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Entry from December 07, 2006
“Dance with the one who brung you” (Darrell Royal)

"Dance with the one that brung you” was a favorite expression of University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal. In sports, it means to go with the players and plays that result in wins. Molly Ivins wrote a book titled “You got to dance with them what brung you: politics in the Clinton years” (1998). Shania Twain recorded a song titled “Dance With the One That Brought You” (1993).

The phrase was not coined by Darrell Royal. A song “I’m Going to Dance With the One Who Brung Me” was popular in the 1920s.


Speak Texan
in 30 minutes or less
by Lou Hudson
The Texas Twang Preservation Society
Fort Worth: The Great Texas Line
(no date)
Pg. 36:
You dance with them that brung ya.
—An old Texas expression of loyalty

28 October 1927, Oakland (CA) Tribune, pg. 40:
...song, “I’m Going to Dance With the One Who Brung Me,” Shirley Ives;... 

21 January 1937, Burlington (NC) Daily Times-News:
He turned to Linda. “We have a dance, don’t we?”

Ted edged her toward the dance floor. “Sure,” he said, “sometime after this one. Remember, Linda, you go to dance with the guy what brung you.”

22 June 1959, Lima (OH) News, pg. 10:
You violated the first rule of good datesmanship—“to stick with the guy who brung you.”

3 November 1965, Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard, “Royal Not Making Any Changes,” pg.  19:
“As the old saying goes, ‘we’ll dance with who brung us.’”

12 November 1971, Chicago Tribune, pg. C3: 
AS DARRELL ROYAL likes to say, “You dance with who brung you.”

30 October 1978, Chicago Tribune, pg. E3:
DARRELL ROYAL, the former Texas coach, coined the expression “You dance with who brung you.”

26 October 1981, Chicago Tribune, pg. D3:
IRVING, Tex.—Dance with the guy who brung you, the old expression goes. It’s a pro football axiom. Translated, it means: Keep doing what has been successful for you.

10 March 1982, Chicago Tribune, pg. C1:
THERE’S AN OLD country adage that you dance with who brung you.

(Book Copyright)
Registration Number:  TX-4-927-130
Title:  You got to dance with them what brung you : politics in the Clinton years / Molly Ivins.
Edition:  1st ed. 
Imprint:  New York : Random House, c1998. 
Description:  245 p. 
Claimant:  acMolly Ivins
Created:  1997
Published:  28Feb98
Registered:  12Feb99
Claim Limit:  NEW MATTER: introduction; compilation of prev. pub. articles.

(Song Copyright)
Registration Number:  PA-446-707
Title:  Dance with the one who brought you / words and music by Susan R. Falconer.
Description:  2 p. 
Claimant:  Susan R. Falconer
Created:  1989
Published:  17Dec89
Registered:  2Jan90

(Song Copyright)
Registration Number:  PA-704-949
Title:  Dance with the one who brung you. 
Description:  Sound cassette. 
Note:  Words & music. 
Claimant:  Co-Heart Music, Inc. 
Created:  1990
Published:  4Jul95
Registered:  14Jul95
Author on © Application:  Billy Joe Shaver , 1939-.

(Song Copyright)
Registration Number:  PA-670-235
Title:  Dance with the one that brought you. 
Note:  Performed by Shania Twain. 
In:  Shania Twain. mMercury 314-514 422-2, c1993. Compact disc
Claimant:  WB Music Corporation, Tree Publishing Company, Inc. 
Created:  1992
Published:  20Apr93
Registered:  24Nov93
Date in © Notice:  notice on lyrics: 1990
Author on © Application:  words & music: Gretchen Peters & Samuel Harper Hogin.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, December 07, 2006 • Permalink