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Mr. Kite

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Couple of different chunks of the extravagant circus poster that inspired John Lennon to write “Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite” (Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band). Here is the poster text:

Pablo Fanque’s Circus Royal, Town-Meadows, Rochdale.

Grandest Night of the Season!

AND POSITIVELY THE LAST NIGHT BUT THREE! BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KITE, (LATE OF WELLS’S CIRCUS) AND MR. J. HENDERSON, THE CELEBRATED SOMERSET THROWER! WIRE DANCER. VAULTER. RIDER. ETC. On TUESDAY Evening, February 14, 1843.

Mstrs. KITE and HENDERSON. In announcing the following Entertainments ensure the Public that this Night’s Production will be one of the most splendid ever produced in this Town, having been some days in preparation.

Mr. Kite will, for this night only, introduce the CELEBRATED HORSE, ZANTHUS! Well known to be one of the best Broke Horses IN THE WORLD!!!

Mr. HENDERSON will undertake the arduous Task of THROWING TWENTY-ONE SOMERSETS, ON THE SOLID GROUND.

Mr. KITE will appear, for the first time this season. On The Tight Rope, When Two Gentlemen Amateurs of this Town will perform with him.

Mr. HENDERSON will, for the first time for Rochdale, Introduce his extraordinary TRAMPOLINE LEAPS AND SOMERSETS! Over Men & Horses, through Hoops, over Garters and lastly through a Hogshead of REAL FIRE! In this branch of the profession Mr. H challenges THE WORLD!

For particulars see Bills of the day.

From that monstrosity, Lennon was inspired to write the following lyrics:

For the benefit of Mr. Kite
There will be a show tonight on trampoline
The Hendersons will all be there
Late of Pablo Fanques Fair — what a scene
Over men and horses hoops and garters
Lastly through a hogshead of real fire
In this way Mr. K. will challenge the world

The celebrated Mr. K.
Performs his feat on Saturday at Bishops Gate
The Hendersons will dance and sing
As Mr. Kite flies through the ring — don’t be late
Messrs. K and H. assure the public
Their production will be second to none
And of course Henry the Horse dances the waltz

The band begins at ten to six
When Mr. K. performs his tricks without a sound
And Mr. H. will demonstrate
Ten somersets he’ll undertake — on solid ground
Having been some days in preparation
A splendid time is guaranteed for all
And tonight Mr. Kite is topping the bill

Posted by on Thursday, April 6th, 2017 @ 10:52 am • Tags: ,