Nilsson, Harry - Mr. Bojangles Lyrics

I knew a man,
and he'd dance for you
in worn out shoes,
with silver hair,
a ragged shirt,
and baggy pants.
the old soft shoe.
jump so high,
jump 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 very eyes of age
as he spoke right out,
talked of life, talked of life,
laughed, slapped his leg and stepped.

He said the name "Bojangles"
and he danced a lick
across the cell.
grabbed his pants,
a better stance,
and wow he jumped up high.
clicked his heels.
he let go a laugh,
let go a laugh,
shook back his clothes all around.

Mr. Bojangles.
Mr. Bojangles.
Mr. Bojangles.

he danced with those at minstrel
shows & county fairs,
throughout The South.
He spoke with tears
of fifteen years
of how his dog and him,
had traveled about.
his dog up and died,
he up and died,
after twenty years he still greives.

He said "I dance
now and every chance at
for drinks and tips.
But most of time
I spend behind these country bars,
cause I drinks a bit."

he shook his head.
and as he shook his head,
I heard someone ask please,

Mr. Bojangles.
Mr. Bojangles.
Mr. Bojangles.

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Nilsson, Harry Mr. Bojangles Comments
  1. Andrea Forni

    At that time Harry was the best American singer, then alcohol destroyed his beautiful voice .... what a pity!

  2. Alfonsina Parra

    🎶✨70’s.✨🎶. Me fascinas HARRY NILSSON. Tienes mucho parecido al amor dé mí vida, Carlos Alfonso T.T.. hermosos e inolvidables recuerdos dé esa maravillosa etapa dé mí vida. Mí entrañable adolescencia...

  3. Alun Smith

    Best version. Sorry Sammy.

  4. batterymaker

    A brilliant artist. Just wish he'd taken better care of himself

  5. Alun Smith

    " please ".

  6. sharig97

    Favorite version!

  7. Fide Fide

    This is amazing. Thanks.

  8. Phillip Henchliffe

    My fav version

  9. helen hugill

    so glad I found u tube

  10. The Wizard of Rock and Roll

    Jerry Jeff Walker from Upstate NY wrote this song! He told some of us the story in The Clarity Bar on Bourbon St. in the French Quarter one night circa '75! Johnnie Walker was the Musician playing that night , Jerry Jeff was very impressed by Johnnie , he could play any kind of music ...he was a brilliant artist , he wound up joining a NOLA Band called Vince Vance & The Valiants with myself. I had to quit cause I couldn't sing harmony only leads.But ,Johnnie then was killed in a car accident and I lost a great new friend. So while Jerry Jeff sat in , he told how he wrote Bojangles , who was an old white guy drunk in the 1st Pct. Jail telling his story, just so happened it was where Jerry Jeff was spending the nite also for being drunk ! Right Place @ Right time for JJ , but oh so wrong place for Johnnie Walker !

    Karl Greenblatt

    Jerry tells it that he was in jail for propositioning the bartenders wife / girlfriend. Yes drinking most likely had a lot to do with it.

    The Wizard of Rock and Roll

    @Woodja Coudja Sounds about right , I am sure he said more that night , just did not remember all the details but the place and the person who inspired the song ! 

    Karl Greenblatt

    I heard him play it solo on WBAI, it could have been before it was cut and never heard it again since.

  11. arnarne

    My favourite version of Mr. Bojangles ever. No one could put so much feeling into a song as Harry could!

    Jarosław Cichoń

    sammy davis do it better


    Jarosław Cichoń Sammy Davis was, no doubt, an amazing performer but Harry with his fantastic range and smooth voice did this song better in my humble opinion. Listen without prejudice and give this version a chance, please.

    Carla DiCiaccio

    .....I agree, Harry's version is the best in my opinion! His voice is wonderful here!


    I like david bromberg's version. He really paints the picture

  12. iheardthemusic


  13. courtney leigh


    Love Harry

    I Love this song by Harry!