Live 27 Apr 2008 version
[Spoken intro:] Thank you so much, thanks for coming out tonight! We wanna thank you for all yours prayers and condolences for Danny, we appreciate that. So we've been digging back in the box the past four or five nights. Gonna put the Professor to the test, now (chuckles). Now Danny, of course, was, uh, when he was young, you know, he won, won the Ted Mack Amateur Hour on the accordion, and his mama sewed him up a gold lame jacket and he, I think he won, and they sent you to Switzerland, where I guess the idea was, you're gonna come from the States and show 'em how it was really done over there (chuckles). Buh, uh... (laughs) So Danny and the accordion were always, uh, always intermixed. And, uh, really Danny, it was Danny and Vini that kind of invited me into their band, Mad Dog Lopez, when, uh... I met Danny when I was 18, and, uh, with the exception of Steve, who I met at 16 and haven't been able to get rid of since (laughs) – well, he hasn't been able to get, he hasn't been able to get rid of me, really, that's what it is (laughs). Danny was a long, long, long-standing member here, so, gonna miss him a lot. All right! Danny was the, uh, he was really, well, Mad, him and Mad Dog, they were the unruly citizens of the E Street Band for a while. I could get into some stories, but... I'll just tell, I'll just tell one. I kind of, I told this at, at his funeral the other day. Danny had, had a huge marijuana plant, and, uh, he left it on the front seat of his car in a tow-away zone.. So they came and the towed his car away, and so, you know, it's a puzzle man, you know, what are you, what do you... So he comes over and he said, "Bruce, I got it, I got it, I got it. I'm gonna go down there and tell them that the car was stolen. All right?" So I said, "I, I don't know, I'm not so sure," you know? "No, no, it'll be great." Goes down, tell 'em the car was stolen, they take him straight to jail (laughs). That's a short one (laughs). But they all ended up the same. All the stories ended up the same way. But, uh, my favorite, my favorite phone call from Danny was always, "Bruce, come quick!" (laughs) But, uh, anyway, this is for our pal and brother.
Turn up that accordion!
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
And circus town's on the shortwave
Well, the runway lies ahead like a great false dawn
Yeah, Fat Lady, Big Mama, Missy Bimbo, she 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
And 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, 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, he steals silently away from the circus grounds
And the highway's haunted by those carnival sounds
They dance like a great greasepaint ghost on the wind
Man in baggy pants, lonely face, crazy grin
Runnin' home to some small Ohio town
Jesus, send some good women to save all your clowns
You know who you are [chuckles]
And circus boy dances like a monkey on a 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
Carries him off 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 in the little boy's ear, "Hey son, you wanna try the big top?"
All aboard, Nebraska's our next stop
The above lyrics are for the live 27 Apr 2008 performance of WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY at Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, NC, during the Magic Tour. The song was played in a full-band arrangement. The part in bold is sung by the crowd.
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]