The phrase ‘no clowns at Piccadilly’ has been swimming in my head for a number of years now, and I tried to work it into a song. That didn’t work, seeing as I have no talent for writing music. I adapted the verses into a poem instead. The title stems from my childhood assumption that ‘Piccadilly Circus’ was actually a circus. Not a circle, as ‘circus’ means. When I found out the real meaning, I was bitterly disappointed. Today, I connect this discovery with a loss of childhood innocence, and often wish I could go back to the times when I really thought there was a circus instead of a circle.
There was a pretty path marked out for me,
Flowers and green grass and bumblebees.
So beautiful that I almost cried,
And that was the day that God sighed.
I know I was meant to take the dirty route
But mother made this one so good
I couldn’t refuse to take her hand
And follow her to my promised land
I think I left it all behind
And that day a part of my heart died.
There are no monsters under my bed
The demons are all in my head
And now I know all the ghosts I’ve ever seen
And I learnt that there are no clowns at Piccadilly.