Celebrating great American folk, ballads, light rock and blues.
Mr. Bojangles
by Jerry Jeff Walker
Return to Liner Notes

I knew a man Bojangles and he'd dance for you
In worn out shoes
Silver hair and ragged shirt and baggy pants
He did 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 slapped his leg a step

He said the name Bojangles and he danced a lick across the cell
He grabbed his pants a better stance then he jumped so high
He clicked his heels
He let go a laugh oh he let go a laugh
Shook back his clothes all around

Mr. Bojangles
Mr. Bojangles
Mr. Bojangles

He danced for those at minstrel shows and county fairs throughout the South
He spoke with tears of fifteen years how his dog and him traveled about
His 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 o' the time I spend behind these county bars
Hell I drinks a bit
He shook his head and as he shook his head
I heard someone ask him please



Alan Klein – lead vocals, guitar
Dave Lyman – vocal harmonies, guitar
Cynthia Peterson – vocal harmonies
Chuck Cole – mandolin
Wes Peterson – harmonica

Dave: Another song Alan has done for a long time. I’ve always thought this highlights the wonderful distinctive timbre of Alan’s voice and of course there are high harmonies. Cynthia and I have fun with this backing up Alan.

Wes: My parents probably never knew I did this, but there was a slow freight train that made its way along the route to my junior high school.  Rather than walking the whole way, I'd jump the train, then sit back and enjoy the ride.

I met some interesting characters on that freighter.  In those days, we didn't call them "homeless." They preferred the moniker "hobo." I like to think I met "Mr. Bojangles" on one of those rides; a happy hobo that sang, danced and jumped around the empty boxcar.  He had a dog, too.  I think of him every time I hear this song.

This song is a real showcase for Alan's voice.  Dave mentioned the timbre in Alan's voice.  I think of it as a silver-bell-like quality - and I mean a large, heavy bell.


It's next year already ☺ (2017) and Vintage Fare is going strong!

In 2016, in addition to our monthly appearances at several local venues we:

- Performed at the Nichelini Winery, the oldest in the Napa Valley,

- Performed private parties, and

- We're invited to perform, yet again, at A Taste of Carmichael, a great community event.


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