If ol’ Gene had the heart of a clown, he’d be able to keep a smile on his face when he felt like crying inside. That painted on smile is probably why so many people are creeped out by clowns in the first place.
This song was written by Lefty Frizzell and became a Top 10 hit for Bandy in 1975. Now, I’ve only been to the rodeo as a spectator, but I’m going to guess that it’s not a good idea to drink on the job when said job involves one-ton creatures who could easily stomp your painted face into mush.
It’s pretty sad inside the pocket of a clown, not only because you’ve got to watch smiles turn into frowns, but because you’ve probably been zapped with a shrink ray. But who can be too sad when you’ve got those doo-wop singers in the background? This song was the least successful single from Dwight’s fantastic (and triple platinum) ’93 album This Time.
Reba’s cover of the Everly Brothers hit topped the charts in 1989. Here she takes Cathy’s clown to task, telling him “When you let her tell you lies…you’re not a man at all.” Damn, Reba; way to kick a guy when he’s down.
1. “Wino the Clown” – George Jones
The title might be funny, but this is one of the saddest songs the Possum’s ever recorded. It turns out the clown’s red nose and funny walk stems from the fact that he hit the bottle and lost his will to live after his wife passed away. Then things get even sadder when it’s revealed that the song is being told from Wino, Jr.’s perspective.
Juli Thanki is the editor of Engine 145 and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Bluegrass Unlimited, and M Music & Musicians Magazine. In 2011 she received the International Bluegrass Music Association Print Media Person of the Year award.