Listen & Learn: Jim Croce

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Jim Croce was a famous singer- songwriter in the 1970s.

In the 1960s he began doing gigs in small clubs and college parties.

In the 1970s singer-songwriters became very popular.

Jim also wrote songs for other musicians.

In 1973 he wrote his first major hit single “Bad Bad Leroy Brown.”

He was destined to become a great musician.

Sadly, on September 20th, 1973, Jim Croce died in a plane crash.

His 1974 album, “You, Don’t Mess Around With Jim,” was crowned number one in the music charts.

His son, A.J. Croce was only 2 years-old when he died.

Now his son A.J. is also a musician.

As a kid, I always enjoyed Jim Croce’s music.

I think his music is real American music.

 

“Bad Bad Leroy Brown”

Woah!

Well the south side of Chicago
Is the baddest part of town
And if you go down there
You better just beware
Of a man name of Leroy Brown

Now Leroy more than trouble
You see he stand ‘bout six foot four
All those downtown ladies call him “Treetop Lover”
All the men just call him “Sir”

And he’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damn town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Now Leroy he a gambler
And he like his fancy clothes
And he like to wave his diamond rings
Under everybody’s nose

He got a custom Continental
He got an Eldorado too
He got a 32 gun in his pocket full a fun
He got a razor in his shoe

And he’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damn town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Well Friday ’bout a week ago
Leroy shootin’ dice
And at the edge of the bar
Sat a girl named Doris
And oh that girl looked nice

Well he cast his eyes upon her
And the trouble soon began
And Leroy Brown had learned a lesson
‘Bout a-messin’ with the wife of a jealous man

And he’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damn town
Badder than a-old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Well the two men took to fighting
And when they pulled them from the floor
Leroy looked like a jigsaw puzzle
With a couple of pieces gone

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damn town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

And he’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damn town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Yeah he was badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog.

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“I’ll Have to Say I Love You In a Song”

Well, I know it’s kinda late.
I hope I didn’t wake you.
But what I gotta say can’t wait,
I know you’d understand.

Every time I tried to tell you,
The words just came out wrong,
So I’ll have to say I love you in a song.

Yeah, I know it’s kinda strange.
Every time I’m near you,
I just run out of things to say.
I know you’d understand.

Every time I tried to tell you,
The words just came out wrong,
So I’ll have to say I love you in a song.

Every time the time was right,
All the words just came out wrong,
So I’ll have to say I love you in a song

Yeah, I know it’s kinda late.
Hope I didn’t wake you,
But there’s something I just gotta say.
Know you’d understand.

Every time I tried to tell you,
The words just came out wrong
So I’ll have to say I love you in a song.

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“You Don’t Mess Around With Jim”

Uptown got it’s hustlers
The bowery got it’s bums
42nd Street got Big Jim Walker
He’s a pool-shootin’ son of a gun
Yeah, he big and dumb as a man can come
But he stronger than a country hoss
And when the bad folks all get together at night
You know they all call big Jim “Boss”, just because
And they say

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim

Well outta south Alabama come a country boy
He say I’m lookin’ for a man named Jim
I am a pool-shootin’ boy
By name ‘a Willie McCoy
But down home they call me Slim
Yeah I’m lookin’ for the king of 42nd Street
He drivin’ a drop top Cadillac
Last week he took all my money
And it may sound funny
But I come to get my money back
And everybody say Jack don’t you know

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim

Well a hush fell over the pool room
Jimmy come boppin’ in off the street
And when the cuttin’ was done
The only part that wasn’t bloody
Was the soles of the big man’s feet, ooh
And he was cut in about a hundred places
And he were shot in a couple more
And you better believe
There come another kind of story
When big Jim hit the floor now they say

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Slim

Yeah, big Jim got his hat
Find out where it’s at
And it’s not hustlin’ people strange to you
Even if you do got a two-piece custom-made pool cue

Yeah you don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Slim

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“Operator”

Operator, well could you help me place this call
See, the number on the match book is old and faded
She’s living in L.A
With my best old ex-friend Ray
A guy she said she knew well and sometimes hated

But isn’t that the way they say it goes
Well let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell ’em I’m fine, and to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words
Could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels

Operator, well could you help me place this call
‘Cause I can’t read the number that you just gave me
There’s something in my eyes
You know it happens every time
I think about the love that I thought would save me

But isn’t that the way they say it goes
Well let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell ’em I’m fine, and to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words
Could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels
No, no, no, no
That’s not the way it feels

Operator, well let’s forget about this call
There’s no one there I really wanted to talk to
Thank you for your time
Ah, you’ve been so much more than kind
You can keep the dime

But isn’t that the way they say it goes
Well let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell ’em I’m fine, and to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words
Could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels

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“Time In a Bottle”

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do, once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty, except for the memory of how
They were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do, once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go through time with

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