Bad, Bad Leroy Brown

My grandfather’s sister was married to a man named Leroy Brown. He was a firefighter in his day; a true hero. I’m not sure what the truth is but we were told that due to the excessive smoke inhalation of being a firefighter, he had severe damage to his throat and had a tracheostomy as a result. I’m sure the equipment firefighters used back then were next to useless by today’s standards. This must have been in the 70’s because I was around 10 or 11 years old. I recall a very disturbing view of Leroy Brown smoking a cigarette once through the opening in his throat. *Shivers* I’m pretty sure smoking had something to do with his medical need for the trach in the first place! He probably had throat cancer, but my sisters and I were sheltered from that type of information.

Leroy Brown was a formidable man of large stature. He was in his 60’s at that time, and he carried himself with confidence and arrogance. Due to the trach, his voice was rough and scratchy. He was a direct and to the point type of man. No one messed with Leroy Brown! One time, back when my Grandfather owned a bar, my Grandfather got into an altercation with some drunken idiot over a woman. Well, Leroy Brown, who was the official “unofficial bouncer” pulled a gun on him. That guy ran out of there and never came back. The woman involved, got in Leroy Brown’s face and what do you think he did? He punched her right in the face. Done. No one messed with Leroy Brown or they suffered the consequences. No doubt about that!

Well, my sisters were scared of Leroy Brown. They were about the ages of 5 and 3 at the time. They were just little kids and the sound of Leroy’s voice through that gaping hole in his throat was scary as hell to them! Not to mention, they thought he was THE Leroy Brown from the song by Jim Croce! The song tells what seems to be a good description of our Leroy Brown except I don’t recall that he ever got his ass whooped like in the song.

I heard that song the other day on the radio and it reminded me of our Leroy Brown. I’m not sure when he died, but I hope he had a good life. I would like to have known him as an adult. I think he would have been a very interesting man with some great stories to tell!

Here’s a video of the song and the lyrics are below the video. Enjoy!

Bad Bad Leroy Brown by Jim Croce

Well the South side of Chicago
Is the baddest part of town
And if you go down there
You better just beware
Of a man named Leroy Brown
Now Leroy more than trouble
You see he stand ’bout six foot four
All the downtown ladies call him “Treetop Lover”
All the men just call him “Sir”
And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog
Now Leroy he a gambler
And he like his fancy clothes
And he like to wave his diamond rings
In front of everybody’s nose
He got a custom Continental
He got an Eldorado too
He got a thirty two gun in his pocket for fun
He got a razor in his shoe
And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog
Now Friday ’bout a week ago
Leroy shootin’ dice
And at the edge of the bar
Sat a girl named Doris
And oo that girl looked nice
Well he cast his eyes upon her
And the trouble soon began
And Leroy Brown learned a lesson
‘Bout messin’ with the wife of a jealous man
And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog
Well the two men took to fighting
And when they pulled them off the floor
Leroy looked like a jigsaw puzzle
With a couple of pieces gone
And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog
And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Songwriter: James Croce
Bad Bad Leroy Brown lyrics © BMG Rights Management US, LLC

Author: Deb / Being Aunt Debbie

Single, mother of 2 adult children and grandmother to 3 beautiful grandchildren! I crochet, make jewelry, hand-poured soaps, and what ever else I can get into! I love Medieval History, castles, all things Celtic. I love animals, rock music, Mexican food, writing, learning, and good movies.

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