Tim Buckley - Carnival Song

First performance: 28/09/1968


Bruce covered the song only once : 
1968-09-28 Off Broad Street Coffee House, Red Bank, NJ (Early) 
Two shows, double bill, with Bruce Springsteen headlining and performing solo/acoustic and a folk group called The Founders opening. 
Some of the titles from the setlist are covers - "If I Needed Someone" is a Beatles tune, "Hey Joe" was covered by several artists in the mid-late 60s (most famously by Jimi Hendrix) and "Wayfaring Stranger" is a traditional song. "Fly Against The Wind" and "It's Too Late" are titles Brucebase has been unable to match to any artists of the period. The remaining three, "The Earth Is Broken", "Carnival Song" and "Troubadour", are known 1967-68 songs titles by singer/songwriter Tim Buckley, a favorite of Springsteen's at the time. The mentioned 9 song setlist emanates from an alleged 83 minute audience recording of Springsteen performing solo and live, sometime in 1968. The audio is not specifically linked to this show, details have been placed here merely as a logical reference point. A private collector claims to have this audio in their collection (obtained many, many years ago). The sound quality is alleged to be quite good. Brucebase was informed of the audio several years ago and was provided with basic details of titles/running time by the actual collector who claims to have it. However Brucebase has been unable to listen to even snippets of the audio and, as such, we cannot verify that the claim is genuine. Intriguingly however, one of the song titles provided, "Inside The Castle Walls" has subsequently turned out to be a verified Springsteen composition from this era.The existence of this composition only became known in 2005, which lends some credence (but not compelling proof) to the claim the audio is real.


Carnival song is a song taken from the the second album Goodbye and Hello by Tim Buckley, released in August 1967, recorded in Los Angeles, California in June of the same year. The album was later re-released on January 22, 2001 in a compilation with debut album Tim Buckley by WEA/Elektra. In 2005 a 180-gram version of the LP was released on the label Four Men With Beards and is being distributed by City Hall Records.

Other cover versions

Tim Buckley was the one who inspired Springsteen to buy a 12-string guitar. 
Sprngsteen was very much inspired at the time by Tim Buckley, emulating his song-writing style and vocal approach, as well as playing a 12- string guitar ( because was the instrument played by Buckley )  
Taken from the book : Bruce Springsteen, All the songs, the story behind every track ( Philippe Margotin & Jean- Michel Guesdon ) : 

Bruce on the artist


The singer cries for people's lies
He will sing for the day to bring him night
The circus burns in carnival flame
And for a while you won't know my name at all
But sing and dance and love for pennies and gold
The juggling clown smiles to me
And every frown we agree is glad
The nighttime comes to bring the bums
From Bowery heat to crimson streets of wine
But magic lands will never touch our sands
Your children smile in single file
They learn mistakes that others make
They see although they cannot know
The needs they'll need to have their greed grow wild
But dance and sing, for others bring the shame
And for a while you won't know my name