The Machinist climbs his ferris wheel like a brave
And the fire-eater’s lyin’ in a pool of sweat victim of the heatwave,
Behind the tent the hired hand tightens his legs on the sword swallowers blade,
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
Circus town’s been born
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 Zambini’s watch Marguarita do her neck twist,
And the ringmaster gets the crowd to count along: 95, 96, 97.
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 sweet 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 Sampson lifts the midget,
little Tiny Tim, up on his shoulders, way up,
and carries 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.