OL' MAN RIVER
(Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein)

Bing first recorded "Ol' Man River" from the play Showboat backed by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jan. 11, 1928. By April the song had reached the pop charts, where it stayed for 11 weeks, including one week at the top. This was Bing's first solo recording to top the charts; however, because he was relatively unknown at the time, he received no billing on the record label. This was true throughout Bing's tenure with the Whiteman Orchestra. Bing recorded "Ol' Man River" 3 more times in his career: July 14, 1941, with the Victor Young Orchestra; Dec. 31, 1945, with the Camarata Orchestra; and Dec. 13, 1955, with the Buddy Cole Orchestra.

Ol' man river.
That ol' man river.
He don't say nothin'
But he must know somethin'
Cause he just keeps rollin'
He keeps rollin' along.
Rollin' along.
He don't plant tators
He don't plant cotton.
Them that plants 'em is soon forgotten.
But ol' man river
He keeps rollin' along.
You and me
We sweat and strain.
Body all achin'
And wracked with pain.
Tote that barge.
Lift that bale.
Get a little drunk
And you land in jail.
I gets weary
Sick of tryin'
I'm tired of livin'
Feared of dyin'
But ol' man river
He's rollin' along.

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