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    Stephen Sondheim / Lyrics

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    "Send In The Clowns" Lyrics

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    Isn't it rich?
    Are we a pair?
    Me here at last on the ground,
    You in mid-air.
    Send in the clowns.

    Isn't it bliss?
    Don't you approve?
    One who keeps tearing around,
    One who can't move.
    Where are the clowns?
    Send in the clowns.

    Just when I'd stopped
    Opening doors,
    Finally knowing
    The one that I wanted was yours,
    Making my entrance again
    With my usual flair,
    Sure of my lines,
    No one is there.

    Don't you love farce?
    My fault, I fear.
    I thought that you'd want what I want -
    Sorry, my dear.
    But where are the clowns?
    Quick, send in the clowns.
    Don't bother, they're here.

    Isn't it rich?
    Isn't it queer?
    Losing my timing this late
    In my career?
    And where are the clowns?
    There ought to be clowns.
    Well, maybe next year.
    • submitted by Christina
    • corrected on June 9th, 2014

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    • LetsSingIt (7)
    •  guest says:
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      Like 006-04-2010 20:07
      Oh good God! Everyone who has commented on the meaning of this song thus far has given inaccurate information.

      The song is from a musical called "A Little Night Music". It is sung by Desiree to Frederik, her former lover who is now married to a much younger woman. She tries to "rescue" him from his unhappy marriage, but he tells her that he "has no intention of being saved". This is the song she sings, trying miserably to make light of her humiliation and rejection.

      "Send in the clowns" is a phrase from the theatre for when a show is being poorly received (not when an acrobat dies). The audience are unhappy, let's cheer them up by sending in the clowns. Desiree is at her lowest in this song, and as an actress, feels that this is the time when comic relief is sorely needed. The other meaning of the clowns is indicated in the line, "Don't bother, they're here", as she realises that she and Frederik are the biggest of clowns; that is to say, fools.
       jaysee says:
      Like 009-05-2009 21:57
      Thanks for helping me to understand this song.

      When I learn a song, I do just that - really learn it.

      Jesse Campbell
       hecarriesme says:
      Like 016-06-2007 05:26
      I was finally able to actually hear this song... it's a great song.
       nazjamo says:
      Like 014-03-2005 18:00
      I am going to sing this song in our school concert. I think it's a great song to sing!!!!!!
       hecarriesme says:
      Like 009-01-2005 23:13
      Actually, both of you are kind of right in a way. It is literally about an acrobat who dies on stage in the circus, as the name implies. To "send in the clowns" was a circus practice when something very bad happened - like someone fell off the high wire and died. So that's what it's about literally.

      Yes, it's symbolic. Underneath the surface, it's about a couple whose relationship is falling apart and they've both hurt each other in many ways. So he keeps imploring, "Send in the clowns, send in the clowns," because it's a major tragedy to them, equivalent to a death in the circus.

      That's pretty much what it means, tho it's pretty open to interpretation.
       ChrisSusi says:
      Like 024-10-2004 12:24
      The song is about a couple who have been together for a while. One has an affair and realizes that they truly wish to be with the other but the other has left. Hence the irony, ha ha joke is on them - now where are the clowns?
      Like 001-09-2004 03:43
      what is this song about?...my friend says that it's about an acrobat who dies and that's why the clowns come, but i highly doubt that...i think the song is somehow metaphorical....