CHARLES MINGUS


The Clown Lyrics

Man, there was this clown, and he was a real happy guy,
a real happy guy, he had all these greens and all these
yellows and all these oranges bubbling around inside of
him. And he had just one thing he wanted in this world,
he just wanted to make people laugh, that’s all he
wanted out of this world, we was a real happy guy...

Let me tell you about this clown, he used to a raise a
sweat every night out on the stage and just wouldn’t
stop, that’s how hard he worked, he was trying to make
people laugh. He used to have this cute little gimmick
where he had a seal follow him up and down a step-
ladder, blowing Columbia the gem of the ocean out on a
b-flat scale sears-roebuck a model thirteen twenty-two
“A” plastic bugle, a real cute act, but they didn’t
laugh, well you know, a few little things here and
there, but not really, and he was booking out in all
these tank towns, playing the rotary clubs, the Kiwanis
clubs and the American legion hall; and he just wasn’t
making it, but he had all these wonderful things going
on inside of him, all these greens and yellows and all
these oranges, he was a real happy guy, and all he
wanted to do was to make these people laugh, that’s all
he wanted out of this world, to make people laugh, and
then something began to grow, something that just
wasn’t good began growing inside of his head...

You know, it’s a funny thing. _____ something began to
trouble this clown, you know little things, little
things once in a while would happen, that would make
that crowed begin to howl, but they were never the
right things, like for example the time the seal got
sick on the stage, all over the stage, the crowd just,
just broke out, little things like that. And they
weren’t suppose to … they weren’t supposed to be funny.
This began to trouble him, and it bothered him. And
this little thing began to grow inside of him. And all
those greens and all those oranges and all those
yellows, they just weren’t as bright as they used to
be. And all he wanted to do was to make that crowd
laugh, that’s all he wanted to do...

There was this one night _____ when he was playing at
the rotary club. All these dentists, these druggists,
all these postmen sitting around, and they were a real
cold bunch, nothing was happening. He was leaving the
stage when he stumbled over his ladder and fell flat on
his face, just flat on his face. When he stands up and
he’s got this bloody nose and he looks out at the crowd
and that crowd is just rolling on the floor, he’s just
knocked them flat out, this begins to trouble and even
more. He begins to see something, he begins to see
something...

And right about here is when things began to change,
but really change. Not the least of which our clown
changes his act. He bought himself a set of football
pads, a yellow helmet with red stripes, hired a girl
who dropped a 5-pound sac of flour on his head every
night, maybe twenty feet up. Oh man!, what a pit, that
just broke them up every night, but not like the buke.
And all those colors, all those yellows, all those
reds, all those oranges, a lot of gray in them now
_____ And all he wanted was to make this crowd laugh,
that’s all he wanted out of this world...

They were laughing alright, not like the buke but they
were laughing, And all the dough started coming in. He
was playing the big towns. Chicago, Detroit, and then
it was Pittsburgh one night. A real fine town
Pittsburgh, you know. But three quarters way through
his act, a rope broke, down came the backdrop, right on
the back of the neck, and he went flat and something
broke, this was it. It hurt way down deep inside, he
tried to get up. He looked out at the audience, and
man, you should’ve, you should’ve, you should’ve seen
that crowd. They was rolling in the aisle. This was
bigger than the buke. This was bigger than the buke....

He really had them going, this was it, this was the
last one, this was the last one. This was the last one.
He knew now, man, he really knew now. But it was too
late and all he had wanted was to make this crowd
laugh, well they were laughing, But now he knew. That
was the end of the clown. And you should have seen the
bookings coming. Man, his agent was on the phone for 24
hours, The Palladium, MCA, William Morris. But it was
too late...

He really knew now.
He really knew.
He really knew now.
William Morris sent regrets...

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Record Label(s): 2005 Atlantic Recording Corp Manufactured & Marketed by Warner Strategic Marketing

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