Sunday, March 25, 2007

Road Songs: Big Bad John

I first heard music's greatest spoken-word song riding in the backseat of our family's 1979 Volvo, coming home from the cottage. Cruising along that part of the King's Highway known as No. 7, just along the marsh's edge between Kaladar and Actinolite, Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John came on the radio. Along with pure pork sausages and his scene-stealing role as Willard Whyte in Diamonds Are Forever, this Grammy-winning ballad - a heroic tale about Louisiana's version of Big Joe Mufferaw - is but one of many lasting cultural contributions from this Texas renaissance man. Listen here or read some lyrics:

Then came the day at the bottom of the mine
When a timber cracked and men started cryin'
Miners were prayin' and hearts beat fast
And everybody thought they'd breathed their last, 'cept John

Through the dust and the smoke of this man-made hell
Walked a giant of a man that the miners knew well
Grabbed the saggin' timber and gave out with a groan
And like a giant oak tree, just stood there alone, Big John

3 comments:

SGT DUB said...

A great song by a cool guy

webber said...

"Ba-ah-ha? I haven't got anything in Ba-ah-ha!"

David said...

Apparently Dean wrote the song on a New York-Nashville flight.