Monday, January 30, 2012
R.I.P. Smokey the Hamster: The Tears of a Clown
Smokey, our beloved family hamster, passed away last night under some mysterious, Bob Crane-like circumstances which I don't care to get into. I'm not sure how old he was or if he leaves any survivors, but my kids are devastated.
Smokey got his name for his smokey-colored mane, not for any resemblance to Motown's great singer/songwriter/producer Smokey Robinson, whose "Tears of a Clown" is one of my all-time favorite songs.
Smokey said the song reminded him of the circus and immediately got to work writing a tune wherein the subject of the tune compares himself to the sad opera clown Pagliachi.
The tune was released in 1967 but didn't strike it big till 1970, when it was issued as a single and went straight to #1 in the US and UK. Amazingly, it was Smokey's only #1 hit with the Miracles.
As Smokey says in the song, There's some sad things known to man, but there ain't too much sadder than a dead hamster. I'm paraphrasing of course. R.I.P., Smokey.
Get "Tears of a Clown" on iTunes here:
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
The English Beat