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THE MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE (George Leybourne) Walter O'Keefe - 1934 Don Redman & His Orch. - 1936 Also recorded by: Eddie Cantor; Burl Ives; Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards; Spike Jones; Ian Whitcomb; Les Paul & Mary Ford. Once I was happy, but now I'm forlorn Like an old coat that is tattered and torn; Left on this world to fret and to mourn, Betrayed by a maid in her teens. The girl that I loved she was handsome; I tried all I knew her to please But I could not please her one quarter so well As the man upon the trapeze. He'd fly through the air with the greatest of ease, That daring young man on the flying trapeze. His movements were graceful, all girls he could please And my love he purloined away. This young man by name was Signor Bona Slang, Tall, big and handsome, as well made as Chang. Where'er he appeared the hall loudly rang With ovation from all people there. He'd smile from the bar on the people below And one night he smiled on my love. She wink'd back at him and she shouted "Bravo," As he hung by his nose up above. Her father and mother were both on my side And very hard tried to make her my bride; Her father he sighed, and her mother she cried, To see her throw herself away. 'Twas all no avail, she went there every night, And would throw him bouquets on the stage, Which caused him to meet her; how he ran me down, To tell you would take a whole page. One night I as usual went to her dear home, Found there her father and mother alone. I asked for my love, and soon they made known, To my horror that she'd run away. She'd packed up her box 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@e. Some months after this I went to the Hall; Was greatly surprised to see on the wall A bill in red letters, which did my heart gall, That she was appearing with him. He'd taught her gymnastics and dressed her in tights, To help him live at his ease, And made her assume a masculine name, And now she goes on the trapeze. She'd fly through the air with the greatest of ease, You'd think her the man young man on the flying trapeze. Her movements were graceful, all girls she could please, And that was the end of my love. ***** ALTERNATE VERSION: Once I was happy, but now I'm forlorn, Like an old coat that is tattered and torn; Left in this wide world o weep and to mourn, Betrayed by a maid in her teens. Now this girl that I loved, she was handsome, And I tried all I knew, her to please, But I never could please her one quarter so well As the man on the flying trapeze. Oh, he floats through the air with the greatest of ease, This daring young man on the flying trapeze; His actions are graceful, all girls he does please, My love he has purloined away. He'd play with a miss like a cat with a mouse, His eyes would undress every girl in the house. Perhaps he is better described as a louse, But the people they came just the same. Oh, he'd smile from his perch on the people below And one day he smiled on my love. She blew him a kiss and she hollered, "Bravo!" As he hung by his nose up above. Oh, he floats through the air with the greatest of ease, This daring young man on the flying trapeze; His actions are graceful, all girls he does please, My love he has purloined away. Oh, I wept and I whimpered, I simpered for weeks, While she spent her time with the circus's freaks. The tears were like hailstones that rolled down my cheeks, Alas, and alack, and alacka! I went to this fellow, the blackguard, and said, "I'll see that you get your desserts!" He put up his thumb to his nose with a sneer, He sneered once again, and said, "Nertz!" Oh, he floats through the air with the greatest of ease, This daring young man on the flying trapeze; His actions are graceful, all girls he does please, My love he has purloined away. One night to his tent he invited her in, He filled her with compliments, kisses, and gin And started her out on the road to ruin, Since then l have known no repose. But e'en now l loved her, I said, "Take my name! I'll gladly forgive and forget;" She rustled her bustle without any shame, Saying, "Well, maybe later, not yet." Oh, he floats through the air with the greatest of ease, This daring young man on the flying trapeze; His actions are graceful, all girls he does please, My love he has purloined away. One night as usual I went to her home, And found there her father and mother alone, I asked for my love and it soon was made known, To my horror, that she'd run away. Without any trousseau she'd fled in the night With him with the greatest of ease, From two stories high he'd lowered her down To the ground on his flying trapeze. Oh, he floats through the air with the greatest of ease, This daring young man on the flying trapeze; His actions are graceful, all girls he does please, My love he has purloined away. Some months after that I went into a hall, And to my surprise,I found there on the wall, A bill in red letters which did my heart gall, That she was appearing with him. Oh, he'd taught her gymnastics, and dressed her in tights, To help him to live at his ease, He'd made her take on a masculine name, And now she goes on the trapeze. Oh, she floats through the air with the greatest of ease, You'd think her a man on the flying trapeze, She does all the work while he takes his ease, And that's what's become of my love. ***** ALTERNATE VERSION: Spike Jones & His City Slickers (vocal: Doodles Weaver) As the crowd roars, to the center ring steps our fractured baritone. Are you in voice Winstead? I believe I am in voice. (pitch note) OOOOWWWWWOOOOO (*sung out of tune) professor? (pitch note) OOOOWWWWWOOOOO (*sung out of tune) Ohhh..... hunce I was wappy uh, Once I was sappy uh, Sap I was wussy... no, no, no... Once I was happy, buts now I borlorn, uh, Lorn I fow mow, uh, Sigh on lie now, uh, Nylons are free... No, no... Now I'm forlorn... (pitch note) OOOOWWWWWOOOOO (*sung out of tune) Like an old goat... Oh no, not a goat, that's an animal. Like an old coat that is tornered and tat, uh.... teetered and tonned, uh... tattered and tipped, uh... tap with a toupee, uh... ripped! (pitch note) OOOOWWWWWOOOOO (*sung out of tune) Left in this wide world to sleep and to snore, uh... to weep and to mourn, Betreaned by a jade in her means. No. Bemeaned by a trade for some jeans. No. Bejeaned by a teen with some jade. No. Betrayed by a maid in her teens. OOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH He floats by his hair. Ooh. Not by his hair. That would hurt! Speaking of hair, a man came up to me and said, "Doodles, your hair is getting thin." And I said, "Well, who wants fat hair?" THAT'S A KILLER!!!!! (pitch note) OOOOWWWWWOOOOO (*sung out of tune) He floats through the air with the aidest of grease, with the latest of fleas, uhh... with plates full of cheese. No, no. With the birds and the bees, uhh... he can't miss. (pitch note) OOOOWWWWWOOOOO (*sung out of tune) The manning young dare, uh, the daring young mare, He's not a horse, that's silly. He'd break his neck. The fanny young dan, The danny young fan, He's an awful old ham, uh, he's a young fellow 'bout my age. You know, a funny thing happened, a man came up to me and said, "Doodles, Doodles, did you leave home? I said, "I left home." He said, "Did you put the cat out?" I said, "I didn't know he was on fire!" THAT'S A KILLER!!!!! (pitch note) OOOOWWWWWOOOOO (*sung out of tune) The daring young man on the flapping tripeze, uh, treezing triflaps, uh, trying flip flips, uh, flipping triflop, uh, flapping trivalve, HORIZONTAL BARS! (pitch note) OOOOWWWWWOOOOO (*sung out of tune) His grations are axle, no. His actions are horrible, no. He's very good. All girls he doth please. But, my wuv he hath lollen astay. No. The dove's in the hayloft away. No. I'm on the Road to Mandalay. No, hey hey hey! No, now. Did you hear about the owl that married a goat? They had a hootenanny! THAT'S A KILLER!!!!! (pitch note) OOOOWWWWWOOOOO (*sung out of tune) HE'S THE MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEEEEZE! ***** Alternate lyrics as recorded by Eddie Cantor "...............................and said, "Nertz!" Oh, he floats through the air with the greatest of ease I pray that someday when he's up there, he'll sneeze And fall down a ruin his flying trapeze So my love will come back to me, hee-hee Here's how his trapezing act would begin First he'd balance himself on the bar with his chin That proved that his real art......................" ***** (Contributed by Ferda Dolunay / Researched by Mel Priddle - October 2004)

    


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