Tag Archives: England Swings

Song: “King of the Road”

Probably the best capture of the hobo lifestyle ever recorded - a lifestyle that's largely gone away. Uploaded by avclub.com.

Roger Miller wrote and recorded a series of lighthearted songs in the 1960s that might be called “novelty songs” except for one thing. They were really good. You might remember songs like “England Swings,” “Dang Me,” and “Chug-a-Lug.” But it’s “King of the Road” that featured Miller’s smart lyrics and breezy country vocal style.

Uploaded by top40db.net.

I’m not sure if there’s another popular song written about hobos. In fact, I’m not sure if what we think of as hobos – train riding, nomadic, freeloading folks – are still around. But Miller’s song romanticized the lifestyle, and gave it to us as a time capsule.

 

 

I smoke old stogies I have found

Short, but not too big around

I’m a Man of means by no means

King of the road

The song won five Grammy Awards: Best Country Song, Best Vocal Performance – Male, Best Country and Western Recording – Single, Best Contemporary Vocal Performance – Male, and Best Contemporary (Rock and Roll) Single. The song was selected for the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.