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The Meaning Behind The Song: Funky Broadway by James Brown

The Meaning Behind The Song: Funky Broadway by James Brown


I have always been a fan of James Brown, and one of my all-time favorite songs by him is “Funky Broadway.” This upbeat and energetic track never fails to get me moving and grooving, but beyond the catchy rhythm lies a deeper meaning and significance to the song.

The Lyrics

“Funky Broadway” is an anthemic song that was released by James Brown in 1967 as part of his album “James Brown Plays the Real Thing.” The song was written by Arlester Christian, who was a talented songwriter and musician in his own right.

The lyrics of “Funky Broadway” paint a vivid picture of a vibrant and lively street called Broadway, where people gather to have a good time and let loose. Brown’s iconic voice takes us on a tour of this funky street, inviting us to join in the celebration and enjoy the music:

“Going to a go-go, everybody’s, going to a show,
gonna make them dance, gonna make them sing,
gonna make them shout, gonna make them shout,
I wanna dance, I wanna shout,
I wanna dance, I wanna shout.”
– Excerpt from “Funky Broadway” by James Brown-

The lively and repetitive nature of these lyrics perfectly captures the essence of the upbeat funk music genre that James Brown is known for. It’s impossible to listen to this song without feeling the urge to dance and sing along.

Additional Information

Aside from the catchy lyrics, “Funky Broadway” features an exceptional ensemble of musicians who contributed to its infectious sound. The song boasts the talents of multiple saxophonists, including Charles Carr, St. Claire Pinckney, and Eldee Williams. The guitar work by Alfonzo Kellum and Jimmy Nolen adds the perfect amount of funkiness to the track. Additionally, the trumpet players Joe Dupars, Ron Harper, and Waymon Reed, along with Levi Rasbury on valve trombone, complete the powerful brass section that defines the song’s sound.

Interestingly, “Funky Broadway” has also been sampled in other notable songs. One example is “Teach the Children” by Eric B. & Rakim, where the iconic grooves of James Brown were used as a foundation to create a new and unique hip-hop track.

Personal Connection

Listening to “Funky Broadway” takes me back to my youth when I discovered James Brown’s music for the first time. This song became the soundtrack of many joyous celebrations with friends, where we would dance our hearts out and create memories that have lasted a lifetime. It reminds me of carefree moments filled with laughter and happiness.

Moreover, the spirit of “Funky Broadway” goes beyond the superficial joy it brings. It serves as a reminder that music has the incredible power to unite people, to transcend boundaries, and to bring us together in harmony. It reminds me that, through music, we can find a common language and shared experiences, regardless of our backgrounds or differences.


“Funky Broadway” by James Brown is more than just a catchy tune. It captures the essence of funk music while inviting listeners to let go, have a good time, and express themselves through music and dance. Its vibrant energy and infectious rhythm continue to resonate with audiences to this day. So next time you hear this song playing, don’t hesitate to join in the celebration and let the funky spirit of Broadway take over.

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