I knew a man, Bojangles, and he’d dance for you,
in worn out shoes.
With silver hair, a ragged shirt, and baggy pants,
He would do the old soft shoe.
He could jump so high, jump so high
And then he’d lightly touched down.
I met him in a cell in New Orleans, I was…
Well, I was down and out.
He looked to me to be the very eyes of age,
As he spoke right out.
Talked of life, lord, that man talked of life.
Laughed, slapped his leg a step.
He said his name was “Bojangles” then he danced a lick,
Right across the cell.
He grabbed his pants, took a better stance, jumped up high,
That’s when he clicked his heels.
Then he’d let go a laugh, lord, he’d let go a laugh,
Shook back his clothes all around.
That was Mr. Bojangles,
Lord, he could dance.
He told me the other times, he worked with minstrel shows,
Throughout the South.
He spoke with tears of 15 years how his dog and he,
They used to travel about.
But his dog up and died, dog up and died,
And after 20 years he still grieves.
He said “I dance now at every chance in honky tonks
For my drinks and tips.
But most of time I spend behind these county bars
You see son, I drinks a bit.”
Then he shook his head, lord, when he shook his head
I could swear, I heard someone say “Please, please, please…”
Come back and dance, dance, please, dance,
Come on and dance now.
Oh Mr. Bojangles,
Come back and dance,