Live 19 Dec 2004 (early show) version
The machinist climbs his Ferris wheel like a brave
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
A-well, 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 sniffing popcorn
And the midget licks his fingers, suffers Missy Bimbo's scorn
Circus town's been born
Yeah, 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"
Ragged suitcase in his hand, steals silently away from the circus grounds
And the highway's haunted by the carnival sounds
Yeah, they dance like a ghost on the wind
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 the 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 the elephants dance real funky, and the band plays like a jungle fire
Circus town's on the live wire
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
The circus boss leans over and whispers in the little boy's ear, "Hey son, you wanna try the big top?"
All aboard, Nebraska's our next stop
[Spoken outro:] Well, most people would stop. But not all! Ah.
The above lyrics are for the live 19 Dec 2004 early show performance of WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY at Harry's Roadhouse in Asbury Park, NJ, during the first of the two holiday jam shows that were held that day at Harry's Roadhouse. The song was played in a solo acoustic guitar arrangement.
Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.
List of available versions of WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY on this website:WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Album version]