Once I was happy, but now I'm forlorn
Like an old coat that is tattered and torn
Left in this wide world to fret and to mourn
Betrayed by a girl in her teens.
Now this girl that I loved she was handsome
And I tried all I knew her to please
But I never could please her one-quarter as well
As the man on the flying trapeze!
Oh! He'd fly through the air with the greatest of ease
That daring young man on the flying trapeze
His movements were graceful
All girls he did please
And my love he has stolen away
And my love he has stolen away!
Afterwards, I was curious about the origins of the song (and the lyrics, as the bus passengers sang "his actions were graceful" rather than "his movements were graceful" so I googled it. I learned that it was published in 1867, and is about a real circus performer, Jules Leotard. Also there were several verses, and a few alternate versions (which explains the minor differences in wording). In the 1930s it resurfaced in popular culture and was used in some movies, including the one I saw.