I was a boy that year that the circus came to town
with my knees grazed up and my shirt-tail sticking out
No stone-eyed, pebble-minded rockslide could beat me down
I was a Spring stream, running from a mountain
There was a lady on the steps of a red, wooden caravan
with hair on her face and tattoos on her hands
I said I'd feed her snake, pick her heather, big her act
if she'd take me from this love-forsaken land
She said, "You're like a Spring stream, running down from a mountain,
Like a good dream I don't want to wake up from"
And her heart beat through those words like a poem
When she said to me, "Come, run away with the circus"
I worked as hard as the horses and I slept under the hay
or in the cages with the lions and the tigers on the nights when it rained
The mornings were the thunder to them lightnin' nighted circus days,
all us storm-cloud-outcasts, the ghosts and the clowns and the strays
There was a dirty blond girl we came across one morning
with lightning-bolt-blue eyes and desert skin
She'd outdone the Devil for that face and a lifetime of whoring
and cashed in on the sins of God's settled gentlemen
She was like a Spring stream running down from a mountain
Like a good dream I didn't want to wake up from
And my heart beat harder than a hammer
When she said to me, "Lets run away from the circus!"
I said, "This is the best of the lives I've known,
and I won't ever call a mountain home"
She said, "There's prairies and there's deserts and there's meadows and there's plains
You and me are rivers raging with the rain
And I can feel another storm coming in,
So let's fly too close to the Sun, let it burn our skin!"
She said, "I'll peel your blisters and kiss your bleeding flesh!"
She screamed, "I'll peel your blisters and kiss your bleeding flesh!"
I laughed, "I'll kiss YOUR blisters and choke you half to death!"
We called it love
and then we high-tailed it out of that tent!
We were like a Spring stream running down from a mountain
Like a good dream we didn't wanna wake up from
And our hearts beat through those fields in perfect rhythm
For a while