Hartford Circus Fire, 1944

from by Curtis Eller



Hartford Circus Fire, 1944
In the key of G

The lead man stepped out on the wire
A spark drifted down through the stands
And the Flying Wallendas
And the crowd all drew a breath
The maestro kept a short leash on the band

The rigging went up like a match-head
And Karl said, “boys don’t look down”
It was right here in Hartford back in 1944
Barnum cast a shadow on this town

And the canvas was roaring like thunder
And the ashes still stick to our shoes
And except for the nightmares and the coughing
It’s like the circus never passed through
It’s like the circus never passed through

Now the angels voices don’t carry
The choirs disband and drift apart
And Jesus Christ himself was struck silent
By this smoking Connecticut heart

A panic swept through the bigtop
“Stars and Stripes Forever” and those screams
And no one in Hartford is sleeping easy
‘cause the circus lives here in our dreams
the circus lives here in our dreams


from Wirewalkers & Assassins, released April 7, 2008
Curtis Eller: Banjo & Lead Vocal
Chris Moore: Drums
Joseph "Joebass" DeJarnette
Gary Langol: Lap Steel
Liisa Yonker: Harmony Vocal
Marilee Eitner: Harmony Vocal



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Curtis Eller Durham, North Carolina

Curtis Eller's American Circus is a brutish, inelegant rock & roll outfit specializing in gospel music for atheists and dance fads for amputees. Mr. Eller's banjo driven compositions describe a dreamlike vision of American history where all points in time have collapsed into one. Abe Lincoln, Buster Keaton and Joe Louis rub shoulders against a backdrop of circus disasters and sweatshop fires. ... more

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