You Don't Mess Around With Jim

Album: You Don't Mess Around With Jim (1972)
Charted: 8
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  • Lyrics
  • Uptown got it's hustlers
    The bowery got it's bums
    42nd street got big Jim walker
    He's a pool shootin' son of a gun
    Yeah, he big and dumb as a man can come
    But he stronger than a country hoss
    And when the bad folks all get together at night
    You know they all call big Jim boss, just because
    And they say

    You don't tug on superman's cape
    You don't spit into the wind
    You don't pull the mask off that old lone ranger
    And you don't mess around with Jim

    Well outta south Alabama came a country boy
    He say I'm lookin' for a man named Jim
    I am a pool shootin' boy
    My name Willie McCoy
    But down home they call me slim
    Yeah I'm lookin' for the king of 42nd street
    He drivin' a drop top cadillac
    Last week he took all my money
    And it may sound funny
    But I come to get my money back
    And everybody say Jack don't you know

    And you don't tug on superman's cape
    You don't spit into the wind
    You don't pull the mask off that old lone ranger
    And you don't mess around with Jim

    Well a hush fell over the pool room
    Jimmy come boppin' in off the street
    And when the cuttin' were done
    The only part that wasn't bloody
    Was the soles of the big man's feet
    Yeah he were cut in in bout a hundred places
    And he were shot in a couple more
    And you better believe
    They sung a different kind of story
    When big Jim hit the floor now they say

    You don't tug on superman's cape
    You don't spit into the wind
    You don't pull the mask off that old lone ranger
    And you don't mess around with slim

    Yeah, big Jim got his hat
    Find out where it's at
    And it's not hustlin' people strange to you
    Even if you do got a two piece custom made pool cue

    Yeah you don't tug on superman's cape
    You don't spit into the wind
    You don't pull the mask off the old lone ranger
    And you don't mess around with slimWriter/s: James Croce
    Publisher: BMG Rights Management, Royalty Network
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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Comments: 14

  • Micheal Walker from New Caney Tx.I would just like to go on record saying that the Big Jim Walker that was named in the song is my grandfather. Unfortunately he passed away two days ago and I will be attending his funeral today. Big Jim Walker lived to the age 75 and passed away amongst friends and family in Kingwood Texas. I know it's a little late but I would like to thank Mr Croce. That song has been a story my grandfather told me since I was very young.
  • Susan from Atlanta, GeorgiaThis album was the first cassette I ever owned, and I still have it. It was given to me by my brother-in-law as a gentle reminder not to mess around with him -- his name is Jim.
    I had the opportunity to see him in concert in spring of 1973, and even then I regretted not going, never dreaming that I would never get another chance.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 12, 1972, Jim Croce performed "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #17 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, three weeks later it would peak at #8 {for 2 weeks} and it spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    James Joseph Croce passed away at the young age of 30 on September 20th, 1973 {plane accident}; ten days after his death his "I Got A Name" entered the Top 100 chart at position #76 ...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 25th 1972, Jim Croce's debut record, "You Don't Mess Around With Jim", entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #60; and on August 27th, 1972 it peaked at #8 (for 2 weeks) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #4 in Canada and #9 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    In his short four year recording career (1972 - 1976) he had ten records on the Top 100; with five of them making the Top 10 and two reaching #1 ("Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" for 2 weeks in 1973 and "Time In A Bottle" for 2 weeks in 1973)...
    May he R.I.P. (1943 - 1973).
  • Edward from Foster City, MiHoward, you got part of the lyrics wrong. It's actually "You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger".
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxAccording to Ingrid Croce's book, the original lyrics were "You don't piss into the wind." I bet sang the line that way in club performances.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnI remember hearing the song for the first time 40 years ago before moving to Minnesota from New Jersey and it put Jim Croce on the musical map. It was a piece of realism that was drawn from his own experiences in the Philadelphia pool halls, though he refers to New York in the opening lines "Uptown's got its hustlers, The Bowery's got its bums."

    It was also the song that got me hooked on Croce's music as a preteen and I'm still a fan to this day, since he wrote about real-life situations that listeners like me can identify with. Although he died tragically in a plane crash in 1973, You Don't Mess Around With Jim to me brings back a lot of memories since I first heard it on WABC in New Jersey.

    "You don't tug on Superman's cape,
    You don't spit in the wind.
    You don't pull or mess with the old Lone Ranger
    And you don't mess around with Jim.

    I should also add that on an episode of "Hee Haw", Johnny Bench who was the catcher for the Cincinnati Reds sang his version of the song.
  • Ed from Asheville, NcBig Jim met his match
    Find out where its at
    And its not hustling people strange to you
    Even if you do got a two-piece custom made pool.cue.
  • Drew from B'ham, AlAmazing... a country boy can shoot pool with good enough aim & strong enough to wound Big Jim, draw blood & send him to the floor. Did Jim hafta pay back those he hustled? Could he still afford to pay all those hospital bills? One could only wonder.... Same for Leroy Brown, except that Leroy didn't hustle everyone.
  • Michael from New Lebanon, OhI never did agree with what most people say about the spoken lyrics near the end of the song. The words never did make sense to me. But of late I've listened to them more closely; and right now this is what I think Croce is saying:

    "Yeah, Big Jim got it bad..
    Find out where it's at;
    and tonight I'm hustling people's dreams to you,
    even if you DO got a two-piece custom made pool cue."
  • Thomas from Somerville, AlThere never was before, and there never will be again, another Jim Croce.
  • Anthony from Houston, TxGreat musician wonderful storyteller
  • Karl from Akron, , Oh I believe Ingrid once said in an interview on television that the picture of Jim that was on the Album cover of him looking out a small window of a white building was actually an outhouse on Jim's farm and it was still standing at the time of the interview and they (The camera crew) took some video of it
  • Jamie from Bethesda, MdI am so surprised how similar this song is to Leroy Brown. A tough guy who meets his match at the end of the song. "Big Jim hit the floor" "Leroy Looked like a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone"
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