Monday, June 22, 2009

"Ol' Man River" from Show Boat, sung by the very famous Paul Robeson




There's an old man called The Mississippi
That's the old man that I try to be.
What does he care if the world got troubles,
What does he care if the land ain't free. ("ain't" is slang for "isn't, aren't")

Old man river,
That old man river
He must know somethin'
But don't say nothin',
He just keeps rollin'
He keeps on rollin' along.

He don't plant taters (potatoes)
He don't plant cotton,
And them that plants 'em
is soon forgotten,
But ol' man river,
He just keeps rollin' along.

You and me, we sweat and strain,
Body all achin' and racked with pain,
Tote that barge!
Lift that bale!
Get a little drunk
And you land in jail.

I get weary
And sick of tryin'
I'm tired of livin'
And scared of dyin',
But ol' man river,
He just keeps rollin' along.

Darkies all work on the Mississippi,
Darkies all work while the white folks play,
Pullin' those boats from the dawn to sunset,
Gettin' no rest till the judgement day.

Don't look up
And don't look down,
You don't dast 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 ol' stream that I long to cross.

Ol' man river,
That ol' man river,
He must know somethin'
But don't say nothin'
He just keeps rollin'
He keeps on rollin' along.

Long old' river forever keeps rollin' on...

He don't plant taters,
He don't plant cotton,
And them that plants 'em
Is soon forgotten,
but ol' man river,
He just keeps rollin' along.

Long ol' river keeps hearing that song.
You and me, we sweat and strain,
Body all achin' and racked with pain.
Tote that barge!
Lift that bale!
Get a little drunk
And you land in jail.

I get weary
And sick of tryin'
I'm tired of livin'
And scared of dyin',
But ol' man river,
He just keeps rollin' along!

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