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

Isn't it bliss?
Don't you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can't move,
Where are the clowns?
There ought to be 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
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
But where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns
Well, maybe next year


Lyrics submitted by LuckyWilshire, edited by fridgeelephant

Send In The Clowns Lyrics as written by Stephen Sondheim

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Send In the Clowns song meanings
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    Song Meaning

    Sondheim wrote this song for a character named Desiree in his musical "A Little Night Music." Desiree is an actress approaching fifty. She spent her younger years "tearing around" with a bunch of men and never actually settled down. One of the men was Fredrik, who wanted a committed relationship from her when they were younger. He truly loved her. She turned down his proposal because she was not yet ready to be "on the ground."

    Years later, they find each other. Fredrik has a very young and very beautiful (but very naive) wife. Desiree decides that she is going to seduce him and win him back because she is finally ready to give up all of her little affairs and settle down. She invites him to her mother's enormous estate in the country.

    Much to her dismay, when she asks him if he will share with her a "coherent existence after so many years of muddle," he actually says no. He loves Desiree when his eyes are open, but when his eyes are not open -- which is most of the time -- he loves his young wife.

    "Send in the Clowns" is Desiree's response to this rejection. She is disgusted with herself for having turned down his overtures when she was younger, but she is also bemused by the absurd irony. Since she is a person of the theater, she is used to having comedic moments (clowns) sent in to save a show that is failing. She says "send in the clowns" because she feels that the situation is so devastating and ridiculous that "there ought to be clowns." But there are already clowns -- She and Fredrik are the clowns; the fools. After she sings "Don't bother -- they're here," Fredrik apologizes to her and leaves the room.

    She sings the last verse to herself. She is laughing at herself and crying for herself at the same time. Desiree, the "one who keeps tearing around," has lost her youthful mask.

    viceprincipalguptaon January 22, 2011   Link

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