* Audio file gathered from willc's personal music library
Mr. Bojangles - Jerry Jeff Walker (3/4, 6/8 - Capo 2nd Fret)
Introduction: C, C/B, Am, Am/G C C/B Am Am/G I knew a man Bojangles and he danced for you F F G G In worn out shoes C C/B Am Am/G Silver hair, ragged shirt and baggy pants F F G G That old soft shoe F F C E Am Am/G He jumped so high, he jumped so high. D7 D7 G G G7 G7 Then he lightly touched down Chorus: Am Am Em Em Am Am Em Em Am Am Em Em Mr. Bojangles!! Mr. Bojangles!! Mr. Bojangles!! C C/B Am Am/G Dance.. I met him in a cell in New Orleans I was down and out He looked to me to be the eye of age as he spoke right out He talked of life, he talked of life, laughs slapped his leg stale He said the name Bojangles and he danced a lick all across the cell He grabbed his pants for a better stance, oh he jumped so high and he clicked up his heels He let go laugh, he let go laugh, shook back his clothes all around Chorus He danced for those at minstrel shows and county fairs throughout the south He spoke with tears of 15 years of how his dog and him just traveled about His dog up and died, he up and died, and after 20 years he still grieves He said "I dance now at every chance at 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, yes he shook his head, I heard someone ask him, please? Chorus (fade out)
Walker has said he was inspired to write the song after an encounter with a street performer in a New Orleans jail and that the song does not refer to the famous stage and movie personality Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Walker said while in jail for public intoxication in 1965, he met a homeless white man who called himself "Mr. Bojangles" to conceal his true identity from the police. He had been arrested as part of a police sweep of indigent people that was carried out following a high-profile murder. The two men and others in the cell chatted about all manner of things, but when Mr. Bojangles told a story about his dog, the mood in the room turned heavy. Someone else in the cell asked for something to lighten the mood, and Mr. Bojangles obliged with a tap dance
The song is notated in two time signatures, 3/4 and 6/8.
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