Idioms & Phrases
Become or cause to become less serious or gloomy, and more cheerful. For example, Lighten up, Sam it'll turn out all right . This slangy expression transfers reducing a physical weight to a change of mood or attitude.
1. Lighten up - make more cheerful; "the conversation lightened me up a bit"
2. Lighten up - become more cheerful; "after a glass of wine, he lightened up a bit"
3. Lighten up - make lighter or brighter; "The paint will brighten the room"
4. Lighten up - become lighter; "The room lightened up"
(A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (bring, read, walk, run, learn), an occurrence (happen, become), or a state of being (be, exist, stand). In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive.)
Mr. Bojangles did lighten the mood
"Mr. Bojangles" is the title of a song originally written and recorded by American country music artist Jerry Jeff Walker (born Ronald Clyde Crosby on
16, 1942 in
Oneonta, New York.) for his 1968 album of the same title. Since then, it has
been recorded by many other artists, including American country music band The
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, whose version (recorded for the 1970 album Uncle
Charlie & His Dog Teddy) was issued as a single and rose to number nine on
the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart in 1971. Live versions of the song appeared on 's 1977 album, A Man Must Carry On
and his 1980 album The Best of Jerry Jeff Walker. Walker
The song was inspired by an encounter with a street performer in the
first precinct jail. Although this
man could tap dance, the inspiration for the song was not the famous stage and
movie dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, nor the New Orleans blues musician Babe Stovall. New Orleans
, a murder on the July 4th weekend
of 1965 precipitated the arrest of all the street people in the area. In the
crowded cell, a dishevelled, old, homeless man got talking to Walker, who had
been arrested earlier in the day. The man told various stories of his life, but
the tone darkened after 'Mr Bojangles' recalled his dog that had been run over.
Someone then asked for something to lighten the mood and the man obliged with a
tap dance." Walker
|The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band|
A dance choreographed by Bob Fosse to the song appeared in the 1999 West End & Broadway theater show Fosse, having previously been featured in Fosse's 1978 show Dancin'.
Furthermore, composer Philip Glass makes reference to "Mr. Bojangles" in his minimalist opera Einstein on the Beach.
Jim Carrey also performed this song in his earlier stand up routines and in his first movie Copper Mountain.
Mr. Bojangles Lyrics
I knew a man Bojangles 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
I was New Orleans
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, dance
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
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
Mr. Bojangles, Mr. Bojangles
Mr. Bojangles, dance..