I’m a clown, though you might not know,
I don’t wear big shoes or a red nose, belong to a travelling show.
For clowns are not always what you expect,
And there are some faux clowns who maybe look the part,
But they’re bad tempered fat old men who are not blessed with the clowning art,
You’ve seen their advertising:
Mr Chuckles, birthday parties, face painting and balloon hats,
In lurid braces performing pratt-falls to take moolah from fat cats,
Real clowns like me, though, are more subtle,
We might make a joke on the morning commuter ride,
Or some witty remark at lunch to stop you seeing what’s inside.
We wear our invisible red noses to cover our shame,
Trip over our big feet to gloss over the atrocities we dare not name.
Men have walked upon the moon but we dare not look too closely at our past,
Dredge up old memories of – say – the year before last.
And though we seem like likeable types and fun to be with,
It is all just layers of greasepaint, our bonhomie is myth.
Don’t trust us further than you can throw our brightly coloured props,
Don’t believe our promises when we say we’ll pull out all the stops
To make reparation for our hundred million wrongs,
I’m sorry, please forgive me, these are our favourite songs.
So by all means, buy your tickets for the circus, watch wild animals roam,
But though you’ll laugh a lot at our clowning, don’t take us home.