Don’t Cry Out Loud

Posted on August 23, 2013 by Robert Ringer


Baby cried the day the circus came to town
’cause she didn’t want parades just passin’ by her.
So she painted on a smile and took up with some clown,
While she danced without a net upon the wire.
I know a lot about her, cause you see,
Baby is an awful lot like me.

Don’t cry out loud.
Just keep it inside, and learn how to hide your feelings.
Fly high and proud,
And if you should fall, remember you almost had it all.

Baby saw that when they pulled that big top down,
They left behind her dreams among the litter.
The different kind of love she thought she’d found,
There was nothing left but sawdust and some glitter.
But baby can’t be broken ’cause you see,
She had the finest teacher — that was me.

I told her,
Don’t cry out loud.
Just keep it inside and learn how to hide your feelings.
Fly high and proud,
And if you should fall, remember you almost had it all.

Don’t cry out loud.
Just keep it inside and learn how to hide your feelings.
Fly high and proud,
And if you should fall, remember you almost had it all.

Lyrics by Peter Allen, Carole Bayer Sager

Copyright © Woolnough Music Inc., Irving Music Inc., Begonia Melodies Inc.


My take:

The big question I have about this song is whether the lyricists were being literal about a circus coming to town and “Baby” becoming involved with a real circus clown, or did they mean it to be one big metaphor?  If it’s the latter, it’s an extremely clever metaphor.

The singer seems to be giving advice to a younger friend or sibling (“Baby”), advising her to be strong and hide her true feelings.  The metaphor of referring to Baby’s romance as “dancing without a net upon the wire” is excellent.  The message, of course, is that it’s dangerous to show your love too much, because you might fall — and when you fall, there’s no safety net.

But even when the love you thought you had is reduced to “sawdust and glitter,” the important thing is to be tough — don’t cry out loud, keep it all inside, and hide your true feelings.

Though this mythical woman defiantly says that Baby can’t be broken, I find the part about “remember you almost had it all” to be a bit masochistic.  The best way to not be broken is to forget about your failed romance, not remember how close you came to “having it all.”

A bit confusing, but I don’t know what was inside the heads of the lyricists, Peter Allen and Carole Bayer Sager.  Supposedly, Allen had his younger sister in mind when he wrote “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” but who knows?

I prefer Melissa Manchester’s shortened version of the song, because she’s a bit dull in the longer version.  Her producer must have told her to liven things up, because in the (apparently) later, shortened version of the song, she’s much more passionate.

Passionate version:

Dull version:

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

25 responses to “Don’t Cry Out Loud”

  1. In everyday life it seems as if the circus is always coming to town. In the song Send in the Clowns, Judy Collins sings" And where are the clowns, Send in the clowns, Don't bother, they're here." Life is like a circus, however, the acts aren't always pleasant. Sometimes the best we can do is grin and bear it. Laughing once in a while helps.

    I don't think we can hide our true feelings forever. Eventually they must come out in either positive or negative actions. Really, It's ok to cry out loud. Even though the theme and title of the song is Don't Cry Out Loud, it's still a great song, with much meaning.

  2. Pitch says:

    It is not only okay to "Cry Out Loud," it is imperative if one expects to maintain some semblance of psychological balance. True feelings do "always" finally come out in ones actions, words and deeds and all one needs do is look at the past and observe how and what transpired to understand why a person acts in the manner they do today. Stuffing feelings is a mythical impossibility. Real men and women do cry out loud…Alice Miller's dynamic book, "The Drama of the Gifted Child" is a great starting point for anyone that wishes to understand why real people cry out loud.

  3. dol says:

    You had better let it all out if you want to stay healthy. Do you have any idea what happens – finally – if you don't let it out? Worst case, you could end up gibbering in some quiet sanitarium, or maybe just limp along through life while ruining your physical health. Also, don't ever think that what you feel is altogether hidden – from anyone, including yourself. Have you ever known someone who seems bent on making every living soul around them as miserable as they are? While "smiling" through it all? And I forgot to mention that "stuff" in many cases finally builds to the blowing-up point and then you all had better get out of the way.

  4. Sarah Tarlow says:

    Peter Allen – the composer of this song – was gay. I believe this had more to do with his struggle to keep his sexual identity a secret (keep it inside) or he was in denial before finally coming out since he was briefly married to Liza Minelli.

  5. Caitlin Reynolds says:

    Possibly nothing is irritating her. Perhaps she is exceptionally glad. Individuals reveal to me I look annoyed all the time as well, however genuinely it's quite recently the way I look. A few people look cheerful all the time with no exertion what so ever, For me, my face is organized an irregular way that makes me seem to appear as though I'm miserable notwithstanding when I'm splendidly fine. Perhaps she doesn't understand that she looks frantic, or irate Essay Help UK At <a href="” target=”_blank”> It's an unstable subject for me since I don't need individuals to believe I'm miserable constantly, however I don't know how to change it. Perhaps on the off chance that you simply take a seat and chat with her about this it will offer assistance.

  6. Alex Jane says:

    Maybe I have just always taken this song too literally. I remember being temporarily placed in treatment for 'issues.' I was alone in a room with a pool table when this song came on.Suppressing my feelings got me here! I got so upset I threw a pool ball at the Window expecting it to shatter– forgetting where I was — instead it bounced off the unbreakable glass and I ducked just in time so it didn't hit me. I think that was the beginning of my recovery. . . . . the lyrics still disturb me. Tthough. . .

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