Old Man River

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Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown (January 12, 1928 – November 17, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter and actress also known as "Queen of R&B" noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music in a series of hit songs for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as "So Long", "Teardrops from My Eyes" and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean". For these contributions, Atlantic became known as "The house that Ruth built" (alluding to the popular nickname for Old Yankee Stadium). more »


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Here we all work 'long the Mississippi 
Here we all work while the white folk play 
Pulling' them boats from the dawn till sunset 
Getting no rest till the judgment day 

Don't look up and don't look down 
You don't dare make the white boss frown 
Bend your knees and bow your head 
And pull that rope until you're dead 

Let me go 'way from the Mississippi 
Let me go 'way from the white man boss 
Show me that stream called the River Jordan 
That's the old stream that I long to cross 

Old Man River, that Old Man River 
He must know something, but he don't say nothing 
He just keeps rolling, he keeps on rolling along 
He don't plant taters, and he don't plant cotton 

And them what plants 'em is soon forgotten 
But Old Man River, jest keeps rolling along 
You and me, we sweat and strain 
Bodies all aching and wracked with pain 

Tote that barge and lift that bale 
You get a little drunk and you land in jail 
I get weary and so sick of trying 
I'm tired of living, but I'm feared of dying 
And Old Man River, he just keeps rolling along

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Written by: Jerome Kern, Oscar Ii Hammerstein

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Royalty Network

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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"Old Man River Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 6 Dec. 2019. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/8836792/Ruth+Brown>.

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