Mr. Bojangles

Album: Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy (1970)
Charted: 9
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • I knew a man, Bojangles and he danced for you
    In worn out shoes
    Silver hair, a ragged shirt and baggy pants
    The old soft shoe
    He jumped so high
    He jumped so high
    Then he'd lightly touch down
    I met him in a cell in New Orleans, I was
    Down and out
    He looked to me to be the eyes of age
    As he spoke right out
    He talked of life
    He talked of life
    He 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
    Pushed back his clothes all around
    Mr. Bojangles
    Mr. Bojangles
    Mr. Bojangles
    Dance
    He danced for those in minstrel shows and county fairs
    Throughout the south
    He spoke with tears of 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 the time I spend behind these county bars
    He said 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
    DanceWriter/s: JERRY JEFF WALKER
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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Comments: 15

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 9, 1970, Neil Diamond performed "Mr. Bojangles" on the ABC-TV musical variety program 'The Everly Brothers Show'...
    His covered version was track two of side one on his fifth studio album, 'Touching You, Touching Me', the album reached #30 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
    Interestingly, on the day of his appearance on the 'Everly' show he had two records on Billboard's Top 100 chart, and they were one position apart; at #21 was "Solitary Man", and one position lower at #22 was "Cracklin' Rosie"...
    Between 1966 and 1988 he had fifty-seven Top 100 records; thirteen made the Top 10 with three reaching #1, "Crackin' Rosie" for 1 week in 1970, "Song Sung Blue" for 1 week in 1972, and "You Don't Bring Me Flowers", with Barbra Streisand, for 1 week in 1978...
    He just missed having a fourth #1 record when "Love On the Rocks" peaked at #2* {for 3 weeks} in 1981...
    Plus he almost had three more records make the Top 10 when "Play Me", "If You Know What I Mean", and "Yesterday's Songs" all peaked at #11...
    Neil Leslie Diamond will celebrate his 77th birthday this coming January 24th {2018}...
    * The three weeks that "Love On the Rocks" was at #2, the #1 record for those three weeks was "(Just Like) Starting Over" by John Lennon.
  • Dan from Newton, KansasThe early, EARLY 70's was so magical in terms of well-written songs. To be honest, I was getting a little tired of the 'constantly-trying-to-reinvent-themselves' Beatles. So many different musical movements & genres came out at that time. Nitty Gritty was so good at mixing bluegrass, new grass, country, rock, blues - not only on individual songs, but on the albums as a whole.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 28th 1971, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band performed "Mr. Bojangles" on the CBS-TV program 'The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour'...
    The day before on March 27th, 1971 was its last day on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; the month before on February 14th, 1971 it had peaked at #9 {See second post below}...
    Exactly three weeks after their 'Goodtime Hour' appearance on April 18th, 1971 their next release, "The House on Pooh Corner", would enter the Top 100 at #89, eventually it would reach #53.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 21st 1920, Daphne Milne gave birth to a son, Christopher Robin Milne...
    Six years later in 1926 A. A. Milne, Daphne's husband, authored a book titled "Winnie-the-Pooh", and then two years later came his 2nd 'Pooh' book, "The House of Pooh Corner"...
    In 1971 the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band released a covered version of Kenny Loggins' "The House on Pooh Corner"; it peaked at #53 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    May Christopher Robin R.I.P. {1920 - 1996}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 14th 1971, "Mr. Bojangles" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band peaked at #9 (for 3 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on November 15th at position #92 and spent 19 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #2 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart...
    As stated above it was composed by Jerry Jeff Walker; his original version peaked at #77 on the Top 100 in 1969 (his home town is upstate New York is Oneonta)...
    In 1966 Jackson Browne was a member of the band...
    And in 1978 the band released "In For The Night" under their new name 'The Dirt Band'.
  • Camille from Toronto, Oh"I knew a man Bojangles and he danced for you...." Beautiful song; with its melancholy tune, descriptively sad lyrics, just puts out emotions that everyone's experienced. That's why it's always been so popular.
  • Paul from Detroit, MiWhen he sings "the dog up and died" , I always get a tear in my eye. Love this masterpiece.
  • Jim from Pleasant Hill, CaThe standard Nitty Gritty Dirt Band release has notable fuzz distortion on the edges of vocals. Good rendition, but not so good studio engineering.

    I concur that this song is about a white guy in jail using the pseudonym, not "the original" black Bojangles.
  • Jo from Austin, TxLittle known fact. Jerry did not write Mr. Bojangles. It was written by a transient (then called bum or hobo) who used to sit on the "Drag" close to UT playing his guitar and singing it. Jerry heard it and played it but when it came time to put it on his album, the transient had disappeared so Jerry took credit. I got this from someone who worked very closely on the album.
  • Bart from New Milford, NjNew Orleans jails were segregated back in those days; the dancer Mr. Walker met was Caucasian.
  • Dave from Cullman, AlI thing the comment writer meant 6/8 time. There's no such thing as 6/9 time.
  • Ed from Leland, NcDoes anyone know the lyrics of the missing 6th verse of Mr. Bojangles? If not, is there a when to contact the artist to see if he would reveal the details?
  • Garry from Anchorage, AkNo matter who records this song it sounds good. I've never heard a version that I didn't like. I always recommend this song to any young musician who wants to get noticed.
  • Mark from Lancaster, OhThis version is getting a lot of airplay on our local country-and-western radio station. Thanks for listing it; it is splendid.
  • Karl from Akron, , OhJim Stafford also did a version of this song
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