Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel.

Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel.

Lyrics and Vocals: American singer-songwriter, the late John Townes Van Zandt, (1944-1997).

The lyrics of a song can be sometimes difficult to interpret, and never more so than the lyrics of the song “Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel”.
Personally, I believe “Miss Carousal” represents uncontrolled substance abuse and the author, Townes Van Zandt, is personifying his relationship with her. During much of Van Zandt’s own personal life he suffered from drug addiction and alcoholism. His singing tours saw him performing at various recognised disreputable public houses; while residing in cheap motel rooms, or, as in the 1970’s living in a simple shack, devoid of electricity or a telephone.
The lyrics indicate that he possibly wants to quit his addiction, but he keeps being pulled back, making it seem like same addiction needs him. He possibly hopes for the day, sometime in the future, when he can fully control his addiction and not be totally at its mercy. Lines in his lyrics, appears to indicate this “You own his legs but his mind is free. Only you can tell, Miss Carousel, How long will he be crawling?”

Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel.

Well the drunken clown’s still hanging round,
But it’s plain the laughter’s all died down.
The tears you tried so hard to hide are flowin’.
A blind man with his knife in hand,
Has convinced himself that he understands,
I wish him well, Miss Carousel,
But I gotta be a-goin’.

Won’t you come and get me when,
You’re sure that you don’t need me then.
I stand outside your window,
And proudly call your name.

Well the ladies been told that all the gold,
Is worth so much it can’t be sold,
No time to weep she’ll need her sleep tomorrow.
When she carries her face to the market place,
And bets it on the opening race,
She can ring her bells, Miss Carousel,
But her singing brings me sorrow.

Repeat Chorus.

Well it’s always done every mother’s son,
Is shown that grown men never run,
And so they fight with all the might inside them.
When the battle’s been fought and they all been taught,
That the trick is just not being caught,
Will you give them hell, Miss Carousel,
When they’re begging you to hide them.

Repeat Chorus.

When the need arose your eyes fell closed,
You clamped your fingers round your nose,
Would you say that’s any way to judge him.
Well you haven’t got the authority,
To kill him in the first degree,
But would you feel compelled, Miss Carousel,
If you have something to begrudge him.

On a velvet beach far beneath the reach,
Of those that come to pry and preach,
The natural man who tries to stand is fallin.
How long will it be before he sees,
You own his legs but his mind is free.
Only you can tell, Miss Carousel,
How long will he be crawling?

Repeat Chorus.

The castle walls has grown so tall,
Seem there ain’t no hope at all,
To reach the top even though you stop for breathin’.
But I ain’t gonna try to make you cry,
The tear drops couldn’t find your eye,
It’s all been swell, Miss Carousel,
But the time has come for leavin’.

Repeat Chorus.



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