Leon Russel's honky-tonk ballad "Tight Rope" talks about living life in the spotlight, and the thin line we walk in our own day-to-day relationships.The song is a metaphor about clinging to life as if one was on a high wire.This hit song was on Leon Russell's "Carny" album of 1972.
I remember hearing this song for the first time when it was played as the introduction to the Barnum & Bailey Circus that had come to Baltimorein the early 1970s. When I first heard it, I thought it was just a catchy tune. But over the years, I've come to appreciate it for its insight into the high wire acts, and unintentional performances, that characterizes the circus of life.
In this series, I bring together scenes from actual circuses that came to Leiden and Amsterdam in the last few years.There include high wire performers, clowns, and acrobatic dancers, all of whom are "up on the tightwire".