Monday, October 30, 2006

Wild Billy's Circus Story

It was so nice to look at Paul's blog this morning and see a picture of Bruce. I still can't do linkage but click on the title to have a look at said blog which is marvelous.

I am sort of a latecomer to Bruce Springsteen. For years my husband tried to tell me how great he was and our house was full of his albums before I ever listened to one song. All I knew was 'Born in the USA'...

Then a few years ago a friend of a friend offered us their tickets to see him in Dublin and we went....

It's hard to say how grateful I am for that. I had no idea.

So anyway. This is the song that does it for me. This is where I meet Bruce and he meets Tom Waits and Tom Waits meets Yeats (maybe more on this later when not so frazzled by babystuff) and so on. I love this song.


The machinist climbs his ferris wheel like a brave
And the fire eater's lyin' in a pool of sweat, victim of the heatwave
Behind the tent the hired hand tightens his legs on the sword swallower's blade
And circus town's on the shortwave

The runway lies ahead like a great false dawn
Fat lady, big mama, Missy Bimbo sits in her chair and yawns
And the man-beast lies in his cage sniffin' popcorn
As the midget licks his fingers and suffers Missy Bimbo's scorn
Circus town's been born

Whoa, and a press roll drummer go, ballerina to and fro
Cartwheelin' up on that tightrope with a cannon blast lightin' flash
Movin' fast through the tent Mars bent, he's gonna miss his fall
Oh God save the human cannonball.

And the flying Zambinis watch Margarita do her neck twist,
And the ringmaster gets the crowd to count along: "Ninety-five, ninety-six, ninety-seven"
A ragged suitcase in his hand, he steals silently away from the circus grounds
And the highway's haunted by the carnival sounds
They dance like a great greasepaint ghost on the wind
A man in baggy pants, a lonely face, a crazy grin
Runnin' home to some small Ohio town
Jesus send some good women to save all your clowns

And circus boy dances like a monkey on barbed wire
And the barker romances with a junkie, she's got a flat tire,
And now the elephants dance real funky and the band plays like a jungle fire
Circus town's on the live wire

And the strong man Sampson lifts the midget little Tiny Tim way up on his shoulders, way up And carries him on down the midway past the kids, past the sailors
To his dimly lit trailer
And the ferris wheel turns and turns like it ain't ever gonna stop
And the circus boss leans over, whispers into the little boy's ear "Hey son, you want to try the big top?"
All aboard, Nebraska's our next stop.

2 comments:

The Father said...

Springsteen meets waits meets Yeats .... I'm intrigued - must check it out ..... anyway have returned from my Norht American Sojourn so some beer soon would be good ....m

mister tumnus said...

ha ha. i have just this minute sent you a 'when are you comin' baaaaack?' email. will be cool to see you.