The Old Round

The Old Round


The Old Round presents songs and tales from an invented world called Hum. Our blend of songs, theatre, fantastical costumery and storylines captures the interest of both children and adults ranging from hippies to punkers. The unique, fun performances engage audiences in a variety of settings.


The Old Round is a collaboration between Los Angeles musicians and theatre actors. It is set in an invented world called "Hum." In the performances, a master of ceremonies explains to the audience (whom he addresses as inhabitants of that world) that he has just returned from a journey to distant, unmapped territories. He has been collecting songs and stories from various creatures who have accompanied him back to perform with him. These creatures are then unveiled and a performance ensues. The Old Round performs in both music festivals/clubs and theatre settings. The troupe draws from a wide range of influences including Woody Guthrie, Joanna Newsom, and playwright Tom Stoppard.


The Ballad of Tightrope Walker (Part I)

Written By: Dormouse Brady

My hair is clumped with bleeding
as I come to in the terrible hall.
Oh, those thousand feet thundering.
Oh, those thousand eyes call the beast of the ball.
And which of these panting, panting grown-ups knocked me out?
I don’t know; I just try to stand upright
and call through the deadly dance, “Dearest mother,
which whirling gown are you tonight?”

And then I saw her leap through the moment before,?
a flash of blue crashed and bore
?her love-green eyes to nevermore?
and replaced them with glass beads.
?Her skin, it changed to pinewood smoothed.?
Her hair became yarn and glue
?and who wheezed beneath her dancing shoes,?
I feared I'd seen before.
I ran to them through the dancer's flails?
and kneeled where mother's wild heels hailed.?
“Marionette, it's dangerous to sleep."??

No answer came from its sound hole,?
somehow horridly familiar though its face sawed and sanded,
?while by the strings the white bear controlled?
mother and the others were so whimsically commanded
?to all join arms and upon the dreamer’s cracking chest,
their unwilled doomheals landed.
?And when that chest it did collapse, a redbird flew slanted.

I ran off stumbling after it?
into the long hall dimly lit,
?but the strings did coil around my wrists?
and bore into my shoulders
?and pulled me back into the hall
?and bid me dance with them all?
but in that swirling, shattering sprawl,?
I began to turn to wood.?
In the moments that my lilting limbs?
were agents of the fiddler’s whims,
?my fool heart was shamefully grateful.??

The marionettes sang, “Bear is king.?
Surrender to his strings.
?You small, unopened thing."
?But why did that sleeping face still ring
?in my mind while
my heart was a hive
with bees briefly stunned and then stinging to survive???

I pulled with all my will
?and when my veins did spill?,
I knew I was no more wood
the fiddler’s spell I’d withstood.
The strings no more did bind.?
I dashed out of the hall to find
?the red bird warbling—?a leaking, slanted song he did sing.
?Unwinding and scrambling through the flickering halls,
the bitter light of the day flashed and blazed through the pall.
My eyes they were blazing as I crashed through the gate.
?I leapt for the bird, but through the wind he escaped.
The snow it did glow and the sunlight did twist.
I saw the white world as the bird pierced the mist.
In a glide he was gone, and I fell in a heap,
and there voices in song did surround me in sleep.

“We are Uncle Gasp’s circus.
We have come to offer you wonder and fright
Leave your self at the ingress
It won’t help you through the sights
that you'll see tonight.
And we hope you can reclaim it
when the big top falls as it must with dawn’s light,
but come now, the winds are gathering,
and the show is about to alight."


"The Ballad of Tightrope Walker (Part I)"
—streaming at
—a live performance at