Ol' Man River

Paul Robeson, Carnegie Hall 1958

music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

There's an ol' man called the Mississippi,
That's the ol' man I don't like to be,
What does he care if de world's got troubles?
What does he care if de land ain't free?

Ol' Man River,
Dat Ol' Man River,
He mus' know sumpin',
But don' say nothin';
He jes' keeps rollin',
He keeps on rollin' along.

He don't plant taters,
He don't plant cotton,
An' dem dat plants 'em
Is soon forgotten,
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along.

You an' me, we sweat an' strain,
Body all achin' and racked with pain.
"Tote that barge and lift dat bale!"
You show a little grit and
You lands in jail!

But I keeps laffin',
Instead of cryin',
I must keep fightin';
Until I'm dyin',
And Ol' Man River,
He'll just keep rollin' along!