As an eight year old, in England, I learnt this four line poem which I (could once) recite on demand.
I heard the poem again a few times during the late 1950's and early 1960's
used by one circus in UK where it was recited by (one of) the youngest
members of the circus company before they paraded out of the ring
at the end of the show.
In those days the national anthem was played just after the recitation and then everyone, artistes and audience, left the tent.
In Germany about 1977, and I think on Circus Lauenburger, I was extremely surprised to recognise the poem when they used it in the same way. Since then I have heard it on several other German shows (such as Quaiser, Zaretti, and most recently, Rolina. Another variant is used on Zirkus Hansa.)
I did also hear it in about 1999, in the English version, from a British artiste who said he had heard it that summer! He told me that he thought that it originated by Bouglione in France, but suggested a later date than 1944/45 which was when I first heard it.
Zirkus AbschiedDas ist die bunte Zirkus Welt, die Welt für klein und groß,
Die einmal sich gefangen hält, die lässt Sie nicht mehr los,
Und, solange noch am Himmelszelt viele tausend Sternen stehen,
Wurde unser bunte Zirkus Welt bestimmt nicht untergehen!
|German version taped ca. 1980|
The Circus FarewellThat was our spangled circus world, a world for young and old,
The world that, once it captures you, will never lose its hold,
And, as long as heavens tent its million stars displays,
Be sure our spangled circus world will never pass away!
|English Version, ca 1944/45.|
Zirkus AbschiedBunt ist unsere Zirkuswelt für Klein und Groß,
und wen sie einmal gefangenhält, den lässt sie nicht mehr los.
Solange noch viele Sterne am Himmel stehen,
wird unsere bunte Zirkuswelt bestimmt nicht untergehn.
|German version Zirkus Hansa, 2004|
Despite considerable research (in connection with research for my Circus Sinclair stories),
I have found no previous published versions of this poem.
Does anyone know its real origin?
Versions exist in English and German, and presumably in a French version that I would certainly like to have (!) We must guess that the text has been passed on unwritten and may have variations.
What I would like to find is the original, which may date from before the 1939-45 period, and would like to know which language version came first!
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