From the recordings Never Trust a Carny and Down to Earth


Sorry if I scared you, miss, I didn't mean to stare
But I felt like I had seen a ghost to find you standing there
It was on a midway just like this, some forty years ago
Don't turn away, just hear me out, and then I'll let you go

She might have been your sister, she looked so much like you
And Jack and I young roustabouts in 1962
We met her on the midway, and he asked her to a dance
But she said, "My mother warned me, kid. You haven't got a chance. 'Cause she said..."


Never trust a carny, they'll always let you down
They're just looking for an easy mark, as they move from town to town
They'll promise you the moon and stars and try to rob you blind
Then they'll find some other sucker and they'll leave you far behind

But the next night she was back again, just for the show, she said
But the way she looked at Jack, I knew she'd come for him instead
And every night she'd wait for him, till the midway had shut down
And Jack would disappear until the morning came around

Now, we'd seen Jack fall in love in almost every two-bit town
Then he'd fall back out again about the time the show closed down
So Jack took quite a ribbing the day he told us all
He'd leave the show and marry her, when we headed south that fall. 'Cause you can...



And I wonder if he would have gone back, and if he would have stayed
If I'd not been so foolish and he'd not been so brave
A thousand times I've tried to shake the memory of that night
But something always brings it back to light

See, I was always starting fights in bars, they called me Cassius Clay
And Jack would try to break them up and help me get away
But this guy, he was big and drunk, and he hit me in the head
When I woke up in the alleyway, Jack lay beside me dead

Now, I've never had a drink since then, but I'm ashamed to say
That when her letters came for Jack, I threw them all away
I told myself, and I half-believed, it was best she never know
Just let her think the worst of Jack, then she could let him go. And she would...


From show to show and place to place I've travelled all these years
And kept my secrets to myself until I saw you here
So thanks a lot for listening, miss, now go and see the show
Don't waste your money on this booth, you'll never win you know. 'Cause you can...


Still I wonder if he would have gone back, and if he would have stayed