By Maureen Lee Lenker
August 04, 2019 at 03:38 PM EDT
Kevin Kane/Getty Images

Send in the clowns…

On Saturday night, Barbra Streisand took the stage at New York City’s Madison Square Garden for the first time in 13 years, and she didn’t miss the opportunity to get deeply political. Never one to shy away from sharing her political beliefs on stage, Streisand took the president to task in a parody version of Stephen Sondheim’s classic torch song “Send in the Clowns” from A Little Night Music.

“It’s hard for me to contain myself,” she began, before launching in the song, saying, “This kind of goes like this.” Streisand changed the lyrics from “Send in the Clowns” to “Who is this Clown?” and specifically referenced numerous controversies surrounding Donald Trump and his administration, including his refusal to release his tax returns.

“He says he’s rich/Maybe he’s poor/Till he reveals his returns, who can be sure? Who is this clown?” she revised the opening lines of the song to go. “Something’s amiss/I don’t approve/Now that he’s running the free world, where can we move?/Maybe a town, just who is this clown?”

Streisand didn’t rewrite the whole ballad, only three verses, but she concluded by bringing the audience in on her parody. “Is this his art of deal or some awful joke?/You’ve got to admit/This fraudulent twit/Is so full of — ” she sang, before pausing to allow the audience to chime in with the natural rhyme (“s–t”). She recorded the original version of “Send in the Clowns” for 1985’s The Broadway Album. 

Reports suggest Streisand also had accompanying imagery on the video screen, including an image of the White House with a circus tent over at, and one of Trump in clown make-up, altering his Time magazine 2016 Person of the Year cover to feature him with a red nose and the words “clown of the year.”

Streisand concluded her political lambasting by saying, “That was meant to be a funny song, but what’s going on just isn’t very funny because it would take me all night long to recite all 11,000 lies. But there’s a line by Oscar Wilde that describes this person — and the line is, ‘He’s a man who knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing.'”

The legendary singer and actress has been outspoken against Trump for the last several years. Last year, she released a song called “Don’t Lie to Me” that questioned the words and actions of the president. Streisand is an active Democrat, having vocally supported Hillary Clinton’s campaign, as well as previously singing at Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration. Indeed, the Clintons were in the audience for Streisand’s concert on Saturday night.

The Madison Square Garden was part of a series of summer shows Streisand is doing, including a July concert in London’s Hyde Park.

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