"Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel" as written by and Van Zandt....
The drunken clown's still hanging round
But it plain the laughter's all died down
The tears you tried so hard to hide
Are flowin'
A blind man with his knife in hand
Has convinced himself that he understands
I wish him well, Miss Carousel
But I gotta be a-goin'

Won't you come and get me when
You're sure that you don't need me then
I stand outside your window
And proudly call your name

The ladies been told that all of gold
Is worth so much it can't be sold
No time to weep she'll need her sleep
Tomorrow
When she carries her face to the market place
And bets it on the opening race
She can ring her bells, Miss Carousel,
But her singing brings me sorrow

It's always done every mother's son
Is shown that grown men never run
And so they fight with all the might
Inside them
When the battle's been fought and they all been taught
That the trick is just not being caught
Will you give them hell, Miss Carousel,
When they're begging you to hide them

When the need arose your eyes fell closed
You clamped your fingers round your nose
Would you say that's any way
To judge him
You haven't got the authority
To kill him in the first degree
But would you feel compelled, Miss Carousel,
If you have something to begrudge him

On a velvet beach far beneath the reach
Of those that come to pray and preach
The natural man who tries to stand
Is fallin
How long will it be before he sees
You own his legs but his mind is free
Only you can tell, Miss Carousel,
How long will he be crawling?

The castle walls has grown so tall
Seem there ain't no hope at all
To reach the top even though you stop
For breathin'
But I ain't gonna try to make you cry
The tear drops couldn't find your eye
It's all been swell, Miss Carousel,
But the time has come for leavin'


Lyrics submitted by afbailey

"Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel" as written by Van Zandt

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel song meanings
Add your thoughts

5 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentHow does this have no comments I don't quite get.

    A heartbreaking, beautiful song.
    Astonishedon January 21, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningSummary: Miss carousel is a woman who takes new boyfriends for a spin until she’s sick of them, dumps them and repeats the process.

    He’s the clown, drunk on love, staying in a relationship that is dwindling (laughters all died down) with a woman who no longer wants him but continues to keep him around for her own gratification and perhaps to not be alone until someone better comes along. It seems our protagonist is coming to the realization that this is a pattern for her and he’s been taken advantage of, now all of those fears or “tears” he tried to hide and never considered are rapidly coming to surface.

    A new man who is under the influence of her enchantment comes into the picture and Is willing to fight for her, he’s convinced he understands her and the situation. The protagonist recognizes the new suitor is being deceived, wishes him well then exits the situation.

    The chorus explains the depth of the pathology behind their behavior. He basically states that he genuinely loves her and will always love her and even more, he understands that she is deceitful and won’t let a relationship progress beyond the point of when she realizes that they are both getting attached, emotionally dependent or that it’s a love worth holding onto. With that being said, he still thinks that her lifestyle will eventually get boring and he would proudly take her back when that happens, as if he would be the obvious choice because of his unconditional love for her.

    The new suitor has recognized her intentions and left her but she has no time to spare for sorrow because she needs to find a new mate. She puts herself out there and quickly gains the attention of a new partner and making it known (rings her bell) to everyone that she has found love yet again but it brings sorrow to the protagonist knowing that she is still playing her game and quite possibly that her new victim has no idea what he’s in for.

    In the mind of our protagonist, men cant handle rejection so they will expend all of their efforts to revive a dead or toxic relationship. When they finally come to recognize they have been deceived, by themselves or a partner, they learn to not be caught, in other words, they learn to control their emotions and not fall in love so blindly or to stay away from people who are covertly narcissistic, preying in their emotional availability. So he asks, when they realize all of that and they are begging for a shoulder to cry on, is she going to shame them and give them grief/hell for it?

    Her new suitor is devastated and needs some closure but she is unwilling to comply and worse, makes him feel inferior, sticking her nose up at him, for displaying his emotions because in her mind he should have seen it coming. While she may have been aware of the situation the entire time, she is no one to judge him because he had no idea of her intentions that he was just taking a ride on her carousel. She has no authority to kill him but the protagonist asks if she even cares about him enough to not kill him if she had some selfish reasons.

    So, I believe the protagonist is actually meeting back with her “on a velvet beach far beneath the reach of those who come to pray and preach,” a place within the relationship beyond the initial courting process where most men are willing to go before backing away from Miss Carousel or before they are turned away from her.

    I think this shows how much more of a connection the protagonist believes he has to her than anyone else she deals with and how much he has and still invests into this potentially dead end relationship, a place where we find the protagonist admitting that he has become the spineless, dependent, emotionally abused and disillusioned puppet of Miss Carousel and will always be crawling back to her no matter how harmful it may be.
    How long will it last? However long she wants.

    Finally he is telling her that she has this issue, that her inability to recognize good men throwing themselves at her is unhealthy for her and others and that her emotional barriers are so high that she will never let anyone in, potentially regretting it. She doesn’t mind. She doesn’t even shed a tear and our protagonist rides off yet again.

    Also considerable: There are no new suitors, she just keeps playing this game with him and he keeps coming back for more.
    ZODONNALon October 15, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHands down the most amazing song Ive heard in a long time.
    jambi9on October 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningHi there! A beautiful song that deeply touched something inside me. Still, not English (American) born I am afraid I'm not fluent enough to get the meaning of the song. So, please, can anyone explain / give his interpretation of who Miss Carousel is?? Thx a lot!
    DeppJoneson December 27, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is about a man leaving an abusive relationship with a woman who uses men.
    Half Ass Matadoron December 26, 2015   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain