Get An Intimate Look Behind The Scenes Of Jim Croce’s “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim”

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Get An Intimate Look Behind The Scenes Of Jim Croce’s “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” | Society Of Rock Videos

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“You Don’t Mess Around With Jim,” Take 1

Singer-songwriter Jim Croce is known for writing some of the most iconic songs to emerge out of the 1970s, each one crafted around an intensely personal experience. Whether it was his time in the National Guard or encountering shady, unsavory characters, Jim’s songwriting was always an honest snapshot of his life at the time. His demo tapes give us a really cool, behind the scenes glimpse into what it took to craft the final versions of his songs, and you’ll be surprised to find out: the demos really aren’t that different from the final versions at all.

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Fun Fact: Jim often recorded from his home kitchen. Conversations with friends, demos, song ideas – everything was fair game, and it’s how his son AJ got to “know” his dad after his death.

‘You Don’t Mess Around With Jim’ is one of the greatest examples of Croce’s ability to craft a song with next to nothing; armed with only his voice and an acoustic guitar, Jim recorded ‘You Don’t Mess Around With Jim’ from the comfort of his kitchen and it sounds as good as any proper studio recording. Sure, it’s missing a full rhythm section and the talents of Maury Muehleisen accompanying him, but there’s something about this stripped down, bare bones demo that makes us want to sit down at Jim’s feet and listen to him spin stories all night long!

+ You Don’t Mess Around With Jim lyrics +

Uptown got it’s hustlers
The bowery got it’s bums
42nd street got big Jim walker
He’s a pool shootin’ son of a gun
Yeah, he big and dumb as a man can come
But he stronger than a country hoss
And when the bad folks all get together at night
You know they all call big Jim boss, just because
And they say

You don’t tug on superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that old lone ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim

Well outta south Alabama came a country boy
He say I’m lookin’ for a man named Jim
I am a pool shootin’ boy
My name Willie McCoy
But down home they call me slim
Yeah I’m lookin’ for the king of 42nd street
He drivin’ a drop top cadillac
Last week he took all my money
And it may sound funny
But I come to get my money back
And everybody say Jack don’t you know

And you don’t tug on superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that old lone ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim

Well a hush fell over the pool room
Jimmy come boppin’ in off the street
And when the cuttin’ were done
The only part that wasn’t bloody
Was the soles of the big man’s feet
Yeah he were cut in in bout a hundred places
And he were shot in a couple more
And you better believe
They sung a different kind of story
When big Jim hit the floor now they say

You don’t tug on superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that old lone ranger
And you don’t mess around with slim

Yeah, big Jim got his hat
Find out where it’s at
And it’s not hustlin’ people strange to you
Even if you do got a two piece custom made pool cue

Yeah you don’t tug on superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off the old lone ranger
And you don’t mess around with slim

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