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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1961 - Top Songs - Big Bad John
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1961!
In 1961, Jimmy Dean recorded Big Bad John. The song quickly rose on the charts claiming Billboard's number one position for five weeks. The song would also claim the number 14 position for top songs in the 1960-1969 category. The words and music were written by Jimmy Dean and reflected his style and personality.

The Lyrics:

(Big John, Big John)
Ev'ry mornin' at the mine you could see him arrive
He stood six foot six and weighed two forty five
Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip
And everybody knew ya didn't give no lip to Big John.
(Big John, Big John) Big Bad John (Big John)

Nobody seemed to know where John called home
He just drifted into town and stayed all alone
He didn't say much, kinda quiet and shy
And if you spoke at all, you just said "Hi" to Big John.

Somebody said he came from New Orleans
Where he got in a fight over a Cajun Queen
And a crashin' blow from a huge right hand
Sent a Loosiana fellow to the Promised Land-Big John
(Big John, Big John) Big Bad John (Big John)

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 that 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 a saggin' timber, gave out with a groan
And like a giant oak tree he just stood there alone-Big John
(Big John, Big John) Big Bad John (Big John)

And with all of his strength he gave a mighty shove
Then a miner yelled out "There's a light up above!"
And twenty men scrambled from a would-be grave
Now there's only one left down there to save-Big John

With jacks and timbers they started back down
Then came that rumble way down in the ground
And then smoke and gas belched out of that mine
Everybody knew it was the end of the line for Big John
(Big John, Big John) Big Bad John (Big John)

Now they never reopened that worthless pit
They just placed a marble stand in front of it
These few words are written on that stand
At the bottom of this mine lies a one hell of a man Big John
(Big John, Big John) Big Bad John (Big John)
(Big John, Big John)
Big Bad John (Big John)

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