Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lighten Up part I

Lighten up. (meaning)
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.)

Jerry Jeff Walker

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 March 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 Walker's 1977 album, A Man Must Carry On and his 1980 album The Best of Jerry Jeff Walker.

The song was inspired by an encounter with a street performer in the New Orleans 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.

According to Walker, 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."

Recorded versions
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Walker's song has been recorded by many popular artists, including Garth Brooks, Kristofer Åström, Chet Atkins, Hugues Aufray (French version, 1984), Harry Belafonte, Bermuda Triangle Band, David Bromberg, Dennis Brown, The Byrds, JJ Cale, David Campbell, Bobby Cole, Edwyn Collins, Jim Croce, Jamie Cullum, King Curtis, Sammy Davis Jr., John Denver, Neil Diamond, Cornell Dupree, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Tom T. Hall, John Holt, Whitney Houston, Queen Ifrica, Billy Joel, Dave Jarvis, Nina Simone, Elton John, Frankie Laine, Lulu, Rod McKuen, Don McLean, MC Neat, Harry Nilsson, Esther Phillips, Ray Quinn, Mike Schank, Frank Sinatra, Todd Snider, Cat Stevens, Jim Stafford, Radka Toneff, Jamie Walker, Robbie Williams, Buck Fisher, Bebe Neuwirth, Nina Simone and Dolly Parton.
Nina Simone

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.

Sammy Davis, Jr performed the song on television.

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 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, 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
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

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

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