Ol ‘Man River is a song written by Oscar Hammerstein II , on a music by Jerome Kern , dating from 1927 . It is the theme of the musical show Boat 1 , which tells the sad story and struggle of African-American workers , from the point of view of ablack docker , picturing it by the never-ending stream of Mississippi .
It is considered a classic of the American song and many musicians and bands have taken over this song, such as Bing Crosby 2 , Frank Sinatra 3 , Charles Ray , Django Reinhardt , Paul Robeson , Ruth Brown , John William , Nino Ferrer and Art Pepper .
Note: This translation is not the French adaptation written by Lucien Boyer in 1927 .
- “Here we all work along the Mississippi,
- Here, we all work while the whites play,
- Shooting boats from dawn to sunset,
- Without knowing rest until the day of the last judgment.
- Do not look up or down,
- You can not take the risk of displeasing the white boss,
- Bend your knees, bend your head,
- And pull this rope to death.
- Let me go away from Mississippi,
- Let me go away from the white boss,
- Show me this river called the Jordan,
- This old river that I long to cross.
- Sacred river man, sacred river man,
- He must know something,
- But he does not say anything,
- He’s just following his course,
- He goes imperturbably his way.
- He does not plant potatoes,
- He does not plant cotton,
- And those who plant them are quickly forgotten,
- And this sacred river man,
- He is quietly following his course.
- You and I, we sweat and trim,
- The body sore and tired,
- Hauling barges, lifting bullets,
- And for a drink too many you find yourself in jail.
- I am tired and sick of exhaustion,
- Tired of living and I’m scared to die,
- And this damn old man of the river imperturbably pursues his way. “
Notes and references
- ↑ Jerome Kern, Show boat , New York, NY: Columbia. ( OCLC 18734354 )
- ↑ Crosby Bing, Ol ‘Man River , Sentry, 1940. ( OCLC 28878555 )
- ↑ Frank Sinatra, Ol ‘man river Vol. 4 , Folcroft, PA. : Creative Sounds, 1990. ( OCLC 26101555 )