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Poetry Corner Ol’ Man River

On this day in 1807 Robert Fulton operated the first ever commercial steamboat. What a good reason for putting up this fantastic song. The paddle steamer was called Clermont and is illustrated in the picture above.

Ol’ Man River

Sung by Paul Robeson

Ol’ man river
That ol’ man river
He don’t say nothing
But he must know something
Cause he just keeps rolling
He keeps rolling 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 rolling along
You and me
We sweat and strain
Body all aching
And wracked with pain
Tote that barge
Lift that bale
Get a little drunk
And you land in jail
I gets weary
Sick of trying
I’m tired of living
Feared of dying
But ol’ man river
He’s rolling along

Songwriters: Jerome Kern / Oscar Ii Hammerstein

Ol’ Man River lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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