Life in the circus ain't easy
But the folks on the outside don't know
The tent goes up and the tent comes down
And all that they see is the show
And the ladies on the horses look so pretty
And the lions are lookin' real mad
And some of the clowns are happy
And some of the clowns are sad

But underneath
There's another expression
That the makeup isn't making
Life under the big top

It's about freedom
It's about faking
There's an art to the laughter
There's a science
And there's a lot of love and compliance

Welcome to the freak show
Here we go

We live to hear the slak-jawed gasping
We live under a halo of held breath
And when the children raise up a giant shield
Of laughter, it's like they're fending off death
And we can make something bigger
Than any one of us alone
And then the clowns will take off their makeup
And the people will go home

But life on the outside ain't easy
No sequins, no elephants
No parading around
Oh the circus comes
And the circus goes
And they're stuck in this fucking town

You need a lot of love and compliance

Welcome to the freak show
Here we go


Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

Freakshow Lyrics as written by Cyrus Sadeghi Wafa Manuel Reuter

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Freakshow song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General Comment

    you laugh at me b/c I'm different, I laugh at you b/c you're all the same...

    bumper-sticker philosophy, sure, but it's about ppl all being trapped in their own hells, no one has a clue as to what it's like to be in the other guy's shoes. I stare at you, you stare at me, and we imagine how wonderful/ crappy each other's (emphasis on OTHER, make it a verb a la deBeauvoir) lives/ perspectives are...

    charvanaon July 02, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think its more specific than that - Ani is using the metephor of the circus to explain her crazy lifestyle, touring and being "the lil folksinger" in general. I love this song cause it reminds me that she's just a human like me. I admire her so much that its easy to just see her as an icon or greatest musician ever recorded.

    Woodnymphon September 22, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This isn't even Ani's song...it's by Keller Williams

    sucks_at_lifeon December 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    well, i guess it could be, and Keller covers it....i'm not sure which way it goes

    sucks_at_lifeon December 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    it's ani's covered by keller.

    trbngrsailormanon August 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    have you ever heard some moron spout out, "i don't care what ppl think of me!"...yeah well bull shit...everyone cares to some extent...explaining why the majority of the american population wear clothes everyday!lol the careless folk willing to bear all are few and far between...proving that the rest of us are just a bunch of hypocritical bull shitters that do in fact CARE what others think!lol seriously though...she simply explains everything in the words "but UNDERNEATH there’s another EXPRESSION that the makeup isn't making…life under the big top, it's about FREEDOM, it's about FAKING...there's an ART to the LAUGHTER, there's a SCFIENCE and there's a lot of LOVE and COMPLIANCE." does this NOT explain LIFE...whether you are work, school, or simply laying in the arms of your lover...you are only YOU on the inside...everyone else receives the censored "cool" version of "us".

    jrlaffreyon October 14, 2007   Link

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