Send in the Clowns

When in 1973 Stephen Sondheim wrote “Send in the Clowns” for his musical “A Little Night Music” he later explained that “I get a lot of letters over the years asking what the title means and what the song’s about; I never thought it would be in any way esoteric. I wanted to use theatrical imagery in the song, because she’s an actress, but it’s not supposed to be a circus. It’s a theater reference meaning “if the show isn’t going well, let’s send in the clowns”; in other words, “let’s do the jokes.” I always want to know, when I’m writing a song, what the end is going to be, so “Send in the Clowns” didn’t settle in until I got the notion, “Don’t bother, they’re here”, which means that “We are the fools.

The song was originally written for the character Desiree who wishes to marry Frederic, however, he has married a younger woman and now it is too late for Desiree.

Last evening I viewed the new computer – generated imagery (CGI) version of Disney’s The Lion King.  As I watched the villain Scar assemble his evil hyenas to murder the pride of lions, I realised how similar this story line is to what is happening in politics today. 

Evil characters such as Scar appear now in both the US and UK to be plotting and planning to destroy our human values of tolerance, kindness and generosity as they are in search of greater and greater power.  After all, according to the queen of the hyenas “The hyena’s belly is never full!”

The computer – generated images of hyenas and the clowns (or fools) currently entrusted with leadership in the US and the UK are to me false idols that wrongly demand worship and allegiance.  I cateregorically reject these false idols and although the clowns may already be here, I am working hard with thousands of others for a day when once again we may once again embrace authenticity, kindness and compassion for others. 

To learn more about my views regarding how we might work together to create a better world, I invite you to order a personally signed copy of “The True Joy of Life” at





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