He danced for those at minstrel shows and county fairs throughout the SouthI thought of those words from "Mr. Bojangles" a lot after Teddy died and imagined myself grieving for a long time. Today is the first anniversary of his death. I'm feeling a little better, slowly but surely, to the point where thinking about him doesn't automatically bring up painful memories of his last days. But I'll still think of him in 20 years, assuming I'm still here. If not, maybe I'll be feeding him ham sandwiches in heaven.
He spoke with tears of fifteen years how his dog and him traveled about
His dog up and died he up and died
After twenty years he still grieves
As for Walker and his famous song, I found this tidbit written by Tom Gascoyne:
This Saturday I get to go to the Feather Falls Casino to see Jerry Jeff Walker. When I tell people this, most draw a blank and say "Who?" Then I tell them, "He wrote 'Mr. Bojangles.'" And they think of Sammy Davis Jr. and his smarmy version of that great song. But Walker is like Willie Nelson or Waylon Jennings, only more grounded. You get the feeling he's really lived the things he sings about... As for "Mr. Bojangles," Walker's friend David Bromberg explained in a 1972 recording that Walker met Bojangles in a drunk tank in New Orleans while doing a little "field research."