Wild Billy's Circus Story

Album: The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle (1973)
  • Ah, one, two, three four
    The machinist climbs his Ferris wheel like a brave
    And the fire-eater's lyin' in a pool of sweat, victim of the heat wave
    Behind the tent, the hired hand tightens his legs on the sword swallower's blade
    Circus town's on the shortwave

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

    Oh, and a press roll drummer go, ballerina to-and-fro
    Cartwheelin' up on that tightrope
    With a cannon blast, lightnin' flash, movin' fast through the tent, Mars-bent
    He's gonna miss his fall, oh, God save the human cannonball
    And the flyin' 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 Samson 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 and whispers into the little boy's ear
    Hey, son, you want to try the big top?
    All aboard, Nebraska's our next stop Writer/s: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
    Publisher: Downtown Music Publishing LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 3

  • Sarah from Kennewick, WaGotta love the tuba in this one--so original & incomparable, especially to anything else going on in the early 1970's.
  • Ted from Glenview, Ilwhat do you mean he missed it? He screwed up and didn't play it?
  • Rob from TorontoBruce played this during D&D, and it was outstanding. Still love the version from the WBCN interview where Garry missed the big tuba solo!
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