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Definition of Ol' Man River from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

Ol' Man River

 
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a song about the Mississippi River from the musical play Show Boat. The best-known performance of it was by Paul Robeson, who joined the show after it moved to London in 1928. It is sung by the character Joe and is a sad song about the hard life of African Americans in the South who are soon forgotten while the old river goes on.
Ol’ man river, that ol’ man river,He don't say nothin’, but he must know somethin’That ol’ man river, he just keeps rollin’ along.