The Man With The Banjo
Ames Brothers Lyrics


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Who's that comin'
Who's that strummin'
That's the man with the banjo
For a penny he'll play any song
That's happy and gay

Folks all smile and stop awhile
Because the man with the banjo
Makes their troubles burst like bubbles chasing worries away

See the children running after
While he plays his merry song
All their hearts are filled with laughter
As they tag along

Shadows fallin', sandman's callin'
Here goes the man with the banjo




Gaily strummin' softly strummin'
On his merry old way

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Ames Brothers' "The Man With the Banjo" describe a street musician who travels from place to place, earning pennies in exchange for cheerful tunes played on his banjo. The lyrics convey a sense of joy, as the man's music brings a smile to people's faces, making their worries disappear. The children are particularly drawn to him, following him around as he plays his merry song.


The lyrics also convey a sense of transience, as the man moves along, following the call of the sandman as the shadows fall. He is a wanderer, but his banjo playing brings a sense of coherence to the places he visits, creating a space of happiness and tranquility.


Overall, "The Man With the Banjo" celebrates the restorative power of music and the importance of creating spaces of joy in the midst of everyday life. The man's banjo is not just an instrument, but a symbol of the transformative potential of art.


Line by Line Meaning

Who's that comin'
Who is that approaching?


Who's that strummin'
Who is playing that stringed instrument?


That's the man with the banjo
The music maker holding the banjo is who that is.


For a penny he'll play any song
He will perform any tune for a small sum of money.


That's happy and gay
The songs he plays will be cheery and joyful.


Folks all smile and stop awhile
People pause and grin when they see him playing.


Because the man with the banjo
People are reacting this way due to the presence of the musician with the banjo.


Makes their troubles burst like bubbles chasing worries away
His music has the effect of erasing people's problems and concerns as though they are popped bubbles.


See the children running after
Observe the kids chasing him down.


While he plays his merry songs
He continues to play his happy tunes.


All their hearts are filled with laughter
The children are overcome with joy while following him.


As they tag along
The children accompany him on his journey.


Shadows fallin', sandman's callin'
Night is approaching, and it's time for people to go to bed.


Here goes the man with the banjo
The man with the banjo prepares to move on again.


Gaily strummin', softly strummin'
He is cheerfully plucking and softly strumming the strings of his banjo.


On his merry old way
He marches on, content and happy with his banjo playing.




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: FRITZ SCHULZ REICHEL, ROBERT MELLIN

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@nicholasroby8936

I loved this song when I was 6 in 1955, and still love at age of 72! In 2021 I can again listen over and over again.

@susanrowe9063

Wonderful memories! Aged 7 in 1955, I sang this song solo in a local concert and have only just got around to finding it here - thank you!

@njva17420

The Ames Brothers were among my Dad's favorite pop singers back in the 50s.  It is wonderful to hear this again and "You, You, You."

@SEPTEMBERANCH

Such wonderful memories.

@Cynthia-ht8ld

Now, the Ames Brothers are together for all eternity. Rest in peace, Ed. July 9,1927-May 21,2023.

@patrickfleming3658

Such great memories

@johnrussell8749

Beautiful harmony, back up and banjo pickin'.

@originalsbyterry256

SMOOTH is not enough to describe this!

@the45shootist

I like it so much that I BECAME the man with the banjo!

@browndog461

When times were much more carefree and innocent, the real 50's.

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