On a hot summer night in a small western town
At a carnival down by the water
A young woman walked through the fairgrounds alone,
Esther, the Arch Bishop's daughter.
She walked past the carousel down to the lake
Where she spotted a wrinkled old man
Who stood by the side of a broken down hut
With a bucket held firm in his hand.
The old man approached her and whispered his plea,
"Won't you please take this gift that I offer?"
A beautiful puppet of violet and gold,
Of velvet and satin and lace.
And he looked at the girl with a powerful gaze
And she stared at the bucket bewildered
'Til he lifted the doll for the young girl to see
And a giant smile grew on his face.
The doll was as pretty as any she'd seen,
And she thanked the man quickly and ran to the church...
[the lyrics at this point are pretty much the same, although mixed around a bit in spots. Then, at the end...]
As Esther stood and shook her head, the joggers were approaching
And she knew she had no choice left but to swim.
As she dove into the water she saw a flicker in the distance,
It was the place she got the puppet that had made her life so grim.
When she reached the shore she pulled her icy body from the water,
Saw the carnival and then she saw the shack,
And she ran across the fairgrounds to the old man with the bucket
And she took the puppet out and gave it back.
Up from the water came thousands of souls,
Joggers and muggers and church-going folk,
And they all ran past Esther towards the old man,
Like a raging stampede, they dissolved in a huge cloud of dust.