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

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 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:

"Mr. Bojangles" ...
"Mr. Bojangles" ...
"Mr. Bojangles" ...
"come on : dance!"

                               jerry jeff walker