About The Song

Big Bad John: A Country Ballad of Strength and Sacrifice by Jimmy Dean

“Big Bad John” is a classic country song written and performed by Jimmy Dean. Released in September 1961, it became a major hit and solidified Dean’s status as a country music star.

Story and Themes:

The song tells the story of a powerful mine worker named Big Bad John, known for his immense strength and bravery. When a mine collapses, trapping his fellow workers, John heroically descends to try and rescue them. The song ends tragically, hinting at John’s possible death while saving others.

Themes explored in the song include:

  • Selflessness and sacrifice: John risks his life to save his colleagues, highlighting the importance of putting others before oneself.
  • Strength and courage: The song celebrates John’s physical prowess and bravery in the face of danger.
  • Camaraderie and loyalty: The lyrics emphasize the strong bond between the miners who work together and risk their lives for one another.

Impact and Legacy:

  • “Big Bad John” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in November 1961, becoming a major crossover hit.
  • The song helped popularize the “countrypolitan” sound, a blend of country music with elements of pop music.
  • “Big Bad John” has been covered by numerous artists and continues to be a beloved country classic.
  • It inspired a 1990 television movie of the same name starring Jimmy Dean.
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Here are some additional resources you might find interesting:

  • Listen to the song: You can find “Big Bad John” by Jimmy Dean on various music streaming services or watch music videos on YouTube: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnnHprUGKF0
  • Read more about the song’s history: While there isn’t a dedicated Wikipedia page for the song itself, you can find information about Jimmy Dean’s career on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Dean
  • Watch the 1990 television movie: While the movie may not be readily available for streaming online, you can search for rental or purchase options through various websites.

Video

Lyrics

🎵 Let’s sing along with the lyrics! 🎤
Big JohnBig John
Ev’ry mornin’ at the mine you could see him arriveHe stood six foot six and weighed 245Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hipAnd everybody knew, ya didn’t give no lip to Big John
Big Bad John(Big John)
Nobody seemed to know where John called homeHe just drifted into town and stayed all aloneHe didn’t say much, he kinda quiet and shyAnd if you spoke at all, he just said, “Hi” to Big John
Somebody said he came from New OrleansWhere he got in a fight over a Cajun QueenAnd a crashin’ blow from a huge right handSent a Louisiana fellow to the Promised Land, Big John
Big Bad John(Big John)
Then came the day at the bottom of the mineWhen a timber cracked and men started cryin’Miners were prayin’ and hearts beat fastAnd everybody thought that they’d breathed their last, ‘cept John
Through the dust and the smoke of this man-made hellWalked a giant of a man that the miners knew wellGrabbed a saggin’ timber, gave out with a groanAnd like a giant Oak tree, he just stood there alone, Big John
Big Bad John(Big John)
And with all of his strength he gave a mighty shoveThen a miner yelled out, “There’s a light up above”And 20 men scrambled from a would-be graveNow there’s only one left down there to save, Big John
With jacks and timbers they started back downThen came that rumble way down in the groundAnd then smoke and gas belched out of that mineEverybody knew it was the end of the line for Big John
Big Bad John(Big John)
Now they never reopened that worthless pitThey just placed a marble stand in front of itThese few words are written on that stand“At the bottom of this mine lies a big, big man, Big John”
Big Bad John(Big John)(Big John)Big Bad John

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