41 Songs About Clowns

Updated on May 18, 2020
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FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Got a clown in your life? Clowns can be funny, sad, creepy, or just plain evil. Make a playlist of pop, rock, country, metal, and R&B songs about these entertaining jokesters.
Got a clown in your life? Clowns can be funny, sad, creepy, or just plain evil. Make a playlist of pop, rock, country, metal, and R&B songs about these entertaining jokesters. | Source

Make a Killer Playlist of Clown Songs

Psst. Over there. Do you see that dubious clown wandering by himself in the nearby woods, sporting a big red nose, floppy shoes, and inviting grin? Maybe he is just lonely and has lost his way, especially when the circus closed down. Or perhaps he's the sinister reason they packed up so quickly and left town. If he offers you candy or wants to show you a special magic trick, don't fall for his antics.

Creepy clown spottings are nothing new. They were around in the 1980s when I was growing up, and despite numerous alleged sightings, the local authorities in my community were unable to locate a single clown (evil or otherwise) for interrogation. Clowns are now the stuff of urban legends.

Although many people revile clowns, others marvel at these jovial characters' humor and mood-boosting ability. Celebrate clowns of all types with a killer playlist of rock, pop, country, R&B, and metal tunes.

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Clowns: Do you love 'em or hate 'em?

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1. "The Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Far from wearing his heart on his sleeve, this sad guy's smile is meant to mislead, and he sure is convincing. The narrator doesn't want anyone to know how brokenhearted he feels so he puts on a show.

The lovelorn man in this 1970 R&B crossover hit pushes down his feelings of rejection and in the name of pride pastes a clown-like smile on his face. However, below his gleeful surface, he's distraught. "The Tears of a Clown" was The Miracles' only #1 hit while Smokey Robinson was their lead singer.

2. "Clown" by Emeli Sandé

People will do nearly anything to become famous, and often it leaves them to behave like clowns. For example, musicians sell out on their way to becoming the next big thing. Once they've achieved success, even the biggest stars allow their songs to be used in appallingly cheesy commercials for cars, laundry soap, and fast food.

This 2012 tune by Scottish R&B and pop recording artist Emeli Sandé is a social commentary on the desperation of trying to break into the music industry. It is based upon her personal experience, expressing the disappointment about the objectification and manipulation that she felt.

3. "Funhouse" by Pink

Pink airs out some marital dirty laundry in this rockin' 2008 number. She describes a funhouse full of laughter that has disintegrated into a house of screaming, evil clowns. The rock star is referring to her marital troubles and temporary split with her husband, motocross rider Carey Hart.

Pink was initially attracted to him because of his bad boy image, and the two have spent nearly their entire marriage (since 2006) in therapy. Although her song refers to throwing his belongings in the yard and her taunting intent to "burn this f**ker down," the two lovebirds are still married. Perhaps she was just clowning around?

4. "Send in the Clowns" by Judy Collins

The narrator in this sad tune is beating herself up emotionally. A song of disappointment, it references lost opportunity and bad timing in relationships, with "clowns" meaning fools rather than circus clowns. The narrator feels like a fool for missing out on the love of her life and making the wrong choice earlier in her life. What advice would you give her?

The somber jazz standard by Judy Collins hit the Top 40 pop charts in both 1975 and 1977, but it was Frank Sinatra's 1973 version that played over the closing credits of the 2019 major motion picture, Joker.

5. "Impossible" by Christina Aguilera (featuring Alicia Keys)

The narrator in this 2002 hip-hop number feels like she and her lover are involved in an emotional circus. Pleading for him to be honest, open, and authentic, she cautions him not to play her for a clown. The sad and confused lady finds it impossible to properly love a man who hides his personal pain, refuses to disclose his needs, and forces her to guess.

6. "Goodbye Cruel World" by James Darren

The dejected man in this Top 10 pop song from 1961 had his heart crushed by a "mean, fickle woman." Now he's headed to join the circus ... because that's what people do in such situations, right? He believes that he can forget his sweetheart if he hides his tears behind a painted face and makes his audience laugh at his foolishness. This clown will even allow them shoot him out of a cannon.

James Darren was a teen idol in the 1960s, and this number was his biggest hit. It was written by Gloria Shayne Baker, the same songwriter of the 1962 Christmas carol, "Do You Hear What I Hear?” A lesser known version of this song had the narrator joining the army.

7. "Clown Shark Song" by Rhett & Link

What do you get when you combine two grave fears—creepy clowns and sharks? If you're the goofball in this funny 2013 novelty song, then you get clown sharks! While clownfish are a real thing, thankfully, clown sharks are not. But you can imagine how horrifying they would be with their large red noses smelling blood in the water then circling in for the kill. This ditty is as horrifyingly funny as it is peculiar.

8. "Pocket of a Clown" by Dwight Yoakum

In this catchy country song from 1994, a man bemoans that he was taken advantage of by a former lover. Having fallen victim to an ex's cruel lies, the sad sucker has learned his lesson the hard way and now feels like a fool. His sad, empty heart is just a big, dark "pocket of a clown."

9. "Leper Messiah" by Metallica

The clowns at the heart of this 1986 rock song are greedy Christian televangelists who manipulate people out of their money, promising a better seat in heaven. Unfortunately, it's all just an evil circus, a big con game, and the high flying, audacious tricks are being performed not for the audience but on them.

The late 1980s marked a low point for televangelism. Pentecostal clown preacher Jimmy Swaggart was entangled in not one but two scandals involving prostitutes before he was defrocked by his Assemblies of God ministries. Fellow Pentecostal televangelist Jim Bakker was mired in a sex scandal involving a church secretary. He and his wife Tammy Faye misappropriated over $1.3 million in ministry funds for their ritzy lifestyle, resulting in a long list of consequences: disgrace and mental breakdown, financial ruin and the closure of their ginormous Christian theme park, divorce, and jail time for Jim.

10. "The Cowboy and Clown" by Craig Morgan

Some might claim that only a fool would get in the ring with a raging bull, but oftentimes there are two fools in there—the bull rider and his rodeo clown decoy. This country ditty from 2005 paints them as cut of the same mold, as close as brothers through victory and defeat, injuries and laughter. The song describes their bond until the sudden, unfunny demise of one of them.

11. "Cathy's Clown" by The Everly Brothers

The Everly Brothers' biggest hit, this 1960 pop tune reached the peak spot on the mainstream Billboard chart. Rolling Stone magazine lauded it as one of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."

Tired at being laughed at by others and referred to as "not a man at all," the ditty's sad-faced narrator is calling it quits with his girlfriend. The wimpy fella believes Cathy is lying about him and doesn't want to be ridiculed as "Cathy's clown" any longer, so he's standing tall and rejecting her kisses.

“Entertain a clown and you become part of the circus.” —Jean Rhys, Caribbean novelist
“Entertain a clown and you become part of the circus.” —Jean Rhys, Caribbean novelist | Source

12. "Everybody Loves a Clown" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys

Everybody loves a clown, that jovial person who can crack a joke and turn everyone's frowns or tears to laughter. However, what do you do when you're the group jokester and you finally want to be taken seriously? The man in this 1965 Top 10 pop hit is desperate to express his love to his crush. She laughs at his antics, but he needs her to see that clowns have feelings, too. Romantic ones. Sexy ones.

13. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John (featuring Kiki Dee)

When Elton John endeavored to write a Motown song, the result was this classic 1976 pop hit with a disco vibe. John and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin clowned around and hid their identities as songwriters, using the pseudonyms "Ann Orson & Carte Blanche."

In the uptempo tune, an energetic couple celebrates with flirty banter regarding how good they are for one another. Each is the key to each other's heart, provides the spark to the other's sensual flame, and serves as a cheerful clown when the other is depressed.

"Don't blame a clown for acting like a clown. Blame yourself for going to the circus." - Anonymous
"Don't blame a clown for acting like a clown. Blame yourself for going to the circus." - Anonymous | Source

14. "The Clown" by Conway Twitty

The man in this 1981 country song is beguiled by a beautiful and popular woman, and he'll do anything to make her happy, even if it means making a fool of himself. She commands her lover to jump, and he responds, "How high?" The desperate measures this poor guy takes to make his lover happy have onlookers deriding him as a clown. Have you ever been in a similarly desperate relationship?

15. "This is Halloween" by Marilyn Manson

From The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, this 1993 Marilyn Manson tune appeals to the fear of creepy clowns residing within us all. The song narrator is an evil clown who taunts that you'll fear him, no matter what your age. He hides under the bed, around the corner, and in the shadows, ready to surprise you and make you scream like a banshee:

I am the clown with the tear-away face
Here in a flash and gone without a trace
I am the "who" when you call, "Who's there?"
I am the wind blowing through your hair.

16. "Tears of a Clown" by Iron Maiden

What a tragic loss the world experienced when funny man Robin Williams died by suicide in 2014 in the midst of his struggle with Lewy body disease (a consequence of Parkinson's). This 2015 rock song pays tribute to the comic, calling attention to how his clown exterior was an unfortunate facade for the inner turmoil that lay beneath. Williams was known for his free-association improvisational style of comedy and high energy on stage.

17. "John Wayne Gacy, Jr." by Sufjan Stevens

John Wayne Gacy Jr. was a heinous serial killer who adopted a killer clown persona as Pogo or Patches the Clown. He joined a local "Jolly Joker" club and provided entertainment at hospitals, kids' parties, and charity events. Then Gacy proceeded to viciously violate and murder 33 young men and boys before being executed in 1994. Nicknamed "The Killer Clown," Gacy is the most prolific serial killer known to date.

This eerie alternative rock song from 2005 fictionalizes Gacy's background, imagining that he was hit in the head as a child and recalling that he was able to deceptively earn the respect of his community. It also foreshadows a Gacy copycat, a killer clown who has hidden bodies under his floorboards.

18. "Bandy the Rodeo Clown" by Moe Bandy

The old cowboy in this 1975 country song no longer ropes and rides, and he's trying hard to conceal his pain with the painted smile of a clown. Since his sweetheart left him, tears are melting Bandy the rodeo clown's makeup so that now he just relies on whiskey to remember his glory days.

19. "Stuck in the Middle with You" by Stealers Wheel

Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

Members of the Scottish band Stealers Wheel left a frustrating meeting with music industry executives wherein big shot businessmen disrespectfully talked past them. They used the eye-rolling experience as inspiration for this successful 1973 folk-rock number, and it became the group's biggest hit.

Now a classic, "Stuck in the Middle with You" describes the awkwardness of a music industry cocktail party. (It might just as easily apply to many of today's business networking events.) The narrator doesn't know why he showed up, doesn't know how to behave, and assesses the whole affair as a bit ridiculous. Quentin Tarantino prompted a resurgence in the catchy tune's popularity when he used it in his first film, Reservoir Dogs, a violent crime film about a jewelry heist that goes awry.

20. "Costume Makes the Clown" by Shakira

Columbian pop singer Shakira comes clean in this 2005 pop ditty as she wipes off her makeup and confesses her romantic betrayal, thereby exposing her true self. Neither the idealized image the malignant clown character she has been painted to be he presents herself as a real person. In making herself vulnerable with this confession, she finds relief but knows that there will be consequences.

"Nobody likes a clown at midnight." - Stephen King, American fiction writer
"Nobody likes a clown at midnight." - Stephen King, American fiction writer | Source

Even More Songs About Clowns

Song
Artist
Year Released
21. Clown
The Hollies
1966
22. Clown
Mariah Carey
2002
23. Pierrot The Clown
Placebo
2006
24. Clown in Your Rodeo
Kathy Mattea
1995
25. Clarlie Brown
The Coasters
1958
26. Rodeo Clowns
G. Love & Special Sauce (featuring Jack Johnson)
2003
27. Ha! Ha! Said the Clown
Manfred Mann
1967
28. Death of a Clown
The Kinks
1967
29. She Ran Away with a Rodeo Clown
Toby Keith
1998
30. Bandy the Rodeo Clown
Moe Bandy
1975
31. Cowboys and Clowns
Ronnie Milsap
1980
32. Shoot All the Clowns
Bruce Dickinson
1994
33. We Are Golden
MIKA
2009
34. See the Funny Little Clown
Bobby Goldsboro
1987
35. Carnival Town
Norah Jones
2004
36. Rodeo Clown
John Mellencamp
2007
37. Clown Strike
Elvis Costello
1994
38. Photograph
Def Leppard
1983
39. Don't Cry Out Loud
Melissa Manchester
1978
40. Killer Klowns (from Outer Space)
The Dickies
1988
41. In Dreams
Roy Orbison
1963
Know a song about clowns that should be on this playlist? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below!

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 FlourishAnyway

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      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Heidi - You too! Have a great week ahead hunkered down with the family. Continue to stay safe.

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 

        7 weeks ago from Chicago Area

        Judy Collins' Send in the Clowns is the one that sticks with me. The Everly Brothers' tune, too.

        Hope you had a great Easter and are staying safe and well!

      • MarshFish profile image

        Marshall Fish 

        7 weeks ago

        You're welcome, FlourishAnyway. I hope you're staying safe, too.

        Marshall

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Marshall - Thank you for this song suggestion which I will add. I hope you are staying safe in this time of social distancing.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        MG - Thank you for stopping by. I'm glad this triggered good memories. Have an enjoyable weekend.

      • emge profile image

        MG Singh 

        7 weeks ago from Singapore

        You have a knack of pulling a rabbit from inside a hat. You made a wonderful collection. I remember seeing a Mumbai film "My name is a Joker" with the legendary Raj Kapoor and straightway this film came to mind. I love jokers and circus, good songs.

      • MarshFish profile image

        Marshall Fish 

        7 weeks ago

        Interesting article as always FlourishAnyway. I would add Roy Orbison's "In Dreams", which begins with the lyrics, " A candy-colored clown they call the sandman/Tiptoes to my room every night".

        Marshall

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Chitrangada - We could probably all use a clown right now to entertain or make us smile. Thank you for stopping by.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Liz - Thanks for stopping by. We have a lot of clowns in our culture but that's another story.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Dora - There's always that one who has to ruin things, like a bad apple and I think that's probably what Gacy did. Mostly they are pretty harmless and just try to entertain and make us happy. Thanks for stopping by.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        LaustCawz - Thank you for the song suggestion which I have added. I hope you are doing well and are staying healthy during this challenging time.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Linda - I'm glad you found one that you liked in particular. I hope you are doing well and staying healthy.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        We could all do with some laughter right about now. What a pity that some clowns and clowning are born in sad circumstances. But for the most part, they're a welcome distraction. Thanks.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        7 weeks ago from UK

        I hadn't realised that there were so many songs about clowns. You have done a great job collecting them together.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        7 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

        Wonderful collection of songs, about songs.

        The clowns have a tough job, as it’s not easy to make people laugh.

        Had no idea, there were so many songs, related to the clowns.

        Thank you for sharing, this well compiled article.

      • profile image

        LaustCawz 

        7 weeks ago

        "Killer Klowns" by The Dickies

        is the theme song from the 1988 classic film "Killer Klowns From Outer Space".

        "Send In The Clowns" is originally from the Broadway show, "A Little Night Music."

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        7 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

        When I saw the title of your article in my email, I was hoping that you had included "Send in the Clowns" by Judy Collins. I think it's a sad but beautiful piece. Thanks for including the song and the other ones in your article.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Pamela - No clowning around, I'm glad you found some old school songs that you enjoy. Have a terrific rest of your week!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Clive - I guess that's as good a reason any.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Linda - I looked up Patches on Wikipedia and see that he was a longtime Seattle favorite of both children and their parents. I'm glad you have fond memories of him. Most of the information I found on "Stuck in the Middle" indicated it was actually about the music industry but some of the lines would really fit with the political environment.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Bharat - It's always struck me as an unusual thing to dress up as. I don't hate clowns, but I do hate mimes for their silence. Thanks for stopping by.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Bill - Glad you could name a few off the top of your head. Hope you are doing well.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Peggy - I love the Elton John song in particular. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! It was a challenge!

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        I would never have thought about the number of clown songs. I would say I like about 50% of them. I like some of the older songs the best.

        I

      • clivewilliams profile image

        Clive Williams 

        7 weeks ago from Jamaica

        I hate clowns because they are always clowning around.

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        7 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

        I've never cared for clowns. I don't run from them screaming but there is a definite creepy factor...with one exception. Locally we had a clown who had a daily children's tv show. He was beloved. He was goofy but didn't really come off as a clown. He was more like that older brother who would do anything to cheer you up. Look at imbd.com for J P Patches.

        Because of him I enjoyed this article. I had no idea there were so many songs on this topic. (BTW are you sure that "stuck in the middle" doesn't have something to do with politics?)

      • bsharan12 profile image

        Bharat Sharan 

        7 weeks ago from Dhanbad

        A very good description of the songs which honour the clowns who themselves suffer but keep people laughing and happy.

        Hats off Flourish.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        7 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        I feel better about this one. Judy Collins' song will forever be a haunting reminder of clowns. I finally got one after being stumped two times in a row.

        Be safe my friend!

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        "Send in the Clowns," and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" were familiar, but once again you educated me as to all of those other songs with the theme of clowns. Amazing!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Devika - This one was the idea of Hubber Robert Sacchi. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind support. I'm not clowning around with my health. I'm staying home and social distancing! Stay healthy and safe!

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        7 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Hi FourishAnyway I had no idea of these songs of clowns. Your list is always engaging and informing me of different songs. It is part of what we call music songs about people, objects an nature. Great one and as usual you do it the best.Hope you are well and staying home

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