Ole’ soft shoe

I’ve been struck lately by Sammie Davis Jr.’s version of Mr. Bojangles. It’s a song about a cabaret dancer who is never good enough to retire – he toils on and on.

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 please.

To me harmonicas have always been closely associated with the blues.
When I took this photo is wasn’t intended to be so blue, so Mr. Bojangles. Trust me, I was lucky enough to get to know Opa (Naomi’s grandfather) a bit, and Opa wasn’t blue. However, of all the photos I took that day, this one struck me the most.


Leave a Comment