Phineas T. Barnum
(1810-1891) was one of those larger-than-life characters who appeared so frequently in the United States from the 18th Century to the present day. Although best known as a showman, he was at one time Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he died on April 7, 1891. He is also known for gifting two quotations to the world: "Every crowd has a silver lining," and the well known "There's a sucker born every minute" - sometimes rendered as "There's one born every minute." The opening song from the musical Barnum
takes its title from this, and like the rest of the songs in the show it has music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Michael Stewart.
The original Broadway production opened at St. James Theatre on April 30, 1980 with Jim Dale as Barnum. The show was recorded by the BBC during the UK tour, with Michael Crawford playing the lead.