Song Lyric Sunday — Goodbye Cruel World

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams looked to Melanie B Cee of Sparks From a Combustible Mind, who suggest that we find songs that feature lyrics of Entertainment, Circus, or Show. I decided to reach way back to 1961 and give you the circus themed song, “Goodbye Cruel World,” from James Darren.

“Goodbye Cruel World” was written by Gloria Shayne and recorded by James Darren, an American television and film actor, television director, and singer. Darren was a teenage heartthrob who came to fame in the 1959 California surfing film, Gidget, starring Sandra Dee. Darren played, Moondoggie, the leading man, and he also sang the movie’s title track.

Darren recorded a string of 60s pop hits, the biggest of which was “Goodbye Cruel World,” which sold over one million copies. The song was his first top ten hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number three.

“Goodbye Cruel World” was about a man whose heart was broken by a “mean fickle woman.” His plan was to join the circus as a brokenhearted clown. He did not mind being shot out of a cannon, and planned to tell the world that she “made a crying clown” out of him. Ah, nothing like those deep, heartfelt lyrics from the early 60s pop songs, am I right?

Here are the lyrics to “Goodbye Cruel World.”

(Goodbye cruel world)
(Goodbye cruel world)

Oh, goodbye cruel world, I’m off to join the circus
Gonna be a broken-hearted clown
Paint my face with a good-for-nothin’ smile
’cause a mean, fickle woman turned my whole world upside down

(Goodbye cruel world)

Farewell to love, I’m off to join the circus
Gotta find a way to hide my tears
Bet I’ll have them rolling in the aisle
And I’ll forget that woman if it takes a hundred years

Oh oh oh, step right up and take a look at a fool
He’s got a heart as stubborn as a mule
C’mon everybody, he’s good for a laugh
And no one could tell his heart is broken in half

Well, the joke’s on me, I’m off to join the circus
Oh, Mr. Barnum, save a place for me
Shoot me out of a cannon, I don’t care
Let the people point at me and stare
I’ll tell the world that woman, wherever she may be
That mean, fickle woman made a cryin’ clown outta me

(Goodbye cruel world)

Shoot me out of a cannon, I don’t care
Let the people point at me and stare
I’ll tell the world that woman, wherever she may be
That mean, fickle woman made a cryin’ clown outta me

Goodbye cruel world
Goodbye cruel world

Goodbye cruel world
Goodbye cruel world

20 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Goodbye Cruel World

  1. newepicauthor January 2, 2022 / 7:27 am

    There is absolutely nothing like this corny crap around anymore and maybe that is a good thing. A song does not have to be deep to be fun and Gidget was all about having fun and Moondoggie made her cool. Nice pick Fandango.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. msjadeli January 2, 2022 / 12:45 pm

    I had a big crush on James Darren and this song was a big hit. Great choice for Sunday listening, Fandango.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. leigha66 January 2, 2022 / 8:09 pm

    Think this one sounds familiar from when I would listen to oldies with my Dad. I recognize that carnival like music. Not bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marleen January 2, 2022 / 10:12 pm

    That’s a fun one. I have a couple with the same name as each other, the first is from Rihanna: Take a bow:

    Rihanna – Take A Bow (Official Music Video)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen January 2, 2022 / 10:29 pm

      Muse – Take A Bow [HD]

      [Verse 1]
      Corrupt, you corrupt
      And bring corruption to all that you touch
      Hold, you’ll behold
      And beholden for all that you’ve done

      And spell, cast a spell
      And cast a spell on the country you run
      And risk, you will risk
      You will risk all their lives and their souls

      [Hook]
      And burn, you will burn
      You will burn in Hell, yeah, you’ll burn in Hell
      You’ll burn in Hell, yeah, you’ll burn in Hell
      For your sins

      [Verse 2]
      Ooh, our freedom is consuming itself
      What we’ve become
      Is contrary to what we want
      Take a bow

      Death, you bring death
      And destruction to all that you touch
      Pay, you must pay
      You must pay for your crimes against the earth

      And Hex, feed the Hex
      Feed the Hex on the country you love
      And beg, you will beg
      You will beg for their lives and their souls

      [Hook]
      And burn, you will burn
      You will burn in Hell, yeah, you’ll burn in Hell
      You’ll burn in Hell, yeah, you’ll burn in Hell
      For your sins

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nope, Not Pam January 3, 2022 / 2:41 am

    I remember Moondoggie, what a wonderful name 😁

    Liked by 1 person

      • Nope, Not Pam January 3, 2022 / 11:40 pm

        Spot on

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen January 5, 2022 / 10:59 am

        Learning to surf (and/or dying trying…) is on my bucket list (but isn’t realistic for this year); I need to improve my overall strength first. I’m too busy to get to any beach right now.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen January 5, 2022 / 11:25 am

          Come to think of it, Gidget might be my first mass culture memory (other than whatever either parent would play on the radio or record player). I was more hooked on Sandra Dee [I vaguely recall a reference to her in a later storyline when I was in high school too] and the beach itself (with the music probably subconsciously in my background as I was more apt to sing from musicals per se).

          I’ll have to look into this — which I found while searching whether or not Gidget was a musical, originally:

          https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2000-aug-05-ca-64843-story.html

          Liked by 1 person

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