Leroy Van Dyke. “The Auctioneer". New Live Music Video.

Leroy Van Dyke performs his signature song “The Auctioneer.”

"The Auctioneer" (also known as "The Auctioneer's Song") is a 1956 country song by Leroy Van Dyke. It was co-written with Buddy Black. The song is notable for its interspersal of auction chants.


Van Dyke was inspired to write the song from his own experiences as an auctioneer and those of his second cousin, Ray Sims.


He wrote it while stationed in Korea during the Korean War, and first performed it to troops on the same bill as Marilyn Monroe. After finishing his service, Van Dyke entered the song in a Chicago talent contest. It gained him a record contract with Dot Records. "The Auctioneer" subsequently topped the pop music chart, selling 2.5 million copies.


The song talks of a young Arkansas boy who would skip school and visit a local auction barn. Becoming mesmerized by the auction chant, he decides he wants to be an auctioneer, regularly practicing the chant behind the family barn.


Though his parents are initially unhappy with his career choice, eventually they relent, but (not wanting their family name to be ruined by poor auctioneering skill) they send him to auction school to properly learn the trade.


He returns home a full-fledged auctioneer. Over time, he becomes "the best in all the land", having so much business that he ends up buying "a plane to get around".


"The Auctioneer" has been covered by numerous artists, most notably Lynn Anderson, and by Steve Goodman, who played it live while opening for Steve Martin. It was also included on his posthumous album, No Big Surprise. In the year 1990, the song was performed by Bert Southwood, in cooperation with Playtown Sound Audio Services.




Hey well all right sir here we go there

And what are ya' gonna give for 'em

I have a six hundred dollar down here

Now ten and now twenty-five and now thirty-five

And now there fifty now sixty

Will ya give me sixty now seventy-five

Seventy-five another eighty-five dollars

Oughta buy 'em there


There was a boy in Arkansas

Who wouldn't listen to his ma

When she told him that he should go to school

He'd sneak away in the afternoon

Take a little walk and then pretty soon

You'd find him at the local auction barn


Well he'd stand and listen carefully

And then pretty soon he began to see

How the auctioneer could talk so rapidly

He said oh my it's do or die

I've got to learn that auction cry

Gotta make my mark and be an auctioneer


Twenty-five dollar bid it now thirty dollar thirty

Will you gimmie thirty make it thirty

Bid it on a thirty dollar will you gimmie thirty dollar bid


Thirty dollar bid it now thirty-five

Will you gimmie thirty-five

To make it thirty-five to bid it a thirty-five

Who woulda bid it at a thirty-five dollar bid


Well as time went on he did his best

And all could see he didn't jest

He practiced calling bids both night and day

His pop would find him behind the barn

Just a working up an awful storm

As he tried to imitate the auctioneer


His dad said son we just can't

Stand to have a mediocre man

Selling things at action using our name

I'll send you off to auction school

And then you'll be nobody's fool

You can take your place among the best


Thirty-five dollar bid it now forty dollar forty

Will you gimmie forty make it forty

Bid it on a forty dollar will you gimmie forty dollar bid


Forty dollar bid it now forty-five

Will you gimmie forty-five

To make it forty-five to bid it a forty-five

Who woulda bid it at a forty-five dollar bid


So from that boy who went to school

There grew a man who played it cool

He came back home a full fledged auctioneer

And the people came from miles around

Just to hear him make that rhythmic sound

That fill their hearts with such a happy cheer


His fame spread out from shore to shore

He had all he could do and more

Had to buy a plane to get around

Now he's the best in all the land

Let's pause and give that man a hand

He's the best of all the auctioneers


Forty-five dollar bid it now fifty dollar fifty

Will you gimmie fifty make it fifty

Bid it on a fifty dollar will you gimmie fifty dollar bid


Fifty dollar bid it now fifty-five

Will you gimmie fifty-five

To make it fifty-five to bid it a fifty-five

Sold that hog for a fifty dollar bill


Hey well all right sir open the gate

And let 'em out and walk 'em boys

Here we come with lot number 29 in

What'd ya gonna give for 'em


I have a twenty-five I oughta get thirty-five

And now a fifty make it fifty bid it along at fifty

Now sixty will ya give me sixty now seventy-five

And now eight-five and now nine-five


A hundred and now twenty-five

And now it's at seventy-five

And a two and a three and a four

And a five and a six now seven

Now eight hundred dollars

And a buy 'em there

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