"The Tears Of A Clown" as written by and Stevie/robinson Wonder....
Oh yeah yeah yeah
Now if there's a smile on my face
It's only there trying to fool the public
But when it comes down to fooling you
Now honey that's quite a different subject

But don't let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Really I'm sad, oh I'm sadder than sad
You're gone and I'm hurting so bad
Like a clown I appear to be glad (sad, sad, sad, sad)

Now they're some sad things known to man
But ain't too much sadder than
The tears of a clown when there's no one around, uh
Oh yeah, baby

Now if I appear to be carefree
It's only to camouflage my sadness
And honey to shield my pride I try
To cover this hurt with a show of gladness
But don't let my show convince you
That I've been happy since you
'Cause I had to go (why did you go), oh I need you so (I need you so)
Look I'm hurt and I want you to know (want you to know)
For others I put on a show (it's just a show)

Now they're some sad things known to man
But ain't too much sadder than
The tears of a clown when there's no one around, uh
Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my surface hid
Smiling in the crowd I try
But in my lonely room I cry
The tears of a clown
When there's no one around, oh yeah, baby
Now if there's a smile on my face
Don't let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Don't let this smile I wear
Make you think that I don't care
'Cause really I'm sad


Lyrics submitted by super15matrix

"The Tears of a Clown" as written by Smokey Robinson Henry Cosby

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Tears Of A Clown song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentwe all put on facades to belie the grief we all feel at times. how honest about how you really are you with your compatriots? everytime i am asked 'how i am doing?' the generic and ubiquitous response is always 'fine'. but i am never really fine, i just respond with that line because it absolves all responsibility on the person asking as to why i am not fine. so smokey knows this about human interaction and makes a song of its intrinsic prevarication.
    shauncreaneyon July 31, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Now there's some sad things known to man
    but ain't too much sadder than
    the tears of a clown"

    Sing it, Smokey! This is such a great song, it's pretty obvious (at least to me) that it's about a guy whose girl left him and he's still so sad about it. The 'clown' act is to hide his feelings.
    ToroTrashon August 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentshauncreaney:

    "everytime i am asked 'how i am doing?' the generic and ubiquitous response is always 'fine'. but i am never really fine"

    Is this true, you are never really fine? I feel kind of sad for you guy! Is there anything I can do to help you out? your comment just spoke to me and I didn't want to let it pass. It's nice though that you feel enough for others not to want to burden them by revealing your true state and just replying "fine" instead. I suppose we all do this! But sometimes I really am fine, and good, or even great! Is it true you are never feeling good?
    zengirl41on September 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Pagliacci part is what gets me.
    It's such an obvious reference, but Pagliacci was a bit more tragic...
    JohnnyDeathon September 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm pretty sure he's "smiling in the public eye," not "smiling in the club at night."

    Among the many things I love about this record:

    --the bassoon countermelody
    --the fact that this piece of music was a surprise gift from Stevie Wonder to Smokey Robinson at the 1966 Motown Christmas party
    --the way Smokey saves the clown reference until the very end of the first verse
    --the fact that Pagliacci is in this song at all
    --the incredibly subtle timing of the words in the second verse
    --the way the drummers interact

    It's one of the very very best Motown ever produced, and that's saying a lot. Wow!
    fortmon September 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis is exactly how I would describe a good friend of mine (and former co-worker), I knew for 34 years.....My friend showed a positive behavior to others at work. When I saw him privately, he told of his anger. My friend drank. (He drank like a fish.) My friend died from liver damage.

    FemaleMensanon October 30, 2013   Link

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