Saturday, January 16, 2016

Poignancy Personified: Watch an Aged, Gimpy, Yet Grand Sammy Davis Jr. Perform “Mr. Bojangles” Before a Live Audience in West Germany (1985 Video)



Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

Davis (1925-1990) was probably 59 when he gave this performance.

Mr. Bojangles
Words & Music by Jerry Jeff Walker

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.

He jumped so high,
Jumped so high,
Then he lightly
Touched 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,
Talked of life,
He laughed, clicked
His heels, and stepped.

He said his name, “Bojangles,”
And he danced a lick,
Across the cell.

He grabbed his pants,
And spread his stance,
Oh, he jumped so high,
And then he clicked his heels.

He let go a laugh,
Let go a laugh,
And 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 through tears,
Of 15 years
How his dog and him,
traveled about.

The dog up and died,
He up and died,
And after 20 years,
He still grieves.

He said, “I dance now
At every chance,
In honky tonks,
For drinks and tips.

“But most 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

Mr. Bojangles,
Mr. Bojangles,
Mr. Bojangles,



Sammy Davis Jr., near the end

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