Flying Trapeze, The

DESCRIPTION: "Once I was happy, but now I'm forlorn, Like an old coat that is tatter'd and torn." The singer's young girlfriend has left him for a trapeze artist. This man, who "flies through the air with the greatest of ease," induced her to run away and join his act
AUTHOR: George Leybourne and/or Alfred Lee
EARLIEST DATE: 1868 (sheet music published by Compton & Doan, St. Louis, and C. H. Ditson & Co, New York)
KEYWORDS: love abandonment sports betrayal
REFERENCES (9 citations):
RJackson-19CPop, pp. 69-72, "The Flying Trapeze" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph 748, "Once I Was Happy" (1 text plus a fragment, 1 tune)
Peters, pp. 137-138, "The Flying Trapeze" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 63-65, "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 338-340, "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 270, "The Man On The Flying Trapeze" (1 text)
Fuld-WFM, p. 230, "The Flying Trapeze"
ADDITIONAL: Aline Waites & Robin Hunter, _The Illustrated Victorian Songbook_, Michael Joseph Ltd., 1984, pp. 124-127, "The Flying Trapeze!" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #5286
Aaron Campbell's Mountaineers, "Man on the Flying Trapeze" (Chamption 45038, 91935)
Harry "Mac" McClintock, "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" (Victor 21567, 1928)
Walter O'Keefe, "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" (Victor 24172, 1932)

NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(124a), "Flying Trapeze," Poet's Box (Glasgow), 1874
NOTES [71 words]: Credited to George Leybourne (for whom see the notes on "Champagne Charlie"), but this song, like that one, may be mostly the work of the "arranger," Alfred Lee. Or the tune may be borrowed; at least, Johann Strauss used it as an "English Folk Melody" in 1869.
Waites & Hunter note that it was a performer called "Leotard" (for whom leotards are named) who brought the trapeze to England. His performances inspired this song. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.6
File: RJ19069

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2020 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.