THE BROKEN-DOWN SHOWMAN
 
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I'm the owner of a tupp'ny show, and once it was unique
With crocodiles and animiles, and every kind of freak
And people came from miles to see the great managerie
But now the lot has gone to pot, oh what a catastrophee
The wax-works started first, for on a wint'ry day
They sat by the side of the fire, they did, and melted clean away
The Salvation Army claimed the Zulu Chief
The Fasting lady choked herself by eating Yankee beef
When I told the crocodile, oh, he began to laugh
He opened his 'tater-trap' so wide, he giggled himself in half.

Chorus: Oh! Our show, it's sending me off my crust
The Fat Girl's had a puncture, and her air balloons have bust
The clown, to chaff, he struggles hard, not half
But only one of the poor hyenas ever attempts to laugh.


The Magic Man, who conjured with a borrowed watch and chain
Has disappeared with someone's watch and hasn't come back again
The Lion Tamer can't perform, he hasn't got the breath
His wife, you know, comes in the show and frightens the man to death
And out Trick Bicyclist, he can't sit on his bike
He sat on the top of the porcupine, and now he's got the spike,
The Fat Boy got eaten by the Hottentots
The spotted girl has had a bath and washed off all her spots
And our Bearded Lady, it's a fact, upon my life
Has collared the Skeleton's trousers and gone back to his lawful wife.

Chorus: Oh! Our show, it's driving me quite insane
The Boneless Man's tied up in knots and can't get out again
And now, you see, we've got no chimpanzee
The p'lice have collared the monkey
And they reckon they've captured me.


The man who used to swallow swords does nothing now but groan
This morning while at lunch he went a swallowed a mackerel bone
The Zebra went and quarrelled with the double-jointed cow
She chewed his football jersey off - he's only a donkey now
The Lion-Faced Lady was a draw, without a doubt
Till some of the terrible boys commenced a-pulling her whiskers out
And some dirty person acted most unkind
Took our performing fleas and left the other sort behind
When I go to Windsor for King Edward, don't you see
He'll reckon I'm catching him on the hop without a performing flea.

Chorus: Oh! our show, it's terrible, 'pon my soul
The Elephant's packed up his trunk, the bear's gone up the pole
The Kangaroo has hopped it from the Zoo
And all the camels have got the hump, and so has your humble too.
 
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Written and composed by Frank Carter & R.P. Weston - 1902
 
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