About The Song
It reached #1 in the Australian Charts and #1 in the UK Singles Chart.
This was the Seekers’ best selling single in the UK, selling 1,400,000 copies, and reached #1 in both the Australian and UK charts. Tom Springfield wrote the song, basing the melody on the Russian folk song “Stenka Razin,” which tells the story of a Cossack rebel leader who led a major rebellion on Russia’s southeastern frontier in the 17th century.
The Seekers have continued to sing “The Carnival Is Over” at the close of sporting events in Australia, making it a beloved tradition. Unfortunately, Judith Durham was unable to perform at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games due to a hip injury.
In the song, the couplet “But the joys of love are fleeting/ For Pierrot and Columbine” refers to two stock characters from the Italian pantomime-like theater known as dell’arte. Pierrot was a sad clown in love with the beautiful Columbine, who breaks his heart by leaving him for Harlequin.
The Seekers, a quartet of folk singers from Melbourne, became one of the first Australian acts to achieve international stardom. Frontwoman Judith Durham’s pure tone and sensitive phrasing helped the group gain a following with hits like “A World of Our Own,” “Morningtown Ride,” and “Georgy Girl.” The Seekers’ success was largely due to their ability to fit the musical zeitgeist, offering pop-friendly folk that was fresh and energetic.