Old Man River

Today’s song comes from the Jerome Kern musical Showboat. Old Man River tells of the struggle of the stevedore Joe on a showboat on the Mississippi river. It’s an interesting song for a number of reasons: it’s plodding, slow rhythm is said to represent the movement of the river itself, it’s a rare example of a bass solo in a musical, and the main melody uses the pentatonic scale.

I hope you enjoy this piece today. If it’s your first time on the site, find out why I’m playing one song a day for the whole of 2015 or listen to my October songs here.