Coloring Club Plus — 10/23/19

Oct 23


I chose this one from the album because it is the only one that Levon got writing credit for on it.

Love for Levon: Benefit To Save The Barn was a concert held on October 3, 2012 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The concert was a tribute to the life of The Band lead vocalist and drummer Levon Helm (May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012) . The concert featured a wide variety of musicians who had worked with Helm as well as musicians who were influenced by him. Proceeds from the concert went towards keeping Helm’s Woodstock barn in his family’s control as well as continuing his Midnight Ramble concert series in the barn. The concert’s musical directors were Don Was and Helm’s frequent collaborator Larry Campbell. The concert was released on CD and DVD on March 19, 2013.

“Life is a Carnival” is the opening track of the Band’s fourth album, Cahoots. Written by Rick Danko, Levon Helm, and Robbie Robertson, the song features horn arrangements by New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint. The song is the only track from the Cahoots album included on the original releases of Rock of Ages and The Last Waltz. The song was featured in the Bill Murray movie Larger Than Life.

Musical notation for this song is printed on a wall behind Levon Helm’s grave in Woodstock, New York.

The Love for Levon album has a lot of musicians playing on it, which can be seen here but for sure the version of “Life is a Carnival” features Allen Toussaint and Jai Johanny Johanson.

Sorry, this is the best video I could find, it sounds way better on the album.


You can walk on the water, drown in the sand
You can fly off a mountaintop if anybody can
Run away, run away–it’s the restless age
Look away, look away–you can turn the page

Hey, buddy, would you like to buy a watch real cheap
Here on the street
I got six on each arm and two more round my feet
Life is a carnival–believe it or not
Life is a carnival–two bits a shot

Saw a man with the jinx in the third degree
From trying to deal with people–people you can’t see
Take away, take away, this house of mirrors
Give away, give away, all the souvenirs
We’re all in the same boat ready to float off the edge of the world
The flat old world
The street is a sideshow from the peddler to the corner girl
Life is a carnival–it’s in the book
Life is a carnival–take another look

Hey, buddy, would you like to buy a watch real cheap
Here on the street
I got six on each arm and two more round my feet
Life is a carnival–believe it or not
Life is a carnival–two bits a shot

Songwriters: Robbie Robertson / Rick Danko / LEVON HELM


7 Comments Add yours

  1. I do admire your precision! I’m learning to write again with the wrong hand so I’m very spidery!


  2. badfinger20 says:

    Great song and benefit. It sucks that Levon is gone. Only Robbie and Garth are left.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. rivrvlogr says:

    I enjoyed the video. I saw Allen Toussaint at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 2012

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks for the link, Ken. So many good shots of Chicago, a town I’ve enjoyed every time I have visited it, while listening to some excellent jazz music. I really like the title you chose for it as well.


  4. Garth Hudson was a great organist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      “Chest Fever” was his chance to shine. I don’t think I ever heard him play the same way. He plays a mean accordian and saxophone as well. (he’s still performing)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. pvcann says:

    They came to our West but in 78 they were streamed around Australia on big screens for the final show, which was a blast.

    Liked by 1 person

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