Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: Brenda Lee, “Ballin’ The Jack”

Today Jim gave us two names, “John” and “Jack,” as our song prompts. I wanted to go with a song that didn’t use either name as a name, so I’m going with “Ballin’ The Jack,” a song from 1913. It was written by Jim Burris with music by Chris Smith, and was used to introduce the dance of the same name. Wikipedia tells us that “ballin’ the jack” was used as an expression by railroad people to talk about a train that was going at full speed. It was used in the 1942 movie For Me And My Gal starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland and in several other movies, it’s a standard that’s been recorded many times, including by “Little Miss Dynamite,” Brenda Lee. It was on her 1959 debut album Grandma, What Great Songs You Sang!, recorded when she was just 14 years old. Here she is in a 1960 TV appearance.

YouTube user Mostly Brenda, who posted the song, also posted the lyrics.

Well you put your two knees close up tight,
And then you swing them to the left
You swing them to the right.
Step around the floor kind of nice and light.
And then you twist around and
Twist around with all your might.
Spread your loving arms way out in space,
Then you do the Eagle Rock with the style and grace.
Swing your foot way round then you bring it back.
That’s what I call Ballin’ The Jack.

Well you put your two knees close up tight,
And then you swing them to the left
You swing them to the right.
Step around the floor kind of nice and light.
And then you twist around and
Twist around with all your might.
Spread your loving arms way out in space,
Then you do the Eagle Rock with the style and grace.
Swing your foot way round then you bring it back.
That’s what I call Ballin’ The Jack.

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for June 14, 2020.

15 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: Brenda Lee, “Ballin’ The Jack”

    1. She was (and still is) a great singer. Maybe not the best voice, but perfect for the music she sang, and she was a real performer. Gave 110% whenever she sang.

      Like

  1. Never knew the background of this song. Interesting. Didn’t know the song had been around that long and had no idea what the title referred to.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Like

You can use Markdown in your comments. Thanks for your comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s