"
She just managed a weak "eighty-five."

When driver of th' engine got down from his cab
Joe said "Here's a nice how-de-do,
To see fifteen elephants ruined for life
By a clumsy great driver like you."

Said the driver, "There's no need to mak' all this fuss,
There's only one hit as I've seen."
Joe said, "Aye, that's right, but they held on so tight
You've pulled back end off t' other fourteen."

Joe still walks around with his elephant troupe,
He got them patched up at the vet's,
But Aggie won't walk at the back any more,
'Cos an elephant never forgets.

Aggie at Monologues.co.uk

I think the words may have been transcribed from a recording by Bernard Wrigley.

Likes his elephants, does Bernard.

LFF


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 07:15 PM

Here is the complete text of an 1886 interview given by American circus man John Robinson (I've posted the link in a couple of threads.) Interesting for both the intersection of circus music and circus animals; and the American circus as popular music medium/distributor:

CIRCUS MUSICIANS.

The Difficulties of Selecting Music for the Performance.

WHAT THE LEADER'S DUTIES ARE.

Time and Tune Must Be Adapted to the Character of the Work in the Ring – Men and Horses That Cannot Stand Any Change.

"Once a man gets into the life of a circus band," said the leader, and accustomed to its hard work, he likes it, and very few care to leave it again for the casual and chance engagements of unattached musicians. Even if they were so fortunate as to get places in regular theatre orchestras they would have their dull season each year, and, when at work under union rates, would only get $2 50 a performance, out of which they would have pay. their personal expenses, so that they would be no better off than in a circus. Then, there is no small attraction in, the travel, excitement, open-air life and variety of a circus. Some of our circus band-men go on playing until they are quite old.

"It is the duty of the leader to select and arrange the music for his band in a circus just the same as any other band, but the circus leader has much the hardest work to do. In the first place he must have such an immense quantity of music, as you will readily conceive. But, still more difficult for him, if he does not thoroughly understand the circus business, is the selection of the particular airs that will fit to the various performances in the ring. That would not be so hard too if there was only one ring and one performance in it at a time, but when you have from three to five various performances going on simultaneously you don't find it so easy to pick out music that will trump in or follow suit with them all.

TIME AND MUSIC TO SUIT.

"If there are two or three riding acts simultaneously, it will be comparatively easy to fit them, but when you have things going on upon the ground and in the air at once, you must be very careful or you will throw your horses or your people out. Then you have to know which one of the lot is most important, to which you will have to play, making the others secondary, but serving them as well as possible at the same time. For instance, when the stars are doing their really wonderful triple trapeze act, though 'there are three other acts going at the same time, I have to play for the stars and must control the time and force of the music to suit them. When he sounds his bell the band has to play pianissimo, for that is the signal that he is about to speak a word of direction or warning to the girls, and his voice must be heard. And when one of their astounding feats has been performed, the band must break out with a fortissimo crash, blending with the roar of applause from the audience. No matter where the writer of the music may have put his diminuendos or crescendos, I have to play it that way, whether the piece becomes unrecognizable or not, whether it may suit the other performers or not, and whether people say 'how badly the band plays that air' or not, for it may be a question of limb, if not of life, to have it done in just that way.

"One thing that gives, necessarily, a certain sameness to much circus music is the compulsory emphasis of notes in regular recurrent order, not demanded at all for musical expression, but very requisite for marking the time for the horses in a menage act, or some other riding. If you do not thus sharply accent the time the best trained horse is liable to be all broken up and make a failure of his performance. When I was with Hengler many a time I had to go with my violin to the ring at 6 o'clock in the morning to play by the hour near a horse that was undergoing training, so as to familiarize the animal with the air to which he would be required to perform in the ring. Hengler would have a horse in training in that way as much as three months steadily before trusting him in the ring, and he was very careful never to allow the time to be made slower or more rapid, to suit the horse, but kept regular, until the beast fell naturally into the step to it.

PLAYING THE "SAME OLD TUNE."

"Here there is so much careful training, and we have to adapt the time to the horses, to a certain degree, but still the marked accent must be kept, and that is enough to make a very strong family resemblance between tunes; enough to make many people say 'same old tune.' The elephants and the trained stallions require to have always the same music, or if not nearly the same, then so very near to it that the animals cannot recognize any difference. Of course we do work in some changes on them, but not abrupt ones, for the American public will not stand the same thing all the time, no matter what the preferences of the animals may be. When I was in England, seven years ago, Hengler's band was playing the same music for menage and trick acts that they had played for seven years before, and I have no doubt they are playing the same pieces now. That would be likely to breed a riot in this country, I think.

"Many trapeze and other specialty performers have music of their own, and when we can accommodate them by playing it we always do so. Generally, however, their music is arranged for string bands to be used in theatres and variety shows, and we could not play it without rearrangement, which would be too much trouble so long as we can supply other music quite as good. The lady who does a fine trapeze act and the long elide on the inclined wire has some beautiful Spanish music, and as it suits very well for the triple trapeze act, which is on at the same time, we play it. Now and then we work in a new piece on her, and she is very good-natured about it, always saying, 'All right; but after two or three days she is sure to come and say, 'Please, Mr. Robinson, let me have my own music again.' She can work better with the music to which she is accustomed. The trapeze performers also have their own music for their special work. Mme. Dockrill was very particular about her music, and need always to sing with the band, but of course in a tone that the audience could not hear, when riding in the ring. She no doubt got into the habit while training her horses in Winter, accustoming them to the measure of music for their movements. Jim Robinson, the great bareback rider, had a certain set of quadrilles that he always insisted upon having played for him, and he would not ride to anything else. Fish, on the other hand, though he had quite a fondness for music and used to practice on the violin in his dressing-room a good deal, did not seem to care at all what was played for him in the ring. Stickney and Melville were very particular to have each season new sets of quadrilles and other melodies for their acts.


(Circus Bandmaster & Proprietor John Robinson, Daily Alta California, Friday, July 9, 1886 p.2)


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GUEST,Lou Judson
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 08:15 PM

Patreified Man by Stevie Coyle
Petrified Man


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: rich-joy
Date: 19 Jan 17 - 01:13 AM

and don't forget that wonderful Aussie duo - now trio - CLOUDSTREET.

Their "Circus of Desires" CD (just one of many excellent recordings), features "Bill the Bear" : "...... John's epic saga song. It tells of an Aussie strongman that heroically wrestled a bear in the travelling Wirth's Circus at the turn of the twentieth century......"

http://www.cloudstreet.org/

Cheers!
Rich-Joy


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 23 Jan 17 - 12:03 AM

Robinson: " Stickney and Melville were very particular to have each season new sets of quadrilles and other melodies for their acts."

As that was written in 1886 Robert Stickney Jr. was touring the Caribbean with the Donovan Circus. The quadrille (kwadril) remains a huge folk song/dance form in the Lesser Antilles unto this very day.

If there were fan-girly magazines back then, Stickney would have been a cover boy. In 1889-90 Stickney returned the Caribbean with Emma Lake, daughter of Agnes Lake Hickok (aka: Wife of a Legend) and fresh off a command performance for Queen Victoria. The concessionaire for that tour was Aeronaut Charles Colby.

The hook from Colby (Kolbi) can be found in a dozen songs throughout the Americas: Louis Camille (Trinidad); Choucoune (Haiti); Yellow Bird (U.S.) and is still popular during carnival season.

Circus trivia:
Twelve years later in 1902, almost to the day, Mount Pelée erupted and wiped out the city of Saint-Pierre where Colby performed. Survivor Ludger Sylbaris made further history as the first black man ever to star in a segregated side-show (Barnum & Bailey)


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 23 Jan 17 - 01:14 AM

Index to the 1894 Cole and Lockwood United Shows Songster:

1. Mamie, Come Kiss Your Honey Boy.
2. O' Mrs. O'Flarity What Did You Mean by That?
3. The Fisherman's Bride.
4. De Order of the De Golden Key.
5. Sweet Marie.
6. The Widow's Plea for Her Son.
7. Marguerite.
8. Twixt Love and Duty (includes music and lyrics)
9. The Poor Gal Didn't Know, You Know. (includes music and lyrics)
10. The Shamrock's Appeal to the Rose.
11. A Mother Can Never Forget Her Boy.
12. Irishman, Dutchman and Yankee.
13. Engraved on a Irishman's Heart.
14. The Shamrock and the Golden Rod.


http://www.ourtownnews.info/morris-ny/Cole-and-Lockwood-Songster


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Subject: RE: Songs - Circus/Show/Fetes Characters/Themes
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 23 Jan 17 - 03:59 PM

Crosslink: thread.cfm?threadid=10686&messages=29#3834257


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