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Tears of a Clown

I guess we all enjoy(ed) going to the Circus. It seemed almost magical as a child to watch the various things that went on there: trapeze, animals, stunts, etc. My favourite was the clowns. I remember one act involved an old car which seemed to have a mind of its own. It would chase the clowns around the arena. As you get older the clowning seems less funny. In fact now I see another side altogether. I reflect on that song “Tears of a Clown”.


Now they're some sad things known to man But ain't too much sadder than The tears of a clown When there's no one around.


That really says it all. The clown is performing an act which may be a million miles away from how he is feeling. And that’s how it could be for lots of folk you meet. They put on a brave face, but what happens “when there’s no one around”?


Sometimes people (especially children) will play the clown because it gains them attention they would otherwise not have. In effect, their clowning is a cry for help.


There are also other ways the life of a clown may reflect some of the realities of life. The human condition includes failure and struggle – elements which are reflected in the antics of the clown. In a light-hearted way you see those aspects being played out. The clown is vulnerable, but he also accepts the failure and gets up to throw paint back at the guy who threw it at him. So it’s OK to fail! Don’t let it get to you!


The clown pokes fun at those who think they are very important. In an amusing way they teach the life lesson: “Pride goes before a fall”.


As the circus audience laughs they are bound together through their laughter - a fantastic unifying force. If we can laugh – both at the clown and at ourselves to the extent that we see ourselves mirrored in his actions – we have some welcome personal stress relief. Try a bit of Comic Relief.




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