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ATC's Lyrical Discussion: Week 2


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Okay, here's this weeks set of lyrics.

"Mr. Bojangles" - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

I knew a man Bojangles and he danced for you

In worn out shoes

With silver hair, a ragged shirt and baggy pants

The old soft shoe

He jumped so high, he jumped so high,

Then he lightly touched down

I met him in a cell in New Orleans, I was

Down and out

He looked at me to be the eyes of age

As the smoke ran out

He talked of life, he talked of life

Laughed, clicked his heels and stepped

He said his name, Bojangles, and he danced a lick

Across the cell

He grabbed his pants a better stance, oh, he jumped so high,

Then he clicked his heels

He let go a laugh, he let go a laugh,

Shook back his clothes all around

Mr. Bojangles

Mr. Bojangles

Mr. Bojangles

Dance

He danced for throws at minstrel shows and county fairs

Throughout the south

He spoke of tears and fifteen years how his dog and him

Traveled about

The dog up and died, he up and died

After twenty years he still grieves

He said I dance now at every chance in honky tonks

For drinks and tips

But most of the time I spend behind these county bars

'Cause I drinks a bit

He shook his head and as he shook his head

I heard someone ask him `Please'

Please ..........

Mr. Bojangles

Mr. Bojangles

Mr. Bojangles

Dance!

Mr. Bojangles

Mr. Bojangles

Mr. Bojangles

Dance

Okay, so a lot of people know this song, but I really enjoy its down-home country feel.

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You're right. It is sad in many ways. However, he did have quite a career on stage and in movies. Are you aware that Bill Bojangles Robinson was a real person? He appeared as the romantic lead in a movie with Lena Horne in 1937's "One Mile From Heaven".

But Dance was his main claim to fame. He is credited with inspiring many dance careers and showing that black men can dance with white girls without the world coming to an end. His several movies with Shirley Temple are probably what he is best known for by most.There are many sites on Bojangles...here're a couple... MR. BOJANGLES

and.... BILL BOJANGLES ROBINSON

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It's always reminded me of "The Ballad of Curtis Loew," which is one of my favorite Skynyrd tunes.

Such poignant lyrics. :puppyeyes:

That is a great song as well. I love songs that tell a story about someone that doesn't live the greatest life, but seems very content with what they have. Stories that can be sad and happy and inspiring at the same time. But the character always seems to die in the end of the song...

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Sammy Davis Jr. also did a version of this song, did he not? That's the only version I've ever heard.

I see it as a sad song about a man whose time in the spotlight has passed so he resorts to drinking and reminiscing about the "good old days".

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I didn't do a search but...from memory I know the very first time I heard the song it was by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I think they even wrote it. Sammy Davis did it much later, incorporating it into his act with a Bojanglesish dance routine. He did this for several years but not until after NGDB. He even credited NGDB with making the song popular. AMG will shed light on dates, writers, etc. I'll check later.

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ATC said:

I'm not sure who actually recorded it first though.

and I said:

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band did.

Wrong. Jerry Jeff Walker wrote and recorded it in 1968. The NGDB covered it in 1970 in their album "Uncle Charlie" and made it a hit.

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