The Man on the Flying Trapeze

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Burl Ives

Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives (June 14, 1909 - April 14, 1995) was an American actor, writer and folk music singer. As an actor, Ives's work included comedies, dramas, and voice work in theater, television, and motion pictures. Music critic John Rockwell said, "Ives's voice ... had the sheen and finesse of opera without its latter-day Puccinian vulgarities and without the pretensions of operatic ritual. It was genteel in expressive impact without being genteel in social conformity. And it moved people."[1] more »


Year:
1982
4,409 Views

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Once I was happy but now I'm forlorn
Like an old coat that is tattered and torn
Left in this wide world to weep and to mourn 
Betrayed by a maid in her teens
Oh, this maid that I loved she was handsome
And I tried all I knew, her to please 
But I never could please her one quarter so well 
As the man on the flying trapeze!
 
He floats thro' the air with the greatest of ease
The daring young man on the flying trapeze
His actions are graceful, all girls he does please 
And my love he has stolen away
 
He'd play with a miss like a cat with a mouse
His eyes would undress ev'ry maid in the house
Perhaps he is better described as a louse
But still people came just the same
He'd smile on the bar to the people below
And one night he smiled on my love
She blew him a kiss and she hollered "Bravo"! 
As he hung by his nose up above!
 
He floats thro' the air with the greatest of ease
The daring young man on the flying trapeze
His actions are graceful, all girls he does please 
And my love he has stolen away
 
I wept and I whimpered I simpered for weeks 
While she spent her time the with the circuses freaks
The tears were like hailstones that rolled down my cheeks
Alas and alack and Alaska
I went to this fellow the blackguard and said 
I'll see that you get your deserts
His thumb to his nose he put up with a sneer  
He sneered once again and said "Nortz" Oh!
 
He floats thro' the air with the greatest of ease
The daring young man on the flying trapeze
His actions are graceful, all girls he does please 
And my love he has stolen away
 
One night to his tent he invited her in 
Filled her with compliments and kisses and gin
That started her off on the road to ruin 
She made the supreme sacrifice
But even tho' I loved her I said "Take my name  
I'll gladly forgive and forget!"
She rustled her bustle and then without shame she said
"Maybe later , not yet"!  Oh!
 
He floats thro' the air with the greatest of ease
The daring young man on the flying trapeze
His actions are graceful, all girls he does please 
And my love he has stolen away
 
One night I as usual went to her dear home
Found there her father and mother alone 
I asked for my love and soon t'was made known
To my horror that she'd run away
Without any trousseau she fled in the night 
With him with the greatest of ease
From two stories high he had lowered her down 
To the ground on his flying trapeze!
 
He floats through the air with the greatest of ease
The daring young man on the flying trapeze
His actions are graceful, all girls he does please 
And my love he has stolen away
 
Some months after that I went into the hall 
To my surprise I found there on the wall
A bill in red letters which did my heart gall 
That she was appearing with him
He'd taught her gymnastics and dressed her in tights 
To help him to live at his ease
He'd made her assume a masculine name 
And now she goes on the trapeze!
 
She floats through the air with the greatest of ease
You'd think her a man on the flying trapeze
Her actions are graceful, all girls she does please 
And that's what's become of my love

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The Man on the Flying Trapeze

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