Mr. Bojangles

今天是聖誕節,外頭陰雨綿綿,卻突然想起了一首很多年前聽到的一首歌,上YouTube找到了Sammy Davis Jr.的這個版本,讓我忍不住看了不下數十回的Mr. Bojangles,想要推薦給大家聽。

Mr. Bojangles是一位頭髮灰白,穿著破舊衣服,為了賺取微薄生活費,遊走在各個低級酒吧到處走唱表演的老舞者,在紐奧良遇見了喝得醉醺醺同樣被請進大牢裡的這首歌的作者Jerry Jeff Walker。在獄中為了排解無聊,年邁的Bojangles依然身手矯健地跳起了踢躂舞,逗得大夥兒開懷大笑,鼓掌叫好。Bojangles說他有一隻跟著他一起到處遊歷了15年的老狗,就算牠已經死去了20年,當在聊起這段往事時,Bojangles還是悲傷的不能自己。現在的他,只想把握每一次在酒吧裡的表演機會,賺些小費,喝杯小酒,但大多數時間他只能呆坐在吧檯等著…

這原該是一首很沉重的歌,但從Sammy Davis Jr.的演唱表演,看到的卻是「在短短的六分半鐘,看到一個倒轉人生,曾經有過精彩歷練風光過去的老者,但就算身處困境,再衰老,再卑微,還願意堅持活著,面對一切」的感動,很好聽的一首歌,這在現今充斥著耍花槍的時代,已經很難再看到類似讓人充滿想像畫面的表演了。



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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