WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY

Live 07 Nov 2009 version


[Spoken intro to The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle album performance:]

Thank you, everybody, thanks for being here tonight! We got the last eight shows of our, of our tour going now. We've been on the road for, uh, between these two records, for a couple of years, we appreciate everybody coming out and supporting us, and, uh, as we've gotten toward the close here we were trying to think what we could do that'd be a nice treat for the fans and fun for us. So we've been, uh, playing a variety of different records a night, we've played Born To Run, we've played Born In The U.S.A., Darkness On The Edge Of Town, but tonight, we're gonna do something that's never been done before! Never! Ever! I hope we can do it! (laughs) This was a record, this was the second record that I made, and, uh, it came out, it didn't do that well, um, but it was an interesting record, it was sort of, half of the songs are kind of about, are sort of set in New Jersey and around our little, our little street corner: uh, E Street Shuffle, Sandy, uh, Wild Billy's Circus Story, uh, Rosie, those are all our New Jersey songs. And the other half were sort of my romantic ideas and fantasies of New York City, of Kitty's Back, and New York City Serenade, and Incident. So, uh, here we go! This is, uh, this is The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle!

[Performs THE E STREET SHUFFLE]
[Performs 4TH OF JULY, ASBURY PARK (SANDY)]

[Performs KITTY'S BACK]

[WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY:]

[Spoken intro:] Give that man some light (chuckles).

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
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
And circus town's been born

Whoa, 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"
A ragged suitcase in his hand, he steals silently away from the circus grounds
Yeah, the highway's haunted by them carnival sounds
They dance like a great greasepaint 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 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 the elephants dance real funky, and the band plays like a jungle fire
Circus town's on the live wire
And the strong man, Sampson, lifts the midget, little Tiny Tim, way up, way up on his shoulders
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 in the little boy's ear, "Hey son, you wanna try the big top?"
All aboard, Nebraska's our next stop


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 07 Nov 2009 performance of WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY, during the Working On A Dream Tour. The song was played in a full-band arrangement.

Ticket stub for the 07 Nov 2009 show at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
Ticket stub for the 07 Nov 2009 show at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
Handwritten setlist stub for the 07 Nov 2009 show at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
Handwritten setlist stub for the 07 Nov 2009 show at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY

On this show, Bruce Springsteen and the band played the entire The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle album from start to finish and in sequence.

Credits

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.

Available Versions

List of available versions of WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY on this website:

WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Album version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 09 Jan 1973 version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 31 Jan 1973 (early show) version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 02 Mar 1973 version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 24 Apr 1973 (early show) version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 01 May 1973 version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 31 May 1973 (WGOE-FM) version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 02 Jun 1973 version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 03 Mar 1974 (late show) version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 09 Mar 1974 (KLOL-FM) version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 09 Apr 1974 version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 16 Nov 1990 version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 26 Nov 1996 version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 04 Dec 2001 version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 19 Dec 2004 (early show) version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 22 Jun 2005 version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 27 Apr 2008 version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 25 Sep 2009 version]
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY [Live 07 Nov 2009 version]

Page last updated: 09 Jan 2012