The Circus Band

“The Circus Band” is the last in a set of five songs that Ives called Five Street Songs, written while the composer was a student at Yale University. This stirring march in “quickstep time” is primarily tonal, with moments of unexpected rhythmic twists and syncopations, as well as a sprinkling of “wrong notes” in homage to the amateur town band.

Date: 1894Composer: Charles IvesText: Charles IvesSong Collection: Five Street Songs

Print vitals & song text




    The Circus Band
    by Charles Ives

    All summer long we boys
    dreamed ’bout circus joys!
    Down Main Street comes the band,
    Oh! “Ain’t it a grand and glorious noise!

    Horses are prancing, knights advancing
    Helmets gleaming, pennants streaming,
    Cleopatra’s on her throne!
    That golden hair is all her own.

    Where is the lady all in pink?
    Last year she waved to me I think,
    Can she have died? Can! that! rot!
    She is passing but she sees me not.

    Related Information

    Sheet Music

    114 Songs

    Composer(s): Charles Ives

    Free via IMSLP

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