Tears Of A Clown

Album: The Book of Souls (2015)
  • This track, which was penned by Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith and bassist Steve Harris, was inspired by the depression and tragic death of comedian and actor Robin Williams. "My favorite song (on The Book Of Souls) is one I didn't write," vocalist Bruce Dickinson explained to Italy's Corriere Della Sera. "It's 'Tears of a Clown,' which talks about Robin Williams. I ask myself how could he be so depressed when he always seemed to be so happy."

    Robin Williams committed suicide on August 11, 2014 following a long history with depression and health issues.
  • The phrase 'tears of a clown' was made famous by the 1967 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles song of the same title. Smokey Robinson sung of a character, who "smiling in the crowd I try, but in a lonely room I cry." He compared himself a character in the Italian opera Pagliacci, a clown called Canio, who was making the audience laugh, but was weeping behind his makeup because his wife betrayed him.
  • Dickinson told Kerrang!: "It's a bit different for us - mid tempo and it doesn't ever get out of that groove, you know! It just sits in a groove the whole time, which is cool."

    "It's got some great words. When I sang it, you know, Steve's words and tune, I went, 'What's this about? Steve said, 'It's about Robin Williams and that floored me."


Be the first to comment...

Al Jourgensen of MinistrySongwriter Interviews

In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.

Boy BandsFact or Fiction

From NKOTB to 1D, how well do you know your boy bands?

LecraeSongwriter Interviews

The Christian rapper talks about where his trip to Haiti and his history of addiction fit into his songs.

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin PopoffSong Writing

A talk with Martin Popoff about his latest book on Rush and how he assessed the thousands of albums he reviewed.

Emilio Castillo from Tower of PowerSongwriter Interviews

Emilio talks about what it's like to write and perform with the Tower of Power horns, and why every struggling band should have a friend like Huey Lewis.

Angelo Moore of FishboneSongwriter Interviews

Fishbone has always enjoyed much more acclaim than popularity - Angelo might know why.