Flying Trapeze:
Burl Ives Style

"The Man on the Flying Trapeze" and Burl Ives had a meeting and came out of it with quite a tale !

Ives, the lovable grandfatherly singer known for Americana movies and music, loved folk tunes and he loved laughter.





The following words to "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" were taken from a tape by Burl Ives called THE BEST OF BURL'S FOR BOYS AND GIRLS.

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man on the flying trapeze, burl ives, best of burl's for boys and girls

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Some of the words may vary from the original version, and I don't recall as many verses when I heard my great uncle Joseph sing this classic song.

At any rate, enjoy his version of the tale of this girl-snatching stuntman!



The Man on the Flying Trapeze

"His very first girl ran away in the night,
To me, was an awful disgrace.
She married a man on a flying trapeze-
I hope he falls flat on his face - OH-H-H-

(Chorus)
Once I was happy, but now I'm forlorn-
Like an old coat that is tattered and torn.
I'm left in this wide world to weep and to mourn-
Betrayed by a maid in her teens.

This girl that I loved, she was handsome
I tried all I knew her to please
But I couldn't please her one-quarter as much
As the man on the flying trapeze---OOOOH!-

He flies through the air with the greatest of ease,
The daring young man on the flying trapeze,
His movements are graceful, all the girls he does please,
And my love he has taken away.

He smiled from the bar on my love down below,
Then he did somersaults, three in a row.
My love was excited, and shouted,"BRAVO!"-
When he winked at her from up above.

She packed up her bags and eloped in the night,
With him with the greatest of ease;
From two stories high he had lowered her down
To the ground on his flying trapeze - OOH!!

He floats through the air with the greatest of ease,
The daring young man on the flying trapeze;
His movements are graceful, all the girls he does please,
And my love he has stolen away.

One summer day I went out to the fair
And there on the midway, I saw with despair;
My love turning somersaults high in the air,
With him who had stole her away.

He'd taught her gymnastics and dressed her in tights,
To help him to live at his ease;
He'd made her assume a MAS-CU-LINE name,
And sat her upon the trapeze--- OOOOHHH!!

They float through the air with the greatest of ease,
My love and that villain upon the trapeze;
That BIG-MUSCLED PRIMATE should swing through the trees,
But my love, but my love, but my love - he has stolen away!!"



See English folk music and the Popeye cartoon video for more great memories about this classic Americana circus song!

Go from Flying Trapeze to Popeye Cartoon

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